Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm loving this writing software

So, I downloaded a free writing software called ywriter5 and I LOVE it. Right now I'm using it for outlining in preparation to start actually writing on the 1st, but it's making everything soooo much easier. No more thousands of notebooks, with tons of scratch outs as I change my mind about things. The whole book is in one file and then everything else is in sub-files. So, I open up one file in the program and there it all is: my character sheets, that have actual charts for full name, nicknames, descriptions, everything; sheets for locations, that I can type up descriptions in; and the all-important scene sheets. And THOSE are some pretty nifty things, too. Drag and drop characters and locations onto the scene sheets, assign a viewpoint character, and pulling up the scene will tell me at a glance who is in it, where it is, and whose viewpoint I'm using. Then, there's a place to put a description of the scene, and the all-important actual writing section. So, as I'm writing, I'm never more than a click of the mouse away from all of the info I need to write my scenes. Great for someone like me who is lucky she remembers her OWN name half the time. But the best part is the storyboard. I haven't used it yet since I haven't actually started writing, but from my understanding all of the scenes show up on little things that look like index cards, and you can change the order around by simply dragging and dropping - and it automatically changes the order the scenes appear in the output. No more copy and paste of entire sections in order to reorder scenes! Yay! I find this feature especially useful because I don't really think in terms of chapters. I have NO idea how long a chapter is supposed to be. I just write scenes and figure the rest out from there. With this program I can write my scenes in whatever order they come to me, putting them in the section (what I'm using in place of chapters for my rough draft) where I think they belong, and then deal with getting it into chronological order before my first edit. Give the sections and scenes descriptive, intuitive titles and I'm off and running. And totally unrelated to my gushing about my new software, but a fun little comment on my "desciptive, intuitive titles": only in a book about a vampire can you have a section called "the mortal years"...This amuses me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why does thinking up NAMES give me such a headache?

So, trying to come up with names for my characters in my book. I don't know why, but it's giving me a migraine. Anyway, so one of the first names I found for my main character was Damiana, and she would be called Mia. Well, then I realized that I didn't really like the NAME, what I liked about it was the NICKNAME.  And then it occurred to me that the REASON I liked that nickname for her was because of what it means, it just sounded like something cute to have her boyfriend (who ALSO still needs a name) call her. To most of the people around them it would just be a pet name, but they would both know the other meaning - that he is calling her HIS. Okay, most modern women might get annoyed with something like that, but Mia (yes, I'm starting to think of her as Mia) was born in 1913, or so. I think she'd be old-fashioned enough to find it endearing, instead. Especially since she would know him well enough to know that he doesn't mean it like he OWNS her, or anything. So, I've been on a mission to find a name that can have Mia as a nickname, but that can also have a different nickname for everyone else to call her. So, here's my new short-list, with the possible nicknames for everyone but her boyfriend to call her:

Amelia - Lia, Ami
Mariella - Ella, Mari
Mariana - Mari, Ana, Ria
Milena - Lena
Emilina - Emma, Emmy, Lina
Marietta - Mari, Ria

I don't know if maybe some of those might be a bit of a stretch to get Mia out of, but considering the other meaning behind it, that bit of a stretch might not really matter all that much. I think that I'm leaning towards Amelia, Milena, or Emilina - though to be honest, I think I like those as much for the other nicknames I can get out of them as anything else. Which would be horrible if I was trying to come up with a name for my kid, but I think it's okay for a character in a book. After all, 99% of the time she would go by one of her nicknames. Fun thing about naming a character in a book is that I just have to imagine that her PARENTS would have liked the name. And maybe I'm over-thinking all of this, anyway. But, this is what I do. Over-think all the little things. And I think that this also proves that I need to set my goal for the Write-A-Thon to be a word count, because it would be far too easy for me to count time spent on stupid stuff towards my time if I set a time goal.

And that's my semi-coherent ramble for today.