Down the Reddit Rabbit Hole

I have been resisting creating a Reddit account for a few years now because I am one of those people who has a tendency to “Follow the White Rabbit” all the way down the hole of the internet. I cannot tell you how many days of my life I have lost to following links on Wikipedia alone.

I recently came to the conclusion that browser and Pinterest searches only end up yielding the same results time and time again. I decided it was time to give Reddit a try and holy hell, I think I am in love, I mean, as much as one can be in love with a web forum.

I have been keeping my interests specific for the time being. There’s a project that I have been working on for a few months now that I have not talked about to anyone. It’s sort of a pet project that I hope to build up some more content for before I start sharing it. I don’t want to give anything away about it yet.

Yes, I am still working on my career path towards joining the RCMP but I am one of those people who needs a creative outlet. Blogging only takes me so far when it comes to stretching my writing legs. After completing the NaNoWriMo project last November, I built up enough confidence that I can follow a writing project through to the end.

What I am working on will be a multimedia project that will include writing, photography, music, and maybe even film. The end goal of the project is to create a multilevel experience. I have even been playing with the idea of building a mobile app to go along with it. I found a great MIT site that makes it easy to learn to code. I have also been doing some research for it on Reddit and have picked some specific subcategories that are related to the theme/setting of the project.

I can give you a hint as to what I am working on. The inspiration for is coming from authors like George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, and Isaac Asimov. Also, I have already begun to publish it on a top secret website under a nom de plume. So hiding somewhere on the internet is this pet project.

I will have more on this as soon as I feel that there is something worth sharing.

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I did it. I actually did it. For the first time in the five years that I have registered for National Novel Writing Month, I actually finished the 50,000 world goal. Not only that, but I made the goal of writing 1,667 words a day. I wrote every single day for thirty days on a story that I started conception on in October.

winner
The Final Total

Writing the 1,667 words a days is easier when you have character, plot, and story direction planned out. I am glad that I didn’t bother to try to write chapters because it didn’t limit my mind as so what I could be writing. I can tell you that the story is not complete but it had a really solid start to it.

Most adult novels are between 85,000 and 90,000 words long. The 50,000 goal for NaNoWriMo is just a starting point for writers looking to get into starting a novel. You cannot complete a decent adult novel in 50,000 words but you can write a novella or a young adult novel.

I can tell you that I ended up creating some new characters for my story as I went a long. Also, some relationships between characters got, how shall we say, complicated. Someone died, of course, and there was an epic fight scene.

Will there ever be a published version of this story? I don’t honestly know. My whole purpose in doing this was to get a daily writing habit going. For the most part, I want my daily habit to include blogging on one of my three blogs on a daily basis. I have learned that writing a novel takes up a great deal of creative energy. There were days during the last month when I wanted to write in my blogs but I knew that I needed to complete my 1,667 words that day. It’s not that I couldn’t do both, it’s that I wanted to give the story my full attention.

There were other creative things that took a backseat to writing the novel. I didn’t have a lot of energy to sit and knit or play music. I was getting to the point by the end that all I wanted to do as soon as I got home from work, was sit down and write my daily words and then veg out all night. The best days, were the ones when I would get home from work, take my dog for a walk, and then sit down to write. After that, sometimes I would have energy to knit or play a game.

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I have made an update to this blog and website. You might notice that the URL has been updated to say claradmunro.com and that there are no longer any adds on the blog. I have purchased a personal plan from WordPress. This is more for aesthetics than anything else but I link the was a personal blog looks when there are no ads on it. It gives it more of a professional feel. Not that I am a professional writer (unless you mean email writer) but I do enjoy writing and for me, that’s all that counts. While I would love to be paid for writing, I am fine with just being a blogger who rarely cares about things like spelling, editing, and grammar (as you might have noticed).

Please feel free to follow my blog via WordPress or email if you would like to learn more about what I am going to do with this novel and other things I have planned for this blog.

~Clara D. Munro

Week Two Update for #NaNoWriMo2017

I have finished my second week of NaNoWriMo. It’s been so awesome to be able to see my daily progress add up. I have not missed a day of writing yet. I have a clear vision of how I want the story to end and I am following my outline to get there.

So far, my idea of just writing sections of the story each day rather than trying to do chapters is working. I have kept up my promise to not read over any of my previous writing. I have not edited any of the other days. I don’t even go back and read what I have written at the end of the day. As I said before, I will leave all of that for December when I put it all together into a second draft.

