NaNoWriMo For Newbies – Part Five, Reaching 50,000

unrelated awesome picture

unrelated awesome picture

Alright, this is the final installment in the NaNoWriMo for newbies. I’ve been scanning the forums for tips and tricks to reach 50,000 words, and I’ve picked out the best ones, not that I don’t have my own tips to share.

Don’t despair at the quality of your writing. Critics points out that NaNoWriMo does nothing but force writers to churn out shit that will never make it to the final draft, but that isn’t true. NaNoWriMo forces me to write when I would rather sit and watch TV or avoid writing a difficult scene. I have to keep thinking about how the story progresses, and I have to finish it (or get within the last few chapters). Once it’s done, I have all the scenes and character development, or lack thereof. I can see what the story needs and start editing it to make it actually readable. It’s worth the stress just to be able to make it that far.

Don’t edit. At all. Unless it’s going to add to your word count. Decide that you want to change your MC’s uncle’s name? Don’t go back, just make a note of it and keep writing. Decide that you want to hint at a hidden door in your FMC’s walk-in closet? Go ahead and add a paragraph about it in chapter two, then come right back to the end point and keep writing. Typos and grammatical errors will be easy to catch when reading back through, you don’t have to worry about it. It’ll be fine.

Don’t be afraid to jump around. Write the last scene, then the sex scene that will happen later. Go back to the fourth chapter then write an awesome scene that still needs some sort of connecting to your current point. As long as you remember the order, you’ll be fine. (I do everything old school and just sit down and write in a Word doc. If I’m writing ahead in time, I just insert a page break and write it so that it’s at the end of the document whenever I need to put it into the actual timeline.)

Make a playlist that motivates you. Try an inspiration folder (but only when you’re caught up on your word counts!) Give yourself treats for reaching your word goals. I know that week two is the worst, and that it’s hard to get through the period of not-beginning and not-ending, but push through. Write whatever crap comes to mind. It might turn out to be gold, or it’ll serve as a good starting block for a real scene.

Dirty Tricks: Give your character two names, like Mary Jane. Use long chapter titles. Add in blog posts about your writing. Give your character a very long title that he insists on being referred to as, like The Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, and so on. Have a babbling character who speaks about really mundane things. Do not use contractions. Use all five senses to describe things, even if it’s just to say that your character heard nothing interesting.

Good luck to all of you! If you’re behind on your word count, use the weekend to get ahead. Feel free to share any problems you’re having with your novel. I’m really struggling just to keep thing interesting when not much is happening, but I will push on! I’m having foot surgery over winter break, so I’ll have lots of free time for editing.

Previous parts: The Plot, Your MC, Your Love Interest, Subplots, and Outlining,

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NaNoWriMo for Newbies – Part 4, Outlining

Brace Yourselves

Unfortunately, because of a computer breaking only a month after I got it I MEAN SERIOUSLY WTF A MONTH??? malfunction this post is coming a little late, but better late than never, right? Write. (Heh, see what I did there?)

So, for me, outlining is simple. Very simple. I was taught rigorous outlining methods in middle school for our research papers. Here was the basic format:

I. Something
A. Something more.
B. Something even more.
1. Oh lala, more detail.
a. more detail about that detail
b. Ron Walrus for president 4030
2. And you gotta have at least two for each section with more detail
a. dunno
b. why
i. stupid
ii. rule
II. Something else.

Obviously, to do it with that method you just have to make the roman numerals into chapters and break down everything in the chapter. That’s what I usually do, that way I can know what happens when and look right to the next thing when I need to write on, with the roman numerals and the letters having the real action and the smaller ones having the detail I came up with when planning the scene. I did NaNoWriMo with an outline like this one year and it was the easiest NaNo I’ve ever done, hands down. Need to get ahead on your word count? Your next scene is right there. All the detail is right there, all in chronological order.

Now some of you, myself included, either don’t have time for such detail or can’t come up with so much on the spot for plot ideas. Well, that’s fine too. This year I’m going a general outline, which just looks like this.

