In Between Monday

I felt like writing today, but not on anything that takes some brainpower…and by brainpower I mean remembering what I’ve written before to make sure I don’t have huge loopholes, plot holes, or continuity issues.  So I took to the Internet, and I said “Internet, find me something to write!”  Of course, the Internet did not reply, and I had to resort to using Google instead.  Google is a bit more responsive, especially when you type something into the search box.  I found some neat sites and bookmarked them, and I also found a tumblr called Writing Prompts that Don’t Suck that has over 500 prompts already listed, so I might spend the next few weeks (or months, there are over 500 of them) making my way through them and writing the ones that speak to me.

Writing Prompt #1:  Person, Place and Thing

Write a story using these three things:  a paper clip, a hospital, and an exotic dancer

The scene opens in the busy waiting room of a local emergency room.  In the room are five people–a mother and daughter, a man in his 40s, an elderly couple, and an exotically dressed young woman.  The daughter coughs constantly, the man in his 40s holds a blood soaked cloth around his left hand, the elderly couple seem to be waiting on someone who is already back in the depths of the emergency room, and the young woman stands impatiently at the check in desk, arguing with the triage nurse.

 Nurse Janet (calmly, in a tone that suggests that she’s already said this particular sentence a million times that day):  I’m sorry miss, you’ll still have to keep waiting.  We take patients in order of seriousness.  If you could have a seat, the doctor will call you when he’s ready for you.  (Nurse Janet stands up and looks around the exotically dressed woman)  Paul?  Paul Stansford?  The doctor will see you now.

(The man with the bloody cloth stands up and walks out of the room, passing a doctor in green scrubs.  The doctor walks over to the elderly couple and sits down next to them, talking quietly)

Candi (talking loudly):  Hey!  I got here before that guy!  That’s not fair!

Nurse Janet (slightly exasperated):  Miss, if you could take your seat…

Candi:  Fine! (she flounces off and sits down too closely to the elderly couple and the doctor talking to them.  She looks around at the room, rolling her eyes and grunting)

(a few moments pass, and a nurse in white scrubs pokes her head out of a door next to the check in desk and looks down at a clipboard, then back out at the room)

Nurse Samantha:  Candi?  Candi Strype?  The doctor will see you now, if you’ll follow me, please.

(Candi grunts and flings herself out of her chair and follows the nurse.  The scene switches to a curtained off room.  Candi has changed out of her clothing and is lounging somewhat seductively on the room’s bed in a standard issue hospital cot.  The doctor enters the room, peering at the same clipboard that Nurse Samantha used.  He looks up and takes a seat next to Candi’s bedside)

Doctor Tangler:  Ms…Strype?  I have a few questions for you before we start on the examination.  First of all, are you on any medications?

Candi:  As I told the woman at the desk, and the nurse who came in with me, no I’m not on any medications.

(Dr Tangler makes a note on the chart)

Dr Tangler:  Okay, how many caffeinated beverages do you consume per day on average?

Candi (rolling her eyes):  two cups of coffee in the morning, and either iced tea or a soda with meals, so, I guess…like I told the others…four.  (Candi pauses and twirls a lock of her long hair around her finger)  Tell me, doctor, what does any of this have to do with the fact that I came in here for a paperclip up my vagina?

 Writing Prompt #2:  Do What I Say!

Write about a door-to-door salesman who sells souls to demons in Hell

It’d been a rough day for Sam.  He trudged to his car after a long day knocking on doors and heaved his case into the trunk.  The car bounced slightly under the weight, and he slumped around to the driver’s side.  He groaned–he’d parked too close to the lava flow again, and his door was melded shut again, scorch marks marring the paint.  He kicked a tire and went to the passenger side, where he climbed over a week’s worth of lunchtime fast food wrappers, slid over the center console, then slumped behind the wheel.  His shoulders sagged, and he listlessly tried to put the key into the ignition, failing several times before jamming the key home.

It sounded like a great opportunity, lots of money, good hours.  The pros seemed to way outweigh the cons.  The inventory was provided, commission was 75% of the sale, and the clientele…captive.  Sure, he had to drive the Highway to Hell a few days a week, and park next to a river of molten lava, then deal with Chiron to cross said river, but in his first week alone he made almost $6,000 in commissions.  Demons in Hell had paid well for fresh souls then.  Within months, student loans were paid off, he and his wife both drove fancy new cars, and they bought an apartment in one of the most stylish neighborhoods in New York City.  No more commuting in from New Jersey for Sam, he was a big shot now!

