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Archive for the ‘Plotting’ Category

I’ve blogged about this before, so here’s a little reminder so you can understand the rest of this post:

In chapter 18, Fabienne, a French vampire, revealed something about herself. Something I didn’t plan or know until the moment she revealed it.

And then I realized that a few things I’d written earlier in the chapter now made perfect sense. At the time, I had no idea why I wrote those thing, and oddly enough, I hadn’t questioned it. I hadn’t thought to myself “Why is she choosing to describe her that way?”

And a little after that, I realized another description in chapter 6 made sense. /Reminder

And now, today, as I’m plotting, I went back to chapter 4 for some reason and something there also makes sense. Basically, Fabienne has been dropping hints about herself from the moment she appeared on page. So to speak.

Is that not THE most awesome thing EVER?

And if you’re wondering why this post is also in the category “Procrastination” it’s because that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 or 6 hours.

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On Wednesday, I got a haircut (hadn’t gotten one in 8 months–maybe more) and at 7.30 PM, I saw “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical.”

Having seen the movie 3 times, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. BUT the actors and actresses were so full of energy and so fantastic that I now love it even more.

One thing you have to know to understand my favorite line is that Bernadette and Felicia–wait a minute, do you even know what it’s about? IMDB gives this sentence to summarize it: Two drag queens and a transsexual get a cabaret gig in the middle of the desert.

Anyway, Bernadette and Felicia argue. A lot. In a very funny and catty way.

My favorite line: Bernadette to Felicia in a woman’s voice: If you feel like joining us later on, FIGHT IT.

The last two words are said in a man’s voice, making it that much funnier.

They added jokes that weren’t in the movie and we see more of Shirley, but the drinking contest between Bernadette and Shirley isn’t there.

If you’re in or near London, go see it at the Palace Theater.

Clash of the Titans–1981 and 2010 versions

To be honest, I didn’t even finish watching the 1981 version–that’s how bad the special effects are.

The 2010 one was much better, but if you never watch either one, you’re not missing anything fantastic.

Right at your Door

A thriller in which a “dirty bomb” explode in downtown LA. Unfortunately for Brad, his wife Lexi was there and got infected. He seals himself in his house with Alvaro, a guy who can’t get a bus to his own house. Then Lexi appears! She didn’t die, but she’s infected. Brad can’t let her in the house if he wants to stay alive.

There’s a twist that redeems the movie a little, but overall it wasn’t that great.

Writing

Let’s not talk about it. Monday to right now: 351 words.

Plotting

I finally fixed a few problems with the timeline. I know from whose POV each chapter is from chapter 20 to 51. It’s all good. Now if I only I can motivate myself to write. I’m having way too much fun plotting.

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a.k.a HELL!

Well, okay, London itself isn’t really hell, it’s more the fact that I spent about 7 hours there with my family.

We took the train at twenty to two in the afternoon and the first shop we went into was a South African one. We bought biltong there. Delicious, wonderful biltong. Last time we had any was in The Netherlands, 3 years ago!

Our first official stop was at the Natural History Museum. We had to queue for fifteen minutes just to get INTO the damn museum. Then we had a look at some of the things on display in the hall before finding out we had to queue to see the dinosaur exhibition, the big one.

Oh, and we hadn’t eaten lunch. So by the end of THAT, we were hungry and our feet were hurting.

After lunch in a Chinese place, where I found out I had the ability to use chopsticks properly, we went to Hamleys, the biggest toy shop in Europe. It was HELL for me.

Trafalgar Square: we climbed on one of the lions and our dad took a picture. I have a slight fear of heights, so that was only slightly scary.

And, the highlight of my day, Foyles. The bestest ever bookshop I’ve EVER been to. Yes, I am aware that is a bad sentence, but who cares. Not me.

Okay, so by the time we got to Foyles (it took us quite some time–got lost, arguing, sore feet), I was too exhausted to look at the books. I sat down half a minute then thought “Fuck it” and began looking at all the wonderful books!

One thing you should know about Foyles: it’s a maze. Seriously. I kinda got lost in that place. But somehow, by just wandering around, I ended up in the Fantasy section, then Paranormal Romance, then Teen Noir, so all was good.

The books I got?

  1. Thinner by Stephen King
  2. Christine by Stephen King
  3. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  4. The Dust of 100 dogs by A.S. King
  5. The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (which has a short story by Rachel Vincent=reason I bought it)
  6. Beauty and The Beast by Robin McKinley
  7. The Carbon Diaries: 2017 by Saci Lloyd.

Oh, we also bought tickets for “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”, the musical. We’re going to see it tomorrow night. And tomorrow around 1 pm, I’m getting a haircut.

That’s why today, Tuesday, is a relaxing day indoors.