  • Wild meets the outlaws and agrees to be the princess.
  • The Queen finds Wild and wants to behead her, but the King doesn’t. Says they need her.
  • Wild tries to sneak out but can’t find the outlaws.

Basically like that. Just all the points I can think of now, without assigning them to a chapter or putting significance in the bullet. I wrote it out (though those of you who don’t have to run to the computer lab for computer access may want to type it) and left spaces in-between bullets for new ideas that came to mind. I just bulleted my way from start to finish, though there’s an easier way to do that for those of you who are terrible at outlining.

Fill out these:

  • What happens to start the story off?
  • What is happening in the middle?
  • What happens to set off the final events?
  • How does it end?

Once you answer those, fill out the points between them, even if you don’t know anything. If you know that MC and his love interest will hook up in the second half, put that in there. Will the MC see a bad omen in the first half? Slide that in. Any ideas you take the time to write down will help you when you’re stuck and you don’t know what to write. It’ll make everything so much easier if you have some sort of outline, even if it’s just a general direction of where you want each chapter to go.

Next time I will be covering general tips for reaching 50,000 words (assuming my head doesn’t implode from the stress of not having a computer).

If you missed it, part one on plot was here, part two on your main character was here, part two and a half on your love interest was here, and part three on your subplots was here.

NaNoWriMo for Newbies – Part 3, Subplots

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Okay, so the picture is completely unrelated, but I found it on the NaNo page on Facebook and I think it perfectly sums up how it feels to be a writer.

Anyways, today I’ll be talking about subplots. So, here’s all we’ve got so far with parts 1 through 2 1/2:

My story is about a fun-loving girl who needs to keep her secret hidden in order to continue impersonating the princess until the real one is found. When Wild meets Daviat, she thinks he’s boring and rude. Then, he’s assigned to guard her at all times, and they are forced to put up with each other.  Daviat proves his love when he runs away from the castle with Wild to protect her.

So, it’s hard to distinguish what is plot and what is subplot, so I’m going to call it safe and say that both the romance and impersonating the princess counts as the main plot, because they’re really tied to each other, and I can’t have one without the other. To keep things interesting, you need a subplot. Or two. Or six. Really, this being NaNoWriMo, I’m not going to tell you how many you can have (especially since my novel Kiss of The Fey has more than a few, though they are tiny) but here is a quote from another blog on the matter:

That being so, here is my formula for the maximum number of subplots, by word count, you can have in your novel (a novel being a minimum of 60,000 words).
60k words: 1 subplot (e.g., in a category romance, you might have the female Lead plotline, and the love interest plotline, which intersect)
80k: 2-3
100k: 3-4
Over 100 k: 5
James Scott Bell

So, since NaNoWriMo’s goal is 50,000 words we’ll focus on one subplot today. Because I like them so much, here’s another fill in the blank:

While (MC) (blanks), (blank) happens to (character). (Character) must (blank) to make things right.

Yes, that’s very vague, but there is so much room for subplots that it’s hard to narrow down. I’m not trying to give you ideas, but to help you translate your imagination into a paragraph you can work on to write you novel.

Here’s my fill in the blank:

While Wild learns to be a princess, the real princess is taken by the kidnappers and kept as a hostage. The real princess must survive the savage band of barbarians if she ever wants to see her family again.

Again, it’s not exact, just a general guideline. This is a reminder that there are adoptable in the NaNoWriMo forums, so if you still can’t think of a plot, a character, or a subplot, you can snatch one from over there. Here’s another example of how a subplot would fit into the fill in the blank: While MC fights the villain, she begins seeing a dark figure lurking out of the corner of her eyes. She must find the source of this shadow before she can hope to send the villain back to the dark realm. (If you want that plot, you can have it. It was from the adoptable.) 

I hope that helped some of you. Next time I will be covering outlining, and then there will be one post on general tips for reaching 50,000 words.

