Nanowrimo – The Last Day

It’s the last day of Nanowrimo. My goal for today? To finish up as much research as possible and complete the outline for the story.

I’m not really much of an outline kind of person. Except when I am working on someone else’s idea or else on a very complicated story. This is both. There are a number of different plots going on that I need to identify and outline and characters that I need to flesh out. They are all up in my brain, I just need to get them down on paper now.

I’m a little concerned that I am getting sidetracked by the research. This is why I’m giving myself tonight and tonight only to finish everything up. Write down all of the information that I need tonight and return the books to the libraries tomorrow.

I find that if I try to organise myself  too much that I get to focussed on the methods of organisation and forget to get the work done. Sometimes it’s better just to launch yourself headlong into something just so that it gets done.

The Physics of Magic

One of the key things in any fantastical novel, be it fantasy or science fiction, is the “laws of the land” as it were.

How does the magic work?

How do the machines/gadgets work?

How does physics work?

These are all questions that a writer must ask themselves when creating these stories. These are questions that I was asking myself while working on the novel. Given that this novel is a sequel to Railroad Rising, I am working in my father’s world. A world that, since he didn’t do a lot of outlining, was in his head.

One of the things I really appreciated about Railroad Rising was the detailed description of the machines and gadgets. I want to continue this, but I do not have my father’s background in having been around engines and early modes of transportation. As a result, I’ve been doing research into early steam engines and machines throughout history.

The thing that has interested me the most was not just the machines, but the machines that almost made it, but for one reason or rather, failed. I want to explore this in the novel. What if with some of these machines, the problem was able to be solved with magic? The closer a machine came to working on it’s own, the less magic was needed to propel it? This ideal fascinates me and will be a backdrop to one of the plots in the novel. A marriage of physics and magic and the resulting world.

Nanowrimo – The Halfway Point

Nanowrimo is probably a bad descriptor for what I am doing here. When November is over, I will not have a novel completed. I won’t even have a first draft complete. I *will*, however, have a solid notes and part of the first draft written.

Spent Saturday at the library gathering books for background research on the book. My take on it is that while even though it is a fantasy book, I want to give as much plausibility to the story as possible. Which means that tonight I’ll likely be doing some research in addition to some writing.

For those of you who are looking for JP Wagner’s work, keep checking the website. Updates on his work will be coming soon.

Nanowrimo – an Update

So things got a bit disrupted with Remembrance Day (you’ll find out why later).

But today I plan to get back into the swing of things. I just need to get the story in mostly one place so that I can have some semblance of continuity.

In the meantime, I’ve stole this picture from my Uncle, my father was a paratrooper in the military back in the 60’s. I present a young Jim Wagner:

  

Update: The State of The Site Review

For those of you who have joined this site to get the writings of JP Wagner, please take a moment to sign up for the newsletter. This will give you special upcoming news and events that are happening on this site.

For those of you who aren’t signed up I’ll give you this little teaser: Keep checking back at this site for a new upcoming special event to be taking place this week!

Nanowrimo Day 8

What am I learning with Nanowrimo? That I hate trying to think about what my word count should be. That when I’m this nervous about a project, I need to outline everything. Given that I am planning a reasonably complex story, I need to have more things planned out in order to make sure that they fit together. Just like what I used to do when I was stuck on a piece back in school. I would outline everything until I found myself outlining each paragraph.

Another thing that I need to do is write the parts out that I have firm in my mind. I have scenes already beginning to unfold, I just need to write them down so that I can think about the harder scenes. Just like in a test. Write out all of the answers that you know right away and then fill in the blanks.

Have You Hugged Your Editor Today?

<rant>

I realise that I take for granted the things my father taught me about writing and publishing. Growing up I knew that I wanted to draw cartoons and comics. My father nurtured that. With his background in journalism, he taught me things. Important things.

From a young age he drilled into my head that you need to have someone look at your work before you send it out into the world. If you can’t get someone else to do it, then you take at least a day and come back to it afterwards. But whatever you do. Proofread and edit your work!

I would ask him later on, what about spell check? Isn’t that enough? No, he’d reply. Spell check does not notice grammatical errors in your work. It also doesn’t see words that are used incorrectly in a sentence.

Years later, I work a day job as an Office Admin and I can tell you, spell check in Word doesn’t even always turn on when it’s clicked to on.  I’ve sent out a few invoices with typos that should have been caught but weren’t due to glitchy software. Which is why I save everything I am going to send out to draft and then quickly review it myself before I send it out.

If you are an aspiring writer, then my advice to you is:

  1. Take time away from your work after you’ve written it.
  2. Read your work once you’ve had at least a 24 break.
  3. Proofread.
  4. Edit.
  5. Then if you are able to, get another set of eyes on it. Anyone capable of reading who is willing to look at your work and correct you.

In this day and age, there is no excuse for badly edited work.

</rant>

Nanowrimo Day 4

Okay. This week I’m feeling a bit deflated here. Yesterday was another day with no writing to be had. However, there was a book launch so I will grant that while I wasn’t working on the novel, I’m willing to bet I wrote quite a few words answering everyone’s questions at the book launch. The important thing is that I get back and start writing again. Today is a new day with new opportunities. Don’t worry about yesterday, just focus on today. Today I am going to hit my word count.

Railroad Rising Facebook Launch!

Everyone who reads this site is invited to attend the Railroad Rising Facebook Launch this evening from 7pm-9pm PST!

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If you’ve never attended one of these events, let me explain how it works. This evening at anytime from 7pm-9pm, I will be logged on to Facebook and will be answering questions and chatting on the event page that has been lovingly created for us by Edge Publications. It’s very similar to chatting on a bulletin board or an IRC chat room. This is a really great way to show your support for the book and to get a chance to engage the authour…. or in this case the authour’s daughter. So stop by this evening for some good fun!