Business continued to boom for a while, and Sam and his family enjoyed the money he brought in.  Sure, it did bother him a little that he was selling souls to demons, but being able to put away money for the kids’ college and retirement made it easy to stomach that.  Soon, he was the longest tenured soul-seller in Hell.  His co-workers didn’t last more than a few years, treating the job as a stepping stone to bigger and better (and less evil) jobs, but Sam enjoyed only working three days a week, four if it was the busy season between January and March.

Last year, though, Sam noticed that they were hiring fewer and fewer salesmen, but his workload didn’t increase any, instead, it seemed to taper off.  He was still working three days a week, but instead of putting in the full eight hours, he was working half days instead.  His case overflowed with souls, because new ones would come in, but there just seemed to be less and less demand for them.  Nine out of ten doors he knocked on in Hell’s central office building turned him away, and the tenth wanted a discount.  First, they had to turn in the cars and get more economical sedans with good gas mileage.  Then they sold the fancy apartment and rented out a smaller place, forcing the two girls to share a room, something they protested about.  His wife went to work, wiping snotty noses and changing dirty diapers at a tiny, dilapidated daycare on the ground floor of their new apartment building.

Today was the last day of his work week, and the first day in the history of his job that he’d failed to sell a single soul.  He didn’t know how they were going to buy groceries this week and pay all of their bills.  While they hadn’t spent the money as fast as Sam had made it, they also hadn’t saved much, and there was little left in their emergency savings account.  He couldn’t put it off any longer–it was time to leave the soul business and find something new.  A soul in his case wailed, as if in agreement, and Sam started the car.  He was a good salesman, perhaps he could find something a little less…soul sucking in the telemarketing field.

Writing Prompt #4 Beginnings and Endings

Start with every morning she wrote down another reason not to nuke the planet, and end with she found that the green glass complimented her décor quite nicely.

Every morning, she wrote down another reason not to nuke the planet.  This morning’s reason, #547, was “the soft feel of sleeping puppy fur”.  She’d gotten a new puppy yesterday, and he was asleep on her lap as she wrote in her diary.  Mostly, it consisted of reasons that she shouldn’t go out into her father’s shed and fire up the machine he’d spent his entire life working on, but died before he could use it.  If used properly (and if it worked), it would exterminate everything with a certain genetic code, and her father had spent the last five years of his life sequencing and imputing DNA into his invention.

The next morning, reason #548 read “the way sunshine looks as it filters down through spring leaves on an oak tree”.  She packed a picnic and took Tad, the puppy, with her and ate underneath the oak tree, which was located next to the shed her father’s invention rested in.  She could almost feel it calling to her, and part of her longed to set the code to “human” and solve all of the world’s problems with the push of a button.  In the news the night before, there had been news of a mass rape in India, the emergence of a new serial killer that targeted children in New York City, and a hostage situation that ended up with six dead, including the newborn daughter of the hostage taker.

Reason #549 involved a gift from her sister.  The sister stopped by and dropped of a gorgeous piece of Depression glass she’d found at a local flea market.  Pleased with the gift, she’d hugged her sister and placed the piece of glass on a shelf next to her TV.  She found that the green glass complimented her décor quite nicely.

Feb-Write-Ary wrap up

It’s over, it’s over, it’s oooover, Feb-Write-Ary is over!  I set my goal at 10,000 words, and I just barely scraped past that.  A lot of what I wrote was blog posts, but as I’ve wanted to write more in both my personal journal and here, I count that as a success!  I also managed to put a couple thousand words onto the campfire story I started over the summer.  I got the idea for it while I was out walking my dog, and as soon as we got home, I sat down and wrote the first 1,000 words on it, then didn’t bother to touch it until this month.

I didn’t manage to even open Wolf Girl 2, but that’s okay, that’s what March is for.  I’m very close to the end of it, thankfully!  I think I have less than 3,000 words to do, and 700 of those words are already written, they just have to be inserted into the right place.

So, from a standpoint of writing, Feb-Write-Ary was very successful for me.  I met my goal, and while I didn’t actually complete any of my goals (finish WG2, finish the campfire story, finish another story that I’ve been working on), I did get a lot of work done on one of them.  Hopefully I can keep up the momentum on that story and then transfer it to Wolf Girl.

