Some stories are easier to write than others, the most difficult I’ve found so far is humor. I love a funny story but I’m also picky, probably like most readers. Humor is such a subjective thing.
The last few stories I’ve written for NaNo were light-hearted. I chose those stories very specifically because they wouldn’t be too heavy, they’d be fast and fairly easy to keep up the word count.
Geeks, Greens, and Guns was more situational humor, crazy stuff happening to fairly normal people. It’s humorous without really being funny, if that makes any sense. There wasn’t pressure to make jokes or have good one-liners, it was more about coming up with weird situations to stick the characters into.
The Apocalypse Gazette was almost the opposite, less crazy situational stuff and more funny stuff. That wasn’t intentional, per se, it was just how the story turned out. The main character goes through this boredom inspired insanity that leads to him writing the gazette. In essence, he’s finding ways to amuse himself and humor played a large role. Not a lot actually happens in the story, the humor has to carry a lot of the burden, which had me nervous at times. If the reader doesn’t get the jokes they’re going to put down the story pretty fast.
Well, I can’t speak for other readers, but as I was perusing some of the chapters of The Apocalypse Gazette this evening I found myself chuckling over jokes that I’d forgotten. I’m taking that as a positive sign. Whether or not anybody else is amused, well, at least I’ve amused myself. Life imitating art.
Woohoo, Camp NaNo started! I’m on track with my word count so far, not that that’s saying much. Just like last time I’ve decided to post the story to Wattpad as I’m writing it so interested readers and writers can follow along. As an experiment it hasn’t yielded much in the way of results but it amuses me.
I put up the first couple chapters yesterday.
(Yes, I messed with the cover. Again.)
The Apocalypse Gazette
How does the world end? Plague, calamity, aliens, solar flares? Maybe a combination of all the above? One morning Wally Mason woke up to find he was the last surviving person in his small town, maybe the last man on Earth. There’s plenty of food and water, he doesn’t lack for anything except entertainment. No social media, no TV, no internet, no Twitter. After a few months with only the company of his cat Spalding, Wally might just be going crazy. But just because he can’t blog or tweet anymore doesn’t mean he can’t write. In fact, why not document his apocalypse experiences in style? Why not write the one and only Apocalypse Gazette?
This morning I asked for some feedback about a cover I’d been playing with. I had some time today so I made up a second one. I’m not sure if I like it better or not. Huh. So, I figured I’d put them up side by side and see if anyone has a preference, or different ideas I could try.
I think the reason I’m having trouble with these is that it’s like the camera is zoomed back too far, there’s too much to look at, not enough focus. They’ll be even worse when shrunk down to thumbnail size. Probably the simplest thing to do would just have the cover be the front page of the paper but that almost seems like a cop out. So, feedback or ideas would be awesome.
Something simple that sizes down well would probably be better. Something like this, that is far less interesting -or complex.
Even more choices.
It’s been about a year since I started writing seriously. I’ve ‘finished’ five big first drafts in that time but have hesitated to publish anything. One of the reason is that I haven’t had the time or money to put into getting good edits done but the biggest reason is that every draft is a learning experience. Writing so much, then reading and revising, has taught me so much about the craft. Every time I look back at one of my early drafts I realize how far I’ve come. As I want my first published work to be the highest quality I’ve been focused on learning rather than publishing.
An excellent example is my Camp NaNo project. I hesitate to call it a ‘throw away’ novel but it didn’t have a lot of promise going into it. Whenever I get involved with NaNo I pick out one of my ideas that light, easy to write, and doesn’t have a lot of depth. The idea being that it should be easier to keep up the high word count daily. If it sucks, no big deal, it’s just for fun (I’m even posting it on Wattpad as it gets written). However, even with the not-so-serious premise and some edits I know I need to make, I can still see how far I’ve come in the last year. Even writing something I’m not that invested in, the quality of the writing has improved dramatically.
While I still consider myself a student of the craft, it’s awesome to see the difference.
If you’re curious, it’s available on Wattpad (and getting closer to completion every day). Feel free to leave comments or critiques, I’m always looking for feedback.
I roped one of my friends into participating in Camp NaNo this month. She’d always wanted to write but never made the time, so I convinced her to give it a shot. Over and over I told her that it was so much easier to keep up the word count every day than it was catch up later on. Over and over.
I wish I’d taken my own advice. The month got busy, and I’d known it would, but I’m about two days behind on my word count from where I wanted to be and I’m rapidly running out of time to get caught up.
Hopefully all of you are doing better than me.
The good point out of all this is that the story is finally getting to the best parts, so at least it’ll be fun to write.
Win or lose, NaNo is always an experience.