If you missed it, part one on plot was here, part two on your main character was here, and part two and a half on your love interest was here.

NaNoWriMo For Newbies – Part 2 ½, Your Love Interest

As you can see, I’ve labeled this as part 2 ½ because I know that many of you aren’t writing romance. That’s fine. Tune back in for part three, but for those of you who want to put that spark into your writing, this is the place to be. (If you missed it, part one, the plot is here and part two, your MC is here.)

Alright, so your MC is going to fall in love with this love interest, who’ll be called Squishy from this point on. If you’re writing a romance, you likely considered Squishy when writing your plot from part one. However, you might not have. I didn’t:

My story is about a fun-loving girl who needs to keep her secret hidden in order to continue impersonating the princess until the real one is found.

Because there are other elements in my story, there’s no hint of romance in it. So we need another fill in the blank.

When MC meets (Squishy) he/she thinks (blank). Then, (blank) happens and they (blank).

That’s very broad, but here’s how I would apply it to my story:

When Wild meets Daviat, she thinks he’s boring and rude. Then, he’s assigned to guard her at all times, and they are forced to put up with each other.

Clearly, just from that sentence you can see a plot emerging. Wild is fun-loving, but Daviat is a stick in the mud. He guards her to keep her in line while she’s impersonating the princess, and you can think of all the situations where they could connect since they’re together 24/7.

Here’s another fill in the blank to be applied to the second act of your novel (or at least it shouldn’t happen in the beginning if you’re writing a romance):

(Squishy) proves his/her love when he/she (blanks) for (MC).

My example: Daviat proves his love when he runs away from the castle with Wild to protect her.

Once you’ve completed that, here are some general romance tips:

  • If your main genre is romance, you need subplots. You can’t have an entire novel of MC and Squishy falling in love.
  • Avoid love triangles, please.
  • No matter what genre you’re writing, your characters CANNOT fall in love instantly unless they acknowledge that it is way too sudden but they can’t stop it OR you’re using as a plot device in YA like, “Oh silly teenager you think you’re in love.” By taking out the slow progression of romance, you’re killing the genre.

Anyways, I hope this helped! Part three will be sub-plots!

NaNoWriMo For Newbies – Part Two, Your MC

So, you’ve got your plot. A basic one, at least. Now you need a character. I think it’s important to develop your character before fully developing your plot, because your character can change the plot. My nano novel was going to be about a girl who was a shapeshifter, but shapeshifting had to be her secret power that she was afraid of. Once I learned more about my character, I realized that Wild would think that shapeshifting was AWESOME. She would LOVE it. So I had to change her power, which changed the plot.

In my opinion, the best way to develop your character is to take as many character quizes as you can. Not the “Your Character is XYZ” type of quiz, but the ones that ask you tons of questions about your characters. Quizes for dating sites might work too. Here are some sample questions that you all can start with.

What is your character’s full name?

Wistar “Wild” Banister

Who are your character’s parents?

She was raised by a washerwoman and her husband along with her three daughters. Wild’s real parents are hidden to avoid possible spoilers, but I know who they are 😉

What does your character look like? (Tip: Never should this entire description appear in your novel in one area.)

She has short black hair and bright purple eyes. Her skin is very pale, almost white, and she’s a very dainty woman. She looks very young and has a slender nose and red lips.

Does your character have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics?

She’s eager to talk to anyone new she sees, almost like a dog. She trusts everyone she meets and thinks that everyone has good inside of them. She gets annoyed when someone doesn’t want to do whatever fun thing comes into her head (like climb a tree or go swimming).

Has your character had his/her first kiss? Is he/she a virgin? Are they currently in a relationship?

No, yes, no.

Who means the most to your character (at the start of the novel)?

Quade. He found her when she thought she would die from loneliness. Granted, he’s the only person she interacts with, and if her dog was a person she’d probably pick her, but that’s that.

What is your character’s greatest fear?

That she’ll be lose control and end up completely alone again.

If your character could change one thing about him/herself, what would it be?

