Tag Archive | sleep schedule

Camp NaNoWriMo Week One: Schedule Adjustments, Story Involvement, and Late-Night Camp-outs

Word-count: 27,963 and counting

I’ll admit, this is a bit late, but I think it’s still close enough to do this.

Week two of Camp NaNoWriMo has officially begun, and the first week of the event has gone fairly well for me.

Despite adjusting to a new sleep schedule and trying to work my sessions and rewards to fit that, I’ve still managed to get a fairly good total word-count so far, and am keeping it up. My story is making wonderful progress, and like I thought I would, I’m stepping into dimensions of it that I haven’t before, on a deeper level than expected, and discovering more and more new things that are making the process even more of a joy to go through. My characters are developing, my plot is twisting and taking leaps I never thought it would, and I’m writing more than ever, thanks to the help and support of my lovie and doing wordsprints to keep up.

I have been faltering on my rewards a bit – movies aren’t working anymore, since my laptop, for some reason, refuses to play DVDs, which I’ve tried every solution I could find to fix, from updating drivers, to codecs, to cleaning the disk drive myself, but I am determined to keep up with giving rewards and having a little bit of fun every weekend to refresh everything. I will admit that I have been slacking on writing sessions and hitting my minimum word goal every day, but I have my schedule change to thank for that, and am working on it. I’ve been able to evade my inner editor thus far, and just letting the words fly – it’s a blast!

Getting so involved with the story for the periods of time that I’m working on it is a blessing and a curse, sadly. Since it’s being written in journal entry format, there are entries now and then that the character gets a bit emotional and cuts the entry short, to finish up explaining at a later time, and sometimes, the buildup and getting in-tune with that feeling leave me dumbfounded on how to start the next one, stuck in that sort of feeling for a little while, but I have been able to evade it by forcing myself to start and trying to write a starting line for the next entry when I finish the prior one, in order to sneak away from the “how the hell do I start this one now” stage at a later session and just get into writing the actual content.

Re-acquainting with my characters, especially the narrator, has been a treat, as well. He’s gaining a lot more dimension and becoming a lot more than he ever was in the previous attempts to get this story done, and I find him a lot more interesting and likable than I did beforehand. At this point, he’s struggling with a lot of things – no one else seems to believe what he sees, he knows near nothing about his real parents yet still feels haunted by the brief memories he does have and the tiny links to him he’s starting to unearth, and approaching him are struggles with things more related to who he is on the (cliche wording oops) ‘inside’, this bit here being the aspect that I think will help make him easier to relate to for the average reader in terms of his struggling with, among the rest of the things, things most people do at some point in their life, specifically teenagers.

There has been a little trouble weaving the plot together the way I wanted to, but I’ll keep working on that and fix it up more in the editing process if need be. I’ve definitely wound up neglecting certain parts every now and then, but again, that can be dealt with in the point of the process where I go back and spruce up those bits. Right now, I’m focusing on pushing the story forward and getting everything down so I can edit and make it worth something more later, anyhow. I’m not sure how many times I’ve mentioned this, but the quote stating that you can’t edit a blank page is one of my favourites, despite not knowing the exact quote or the person it’s credited to, and I like to enforce it as much as possible.

Unfortunately, all of the work on writing and sleep schedule hoopla has left me slacking on my reading. I just haven’t had time to pick up the books I’m currently reading and making significant progress. The fact that I’m reading more than one book right now isn’t really helping – I want to catch up on my goal to read 12 books this year, and I’ve been getting caught up in things every time I start to make progress on that, so I’m trying to juggle reading Lara Parker’s ‘The Salem Branch’, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and a little bit of Scott McCloud’s ‘Making Comics’ on the side there at once. Trying to alternate is one of the big problems here, but I’m working on that, as well.

Catching up on that, though, is what I suppose tonight is for – I wrote a bit on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, and am going to be spending the rest of the night trying to catch up on other things I’ve been neglecting lately. I’m currently on page 135 of ‘The Salem Branch’ out of 334, 392 of ‘Dracula’ out of 450, and 101 of ‘Making Comics’ out of 272, and am going to be working on that periodically throughout the night. Speaking of which, I am planning to spend the entire night outside – since my new sleeping schedule utilizes staying up until sunrise and sometimes after, and I’ve been coming outside to get most of my writing done, I’ve decided to attempt to spend my entire night out here on the carport.

It’s currently 1:28 AM, and I’m doing fairly well thus far. I thought that I would wind up chickening out, but I’ve updated my to-do list and got plenty to keep me occupied, plus the company of my lovie to keep me from getting too scared. I’ll be dropping inside – just at the front door – on the occasion to grab a drink or a bite of string cheese, but other than that, most of tonight is being spent out here. I guess you could consider it camping out, if only a little, in the Camp NaNoWriMo spirit. In addition to reading, I’ll be updating things that need updating that I’ve been neglecting a bit, and probably wind up working at least a little on the NaNo Novel as the sun comes up (sleepy writing is always fun).