I really enjoyed this exercise, and I like that instead of the full month commitment that NaNoWriMo is–I tried to do Camp NaNo last summer, and it just didn’t work very well.  I think I can only handle one HUGE month of writing a year.  This broke it up into a more manageable chunk of time, and I got to set my own goal.  I went conservative and only set my goal at 10,000 words, but next year I will probably go higher, to 15,000 or 18,000 words.  Push myself a bit more.  Looking forward to that!

Have you written anything interesting in the last two weeks?

Published in: on March 1, 2013 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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7 Deadly Writing Sins

Okay, so they’re probably not all that deadly, but as you know I read a lot of stuff off the Kindle top 100 free list, and I’ve noticed that a lot of them tend to have the same mistakes (ones I hope I don’t have in my own manuscripts!).  Granted, a lot of the  mistakes make it to print because it is just so easy these days to publish a manuscript, and self published authors may not have the time or the money for an actual editor for their manuscript.  Sure, traditionally published books may still have errors–we’ve all found them and rolled our eyes, I’m sure–but the presence of so many more eyeballs on that manuscript helps to weed them out and keep them to a minimum.

So, here are my “7 Deadly Writing Sins” in no particular order:

1.  Comma mistakes–by far the most common Deadly Sin I come across in the books I’ve read is comma errors.  They run from the author appearing to be allergic to them to misplaced to way too many.  The book I’m currently reading probably misses 15 commas per page, and some of those are in the wrong place.  The former makes the manuscript feel rushed, while the later makes you feel breathless.

2.  ‘s to show plurality–say it with me folks, ‘s NEVER EVER EVER makes a word plural.  EVER.  Similarly it’s means it is, its is possessive.  I know, confusing, but the English language is contrary like that.  This is my biggest pet peeve when I see it happen.

3.  Word misuse–encompasses both homonyms and I Picked the Wrong Word in Spellcheck.  Nothing pulls you out of a story faster than the author using the wrong word.  Using to instead of too, here instead of hear, or substituting a similarly spelled word because you just didn’t pay close enough attention to what spellcheck was doing.

4.  Word repetition–we all know that the word “murmur” shows up about 5 times a page in a certain novel.  Of course, using your thesaurus too much makes your manuscript sound pretentious and obnoxious.  It’s a delicate balancing act!

5.  Stilted, clichéd dialogue–someone can only flip their hair, be frustrated, make eyes at, or pout so much before all your conversations start to sound the same.

6.  Sentence fragments/short choppy sentences–don’t start a sentence with “and”, and make sure you have a subject and a verb.  There are times when sentence fragments work–such as making a point or as a literary device.  However, if you’re not doing either of those things…

7.  Punctuation errors (separate from comma errors)–this mostly is using the wrong punctuation mark within quotation marks.  Generally, it’s using a period when you should have a comma, and not using a question mark when the character asked a question.

What drives you crazy when you come across it in the book you’re reading?

Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm  Comments (5)  
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Feb-Write-Ary Friday!

I joined a NaNoWriMo style writing thing for the end of February, called Feb-Write-Ary.  It’s on quite a smaller scale, and a bit differently from regular NaNo.  It’s only 2 weeks long, you set your own word goal, and you can write just about anything you want.  It doesn’t just have to be on the same project, and includes things like blog posts, if you want.  While I haven’t worked much on Wolf Girl 2 like I had planned, I am writing more in my journal, and I just put about 2000 words on a short story I started over the summer.

Feb-Write-Ary is put on by Ava over at The Crumbling Spine, and you can see the participants, posts, and word count goals here.

I had planned on using this to put an ending on Wolf Girl and wrap up a couple of short stories that I’ve had sitting around for a while, and set my goal at 10,000 words.  That may have been a bit optimistic, but I did submit over 2400 words today, bringing my total up to just under 5k words.  I still have a few more days to get those other 5,000 words out, so I should hit my goal…as long as I don’t let this weekend’s enormous amount of business get me down.

I’m really excited about the direction tonight’s story  is taking–it’s a Goosebumps/Fear Street style story about a group of teens who find out that fireside ghost story they told turns out to be real, and it ends up almost costing one of the group his life.  Sophie lives up the street from the local jail, and in an effort to get the conversation off of where she lives, she tells the group a ghost story about a house that burned down earlier in the summer.  I think I just need a couple more paragraphs to wrap up the scene in front of the house, and then I’m going to time jump to September when school starts again.

