Writers of Yore

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Procrastination Station: Categorizing Characters

Gotta love procrastination techniques that still allow you to work on your story, right? I was listening to 30 Seconds To Mars’ “This is War” yesterday and it made me think of the fact that there are certain things that make people want to categorize their characters into. 

Sure, it might just seem like a pointless waste of time to some, but you can tell them it’s helping you figure out the inner workings of your characters. (C’mon, we’re writers: we’re good at saying things that aren’t always true). 

Here are a few that I could think of off the top of my head. Feel free to contribute more if you can think of any!

  • This is War" line-up (aka "the civilian, the soldier, the martyr, the victim etc etc)
  • Harry Potter houses
  • Jaeger Pilot teams (Bonus points: Jaeger name)
  • Tarot cards (Major and/or minor)
  • MBTI type
  • Alignment
  • ???

All of these do require a deep understanding of your character and, in some cases, the meaning behind the selection (especially for Tarot cards). 

Take a break from writing this weekend and maybe figure some of these out! I’ll be back late Sunday/maybe Monday with updates on my writing challenge and who knows, maybe I’ll have done some of these myself. 

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lil-miss-banana:

(Sorry my internet died so you get phone reply)
Editing is always very important, so it’s good that you’re doing that. So here are some options that you (and anyone else unable to commit to a year of madness) can try out instead!
+ Write down all the totally awesome lines you created in your editing process. Just made that sentence hella tight by picking a different word than what you had originally? Can’t believe that you actually wrote ‘hella tight’ and want to remind yourself in the future of what a goomba you were? Love a line but it just didn’t fit? Write them all down, or create a new document that you can paste them all into.
+ Did you only do nano in November last year? Try to do another one, 25k or 50, on some other month during the year. Did nano in November and in the summer? Find a third month to do it in. Challenge yourself to do one more month of writing full-tilt than you did last year.
+ Track you’re editing progress! I have friends on the #amwriting twitter tag that will track editing sprints like ‘24 written, 322 deleted’ type of thing.
Or just try it when you can! I have a personal motivator for attempting what I am, so the important thing is finding what works for you! Glad you’ll be with us in spirit, at the least!

Hah and now here it is because after sticking through to write all of that on my phone, I mess up which blog I post it to. 

lil-miss-banana:

(Sorry my internet died so you get phone reply)

Editing is always very important, so it’s good that you’re doing that. So here are some options that you (and anyone else unable to commit to a year of madness) can try out instead!

+ Write down all the totally awesome lines you created in your editing process. Just made that sentence hella tight by picking a different word than what you had originally? Can’t believe that you actually wrote ‘hella tight’ and want to remind yourself in the future of what a goomba you were? Love a line but it just didn’t fit? Write them all down, or create a new document that you can paste them all into.

+ Did you only do nano in November last year? Try to do another one, 25k or 50, on some other month during the year. Did nano in November and in the summer? Find a third month to do it in. Challenge yourself to do one more month of writing full-tilt than you did last year.

+ Track you’re editing progress! I have friends on the #amwriting twitter tag that will track editing sprints like ‘24 written, 322 deleted’ type of thing.

Or just try it when you can! I have a personal motivator for attempting what I am, so the important thing is finding what works for you! Glad you’ll be with us in spirit, at the least!

Hah and now here it is because after sticking through to write all of that on my phone, I mess up which blog I post it to. 

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2014 Writing Spreadsheet

Alright everyone, coming back to share the spreadsheet that I made for the writing challenge I mentioned in this previous post

You can check it out and download it here!

If you’re wondering just what the numbers are doing, I tried the “Reverse NaNoWriMo" this past November and managed to hit my 50k goal super early. So I thought why not keep up the trend? Of course, I can also make a normal one for everyone with a nice even 834 every day. 

Again, you can check out KSW Writer Feature list, or just keep hanging out here as I keep you updated on my progress :D

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2014 Writing Challenge!

Well, writers, the new year is nearly upon is. And with the new year brings new resolutions. This year, I want to try a writing challenge. After visiting our dear Sara (co-owner of this blog) and lamenting the complete lack of time to write in our lives, I decided that making ‘every month a nano month’ would be a good place to start. 

So I’m thinking of running mini-nanos every month, in which I would attempt to write 25k (my general goal for the last three camp nanos). That’s less than 1k a day. And, then, when November (and possibly April and July, or whenever camp nano turns out to be this year) hits, you churn out the usual 50k. 

Just think about how many words that is! Anywhere between 325k and 375k words over the course of the year. That’s like, two novels right there. Three novels, even. 

If anyone is interested in this, let me know! I plan on making a spreadsheet (because I love keeping myself on track with one of those), so I’ll share it if enough people want to take me up on this challenge.(sort of like my 3-month spreadsheet).

