Change Of Plan

50 000 words. Thirty days. Yep. Sounds simple enough.

So there are only two more days till NaNoWriMo in my region. I previously said that I had very little idea of what my novel for the month would be about, other than the fact that it would be the sequel to my current, never progressing, work in progress, Syphon. Well, now that I’ve got an idea that I know will stick (I’ve told myself that so many times now I have actually lost count… but I definitely mean it this time… maybe), instead of being all backwards and awkward and working on a sequel to a story that I’ve… started again and barely even gotten that far into, as a result (I swear that this is the absolute last time I will start this story again. Just try to forget how unreliable I am at keeping my word) I’ve decided that it would make far more sense for my NaNo novel to be Syphon, the first in my trilogy turned series.

Now… I know I say that I do not plan and I hate the mere concept of it, as I just cannot follow one and they just feel too restricting, but brace yourselves, because here comes the most shocking news of the century; I am going to make an outline for Syphon.

Shock horror!

But wait; there’s more! I am going to follow it!

Good god!

Surely not!

You’re insane, Laurence!

Please. Please, try to calm down. I know how difficult it may be for some of you to grasp and too much for some of you to bear, but it is happening. I repeat; I am going to make an outline for Syphon. This is happening… I hope. And… well… with NaNo only a couple of days away, I guess I know what my priorities need to be.

Only two more days. So, to amend what I said it my previous NaNo post, I am most definitely not winging it this year. I most definitely will be planning. There will most definitely be quite a lot… a bit… a little of it.

That’s that, I guess. I managed to win last year, though that poor, disgraceful manifestation of what is now going to be Syphon will never see the light of day (and to you NaNo muggles who are unaware, ‘win’ does not necessarily mean I beat anyone, it merely means I accomplished the goal of 50 000 words), but this year, with my outline that I will manage to make within these next two days, I will actually know what on earth it is that I’m writing, and I won’t just skip the middle of the story because I got stuck, and resume writing with all but a couple of the main characters, who were present throughout the entire story, dead. (Oh, I don’t know why I haven’t erased that novel from existence, yet).

But I digress. No one wants to hear my mindless rambling, so I’ll be going now. If you’re participating in NaNo, good luck. And for those of you who aren’t, here’s some advice right off the top of my head about writing: if you find that while you’re trying to write a story, that you always end up starting again and again and again, it may be a good idea to make yourself a little outline or a plan. It might stop you from ripping your hair out and save you from insanity. The more you know.

I’m sure I won’t be back informing you of how terribly, terribly wrong things have gone… At least not soon.

Happy NaNo-ing.

Laurence out.

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Writing Genders In Fiction

Well, I didn’t promise I’d be back soon . . .

Okay, so . . . writing genders in fiction. How do you go about doing it? What’s the right way to do it? What’s the wrong way to do it? How far into stereotypes do you go? Well, I have absolutely no idea. So, it only makes sense that I give advice on the matter, right?

Right.

So, without further ado, here’s my short list of quite possibly terrible points of what to do on the matter of writing genders . . .

1. Do not write genders.

This is my number one golden rule when writing characters and comes before any other. Write a character, not a gender. When you start delving into how you should go about trying to write a convincing male or female or whatever your opposite gender is, you may find that you just end up restricting how far you can go into developing your character. Sure, men and women have some innate differences and experiences, but in reality, every individual is different. And besides, it’s fiction. Who knows what each gender’s role is in the society you’re writing? Have a highly emotional and sensitive man. Have a tough as nails woman who keeps her emotions to herself. Have a man who loves watching sappy soap operas. Have a woman who loves drinking beer and watching sports. Conclusion? Do not get caught up in trying to write a convincing member of the opposite gender. Get caught up in trying to write a convincing character.

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2. Stereotypes aren’t bad if they’re convincing.

In other words. Literally, everything I pointed out in point number one. Nothing further needs saying.

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3. Yes. There are actually differences in men and women.

This is a given. If you’re writing about today’s society, men and women will, in fact, have very different experiences growing up. Again, like the previous two rules, your story does not have to abide by any such social norms. But in general, each gender is essentially programmed by society into behaving as what is considered normal for their gender. And while my next point essentially contradicts my previous two points, it’s still true. Generally speaking, men are more aggressive than women. Generally speaking, women are more emotional and more open to talking about their feelings. Stereotypes. Yes. I am generalising. Biologically speaking, we are different and this does, to some extent, affect how we interact with each other. Without getting too much into such details, if you are really set on shoving it into your readers’ faces that, yes, this character is male, and yes, this character is female, then show how they behave differently from each other, in general. Show how different their daily/morning routines would be, and whatnot.

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4. Friends?

If you have somewhat useful friends of the opposite sex and you’re having issues writing said sex, ask them for help. Not necessarily a rule, but a second opinion couldn’t hurt. They would likely be able to pick up some of the awkward parts in the writing and tell you what sounds right and what doesn’t. Though, if you’re not one for sharing your work . . . well, I’ll direct you to the other rules and rule number five.

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5. Just write!

Don’t worry about whether your character comes across as a realistic male, female, bigender, pangender, agender, or any other other gender identity. You know why? Let’s go back to rule number one: Do not write genders and Every individual is different (Shh, I can definitely quote myself). Write a realistic character.

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I’m just going around in circles now, it seems. I should stop here, then. Hopefully I’ve helped someone get around any issues they had, writing their characters. I probably haven’t but hey, here it is. In my opinion, if you only go by one of them, make it number one.

So . . . if you like taking advice from an eighteen-year-old who is probably one of the most unproductive writers you will come across, I’ll be back soon with more . . . “advice”.

Till next time, guys.

Laurence out.

NaNo Season

Yeah . . . um . . . Quite a bit over a month, huh?

Sorry about that. Time has not been my friend lately.

So, let’s get blogging, shall we?

It’s NaNo season. The forums have been relaunched. People are touching up their plans and finalizing them. And people are buzzing with the knowledge that NaNo is only a few weeks away. So, what about me? I think you guys might already know what I’m going to say.

I am completely winging it this year, again. No planning. None. at. all.

Same old, same old with me, isn’t it. Okay, well maybe I’ve got a vague idea of what I’m going to write about. It’s going to be the sequel to Syphon which I’ve (so inevitably) started again. Let’s not dwell on that, okay?

So, I’ll be updating during NaNo. I’ll be blogging more often (you probably shouldn’t hold me to that, to be honest). I’ll be raising my writing productivity (I should probably stop lying). And I’ll definitely procrastinate much less (most likely not going to happen).

Well, this was a fun, short, little blog (yep, I’m definitely being sarcastic. This was probably extremely uninteresting, that it’s sickening. But hey, I need to get back in the flow). So, I’ll try to be back soon. Maybe next week, maybe the one after, but I’ll try to keep relatively active.

Till my next month long break, guys.

Laurence Out.