Have you written anything fun this month?

Wolf Girl Wednesday Short

I’m reading through the last bit of what I have written for Wolf Girl two and ran across a typo I just can’t help but share with the world.  Ansley and Patrick are about to burst through a door, and I saw this:

“I counted to 10, and then Patrick rammed his shoulder into the door, making it fly open among a flurry of sprinkles.”

Yup, I apparently could NOT remember what word I wanted to use and substituted “sprinkles” for “splinters”.  In the words of my husband after he elbowed me in the face in his sleep:  AWESOME.

Published in: on January 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wolf Girl Wednesday and ABNA

NaNo is over, and that makes me sad.  I love the frenetic writing pace that happens in November, as well as the camaraderie of the people in my region on the NaNo forums, Facebook page, and at write-ins.

Wolf Girl 2 is about 3,000 words from being finished, as well, putting it at a solid 60,000 words.  I’m going to let it settle for a few more days, then hop back in, put on the ending, and then go back through and start doing some heavy-duty editing.  I’m not really all that happy with some of the pacing, as well as I think I left out some stuff that needs to be added in.  I may sit down and outline what I have (I used to do that in high school when we had to turn in our outline with a research paper–I’d write the paper then do the outline), which will give me an easy way to see where I need to put stuff in, or cut stuff out.

I’m also not sure if I like the form I’ve got going–for a good 2/3 of the book, I switch back and forth between Ash and Ansley’s POV, and while I think it could work, I need to fix quite a bit about the way I executed it.

I also managed to flesh out more of my characters’ world.  I added quite a bit of detail about what I call my “werewolf mythology”, which was missing from Book 1.  Ansley is also starting to come into her own and gradually becoming the leader I need her to be for the final book in the trilogy.

CreateSpace is again offering 5 free copies of their novel to NaNo winners, which I will definitely be taking advantage of again.  I have until June 30th, 2013 to get everything fixed up and formatted.  Plenty of time!

Also, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is coming up.  They’ve completely revamped the contest, too!  Instead of two categories (Fiction and Young Adult), they’ve split it into FIVE!  General Fiction, Romance, YA, Mystery/Thriller, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror.  The winner from each category gets a publishing contract and a 50,000 advance.  FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Each finalist will also get a publishing contract and a $15,000 advance.  However, Random House/Penguin will no longer be the publisher, it’ll be Amazon Publishing, instead.
(and now I imagine a world where Amazon is the only place for anything related to books–buying, selling, publishing.  That’s kind of…scary)

For ABNA, I thought briefly about entering Wolf Girl (published novels are a no, but self-published novels are OK), but I wouldn’t really know *what* to enter it as–honestly, I feel it reads a lot like a YA novel, but Ansley is that weird age that is too old, honestly, for a YA book, but a bit too young for adult fiction.  I’m thinking, instead, of digging out my NaNo project from 2 years ago, a ghost story about a girl who died at 15 on Halloween and became a ghost.  That book has an ending, but it’s missing a big chunk towards the end.  I was floundering, going nowhere plotwise, so I decided to skip ahead to the end and fill in the rest later.  I managed to hit 50,000 words by doing that, but at the same time…well, I’m missing about 4,000 words to connect part A to part B.  Oops.

ABNA submissions start January 14th, and close approximately 2 weeks later, or when they hit 10,000 submissions.  I need to figure out how to do a pitch, as well…I’ve entered before but never made it past round 1, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have no clue on how to write a pitch.  Luckily for me, though, I have a couple of friends who have made it past round 1, so I can always pick their brains for ideas and to critique what I come up with.

I had some electrical issues in the kitchen this week, which led me to think of the premise for a series of middle grade books about a guy I’ve tentatively named Eric the Electrician.  Without going into too much detail, Eric gains some superpowers and goes around solving problems for kids, perhaps starting out by finding his own children’s lost dog.  We’ll see how that goes, but that idea will have to go on the shelf until I finish/edit Wolf Girl and fix up the ghost story for ABNA, so that’s at least February.

So many ideas, so little time!

NaNo is FiNo’d

Another NaNoWriMo is in the books!  I hope everyone who attempted to hit 50k did so–I did!

