Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

"Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer."

~ Barbara Kingsolver

Tip of the Day:

Sometimes, even during NaNo, less is more. Those of you who might be reading this blog from the school where I work may have heard this already, but I'm going to summarize a bit here.

Someone asked me, "How do I make my fantasy setting seem old-fashioned, without referencing things that don't exist in that world?" My answer is, you never TELL your audience the world is old-fashioned. Think instead about how your character lives. How do they wake up in the morning (probably not an electric alarm clock)? How do they bathe? Get and cook food?

In real-writing-life, spending twenty pages discussing the ways your characters needs to pluck and prepare a chicken to cook it in the cast iron stock-pot hung over the fire may be excessive (during revision, you'll probably cut back), but during NaNo, figuring out the little details of your fantasy setting, such as how people do simple tasks, will not only help you world-build in your own mind, but will generate words.

So, in that way, more-is-more.

On the other hand, if you can't figure it out, be vague for now. Don't know a thing about horses, but know your characters need to ride them? Skip the extensive research during NaNo! Hint! Leave yourself notes if you want to, like [I'm sure there are words for the part of the saddle you hold on to] but don't get distracted for 10 hours on Wikipedia during NaNo.

For the record, this applies to everyone, fantasy setting or not. If you're stuck in your storyline, spend some time describing the basic, boring parts of your characters' lives. Even if it is something you know you will cut out later during revision, it isn't just wasted junk-words: It's valuable insight for you as a writer, and it might give you an idea of how to move forward.

Prompt of the Day:

Your character finds $50 (or your world's equivalent) in the street.
(Thank you, J, for that prompt)


In the spirit of the tip-of-the-day, have someone cook something.

1 comment:

  1. Good tip.
    Not exactly practical to write "Since she had no alarm clock in 1835..."
    Unless she's time travelling. Then, by all means...