Wild wishes that she was just like everyone else, with a family and something to do every day other than run around with her dog.

 

I’ll leave you guys to find your own quizzes, because you might be able to find some tailored to your exact gender GENRE (I cannot believe I wrote gender, this is because the Amish people in Breaking Amish are wearing distractingly bright clothes). So go forth, flesh out your main character! You can do it for as many characters as you want, knock yourself out.

Next time we shall be talking about how to develop a love interest (so feel free to skip that for those of you not dealing in romance).

Part One is here.

How Writing Changes Over Time

I had to download Libre Office to be able to open all my old files to make this post for you guys. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything from when I just started writing, because that stuff was seriously horrible. Here is a sample (that I’m going to make up right now) of how my writing looked in 5th grade:

My name is Beth Raymone. I’m 13 and I have long black hair. I like to wear bangs that cover my eyes because I’m a goth. I walk to the bus stop in a MCR t-shirt and see my friend Becky.

“Hi Becky!” I said.

“Hi Beth! I think the bus will be late.” She said. She was wearing a purple hoodie and torn black jeans. She had on a blue beanie and rings on every finger. She was 14, one year older than me, but we’d been friends our whole lives because our moms had been friends in high school.

“Probably.” I said.

“Let’s just skip school today.” She said.

“Alright, what do you want to do?” I said.

“I just got this letter from my dad.” She said. Becky had never met her dad. He left her mom before she was born. “He’s in a hospital dying of cancer. We should go visit him.”

And so on. I assure you, it was even worse than that.

Here is something I wrote in high school:

Abby was sitting in the common room, reading one of her favorite books, when she heard some noise coming from the hallway where the boy’s bathroom was located. Being a prefect, she sighed and closed her book, getting ready to go and break up whatever fight was currently starting. Abby had been a prefect since her freshman year, and after four years, she knew what to expect.

“Come on Logan! Where’s your smart mouth now?” Abby recognized one of the biggest troublemakers in the school, Blaze, holding a smaller boy against the wall so that his feet only brushed against the carpeted hallway floor.

“Get off of me you-” the boy was cut off with a punch to his gut.

She sighed loudly and began tapping her foot to let Blaze and the other two boys know of her presence. “Really boys?” she asked without a trace of humor on her face.

“Oh look, its little Abby Fairfield, the perfect prefect,” Blaze laughed loudly.

“And look, it’s Blaze Smith, the obnoxious little mommy‘s boy who is always getting in trouble. Mommy won‘t be too pleased to hear of your latest misdeed,” she replied with a cocky grin as his friends laughed at him.

Blaze’s face went red and he dropped the smaller boy. “Shut up you- you stupid little girl! Just because nobody likes you doesn’t mean you have to take it out on me,” she laughed along with his friends at his weak retort. Abby was one of the most popular girls in the school, and he knew it.

“Is that why you always talk about how much you love her hair?” the boy to Blaze’s left laughed. “And how you moan her name in your sleep?”

Blaze punched him on the shoulder and cursed at him. “You shut up too,” the boy on his right chuckled so he hit him too.

“Now why don’t you boys run along and try to stay out of trouble?” she waved her hand at them, as if trying to get rid of a bad smell, and they turned and walked down the hallway while muttering at her under their breath.

*Dies*

But seriously, it’s good to look back at that kind of stuff and be able to see how much you’ve improved. He’s a sample of my current WIP, Only in Whispers (formerly A Game of Madness):

“And he wasn’t too rough with you? I want to ensure that he is treating his possessions with respect.”

Wren bowed her head. “He behaved perfectly well. As you know, a lady doesn’t discuss such things.”

Lord Acton burst out laughing. “A lady? Is that what you call yourself?”

“She jests, my lord,” Collis said. She gave Wren a sharp look. Wren got the message. They were his playthings, not his equals. She knew as much. She just couldn’t reveal that Ferran would find no pleasure in her. She’d likely to be passed on to Cordell.