Bonus: I plan on making a mason jar, similar to the “write good things that have happened to you” jar. It’s always nice to get a very physical reminder of how much you have written, instead of just numbers in a chart. I personally plan on jotting down writing goals I have made (5k days, 10k weeks, hitting 25k months, etc etc), as well as any good sentences I did during my run (or just the last sentence that I wrote during the week/month). At the end of the year, it will be great to open it up and look back at all the landmarks you hit, and great (or not so great) sentences you wrote. 

As with any writing challenge, having a cluster of writers to be around to support you through it is key. You can check out Keyboard Smash Writer’s follower feature for that, or just keep an eye out on here as I post updates on my own goals and such. 

So, anyone else interested?

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kkyokowrites reblogged your post and added:

If I may make a suggestion, could perhaps the shooter aim for the heart and hit the subclavian artery? The character would bleed out in like five minutes.

Oh my gosh I can’t believe I completely forgot to mention that. I had it in mind, and then didn’t put it down as I was writing the post. 

This is probably the best and fastest way to die from exsanguination due to a gunshot wound. While, like I mentioned, any of the major arteries would be susceptible to substantial blood loss, damaging the artery closest to the heart would lend itself to more blood being pumped out faster and, consequently, a faster bleed out. 

Thanks for the addition!

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queenkevari asked: Do you have any references regarding bleedout times from gunshot wounds? I have a character that gets killed off and needs to die within five minutes or so of getting hit. I was thinking of a shotgun to the gut at a short range, but I can't find any facts regarding how long it takes to die from a wound to the abdomen, just wounds to the head.

I went on a research spree because I, too, will soon be writing a character dying from a GSW and this was the perfect chance to look into it. 

Alright, so here is what I have found: 

  • It all depends on where they are hit and WHAT was hit. I’m not seeing a lot of evidence or good science behind the the times, but 4-5 minutes is possible, 10-15 might be a bit more likely if you don’t hit an artery, but get an organ.
  • That being said, hit a major artery (femoral, jugular, aorta). Which is probably easier with a knife than with a gun. But if you have good aim, or time to take aim, it is possible.
  • The body has to lose at least a quart of blood for unconsciousness to set in, fun fact. Then the rest of the damage can proceed from there if they don’t need to be DEAD dead just left for dead
  • Gunshot wound straight to the stomach alone could take upwards from 20-30 minutes to cause anything serious. This is because the cavity floods with blood and other fluids, leading more likely to infection (especially if it is treated in time). The bleeding out will be the ultimate cause of death, but there is nothing major bleeding.
  • One person says kidneys, Wiki says liver, but rupturing one of those will cause a bleed out that can take less than 10 minutes. 
  • If the diaphragm is punctured or ruptured, then the person could pass out from lack of air (again, it could take a few minutes), and then from there die as the body shuts down. 

A lot of this hinges on no one being around to administer treatment. So even if it might not be possible for the character due to the smaller caliber bullet or location of the wound (ie straight gutshot), if they are just left there, they will bleed out in a short amount of time and die. 

Here’s the websites I found (mostly on bleeding out) so you can see if anything tickles your fancy!

And, two more on straight up gunshot wounds but not dealing with bleeding out:

Anyone out there have any other good references? I could have sworn I saw one floating around in regards to gunshot wounds but I can’t find it now for the life of me… 

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For anyone who wants a 3 Month Spreadsheet to track their writing progress!

So this is the spreadsheet that I made. It’s currently just three months and because May started on a Wednesday, the weeks start on Wednesday as well. 

It’s for a daily word-count goal of 1500, but feel free to change it as you need to. 

Hopefully this will help those of you wafting about make writing deadlines for yourself!

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onlysleepswithbutterflies asked: I don't know I think there was a point for Colin Creevy's death. I guess JKR wanted to show the casualties of war,even if those casualties weren't front players.

For me, Colin is that character who always put himself into the front line when he shouldn’t be. Always sticking his neck out and, in the end, it finally caught up with him. That being said, he did make a valiant effort at becoming a “front player” and wound up paying the price :(

As a whole, I think that is what bothers us as readers about our books that involve war. We want all the characters to make it out, to have it be a “perfect happy ending” but in the end, it’s a reality check and statement (see: Mockingjay). 

Thanks for your thoughts!

(for those of you who don’t know, this is in response to this Anon’s answer to my Killing Character’s post!)

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Camp NaNoWriMo - Follow Up

I know I made a few posts about participating in Camp NaNo, but I thought that for all of the followers who have been kicking around for a bit would like to know: 

I created a giant interactive cabin or sorts for those of you following along with Camp NaNo. It’s called campywriting. Please feel free to join if you are participating, or just want to activities and word wars/word sprints to get you motivated! 

I’ll try to start reblogging some of the activities to here, just in case ;) 

I hope all of you are ready for April, Camp NaNo or not. The days are getting longer and that means more time for writing!