l i l e p h y t e

October 27th, 11:31 | Again embarking on a novel -- but now with ink stains

I've started writing with ink pens again. (Note: I realize that most pens use ink. When I say that, I mean the pretentious, yet not quite authentic kind where you stick the ink cartridge in the shaft of the pen, then puncture it with the nib and feel all frou-frou because you're writing with a fountain pen. Chic.)

Yesterday, in an effort to encourage my growing excitement for this year's WriMo, I took one of my lesser-loved notebooks (it has a metal cover, yo; hideous), decorated it with stickers, and proclaimed it My Novel-Writing Notebook That Shall Not Leave My Side From Now Till The End Of November. I also decided that now would be a good time to start scribbling in ink again because, you know, nothing says messy art like ink stains all over your fingers.

The other reason for it is that I have been recruited to make the nametags for my dad's birthday dinner, and I figured I'd bust out the broad nibs and pretty ink colours to do so; little did I realize that ten years of not practising actually means that your ability to calligraph beautifully? Becomes one of those treasured memories. Bah. I've been half-assedly rewriting random words in the meantime, trying to get back into the flow. The hardest part is re-training myself to keep the pen at 45 degrees (both to the paper and to the line I'm trying to write on). Every time I hear the nib scratch I know I'm doing it wrong so it's been quite the humbling experience.

More on humbling experiences: I am, yet again, attempting to write a novel over the course of November, except this time (I know, I say it every year) I'm actually going to succeed. What makes me so confident this year? The fact that I did something different: this year, I have a PLOT. Yeah, that's right. I threw caution to the winds, y'all, and decided that rather than go with my tried and useless method of creating (lovable, yet lazy) characters who would then run amok, get themselves into all sorts of trouble, then not solve the problem, I have very vague characters at the moment, but a pretty good outline of the plot I want.

I'm actually quite proud of myself, since this is the first time I've managed to follow the story arc all the way from a beginning to an ending. (I use the non-specific, as I'm pretty sure they'll change as November and its ensuing madness set in.) I even borrowed one of the tricks RecentEx's play-writing profs suggested, of writing down one action/scene idea (e.g. "Princess runs off with Tall, Dark Stranger" or "John's toaster unfolds; reveals tiny cat-bearing spacepod", etc.) on each cuecard till you're out of ideas, then laying them out on the floor, and seeing how they fit together.

All in all, I'm pretty excited about getting started for this year. In the next few days, I'm going to hang out (... in my HEAD!) with my characters, get a better feel for them as people (and maybe uh, names?). When the time comes, there will still be definite "let them run amok" moments in my writing (read: 90% of my writing) but, as I was dicussing with RecentEx yesterday, now that I have a plot outline somewhere in the back of my head, hopefully they won't get too out of hand.

And if they do, I'll just kill them off. What? It worked for my other novels... sort of...

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