Winner-180x180See that?  0 excuses, that’s me!  I had a stretch where I was ready to throw in the towel, just around Thanksgiving.  I had 43,000 words under my belt and I just…couldn’t get up the motivation to write.  I played hookey for FOUR days!  Well, I did write about 200 words on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Saturday after, but…200 words each day is s drop in the bucket that is NaNoWriMo.

Is the novel done?  No, not really.  Last year’s manuscript clocked in at just over 58,000 words, and I’m currently at 56,000 (almost exactly!) in this year’s novel.  It’s on pace to finish at around the same amount, if not a bit more.  I’m currently embroiled in the “big fight” at the end, which will take another 1-2,000 words to complete, then, of course the ending, which is probably another 1,00o words.  I just have to…finish it.  Which I will, I just need a brain break, honestly.

Today is my region’s TGIO party, which is always a good time.  You get to see small groups of people at the various write ins throughout the month, but the whole group only really seems to get together for the kick off and for the TGIO party.

If you won, CONGRATULATIONS!  YOU DID IT!  YOU’RE FANTASTIC!!!  If you didn’t…well, there’s always next year, of course.  And just because November is over doesn’t mean that you have to stop writing, either.  Finish it!  You can do it!

NaNoWriMo is…it’s almost over…

I’d planned on writing more about NaNo this month…oops!

I’d like to say that this month went fantastically, that the story flowed fluidly from my brain to the ends of my fingers, that I finished a week ago with the 50,000 words and currently I’m just finishing up the story itself.

Instead, there are three (yes, THREE!) days left and I’ve yet to hit 50k.  My big confrontation is still looming over the horizon, though Ansley is *finally* slipping into that leadership role right on schedule.  Currently, she is bossing around 3 other people while watching over The Big Bad, seeing what they’re up to.  The full moon is coming, and I am less than 1000 words from that 50,000 word deadline.

And I just…can’t think of how to get from where I am to where I need to be.  And I need to figure out if I’m going to kill of a character or two–I probably should, and I know who one of them should be.  And maybe who another should be.  I don’t want to kill off that second character–he’s a goofy, fun guy to write, and he wears the best t-shirts.

I know what I’d like to do, but I don’t think I have time to do it and complete the novel in November (I don’t have a great track record of actually finishing novels that cross 50k but still have story left).  Plus, what I want to do…will probably just drag it out too long, anyway, as I like my confrontations to take place under the full moon.  I have no idea what I’d do to fill up the space between the two full moons, honestly.  I may have started out too far away from the moon in the first place…But hey, extra words, right?

I should be crossing the finish line today, though, and hopefully soon!  I have one last write in to go to tonight, where I can hopefully put the finishing touches on the end of the novel.  Last year’s novel ended up being just under 58,0000 words, and edits dropped it down to just over 57,000.  See, there was this horse trailer scene, and it was really bad and had nothing to do with the story at all, but I needed words at the time and I really couldn’t think of anything else to do, and it was very very very mean to a character that ended up having other very very very bad things happen to him, so I cut the scene.

To those of you participating in NaNoWriMo with me–good luck and I hope you cross the finish line!  To those of you who want to write a novel “some day”, your next chance is in June with Camp NaNoWriMo.  Get out there and WRITE!

Thursday…Thirteen?

Not sure exactly what this is, but a friend blogged about 13 reasons why he does National Novel Writing Month (you can visit his post here to see why he writes), and I thought that was a perfect topic for November!  I also missed this week’s Top Ten Tuesday due to it being a “freebie” week and with my brain already overtaxed with Wolf Girlisms, I just didn’t have the brainpower to actually remember to DO TTT this week…heh.  So, here are my Thursday Thirteen Reasons Why I Do National Novel Writing Month!

1.  It’s writing.  A lot.  At least 50,000 words in 30 days.  It may not be “good” stuff, but it’s getting those story ideas out on paper and fleshed out.

2.  I meet lots of really neat people.  I had WriMos at my wedding, and went to a few of theirs.  I roadtripped all the way to California with one when she  moved there.  That’s over 3,000 miles!

3.  I meet other people who understand, man, they just understand.

4.  I can say, whenever someone says “Oh, I want to write a book someday.”  “Really?  I’ve written 7.”  It makes their eyes pop out.

