(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Of Post Camp Progress, Pantsers and Plotters

2014-Winner-Vertical-Banner I finished Camp over my 10000 word limit - with 13497. I was a very happy camper. I had gone into this thinking 'I will write a 5000 word short story and make up the balance on my existing project. I hope I can make it. We will see.' Little did I know that Doctor Jack would end up developing a life of its own.
As part of the 'winning' the camp (this was done by exceeding my chosen goal) I got some really neat buttons, badges and a certificate (see below). These provide a sense of achievement and an incentive for me to try for the bigger goal next time - 50000 words for the full NaNoWriMo.  The certificate will sit above my desk to remind me that I can achieve my writing goals - all great to kick me in the butt when I am procrastinating waaayy too much.
 So what now? For a couple of days, I sat on my laurels thinking - cool I did it. I started checking out the 'winner's goodies' on the webpage.  50% off Scrivener (which I already use and love), some discounts on other writing tools and Camp products, some free downloads, free hard copy of my story from Lulu.
Most exciting for me was the possibility of a free manuscript review by The Book Genome Project (though I still need to find out how this works). This is both daunting and exciting. I have not had a story professionally reviewed before - and there is the rub - that old daemon rears its ugly maw and chuckles - Am I good enough? Will I embarrass myself? Will it be crap?
I have until 31st May to finish up my story and get the courage to submit it. I will of course, if I get it finished (and there is not a minimum word count higher than mine), but in the meantime that self-doubt will creep in.
Until then, I am writing. Some scenes just flow from my pen as the characters reveal themselves and the plot to me. With other scenes, I think pulling teeth would be much easier. But I still write. There is one scene that needs to be written. The plot demands it. However it eludes me. It is not eloquent nor exciting. I hope to make it work by revealing more about my characters.
What do I do when faced with this situation?
  • Firstly, I pull out my pen and notebook and start freewriting. It often helps. Usually I am a pantser- style writer.  (I have a general idea of my characters, story and ending - I just let the characters take me where they need to go.) Sometimes this does not end well. I can write myself into a corner.
  • In the past few months, I have taken to writing down ideas, as they surface. I can then arrange them in a vague order and get a (very basic) plot plan. This has become much easier since I purchased Scrivener. Being a visual person I can put them in little electronic 'sticky notes' and shuffle them around as I change my mind. This happens more than I would like to admit (oops, I just did). Sometimes I end up completely ignoring the pre-arranged plot. More often than not, I keep adding to it or completely change it. I am becoming more organised as I get more writing experience - but I think I will always be a pantser at heart.
For more info on planners and pantsers - follow this LINK.
Today I have  16,600 words and six to nine more scenes to write (if the characters want to co-operate and stick to the planned story).
Doctor Jack - 1st draft- Deadline 30th April, 2014: 
So I am off to write. I hope I can still access the story line review via Lulu (which I just found out is having technical difficulties). I would really like to find out what they think of my work.
Manuscript Word Progress:(on hold for the month)
Total Words:  

Revised Words: 
At 1st draft only:

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