First ROW/NaNo check in

Standard
Hand Cramp.

Right in time for NANoWriMo I started a week long class on using the Tarot to help with story outlining and character formation. I’ve had this Universal Waite deck for oh, well over a year and after the initial fold of cards never really picked it up again. Part of that is because the kids think anything with bright pretty colors is for them and wanted to play Go-Fish with it.

After the first lesson I knew this was going to really help me with my writing. I am so glad I signed up for the class!

I have a lot of character writing books and lectures, I’ve written out as much as I can on a lot of the worksheets that accompany them or that I foundย  online but I always seem to get stuck! There is only just so much that my brain can come up with out of the blue on it’s own. Using the Tarot was just amazing. Each card has an image (which vary depending on what deck you use), that image can help with a lot but once you look into what the proposed means could be well, the ideas just start flowing. And then the cards each have a reverse which is like bonus ideas.

I was able to give in depth characterizations for my 2 main characters, outline the issues and do some cultural outlining before NaNo started. This is farther than I’ve gotten before NaNo started. Monday I needed to outline another 2 main characters, the bad guy and the ultimate good guy (I’m writing fantasy), write a little more outlining on the cities and name a few more places. I didn’t get everything done but I got more done and with fresher ideas than had I tried to sit down with a blank paper and a blank mind. I highly encourage anyone interested to try it out the next time the class comes around.

Since NaNo is here now, I’ve also tried to get a few posts ahead on both blogs. There are times when I won’t be able to write (Thanksgiving comes to mind) and I want to get at least the basics down for post ideas so that when the day comes to write it I’m not sitting with a blank screen and blank mind.

Tuesday, I got over 3200 words written for NaNo. I’m trying to get ahead since I know holidays and such will end up putting me behind. The outlining is really saving me here. I’m trying to get as much done this first week as I can. I still have things to fill in with my notes. And of course, there’s the post-NaNo editing, at one point I was just making up parts of a boat. Ah well, that’s the nature of the NaNo Beast.

I’ve also gotten through another 1+ chapter in Nancy Kress’ Characters book. So far so good!

How is ROW and NaNo meshing going for you guys? How about you non-NaNo Rowers?

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19 responses »

  1. Good on you for being both prepared and productive on day 1.

    I think a good begin always sets you in a better frame of mind for the rest of the month. I am sure you will be able to get it all done and with time to spare.

    So does tarot itself fit into your story? I guess so, but from what you have explained I would love to learn more just for the story ideas and prompts it could give you without having to actually use the Tarot itself as a plot point.

    Keep up the good work, I’m rooting for you.

  2. I actually did fit Tarot in my story as the catalyst to how my heroine and hero know what they’re supposed to do. In the class, she gives a lot of different spreads and in each spread you learn different things and ways to apply the cards to the story. She’s based some spreads off writing books like Story Engineering by Larry Brooks for example. Then goes into detail on what each card means while building whatever outlining the spread works on (character building, world building, story arcs etc.)

  3. That’s cool that the Tarot is helping you with your writing. It’s a neat way to incorporate it into your life beyond the divination aspects. Good job on pushing ahead of the daily 1667. Keep it up!

    • I’ve done it once before but haven’t done much with it since. There is a Steampunk Tarot deck coming out early next year that looks really cool.

  4. I’m glad Tarot is helping you ๐Ÿ˜‰
    You know, I have an idea for a book involving Kung Fu and sometimes I think I should one or two classes of Kung Fu so I know what it’s about lol
    Anyway, and I’m jealous of your 3.2k words on NaNo first day! lol
    Keep it up!

    • oh Kung Fu sounds like fun! Check out local Groupons for discounted classes. I see ones around here for all kinds of 1 time or couple classes at half off or more.

  5. 3200 words in a days is great! Hope my fingers can get back to that. The tarot cards are…addictive. I’ve got a small collection of the tiny precious little pretties. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great that you harnessed them to delve into your characters and story.
    ~Kate

    • I love that you can get specialized decks (Vampire, Victorian, Cat, whatever) that you can use with whatever type of story your writing.

  6. I am totally Nanoing this year. I even went to a kick-off party at Panera in Bensalem, PA on Sunday. I met a lot of great people and we played a lot of fun games to get those who had no story idea into gear.

    So far I have written 3,414 words in two days. I am trying to write a little more than the base word count for the day (1,667) in case something comes up and I miss a day (EEEK!!!!).

    I am on the NaNoWriMo page. Darlene Steelman is the name. pshh. .can’t get no more creative than that as a handle! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck ROWers and NANOers!!!

    • Yay we’re already buddies! I need to work on my word count for today but my baby is having a “fragile day” as we call it and is super needy. I’m trying to make the local thing next week, we’ll see!

  7. Sounds like a great start and, yeah, the planning ahead for the holidays is a good idea. I could probably stand to do a little bit more of that. I have to admit, I’m pretty fascinated with the idea of using Tarot to help with character development; I might have to look into that a little myself. It sounds like it could be pretty fun!

    Well, here’s to hoping the rest of your week goes well and effectively!

  8. NaNoWriMo progress is non existent for me at the moment, but at least I’m getting a fair bit done on my thesis (as much as it sucks not being able to work, at least it’s giving me more time for writing, albeit slowly and incoherently haha). Awesome work on your word count so far ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I think your thesis take precedence over NaNo, Rebecca ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be rooting for you to get those last few thousand words done!

  9. I’m loving the sound of this tarot class more and more! I’ll definitely be signing up next time around. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m slightly ahead of the daily word count for NaNo, though I’m hoping this weekend I can get some blog posts lined up, to make the weekday grind a little easier. Sunday-Tuesdays are my most challenging days, and trying to work on the WIP *and* write blog posts just doesn’t work.

    Congrats on all the progress!

  10. I’m not doing NaNo, but as you’ve probably seen with my ROW80 goals I probably have enough on my plate already! lol
    I d like the idea of using the tarot to help with character formation, what an interesting approach! I look forward to reading more about how it is helping you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Tarot is an awesome brainstorming tool. So cool you were able to get so much sketched out before NaNo started. Yeah, that Steampunk Tarot deck is on my to-buy list too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good job with NaNo!

  12. Impressive NaNo results so far, and I’m intrigued by the Tarot idea. Thanks for sharing it. There’s nothing more important than well-developed characters. A great story will fail with flimsy characters.

    I’m writing in November but not NaNoing. Consider me your NaNo ROW cheerleader. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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