5.  It forces me to write.  Sometimes I get lazy and won’t write for a couple of weeks.  In November, I know I’ll be writing almost every day!

6.  The world needs my novel.  And other awesome Chris Baty-isms.

7.  Crazy all night write ins…though my current region doesn’t really do this, there were Saturday nights where we’d start writing at 6 pm at Panera, move to Eat N Park until we ran out of laptop juice, then move to a WriMo’s apartment and write until 4 am.  Then I’d get up and have to be at work on 10 AM on Sunday.  It was crazy but sooo much fun.  You’d start out 2000 words behind and end up 3000 words ahead.

8.  That feeling you get when you’re ahead on word count.  I could not write today and tomorrow and still be on par.  It’s nice to have a cushion for later in the month when you’re feeling a bit burnt out or can’t write because of Thanksgiving.

9.  The push you feel when you’re behind on word count…I could take a nap or watch a TV show…but I’m 1000 words behind so I really should write.  Sometimes it works, sometimes TV just wins out.

10.  The excuse to drink yummy coffee drinks and camp out in local coffee houses, Starbucks, and Paneras.  Caffeine is a writer’s best friend (don’t listen to what my husband says…he thinks all writers are drunken chain smokers…), and what WriMos consume during November probably equals the GNP of a small country.  Too bad I gave up caffeine a year ago, but there are plenty of caffeine free beverages out there to enjoy!

11.  Being told to turn off your inner editor–sometimes the biggest stumbling block to writing a novel is your inner editor.  He/she wants to polish every word before moving on to the next, and sometimes people just don’t manage to push past that tiny little person sitting on their shoulder overlooking their every word.

12.  Books like The Night Circus, Spookygirl:  Paranormal Investigator and Water for Elephants?  Yeah, those books were NaNo novels–ever think what would happen if those authors had not found out about or had decided to not do NaNo?  Hmmm…

13.  That incomparable feeling you get when you cross the 50k finish line and upload your novel to the NaNoWriMo website.  Seeing that blue bar turn purple with the word WINNER across it is one of the best feelings in the world.  Plus, you get some “goodies” like a certificate to print out and web badges for your blog/journal/webpage/whatever.

So, why do YOU do NaNoWriMo?

Published in: on November 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s almost here, people!  And if you’re anything like me…you’re starting to panic just a bit.  I still don’t have my outline and only a vague idea of where my plot is going this year…eek!
Luckily, though, I have a strong cheering section–friends and family that know what I do every November and that reply to my frantic Facebook and LJ posts, as well as a FANTASTIC region that holds so many write-ins that we have at least one almost every day in November.  I also have a WONDERFUL husband, who every year will make me his almost patented “Aspiring Novelists Kit” every year (I think this is year 3 of the kit).  The kit contains snacks, booze (he always puts whiskey in there, but gets me something I’ll actually drink, as well.  He takes care of the whiskey), and even cigarettes–everything a writer needs while writing a novel.

Me and my long-suffering dog, Callie.  She’s not too happy about this.

K.L. Eden, another WordPress blogger, has been doing a series of blog posts answering questions about her characters.  I liked it so much that…I stole it.  While she did hers over a few days…here I am, the day before NaNo, so I don’t really have that luxury…so I’ll just be doing the questions about Ansley and Ash today, and I may do them for Cassie and another character later if I get stuck with them.  There are 30 questions in total.