To keep up with my progress throughout the month a bit better, you can follow me on twitter @TheDerpOfficer and I’ll most likely follow you back (just say the word, hehe). I’ll probably be giving some fairly frequent updates on the late-night “camp-out” throughout the night, as well, if anyone’s interested to see how that’s going!

In conclusion, the first week has been well, and week two is setting itself up to go by great, as well! How has the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo or JuNoWriMo been going for everyone else participating?


Fiction Writing with Officer HerpDerp at 5 AM: Gathering Ideas

So, we’ve all sat down and decided to write a novel before, be it because we want to or because it’s one of our sources in which we make money for a living. Some of us have already been struck by an idea for a novel, some of us are inspired but we don’t have any idea what we want to write, or some of us just need an idea or more regardless of the situation (I.E needing an idea for something like NaNoWriMo, which is this month – good luck, if whoever’s reading this is a NaNo-er).

Some of us come up with the general plot or idea of the story first, then come up with the characters. Some of us come up with the characters, then the plot or general idea of the story. Some of us come up with the general idea, then the characters, then the full-on plot. This, my first blog article on giving tips for fiction writers, is for those of us who are on that stage, be it first, second, or third, where we need that spark of inspiration, be it for the general idea or plot, or a concept for a character.

This will consist of the ways that I, and other people, have gotten ideas – none of which are confirmed to work for you or anyone, but have worked for others, so it’s worth a try if you can manage it or it seems like a good idea to you. These will be from my own personal experiences, the experiences from writers I know, and the experiences of random people on the internet. If you have a way that you’ve gotten ideas – be it the general story, plot, or a character concept – that you think could help people out, please feel free to put them in the comments! The more the merrier, after all.

I tend to get my ideas from research, or just hearing about whatever interesting concept I get lucky enough to find. Since I love to know more about things that tickle my fancy when I hear of them, when I hear or read about an interesting concept or event, I get to researching, starting at wikipedia and going down into things that are generally accepted to be more reliable if I find it interesting enough from there on. This research goes on, until suddenly, an idea may spark for something that I could use to base a novel, novella, or short story on!

This first worked out wonderfully for me when I got the first sparkle of inspiration for the original idea of the current universe I am writing in. I was watching the I.D. channel, and some of the people involved in the cases they had been going over were involved in a cult. I found this interesting and started to look it up, delving deeper and deeper into reading about cults and things similar to them until I was specifically reading about cults that were involved in religions and ritualistic concepts. I ended up reading a lot about different religions, magic, and different cults in one or two nights.

I ended up getting an idea the next day for the main group of characters the first few novels in my series are centering around. They were originally a cult led by a maniacal man who believed he had found a way to summon the former ‘Angel of Light’ and current ‘Prince of Darkness’, Lucifer. As the years went by, the characters developed, changed, and fixed themselves to hold a place in my heart, the story changing to something only vaguely similar to what it was on that 28th of November two years ago. This way of getting ideas has worked for me countless times since, be it for roleplay characters, short stories, new characters for the universe my novels take place in, or new novel ideas as a whole.

The next few are quotes from a survey I conducted here on the internet with people I have never met or spoken to before (they will remain anonymous due to this fact), perhaps with my opinion or insight added afterwards.

Well, the more creative your mind is, the more ideas you’ll get.

I personally can examine a simple object or word, and create a nice poem, or even a wicked short story about it.

Most of the time, I just think of different stories completely out of random.

The first one is one that a lot of, if not all, writers thrive upon, or at least attempt to do so – creativity. Everyone has it somewhere in their mind, although some people seem to have more than others. Use it, even if it’s not as apparent as it is in someone else – just because you don’t feel as creative as others doesn’t mean you can’t be if you delve deep enough into yourself! The second is a fun and interesting concept which I have tried before, and have written a drabblet short story or so as a result of, along with a few poems, that speaks for itself, as is the third.

I refer to my notebook of “ideas” where something struck me as interesting and I noted next to it “look into this” or “would be a good subplot for a fantasy” or “nice characteristic for an antagonist”

I also ask “what if” constantly. What if people aged much slower? How would that affect our society (years in school, years in retirement, marriages, etc). Or what if the FBI was never formed and the mafia still existed in full force to this day? How would that have affected society? Or What if a modifier was discovered that could control the rate at which your cells replaced themselves? What if you could clone body parts? What if humans evolved from aliens? What if the Bible is really a story of our original planet before we colonized Earth? What if Iraq was the world’s leading super power.

Etc. That’s basically how I generate ideas. All the little details I steal from real life.

I really like this person’s outlook and how they ‘generate ideas’, in their own words. I think the “what if” manner could really help people struggling to put together an idea, and keeping track of little details that come to mind such as good ideas for plots, subplots, character traits, names, etc can help manage said ideas (that’s mainly the only thing I use my phone for – memo’ing little ideas when I don’t have access to my notebooks or computer).

1.) Ideas. Use imagination.