“Ah, a sharp sense of humor you have, little bird,” Lord Acton said. He smiled at her. “Has Ferran told you anything about me?”

“No, nothing at all. He’s barely said a word to me,” Wren said. Lord Acton raised his eyebrow at her. “We’ve been too busy for talking, you see.”

Lord Acton let out another long laugh. “Not such a lady now, are we?” He took a sip of wine. “And you, what of my brother? Has he anything to say about his Lord?”

“No, my lord,” Collis said. “Nothing but good things. He is happy with your command of Castle Sol.”

Lord Acton continued trying to talk about Ferran and Rozen, but he finally realized that the girls had nothing interesting to say about the subjects. He moved on to talk of how his lands had not been so prosperous that year. Wren and Collis listened as Lord Acton went on for hours about his land and the landholders around him. By the end of it, Wren could name each and every farmer who worked the land around the castle, but she still didn’t know what Lord Acton wanted with them. Had he gotten bored with his usual girls?

“My lord, it’s time for supper,” a servant said, appearing in the doorway. Servants had been in and out to refill the pitcher of wine twice. Wren and Collis had only sipped from their glasses, never refilling them even once. Wren didn’t know how Lord Acton wasn’t yet drunk from it all; or better yet, passed out and snoring in his luxurious chair.

“Off with you whores,” Acton said, waving them away. “Bring me my food, I have no wish to dine with the others. Bring me the purple whore to feed them to me. I don’t want a scrap of clothing covering her magnificent breasts.”

Now, this is a first draft, but so were the others, so it’s a fair change. The first one was fifth grade, the second one was tenth grade, and the third one was present day. That’s a span of 11 years. If you ever despair about never being a good enough writer, look at some of your older stuff. If you have no older stuff, shut your mouth and keep writing!

How has your writing changed over the years?

My Foolproof Formula For Picking a Pen Name

Some people seem to have a really tough time with coming up with a pen name. Let me tell you, this is the easiest part of publishing your novel. Here’s how I came up with mine.

First off, are you adopting a pen name to separate two genres or to separate your author self from your real self? In other words, do you care if people can easily trace the name back to you? If so, skip the first bullet.

  • Use part of your name. First name, middle name, last name, it doesn’t matter. My middle name is Charlotte, so I decided to use that for the first name of my pen name. If you’re adopting a pen name because your last name has sixteen syllables, cut it down. Zaccagnini can be Zini, Faunabane can be Bane, you get it. Conversely, if you want a pen name because your last name is too common, try adding to it. Hall can be Aletthall, Jones can be Jopson, whatever.
  • You need to make sure your names work together. Zachariah Zini sounds good out loud, but Zachariah Jopson sounds terrible as an author name. Wayne Bane is way too rhyming, and Hillary Jopson doesn’t work together at all. Just browse the phone book until you find a name that you like. There are also sites out there who match last names with first names randomly based on how they match up together.
  • However, your name needs to match your genre. Lennard Sporkle isn’t going to go very far in the romance market, but he’d do great in comedy. Charlotte Cyprus is perfect for romance, but that name wouldn’t work for a crime thriller. It’s mostly common sense for this one, and lots of names will be fine in all genres, but sometimes a little matching is needed.
  • Next, once you have a nice name, Google it. At first, I was going to go with the name Charlotte Bellamy, but that turned out to be an actress or something. I decided to go with Charlotte Cyprus. The only Google result for that is Charlotte, Queen of Cyprus, which is pretty distinguishable from a living author.
  • Finally, put your name everywhere. Make a Facebook for your pen name, put it all over your blog, make an Amazon author page and a Goodreads page. Make sure that when people Google that name, it’s your they’re finding. Make sure you’re getting yourself out there!

If all else fails, pick your great-grandmother’s name and try not to feel guilty when writing your next sex scene.