Writing

Sunday: 261

Monday: 7

So far today: 0

Grrr…

Plotting

So I’m writing chapter 20 and I have no idea where the characters will take me.

However, I know, more or less, what chapters 21 and 22 will be about:

  • A trial,
  • sadness, and
  • the last time we ever see characters L and J.

But who knows, things could change. Character M was SUPPOSED to be evil, and she turned out to be really kind.

I’ve also got a bit of problem with the timeline. And an idea just hit me. It’s perfect.

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Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

  1. 2012: Loved it! (I ignored the impossible things and enjoyed the action.)
  2. District 9: Wow. Great acting by Sharlto Copley as Wikus van de Merwe. It was so horrible to see him turn into an aliem and be hunter by the MNU and those Nigerians wanting to cut off his arm…
  3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: I saw this with my little brother and it was funnier than I thought it would be.

Oh, and with my class at school, we saw 3 movies this year:

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums: I loved it.
  2. Dans la Vie: Crap. When the movie ended my first thought was “That’s it?”
  3. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans: Heh, okay-ish. Being 16 years old, I don’t really appreciate silent movies. Maybe when I’m older. (That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate old movies like The Little Princess (1939 version, which I ADORED) and Gone with the Wind.)

Writing

I reached 30% of my novel on Thursday but I now have a little problem. I can’t really complain, I guess, but my characters have come to life and changed the plot. I now have to rewrite the plot outline for chapters 14 through 50. Yay.

Another couple of problems:

  • The timeline isn’t straightforward
  • There are so many characters which means…
  • That there is a LOT going on which means…
  • It’s not easy to keep track of everything (and yet, somehow, I manage to)
  • It could be difficult for readers to follow the story because of all that

I’ll guess I’ll figure something out when I finish the novel. So far I’ve had a few ideas: instead of 1 chapter=1 point of view, I could make it 1 chapter=1 day with several points of view; or make sections dealing with every’s story, for example: Part 1: Morana’s story, Part 2: Lucifer and Drusilla’s story, Part 3: Anne’s story, etc.

Doctor Who: Amy’s Choice

IT’S TONIGHT!!!!!! *fangirls* I can’t wait, although I don’t really like this “5 years later” stuff…

Books

I have to hang my head in shame because I still haven’t finished reading “Lolita” or “A Clockwork Orange” or “The Sweet Far Thing” or “The Forest of Hands and Teeth”. BUT I have been reading “Lolita.” Instead of page 109, I’m on page 162. I admit, that’s not a lot, but at least I’m reading.

About Lolita: I am in love with Vladimir Nabokov’s writing. It’s beautiful, even though I sometimes have no idea what he’s saying. Which is why I’ll be able to reread it in a few years.

Word count: 22 776/75 000 = exactly 30,368%

Chapter 14: 44

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Blog award

I know, this is VERY late, but I’m finally passing the Picasso Award on. (The image won’t work, so you get a link.)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VzmpVdx3hj0/Sz73AouNtII/AAAAAAAAASE/ag2ImM8AMOg/s1600-h/From_Me_To_You_Award.jpg

I know I’m supposed to pass it on to 7 people, if I understand, but most people I’d like to give it you already got it, so I’m passing it on to:

  • Sarah J. Maas http://sjmaas.livejournal.com/ who doesn’t blog obsessively like I do, but when she does, it’s awesome. She’s not published yet, but the second she is, I’ll rush to buy a copy of her book. (And you should too.)
  • The women who run Let The Words Flow http://letthewordsflow.wordpress.com/. Their blog is what I’d been looking for: a blog by Fiction Press peeps. There isn’t that much out there concerning FP… SJ Maas is among those people running the blog.
  • Cassandra Jade http://cassandrajade.wordpress.com/. I’ve just started reading her blog and I like it so far.
  • And even though Courtney Reese, who passed the award to me, already got the award, she really does deserves it: http://courtneyreese.wordpress.com/. She’s also unpublished but I cannot wait for her first published novel, just based on her blog posts about her novels. She’s busy writing/plotting three series! I’m really hoping that in, let’s say… three to five years, I can buy her first published novel.
  • Kelly Reese, Courtney’s cousin and critique partner, has just started her blog and so far I’m liking it: http://kellyr1187.blogspot.com/

7 facts about me:

  1. I love languages and so far I speak French and English fluently, Dutch kinda fluently, I’m in the process of learning Spanish and Italian and I’d love to learn German. Maybe Swedish too.
  2. I’ve loved writing for the past two years, but my passive love for making up stories goes further back, all the way to my eight-year-old self who loved reading. Actually, probably all the way back to two/three-year-old me who had an active imagination. I have a picture of myself aged 2/3/4 on the armrest of the couch, probably using it as a train. In another, aged 2, I’m cooking. (Not for real, obviously.) And I always preferred making up my own games to ready-made games like Monopoly, hide-and-seek and Twister. And I’ve always been obsessed with notebooks and pens.
  3. I had appendicitis when I was almost 10 years old and because I used to fake being sick very often, my dad didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t feel well. That was early morning. Fast-forward to me lying in bed pale as a snow and puking my guts out. That’s 7/8 pm. Midnight, or maybe eleven, I was finally operated on. Why so much later? Because the doctors at the damn hospital weren’t sure. “What if we operate and it was all for nothing?” A sonogram and the doctor says… “Where’s your appendix?” Oh, whoopsie! It’s burst and the liquid in it is floating around your stomach and could kill you if we don’t do something now. Idiots.
  4. I have over a dozen scars and I wouldn’t get them removed for anything. Each one has a memory and makes me feel tougher than I am (physically I mean). Because honestly, my 12- and 9-year-old siblings, sister and brother respectively, are both physically stronger than me and both have beaten me in arm-wrestling. Pathetic, right? Because if you haven’t noticed, I’m almost 16-years-old.
  5. I’m French and I’ve lived in France for a little bit more than two years and… I hate living here. That’s because inside, I don’t feel French. And I don’t really feel Dutch or South African, but I do feel more connected to The Netherlands and to South Africa. But really, what am I, nationality-wise? I guess that I’m European, like my best friend said. (She’s Spanish/Irish with five languages in her life.)
  6. My personality has never changed. My best friend admires me for this, because a lot of people our age change to please their friends and to fit in. I have never changed the way I am so I’d be accepted. If people don’t like me for who I am, I say “F*** you, I’m not gonna change for you.” In my head, of course. My personality has only matured, evolved, but it hasn’t drastically changed. My best friend, who I love like a sister, also said that I never think “What’s wrong with me?” when people don’t accept me and she used to do this all the time and would then change. She also likes that she can say whatever with me and I won’t be the least bit surprised. (Seriously, talk to me and mention that you think penguins are awesome when we were talking about something else and I won’t bat an eyelid.) Can you tell that I love what my best friend thinks of me? Well, to not sound self-obsessed, because I’m not (just a little-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle-ittle bit) (I LOVED the movie Great Balls Of Fire!), I absolutely love my best friend and I love who she is. She is awesome and loyal and ambitious and kind and funny and beautiful. (Even when she doesn’t believe she is.)
  7. I’ve probably mentioned this already somewhere on my blog, but this deserves repeating: my family means the world to me and I truly do NOT know how I would keep going if one of the four of them died. I have to admit, that’s my biggest fear. Ever. There is nothing that scares me more, not my own death and not heights. Not even being a failed writer. (Which should tell you how much that scares me.)

There, you know more about me. Feel free to leave a comment with as many random facts about you as you want. (1 or 10, I don’t care. I’ll read and reply.)

Plotting

Yesterday I was home sick and I ended up… finishing the outline of my novel! I had 25 chapters plotted when I woke up and 50 chapters and an epilogue when I went to bed. I also wrote a few hundred words, read a bit, saw two movies and did homework. All in all a very productive day, but more about the plotting.

Let me show you plotting/outlining-haters why it’s the best thing in the world to outline:

  • First novel: no outline, incomplete.
  • First novella (which I called a novel): outline, complete.
  • A couple novels: no outlines, incomplete.
  • Second novella (which I also called a novel): outline, complete.
  • More failed novels: no outlines, incomplete.
  • First complete novel: outline, complete.

See a pattern here? Outline=complete. I’ll accept that there are writers who can complete a novel without an outline, but I’m sure that if you’ve never finished a novel in your life, it’s because you didn’t have an outline. (Or didn’t like the stories.)

I used to HATE outlining, but now I love it and it’s become my best friend in writing. (Along with my laptop, Scrivener, and my multiple whiteboards and notebooks and pens. Okay, I have a lot of best friends. :).)

I have too many goals

Really. For this year, I’d like to have accomplished this by December:

  • Playing with Darts complete
  • Kenna’s Choice edited and proof copy printed
  • NaNo novel ’10 plotted and written
  • Movie’s script rewritten and then movie shot and edited and uploaded on youtube
  • 3 short stories written
  • 12 poems written

Which brings me to this…

Full-time writer

The only way I can accomplish those things is if I become a full-time writer. Unfortunately, I’m in high school and not even 16. I can be a full-time writer in 2 and a half years MINIMUM. My only way would be to drop out at the end of this year. This frustrates me to no end because I like learning and I don’t truly hate school, it’s just that I don’t like the French school system.

Movies

  • Treasure Planet: I loved this movie! It’s a sci-fi Disney version of Treasure Island and are you allowed to have a kinda crush on an animated character from a Disney movie? ‘Cuz James “Jim” Hawkins is yummy.
  • Single White Female 2: The Psycho: It sucked. It was like soft porn. Honestly! And the dialogue was awkward and the characters acted like teenage bitches.

