Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Post About Not Doing a Post and Thanksgiving Homework

Thanksgiving Card circa 1900

Oops, I haven't updated in a while. We had some things to deal with in our family, but thank the Lord it looks like things are smoothing out. :)

Because of things to deal with and Thanksgiving (Thursday--for those not living in the U.S.) our homeschooling NaNo Jr. group is skipping two weeks. So, we're doing what homeschoolers do best. We're improvising! We'll take the group into the first part of December. It's not an official NaNoWriMo thing, but it works for us.

I gave the kids Thanksgiving homework and now I'm giving some to you. Write and memorize a quick pitch for your WIP*. Make it brief, something you can say in 30 seconds or less. Then, say it to at least one person on Thanksgiving.

Here's an example of the conversation you'll have.

You: (feeling proud) Guess what Grandma, I'm writing a novel!

Grandma: What? You're working in a brothel? Let me tell you about my days working in a brothel.

You: (cringing) No, Grandma. A novel. I'm writing a novel!

Grandma: Oh. What's it about? Not one of those vampire romance thing.

You: No. (takes a deep breath) It's about an orphan who learns she's really a famous wizard and has to kill---

Grandma: (cutting you off) Didn't they already make that movie? What's it called, "Sunny Potter"?

Grandpa: (yelling into Grandma's ear) That was "Twilight."

Grandma: No. It was "Sunny Potter." 

You: It's Harry Potter and my story's different. The main character is a girl.

Of course your novel is unique and not Harry Potterish in the least. But somebody at the table will tell you it reminds them of something they've read or seen. And somebody else will tell you how they could never write a novel. And ever after this day, they will all ask how that novel is coming along, and you'll kind of wish I never gave you this assignment. But it's good practice, so do it!

* WIP = Work in Progress (I add this footnote because years ago when I started, I could not figure out what the heck a WIP was but was too shy to ask. And that makes for awkward internet moments.)

CoolWriter42: Hey, how's your WIP going?
(starts to type...hesitates...types)
Newbie1100039: Good. :)
(Googles -"what is a wip?")


Friday, November 9, 2012

NaNoWriMo Homeschooling Workshop and Cures for Writer's Block

The NaNoWriMo homeschooling group is going well. We get together, eat snacks, I give a short talk, giving ideas they can take or leave, make plot bunnies, write, and laugh a lot!

My suggestion this week was this to write what your primary theme is, then interview your main character regarding it. How does he/she feel about it? Just free write in first person as if you were typing out his/her exact words. This gets you to connect with your character and your main theme.

Plot bunnies!  Some of us made these at a NaNo café gathering a while back. Each person writes some little detail or plot device that might help somebody with writer's block get unstuck. And you fold it into an origami rabbit. Toss them all in a basket and each person takes one. They aren't to open it unless they're really stuck. Here's a link to simple origami rabbit instructions.
If you don't have a NaNo group, you use the random writers' block plot cures post I wrote last year. I've actually used it myself a couple of times. Quite useful.
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