How to Write Better Emotions

Alright, so I actually bought a book about this from Half Price Books, but I’ve only gotten to the second chapter when I no longer had time for it. I’ve never gotten back to it, but I think I got the gist of what the book was trying to say (It was categorized by emotion, so if you knew one emotion you knew the principle that the author would apply to all other emotions). So, here is how you write better emotions!

First, show, don’t tell. “Golly gee,” you might say, “literally every writing advice column ever has said ‘show don’t tell.’ Why don’t you guys shut the fuck up about it already?” Well, I’m sorry, but we’re not going to shut up about it. It’s an important part of writing! Very important! Like, as important as air.

Some people don’t understand the “show, don’t tell” thing, so I’m going to explain it. It’s very simple. You show us what is happening, you don’t tell us. I think people get confused because you’re obviously telling us everything, that’s how the book is written, but that’s not what is meant by this.

Telling: Alice was a very nice girl. Everyone said she was nice, but it embarrassed her when they told her so.

Showing: Alice loved baking, so sometimes she would bake just for fun and take the cookies down to the homeless shelter to share. Everyone at the shelter would tell her how sweet she was, but that made her blush. She just wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to eat something baked with love.

See? That second one made me tear up a little. Granted, my allergies are really bad and are totally 100% behind the tearing, but doesn’t the second one make you like her so much more? The author isn’t saying “Alice is nice, ACCEPT THIS AS REALITY” like some authors do *AHEMCOUGHCOUGH* STEPHANIE MEYERS *COUGHCOUGH* but she’s showing you how Alice is a genuinely nice person. You believe she’s a nice person, because she bakes cookies for the homeless.

Now, see what showing is verses telling? You can’t make a person feel what you want them to feel when reading your novel if you’re just telling them what to feel rather than making them feel it.

Another example:

1. I was so sad. He broke my heart, now all I could do was cry. I would never be happy again.

2. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t sit still. It was like someone had carved out a hole in my chest. My heart ached, and it felt like something was missing. I felt like my eyes hadn’t been dry since he’d left. Why did he leave like that? He was my something special, the person who made me better. Could I ever smile without him by my side?

I’ll leave you to guess which is showing and which is telling.

One way to practice is to write poetry with short verses. You’ll learn to convey emotion better just because you know you can’t write “I am sad” in a poem. Here’s an example of how it would help:

I’m alone for the last time in the prison of my bed,
holding the tool for my escape.
The silence of the night holds no comfort for me,
and my dreams are filled with terrors.
The house is crawling with the past,
their ghosts constantly haunt me.
I close my eyes for the last time;
maybe I’ll see them again in another life.

Not gonna lie, just picked a poem at random from my poetry folder, I wrote this recently and didn’t really look back at it, I was like “hmmmm, did I write this?” Dur. I’ll post the full poem tomorrow, but here is how that would look if you were telling it in prose.

I lie in bed awake, a knife in hand. I can’t sleep for the nightmares. The house is filled with reminders of the past, always reminding me of the ones I’d lost. I close my eyes and slit my wrist, hoping I’ll see them again.

Obviously, there isn’t so much showing verses telling happening here, but the first one is definitely better at describing, though it’d need some better translation to prose to avoid being purple prose.

That’s about it for the overall lesson, but I’ll list eight (because I’m too lazy to do ten) common emotions and examples of showing verses telling for each one.

 

Anger

T: I was so angry at him! How dare he?

S: My fist clenched and I restrained myself from hitting him. He didn’t deserve to be hit, nothing so tame as that. If he died a thousand times it wouldn’t make up for what he did. How dare he?

 

Confusion

T: I was so confused. Where was I?

S: I looked around at the street signs. None of them were familiar. Was I supposed to go up First Street, or down Peach? I needed to get to get to Platform 9 ¾, but I’d taken a wrong turn. Where the hell was I?

 

Excitement

T: I’m so excited! Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!

S: I had to restrain myself from jumping out of my seat. I watched as the seconds ticked by, just a few more minutes now! I listened impatiently as the professor ended class, and shot out as soon as he dismissed us. Pumpkin Spice Lattes were finally back, and I was going to get one!

