Tag Archives: perspective

AWAKEDRAGON: NaNoWriMo 2017

Well then, NaNoWriMo starts in two days. I did my typical ‘I know what I’m doing!’ and then panicked waffling about a week ahead of time. I’m actually going to be working on the same project I worked on last year: only from a different perspective.

Thanks to lovely brainstorming partners, I’ve got a handle on some of the critical flaws I’ve been struggling with. Unfortunately, that means some deep rewrites, because some of the flaws were built into the structure of the story itself.

Now. I’m not completely throwing out the first draft. I’m going to turn this book dual POV, with two voices to carry the story. Since this story is a bit of a commentary on how ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries interact with each other, it really needs a perspective on both sides to balance the story and make it worth something.

Well, I’m definitely feeling like I haven’t outlined enough information, or discovered enough about this character’s voice to be writing 1667 words a day. Which leads to my last minute panicked waffling about what to work on.

But, the great thing about NaNoWriMo is you can use it to force you to write words even if you’re not prepared for them, to just GET IT OUT and ignore the inner editor. And I think that’s what I need to kick myself into writing this. Because there’s so much to worry and think about when it comes to this story that I’m getting paralyzed by it. NaNoWriMo has done great things in the past for me in just getting words down. Editing can come later.

Which is a funny thing for me to say, because editing scares the crap out of me and I feel like my rewrites are never intensive enough. BUT. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, because I need to buckle down and decide on something, and here I am.

I should have turned this into an experiment on making a storyboard to help me know what I’m doing, but alas, that hasn’t happened either. I keep seeing everybody’s pretty storyboards for their NaNo projects and they’re so cool!

There are two days left before it begins, but it’s very doubtful I’ll have time to build something. I have a rough outline of the plot, based off of my previous draft, but there are still some big yawning holes. Writing from another perspective made her the sole perspective and focus, and now he needs to be able to do the same. Theoretically it shouldn’t that difficult, because he has a huge part to play in the original draft. But he needs to be different enough and have enough of his own agency that I’m worried. There’s a lot of behind the scenes material I still need to create.

Needless to say November will be its usual blend of fun and stress. In the past it’s always worked best for me to work on a new project versus one I’ve been writing for a while, but I’m hoping the perspective/characterization will be new enough that it’ll work. November has always worked to jump start my creativity, and I definitely need a little bit of a boost. I’ve been editing and picking apart marketing schemes for so long I would really like to feel the spark again.

Either way, I’m wishing everyone who’s participating this year the best of luck and the most amazing time churning out your words!

Any comments? Anxieties? How ya feeling about the approacheth NaNo?


A New Perspective on Perspective

MeOverlookingBanaue

My recent trip to the Philippines was my first trip overseas – but far from my last. So many things were seen – everything from every day village life, the craziness of driving there, and the wonders of places like the Banaue Rice Terraces. I knew that a new perspective was inevitable when traveling to another country, and a developing one at that. But what I didn’t expect was the new respect I have for my own country.

I’ve always had a logical understanding of the privileges that come from being born in this country. I’ve always tried to be the person who reminds herself that “there are starving children in Africa” when I get bogged down in my own troubles. But it’s quite different from understanding that reality in your heart– I’m not sure how to describe it any other way.

I was surprised at the lack of pity I felt over the abject poverty there. Certain situations were very sad, don’t get me wrong – the emaciated animals, the mansions next to the family living in a shack, the mountains of garbage – but I didn’t feel pity. The more I learned about the people there, the more I realized they are strong orchestrators of their own fate. They are at the mercy of low pay and little national infrastructure, but this does not make them helpless. They are just as capable as you or I.

It seems to me there is a pervading national culture of acceptance of one’s position, with no interest in changing. (This cannot to be said for everyone there, of course, and goodness knows three weeks does not make me an expert.) But it seemed so very stark compared to what I see in my home country. Sure, I know quite a few lazy American peers who use little effort to get through life. But not like it was there.

There was also incredible generosity that I saw there – usually within a family, but generosity all the same. And there’s something important to be said about being happy about your lot in life and making the best of your situation. There are a few materialistic Americans I can think of who could partake in some acceptance.

All of this makes me wonder about evolution of culture. I understand it’s human nature to find comfortability, and that we don’t like to change from the status quo. It’s exhausting to be constantly energized and challenging everything, and it’s also a truth that as we grow older we grow more conservative and less likely to change. With the general trend of American citizens becoming increasingly uncaring and not engaging with government or reality, I wonder if we’re headed in the direction of the overt acceptance I saw overseas. And with the development currently happening in the Philippines, I wonder if there will be a surge of energy from the coming generations that will look a lot like the energy of the U.S.

Either which way, I didn’t expect to come to these conclusions. I expected to learn about another culture, but ended up seeing my own culture in more clarity. But I suppose that’s the funny thing about perspective – you can have an idea of what you may learn, but you’ll find lessons you don’t expect.

This was a bit of a mish-mash of some of my observations there, more of which I’m sure will follow. What do you all think? Have you had experiences that resulted in surprising conclusions? Tell me about your over-seas adventures!