Camp NaNoWriMo – April 2017

I’ve talked before about Camp NaNoWriMo vs Regular NaNoWriMo before. My preference is for regular NaNoWriMo, but I’m doing Camp in April because a few friends are dragging me along for the ride. I set a fairly low goal of 20k for the month. If I meet me goal, I’ll be back on track for the year for writing.

After a lot of back and forth, I decided to continue my NaNo 2016 Sci-Fi project. It has at least 20k left to get to the end, and it is somewhat fresh in my mind. Of course, it wasn’t as fresh as I thought… I spent the first two days of camp rereading the 50k I wrote in November.

On the days I write, I’m making good progress. I write at least two days worth of words when I get butt in chair time. Of course this would be more impressive if I was writing more than every third day. Ya, you might have noticed that math isn’t adding up well. I am currently caught up to day 7… it’s the 11th. My plan is to write another two days worth tonight and then I’ll only be 2 days behind. This in a nut shell is why camp doesn’t work for me. I’m always behind. In NaNo I’m usually ahead by day 3-4 and never drop below par. When I do camp, I’m ALWAYS behind.

I’m determined to catch up. I’m far from out of the game yet. Are you  doing camp this year? How are you doing at meeting your goals?

Fueling my Creativity

Saturday night I went out with some of my favourite writers for some writing, dinner, and then dessert. When all was said and done, I had a leftover samosa, some curry and rice, and half a piece of cheesecake. Sunday I had the samosa for breakfast before dashing out for errands. I ate the curry and rice as a late lunch while I made cupcakes (my son has to bring his own cake to parties). Then after the birthday party I made myself risotto. I of course followed the risotto with the leftover cheesecake.

I haven’t been eating as well as I should lately. It’s been a busy year, with a few big changes. Having a kid also means I worry about what I’m feeding him first, and me second. Which can mean I remember to pack him a lunch, but forget to pack one for myself. I make sure he eats his breakfast, but am running too late to eat one myself. Getting three good meals yesterday reminded me of how much better I function with good fuel.

When I’m active I remember to eat. You have to fuel your body to be able to run, climb, skip, or hula hoop. My ankle has been bothering me, so I haven’t been doing as much as usual. I guess without the activity my brain forgot that good fuel doesn’t just help with active pursuits, it helps creative ones as well. My thought process is better when I eat at good intervals, and I get more done when I eat a more balanced diet.

Hopefully this reminder reminds me to feed myself and my creativity over the summer. I have so many things I want to accomplish, and I can’t do any of them without fuel.

 

Inside Out – A new way to develop characters?

Have you see Pixar’s Inside out? If you haven’t the basic plot is an 11 year old girl moves from one city to another, but you experience the move through the five emotions that live in her brain: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. The movie itself is enjoyable and if you haven’t seen it, and like animated films, it’s worth watching.

Anyway, ever since I saw Inside Out I can’t help but picture those five emotions in other people’s heads. I wonder about which emotion is their most prominent and how those emotions interact to create the person I know. I wonder what other people would guess is the primary emotion in my head. (In the movie each person has one of the five that leads the others to at least some extent). My guess for myself would be Joy first, fear second, then the rest.

After thinking about the people I know, I started thinking about my characters. When trying to develop characters people spend time doing quizzes online, answering character questionnaires, and making positive and negative traits lists. I propose using the Inside Out model as another development tool. It gives some insight into how the different balance of those emotions plays into how people act or react to situations. I often focus my character development on traits, history, and likes. Hopefully this will help me remember characters should have unique emotional responses as well. It’s at least worth a try.

What are some of the strange things you do to help form your characters? What is your favourite character development tool?