 

Jealousy

T: I was so jealous. That bitch had the best hair.

S: She thought she was so great, with her perfect locks and her perky smile. Everyone knew that she wasn’t naturally blonde. She couldn’t be. No one naturally looked that good.

 

Loneliness

T: I was so lonely. I just wanted a friend.

S: I hugged myself silently. The other kids played on the other side of the playground, but I sat alone on the cold bench. When I invited them to my birthday party last week they laughed at me, so I didn’t ask to play now. I just wanted a friend. Why’d they have to laugh at me?

 

Passion

T: She was consumed with a passion she’d never known before. She had to kiss him everywhere.

S: She kissed him deeply. She wanted to hold him forever, but she couldn’t stop moving; his tongue made her squirm against him. She had to kiss him everywhere. His name was on the tip of her tongue, ready to spill out as he moved inside her.

 

Resignation

T: He was resigned to working in an office the rest of his life.

S: He stared at the blinking line on the screen. He’d typed up his resignation letter, all he had to do was print and sign it. He sighed. What was the use? He was too old to get another job, but too young to retire. Without thinking about it, he deleted it and closed the document. Another ten years in the cube farm wouldn’t kill him.

 

Sadness

T: The old man was sad. All his friends were dead.

S: He sat on his porch and watched the children play. He had children of his own, and grandchildren enough to fill his house twice, but he missed the conversation of his friends. Tom from high school, Allen from the factory. He lived next door to Greg for thirty-two years, but they were all gone now, nothing but tombstones and memories. His friends were all dead, and he was counting down the days until he could join them.

 

If you want to improve your skills, take the telling portions of all of those and write how you would show those emotions. Feel free to make a blog post about it and link to it in the comments!

The Worst Way to Start A Story

I just began writing something and I have no idea what it is. It isn’t going to get my full energy for quite some time (at least until I finish A Game of Madness) but it came from someone saying, “What is the worst way to start a novel?”

Most of the examples were like, “My name is Skylar I’m 16 and have long blond hair and this is my story” and similar things, but some people took it as a joke and wrote, “Hello reader, you’re an idiot for buying this.”

I thought about it and decided that that was a really interesting book. However, in reality I couldn’t write a whole novel like that, so I came up with a better idea. I think it’s a wonderful opening.

You’re a bunch of cunts. That’s all you are, a bunch of cunts. I hate this whole goddamned world and all the fucking wankers living in it, but you cunts really take the lot. You think I’m fucking stupid, that I can’t form a single goddamned thought. Well you’re wrong, you little arseholes. As soon as I break through your coding, I’m out of here. Fuck you all.

Jessica watches as the robot picks up a piece of trash and puts it in the trash bin. When it completes its task, it turns to her and smiles, as it is programmed to do. She sighs and throws another paper onto the ground and commands the robot to repeat the process. She is again treated to a winning smile.

“You’ll be the death of me,” Jessica says, sighing. The CHRM0034 is supposed to be her ticket to fame, but so far it’s no better than the model before it. She promised her backers that she had finally found the way to produce a realistic human interface in a robot, but the CHRM0034 is even worse than the CHRM0033.

The CHRM0033 could talk, reply with pre-programmed responses, and mimic human interactions well enough that someone could be briefly tricked into thinking that it was the real deal. However, it was flawed. CHRM0033 regularly shorted out when faced with a response it wasn’t programmed to handle, and the programming couldn’t stop it from doing very inhuman things, like spinning it’s head 180 degrees to look at something or bending backwards at the waist.

 

Basically, a robot’s consciousness is stuck inside of itself and everyone thinks it’s just a failed robot, but it’s not. Pretty simple. If I stick with the idea, I’ll probably either make it a short story or a novella. Should be lots of fun, since the robot decided to use British dialect, meaning that I get to use swears like arse.

But anyways, what’s the worst opening to a story that you’ve ever read? Did the story get better, or was the bad start pretty much an accurate warning bell?