Ansley Charlotte Chadwick

  1. What’s your character’s favourite colour?  red
  2. Do they/would they choose to wear a scent? What would it be?  usually nothing, but if she does, it’s something light from Bath and Body works, more fruity than floral.
  3. Do they care about what things look like? All things, or only some?  Ansley likes a clean house, with things in their place.  She doesn’t get super upset if she hasn’t had a chance to clean up for a few days, but if she has some free time after that, she’ll spend it cleaning up.
  4. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?  Chocolate
  5. Are they a tea, or coffee drinker? Or soft drinks, or do they drink a lot of alcohol? What kind?  Chai Lattes are her favorites.  She doesn’t drink much in the way of pop, and her alcohol intake is generally limited to Wednesday nights when she and Cassie have their movie and margarita nights.
  6. What kind of books do they read? What TV shows and movies do they watch?  Ansley reads contemporary literature–stuff that you might find on Oprah’s Book Club or the New York Times best seller list.  TV-wise her guilty pleasures are YA type TV shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries.  Her favorite shows are Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, and Grey’s Anatomy.
  7. What kind of music do they like? Do they like music at all?  Ansley listens to top 40, dabbles in country music, and likes show tunes and Gershwin songs.
  8. If they were about to die, what would they have as their last meal?  One of Ansley’s favorite things to do is her Wednesday night dinners with her friend and next door neighbor Cassie–so she’d probably want to do something similar, with homemade mission style burritos; chips, salsa, and guacamole; and birthday cake for dessert.  With buttercream frosting.
  9. Are they hedonistic? In all cases? Or does practicality sometimes/always/often win out?  Ansley is very practical–she, after all, had her life planned out from the 4th grade.  The most impulsive thing she ever did was to leave New York City and move to Wyoming.  Even though she’s abandoned her 4th grade plan, she’s still pretty practical, and is not the type to go out and blow her paycheck on a spa weekend or something like that.
  10. Do they have any philias or phobias?  She’s an animal lover, but she does not have much in the way of phobias.  She’s to practical to be afraid of much.
  1. How does this character dress? How would theychoose to dress, if all options were open to them?  For work, she dresses in a USPS polo shirt and khakis.  Outside of work, she wears jeans, cute t-shirts, tank tops, etc.  She’s pretty all American girl in her wardrobe.  She shops at Kohl’s, Target, and Marshall’s.
  2. Do they have any tattoos? What do they mean?  No tattoos
  3. Do they have piercings? How many? Is this culturally appropriate for them?  Her ears are pierced, one hole in each lobe.
  4. Do they have scars? Where did they come from?  No scars
  5. Do they alter their appearance in some way on a regular basis?  Once a month she goes furry for the three nights of the full moon, does that count?
  6. Is there something they’d choose to change about their appearance if they had the opportunity to?  She’d want to be taller, and have curly hair
  7. Is there something about their appearance they’re particularly proud of/happy with?  probably her green eyes.
  8. Objectively, are they physically attractive? Fairly plain? Unattractive?  Ansley is pretty girl next door, she has freckles and prefers comfortable clothes, minimal makeup and easy to take care of hair styles.
  9. Do they have an accurate mental picture and opinion of their physical appearance?  For the most part–being a practical person, she displays the confidence of someone who knows what she wants and how to do it, which can almost be more attractive than physical looks.
  10. How much time do they spend thinking about their physical appearance?  Not much.  Lip gloss and running a brush through her hair in the morning is about all the time she spends thinking about her appearance a day.
  1. Can they navigate their own local area without getting lost? To what degree?  Yes, but having stuff like GPS on her cell phone and access to Google Maps helps immensely.  Being a rural route mail carrier also helps–she has to drive to every single house in the area, practically, which helps with navigation.
  2. Do they know who the top politician or monarch is where they live? What about elsewhere?  She knows who the President is, and who the governor of her state is, but as for the rest of the world, unless they’re in the news regularly (like the British Royals), she really doesn’t know who runs what country.
  3. Do they know if/where there are any major conflicts going on right now?  Again, unless it’s something in the news regularly, she’s probably not aware of it.
  4. Do they know the composition of water?  Yes
  5. Do they know how to eat a pomegranate?  Yes, and she thinks that while pomegranates are tasty, they aren’t worth all the work.
  6. Are they good with the technology available to them? Average? Completely hopeless?  Fairly good–she grew up in a house where they may not have had the top of the line latest and greatest things, but everyone had their own cell phone and laptop and Ansley took a class or two in college about different technologies.
  7. Could they paint a house? Without making a mess of it?  Yes, but it might not be the best job ever.  Passable, but if you paid her, you *might* ask for a partial refund.
  8. Could they bake a cake? Would you eat it if they did?  Ansley is actually a fairly good cook–she’s in charge of the Wednesday night dinners, as Cassie is hopeless in the kitchen.
  9. Do they know how to perform basic maintenance on the common mode of transportation?  No, she used to rely on her father when she had a car, and when she lived in New York, if she needed to travel a long distance (such as back to Ohio for holidays) she would rent a car.
  10. Do they know the price of a loaf of bread?  Yes, and she always tries to buy the stuff that’s on sale for $.99.