Books

I’m currently reading Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, one of my many favorite authors. Unfortunately, I’ve started reading The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Oh, and I’m reading “No Plot? No Problem?”

I’ve seen A Clockwork Orange three times, so I thought it was time to read the book. (That movie is NOT for delicate people.)

—–

Okay, that’s it. Whew. Took me time to write all that. Now I’m gonna shower then read then sleep then wake up and not go to school! Oh, right, haven’t mentioned that here.

Snow

IT’S SNOWING! Finally. I’ve been waiting since December for snow and finally, it’s here. And it’s here to stay. The snowflakes are big and it’s cold, so it’s not all melting on the floor/grass/gravel. 🙂 I’m a very happy person right now, because even if it does kinda go away, there’ll be ice, and that means no driving.

So no school for me tomorrow. 🙂

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I’m still busy plotting and crazy as it may sound to people who know me, I like plotting. It’s really fun once it starts making sense. Right now I’m working on the middle of the novel and I’ve figured out what happens in the first 17 chapters, so I have definitely made some progress.

Also, I have a wonderful character table (that needs to be updated) and a plot table (that also needs to be updated).

Character table contains:

  1. First name
  2. Last name
  3. Nationality
  4. Age
  5. Eye color
  6. Hair color
  7. Build
  8. Relationship to Main Character (MC), examples: ally, enemy, friend, acquaintance, sister…
  9. Little detail #1
  10. Little detail #2

The little details are things like fears, scars and whatever makes the character seem more real. I make this table on a spreadsheet on NeoOffice Calc.

Plot table:

  1. Part (beginning, middle, end–this is optional, even I’m not really sticking to it)
  2. Day (when a chapter takes place)
  3. Chapter
  4. Events
  5. Point of View (also optional if you only have 1 POV)

My plot table is not as useful to me as I thought it would be–I’m using Scrivener’s corkboard instead. I highly recommend using Scrivener when writing a novel, but it costs money. A free option is Jer’s Novel Writer, which is much simpler but still pretty good.

Scrivener: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

Jer’s Novel Writer: http://jerssoftwarehut.com/

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How I Plot

That is, when I plot. See, by nature I’m not a plotter. In the past, I have always started writing a novel based on a sentence that pops into my head, nothing more. I’m sure you can guess what happens next: I give up. Only three times have I kept on going, and the third time was thanks to NaNoWriMo.

Now, when I do plot, here’s how I go about it:

  • Grab a whiteboard and some pens for it
  • Post-it notes
  • Highlighters
  • Normal pens and maybe a pencil
  • An A3 or A2 piece of paper

These are the things I used to plot last night *other Kayleigh coughs “2 a.m. is not nighttime”*.

On my whiteboard, I wrote down the pieces of plot I already had. Because my plotlines are mixed up between a very large cast of character, I decided to try and divide it in three, Morana, Murdina and Fabienne and Vladislav. Then I have three post-its for one day that it spread over 7 chapters and several points of view. First post-it is for Murdina and Fabienne. This day is section 1.

I summarized what happens for them on that day; their day is spread over 3 chapters, 2 from Fabienne’s point of view, 1 from Murdina’s.

Second post-it, right below the first, is a different color; this one is for Morana. I summarized what goes on around her. 2 chapters; 1 from her point of view and another from William’s.

Third post-it, different color, Vladislav’s plotline. Here I summarized what happens around him. There will be 2 chapters; 1 from his point of view, more or less, and another from Anne, a human involved in his plot.

That gives me 7 chapters with 6 different points of view. See why I said plotting would drive me insane? But this helped make sense of my plot.

Moving on, the next section is spread over two weeks. Again, 3 post-its for the 3 main groups of people. Murdina and Fabienne will do stuff that will be held in 1 chapter which will containt 2 or 3 scenes to show time go by and what develops between them.

Morana has stuff that she does as well; 2 chapters because it involves quite a lot of people.

Last post-it is for Vladislav and what happens with him and the people around him.

Section 3 is one single day where things change and Murdina and Fabienne meet Morana. Three post-its for each main POV and what happens.

When I’m done, which I’m not yet, I will glue down the post-its onto my A3 piece of paper. What I plan to do is also organize the killing vampire plotline, and everything that will lead to it, the romance plotline between all the different characters and what ever other plotline there is.

To help me, I had my writing notebook to make random notes and brainstorm.

I hope this helps you somehow, otherwise check out http://rkvincent.livejournal.com/tag/plotting where Rachel Vincent has talked about plotting and http://courtneyreese.wordpress.com/category/plotting/ where Courtney Reese also talks about plotting.

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