The title of the book I am working on for this year’s NaNoWriMo is “The Mystery of Oak Grove County”. Turns out, I am writing a romance mystery novel. Last week, the writing was heavy on the romance side. I think this week will be more of the action adventure part of the story. It’s definitely got some darkness to it.

week 2
You can see that I have been writing a little more than 1667 words a day

If you would like a taste of the music that I have been listening to while I create the story and characters for “The Mystery of Oak Grove County”, please check out the Spotify playlist below:

I will update you again next week when I finish up week three. I am half way there now!

~Clara

First week of #NaNoWriMo2017

For the first time in all the years I have attempted to complete NaNoWriMo, I have finished the first week right on schedule. I have been writing about 1700 words a day. I haven’t written less than 1667 words a day. Some days I go over by a few words and others, I am right on the money.

All of the story planning and character creation that I did in the month of October has helped a lot in making sure that I always have something to write about. Currently, I am writing from the limited omniscient point of view of five characters. I actually had to create a new character today that I didn’t think I would be writing from her point of view but it ends up working for the story.

I am not writing chapters for this draft, I am just making a new word file each day and filling it with 1667 words of story. I will go back in December and put the piece of the story together into chapters. I am not going back and rereading any of my story so far, just letting the words flow from day to day. I don’t now how much of the story I will keep later on but that doesn’t matter right now. I just want to get my words down on paper for the day.

So far, I am having a lot of fun with the story. I would like to share some of it with you but you will have to wait until later. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please add me as a buddy, my username is Surfcruzer.

week one nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo2017 has begun

I am off to a good start today! I came home from work at 2pm, took Dexter for an hour long walk, and then settled in to write my daily 1667 words.

I have decided that rather than trying to write connected chapters everyday, I would simply title each daily documents as the day’s date and then write a portion of the story.

I managed to get a rough idea for the stories direction figured out during the month of October. I also get my four main characters decided on, their rough bios, and their story directions.

The story itself is a mystery plot and the main character, Lillian Wilde, is trying to find out where the thirty people who just arrived in her town came from and why they have no memories of who they are.

I don’t intend to write a daily blog post about my progress in this exercise in creating a habit but I will post a weekly update on my word count and any wins or struggles I have found a long the way.

I freed up my whole month from obligations in order to see if I can do this and finish this year. I really hope all my prep work pays off.

~Clara

The broken quiet of mourning

The benefits to working in the morning is that my body likes to wake up earlier than it used to. I felt pulled from my bed at 6:30am, which is sleeping in for me now that I normally have to be out of bed by 5am.

I stumbled around getting my dog his morning kibble while my roommate rushed about getting herself out the door. She let me know that she made coffee the way I like it today and she left; there was just enough for me to enjoy one cup.

I sat down and pulled out my computer in order to do a little morning writing. I am only a few days away from getting started on NaNoWriMo and I still don’t have all my planning done.

When I write, I like to listen to music and today it’s Friday and that means that there’s new music for me to enjoy. I was surprised to find a love note from the late Gord Downie waiting for me. I let out a few tears as I put on his solo album “Introduce Yerself“. There was a little video introducing the album that was the trigger for my tears.

Until this moment, I had been filled with a sense of relief that Gord’s pain was over but I had no idea that he had one more musical love note to share with the world after his death on October 17, 2017. Through my listening of this album I have gotten a better sense of his acceptance of his fate and his desire to not want to say goodbye but rather to encourage us all to go out and live our lives in our own way and not mourn for him.

I read a line recently about grief and it was that grief is just deep love that cannot be received. Not in the way that unrequited love cannot be received but that kind of love that holds in your heart and become painful because the recipient cannot heart it. Canada is grieving for its beloved national treasure, Gord Downie; even our prime minister has expressed his grief publicly in the wake of the singer’s death.

Gord didn’t want to say goodbye, he wanted us to see his life through his eyes.  Here’s the full album for you to enjoy on Spotify Canada. Make sure you give yourself time to really listen to his words and enjoy the poetry of them.

~Clara

The Wild Unknown – #NaNoWriMo2017

For my NaNoWriMo project this year, I am writing a modern fantasy novel. You can follow along with the creation process here!

For the month of October, I am working on developing the characters, plot, and setting. It’s a month of doing research, making mood boards (you can check them out on Pinterest), and developing character backstory.

The working title of the story right now is “The Wild Unknown”. So far, the basic story is a bunch of children who were taken by fairies as children are returned as adults without any memory of where they have been. The story follows a woman who found one of returned one night on the road.

More to come as I develop the story and characters!