Halloween movies

I was reminded of favourite ‘halloween’ movies that I watched as a child (usually rented on VHS!), so I thought I’d share some of them here.

Actually, this trip down memory lane has led me down a rabbit hole of really weird 80s movies I’ve seen, so I’m gonna include a couple that weren’t specifically watched at Halloween, but were definitely a part of my late kid/early teen years. And I’m not including all the B&W dracula/frankenstein/wolfman movies, because that’d make this list far too long!

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So close to NaNoWriMo!!!

This is the hardest part; waiting for the start of it, worrying if I’ve prepped right, wondering how I will fuck up this year. This is when the site forums get the busiest, as everyone is going bonkers waiting for November to start. So I thought I’d share a few gifs that, combined, express how I’m feeling right now.

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Prepping for Nano – Oct. 29

I am soo looking forward to being able to name these posts just “Nano – Nov. X”! I’m tired of feeling like I should be canning preserves, lol.

Based on my epiphany of the other day, I went through my outline, figuring out how many words each little section should be; I have 11chapters, with 3-4 parts each, totaling 34 scenes. Dividing 50,000 by 34 gives me ~ 1470. I rounded that up to 1480 to give me some bonus words, so now I know approximately how long each part should be.

This may seem overly rigid or too precise, but given my tendencies to use my words and time unwisely, this will hopefully be the saving of my story! I can hit 4400 words in, and compare what I’ve written to where I should be; if it’s way off, then I either wrap up or expound more. I know I can always go back after nano and add or delete to my heart’s content; I need to get all the bits done!

Should be interesting.

Note: I had to edit fix the fact that I have 11, not 10, chapters. I ended up splitting the last one up.

Love/Hate Trope #2: Damsels in Distress

I was originally going to make this my first post about tropes I’ve both loved and hated. And then I was reminded of one I mostly just hated, lol.

As a reader, Damsels in Distress frustrated me. If the main character is a guy, then having the main female character as merely a prize was pretty boring after a while, and I’d just lose interest in reading those authors. If the MC is a woman, but is still mostly a damsel, I also get bored. Why did the woman always have to be saved? I didn’t get it. I need to have the main characters drive the action, and not the other way around. And that has to include all of the heroes.

Once I started writing, I came to hate the trope with a passion. Mostly because I kept writing Damsels! It took me ages to figure out the importance of things like character motivation, delaying conflict resolution, etc.

I recently discovered a nasty truth about my writing; when I’m more concerned about wordcount than anything else (why, hello, Nanowrimo!), I get super lazy. I will meander along, writing piles of descriptions rather than plot. Later, having fallen desperately behind in terms of plot, I will ruthlessly do whatever it takes to force the story forward.

All of which leads to this confession: during Nano, many of my MCs devolve into Damsels in Distress. There’s even a trope for the process: Chickification. In my drive to get the plot back on track, I turn my lead characters into passive dolls that I toss around without a thought for their characterization. I end up with characters that are little more than stereotypes, filling in space till I theoretically go back and fix it. Except once it’s that messed up, the last thing I want to do is revamp it.

This year for Nanowrimo, I’m actually going to try and keep better control of my writing right off the bat; hopefully I’ll not only get the storyline done, but keep the characters intact!

Prepping for Nano – Oct. 27

I generally try to write some posts ahead of time, in the fond, but generally incorrect hope that I will manage to have a daily post even if I’ve done nothing but read blogs all day. The reality is a pile of one sentence posts that I really, truly meant to finish ASAP weeks ago.

Sigh.

I am, in fact, prepping right now. Only a few more days to go till Nano!!!! (Imagine a great deal of silent squealing).

I’ve printed out the 2nd half of Ch. 6 (which was too long anyway) and am rendering it into bullet points; one for each paragraph. I very briefly describe what is in it, and then a note: Keep, Move, Junk. I’ll do the same for Ch.7, which was as off kilter as I thought it was. My MC needs to grow a dammed spine!

Anyway, this will be posted sometime on the 28th, because I’m fun like that. (So close to midnight, I figured I’d save this for the 28th, in case I forget to finish writing anything else.)

Plot Derails #1

When I’m writing for nanowrimo, it’s incredibly easy for me to forget that I have a plot I want to write, and get caught up in the thrall of massive wordcount derailments.

Given that nanowrimo is all about the wordcount, this is a great thing at the time; the sooner you hit your goals, the more time you can spend goofing off. Unfortunately, I’m just prolific enough on my own that I need to learn how to avoid the derailments and stick to my plot instead.

My anxiety disorder plays into this. I worry about writing enough, so instead of moving the plot forward, I’ll get into overly verbose descriptions of things. I know I can do it, but I’ve never actually managed to write my entire nano plot during nano, even when I do my best to avoid the derailments! There are, without question, more than enough words in my plots. There are probably too many words, frankly, and so I need to ignore the voice of worry and keep on writing.

Anyway. The actual point of this post was to talk about one the ways I get off track. A big derailment for me is sex scenes.

Some people can’t write them at all. They have the main characters kiss and it fades to black. Kudos for them; they actually get their plot written! Those writers often complain about it, but I think they’re just being smug. Everyone has a thing they have difficulties writing; personally, I get bogged down when I have to dialogue; slowest stuff I write are those bits.

I, on the other hand, will wade into the sex scene, which will easily be a chapter on it’s own. As I mentioned ages ago, originally I had a bit of problem with them, since I often let my mother read my writing; eventually, though, you get to a point in your life where you’ve been embarrassed by all sorts of things, and having your mom read what’s basically a sex fantasy just makes you wince a little (and then you promise to never show her those bits again, but that’s really for her sake rather than yours.)

Ahem.

There’s also a host of ethical issues about sex scenes; I won’t delve into that, you can probably find them in most writer’s forums if you’re interested. Personally, if it’s a story I intend to share (which is really a new thing for me), I ask myself ‘is this something I’d be comfortable with a 17 year old reading? Does it have all the elements that are important (consent, mutual pleasure, sex safety, etc) if I end up accidentally educating a sex novice?’. Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but the reality is if I’m going to share my stories, then I have to create scenes that don’t contradict my personal ethics.

Within those parameters, I don’t have a problem with sex scenes, but during nano this means that if I write a 2000 word sex scene, then this is a chapter that I’ve wasted my precious writing time on that doesn’t do dick for the plot*. Instead of moving forward, and gotten closer to finishing the dammed novel, I’ve basically written in a circle. Grrr.

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*Sorry, I couldn’t resist.