Ashley Charles Garrett

  1. 1. What’s your character’s favourite colour?  Black
  2. Do they/would they choose to wear a scent? What would it be?  No–he uses unscented everything, from laundry detergent to shaving cream to deodorant
  3. Do they care about what things look like? All things, or only some?
  4. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?  Iditerod–think Moosetracks but with peanut butter swirl instead of fudge.
  5. Are they a tea, or coffee drinker? Or soft drinks, or do they drink a lot of alcohol? What kind?  Coffee drinker, but black with sugar only.  No froufrou coffee drinks.  He drinks beer, sometimes more than he should, as well as the occasional vodka tonic
  6. What kind of books do they read? What TV shows and movies do they watch?  Ash isn’t much of a reader, but he does like comic books/graphic novels.  For TV, he likes the off-beat, quirky, and scary shows–his current favorite is American Horror Story Asylum.
  7. What kind of music do they like? Do they like music at all?  top 40s, electronica, hard rock, heavy metal.  HATES 80s music.
  8. If they were about to die, what would they have as their last meal?  vegetable lasagna, thick cut garlic bread smothered in butter, green salad with italian dressing, and a thick thick strawberry milkshake
  9. Are they hedonistic? In all cases? Or does practicality sometimes/always/often win out?  He likes to sleep in til noon, if possible, staying up late watching TV or playing on the computer.  He doesn’t overspend on anything except for maybe beer.
  10. Do they have any philias or phobias?  LOVES computers and anything to do with them, is afraid of getting old
  1. How does this character dress? How would theychoose to dress, if all options were open to them?  he loves wearing bright colored, odd t-shirts with funny slogans, black jeans, and ratty converse.  He’d dress like that all the time, except he does have to look “presentable” for work, which consists of either a button down w/o a tie or a polo and either black pants or khakis.
  2. Do they have any tattoos? What do they mean? black and silver crescent moon on his upper left arm, meaning unknown (as of this time)
  3. Do they have piercings? How many? Is this culturally appropriate for them?  none
  4. Do they have scars? Where did they come from?  some faint ones on his back, source unknown (at this time)
  5. Do they alter their appearance in some way on a regular basis?  Like  Ansley, he goes furry the 3 nights of the full moon…
  6. Is there something they’d choose to change about their appearance if they had the opportunity to?  he’d get rid of his scars, not that it would make him forget how he got them, and would like to be a bit more muscular–his body just isn’t built for bulk.
  7. Is there something about their appearance they’re particularly proud of/happy with?  Loves his hair, though he keeps it back in a low, tight ponytail.
  8. Objectively, are they physically attractive? Fairly plain? Unattractive?  Very attractive, almost in an emo way
  9. Do they have an accurate mental picture and opinion of their physical appearance?  Doesn’t realize how attractive he really is, sees himself as moderately attractive.
  10. How much time do they spend thinking about their physical appearance?  not much–he is, after all, kind of a nerdy guy at heart.
  1. Can they navigate their own local area without getting lost? To what degree?  He grew up in Winnipeg, so he’s very familiar with the area
  2. Do they know who the top politician or monarch is where they live? What about elsewhere?  He keeps tabs on local, national, and international news–so he’s always aware of what’s going on in his city and country, as well as other parts of the world.
  3. Do they know if/where there are any major conflicts going on right now?  Yes, see above
  4. Do they know the composition of water?  most definitely
  5. Do they know how to eat a pomegranate?  no, he doesn’t really know what a pomegranate is, honestly
  6. Are they good with the technology available to them? Average? Completely hopeless?  Since he works with computers for a living, he’s very good with them, and most of the technology associated with them.
  7. Could they paint a house? Without making a mess of it?  He’s slightly messy–dishes usually in the sink, some clothes on his bedroom floor.  He does try to keep the “public rooms” of his apartment fairly clean, though, in case of “company”.
  8. Could they bake a cake? Would you eat it if they did?  No, and you definitely would not want to eat it if he did…
  9. Do they know how to perform basic maintenance on the common mode of transportation?  Most definitely.
  10. Do they know the price of a loaf of bread?  A vague concept, yes, but as he’s a single guy with a high paying job, he doesn’t really pay attention to the price of stuff like groceries.

That was fun, and informative!  NaNo kicks off (for me) in less than 4 hours.  I’m almost ready!  Are you?

As always, if you would like to be “Writing Buddies” on the NaNoWriMo site, you can find me under marzipan9