2.) Find ideas. Use five senses: Touch, taste, smell, see, hear. Mix ’em for originality.

3.) The five ‘w’s. Who, what, when, where and why. Find the story.

4.) Story elements. Setting, rising action, conflict, falling action, end. Usually needed.

5.) Action. Use active verb forms, active settings, active characters. Good writing.

6.) Description. Describe in small doses. Use action and observation. It’s the best way.

7.) Experiment. Stories can be great when “outside the box” and “the comfort zone.”

8.) Edit. Check spelling, grammar, sentence structure, flow and format. Always.

9.) Publish. Use “The Writer’s Market” or “Writer’s Digest” to learn “How To Publish.” 

10.) Keep trying.

I like this person’s ‘check list’ of sorts. It’s not something everyone has to follow or use every thing on, but it’s simple, down to the point, and although it’s not JUST about gathering ideas for things, as this is about, it gives some good tips for writers.

Unfortunately, none of the people I know who write at least on the occasion who have any ways other than these to get ideas are awake right now aside from “lul i don’t really know” and the whole “IT’LL COME TO YA!” (reference cookie) deal, so I’d like to request even more that, no matter what time it is you’re reading this, be it tonight, a few weeks from now, a few years from now, whatever, comment with the way that you personally get your writing ideas.

That’s all I have for now and I apologize for not putting too much content into this post, but I hope it’s at least helpful. Next time I do something on writing and give tips, hopefully I’ll be in more of a state of mind to give more opinions, insight, feedback, and general comments. Thank you for reading, and I will probably end up updating this to fix any horrific mistakes I’ve made in my tired mess, make it more proper of a post intended to be helpful, and just make it overall better than it is now.

Of wonky sleep schedules, future plans for the blog, and an art-rut

So, apparently, all of my posts on here say they’ve been posted a day after the day I really post them. That’s wonky. WordPress, y u do dis? I probably seem wacky referencing to what day it could be to anyone who sees the actual date it claims to be published on.

So, on to actual post content that no one really gives a fuck about but I’m going to do anyway, in between NaNoWriMo, cuddling a puppy, drinking coffee with brownies and giggling around with the loviebear, my sleep schedule has somehow become wonky again. According to, again referring to with a silly name, the loviebear, I’ve only been sleeping about three hours before waking up again. Of course, if I’m bored enough, I’ll pass out again within an hour or two, but if I’ve got something to do, I can stay up for a while, then repeat. It’s kind of silly but also convenient – I’ve been sleeping for three or so hours in the mornings lately, then passing out a while later and sleeping until about three PM and getting to work then. It’s kind of fun, but I just messed that up by doing that cycle in the middle of the night instead. Let’s see how that turns out.

I’ve been contemplating doing some posts about how I go about getting my short stories and novels set up, how I go through the process of everything, and how things get into place, etc with my own tips, tricks and opinions on and about writing. It just sounds like it’d be overall fun to do and maybe help at least one other person out if anyone can find this blog. I’m also thinking about doing little segments on my views on life and concepts, just for shits and giggles, to be able to go around and ramble about a concept or word for a while and categorize that into it’s own little thing.

My lovie and I are planning on watching The Exorcist together whenever we get the opportunity, and I’m kind of scared shitless. I saw a screamer that apparently had something from that movie in it years back and it had me terrified of rocking chairs for at least three years. I’m hoping to watch Rosemary’s Baby soon, too, and finally read the horror novels that we have here now that used to belong to my Granny. I swear, I find a new Stephen King novel of her’s somewhere in the house every month or two.

Still trying to shake off the laziness and get down to business on some artwork in between my daily life, (which a lot of it probably seems like it’s a waste of time and space to anyone reading this blog, but I’m leaving a lot of what I do/plan out, I swear) but I’m just not inspired to make anything worth while right now. Maybe once I finish my novel and put it down for a bit I’ll be able to muster the inspiration to draw, digi-paint, or photo-manipulate some things in the free time left in my life while I give the novel a break before I go into my first personal edit.

I’ve got a lot of ideas for things to at least doodle in my head, but I just can’t get them out. I can’t even get the inspiration to grab my sketchbook and a pencil. I really, really want to work on some character designs, especially since a lot of them are changing slightly as I revamp some of my novel and it’s characters for the last time to get to business on actually doing a draft that will become the one to be published. I really want to get down some designs for some of the female character’s outfits and design some of the characters who I was never able to really get a good design out for now.

But, nonetheless, be expecting some character sketches in my NaNo-related posts since I’m going to be trying to get out some information on the characters in some of them later this month! I’m kind of excited, since actually having a place that’s just for me, myself, and I to post things will probably motivate me to put them up more.

I’m going to try to get back in the groove of working, so I’m going to drop off the blog for a while, get a drink and a snack, and get to work on some things that I really need to get done. Hopefully I’ll be making a more useful post about writing or giving NaNoWriMo tips sometime soon. Until then, have a random bit of wonky post pulled out of my ass.