N is for NaNoWriMo Survey

Technically, this is supposed to be a 30-day meme, but I’m cheating and treating it as a survey. I found it on Tumblr. Here goes…

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? If so, which years and what end result? If not (or even if so, for that matter), what’s your connection to writing? Why do you want to participate this year?

I’ve participated since 2008, and I’ll probably participate again this year, though I can’t be sure. November is quite a long way off.

What’s the title of your story? Why did you choose the name you did?

For Camp NaNo, my story’s called SAMSON. I have this thing where I name my stories after male biblical characters, and I try to include a biblical allegory in them. So that’s the rationale for that.

Pick one of your female characters. Introduce your readers to her, from her point of view and her words only.

I spent years being thoughtless. I hurt people, I used people, and I never really thought about it that deeply because when I tried to, it hurt me. But I guess now is the time to think about everything. About mistakes I made in high school. About Shiv. College and how going there felt like a victory for me. My family and how I failed them.

Most of all, music.

When I came down to Jekuvia from Sylva, I saw my past life flutter in front of my eyes like it was on a movie reel, maybe with a sad country song playing in the background. Maybe the Dixie Chicks song about the girl who leaves home for the first time. That’s definitely what I felt like… but the upbeat sound of the song doesn’t work. It’s not exactly… sad.

I can’t exactly meet my old dream. It’s been buried in the ground, ever since the incident with Shiv.

-the words of Virginia Whittaker

What genre is your novel? Why did you pick it?

I don’t think it even has a genre, to be honest. It’s half-romance, half-supernatural, half-horror, half-soap opera. I call it an experiment, and I picked it because I’m no good at sticking with one genre.

Name two songs from your playlist that you feel are connected with your novel in some way, and explain how they are.

“My Eyes” – Nero (Because it has a creepy vibe to it. I saw an AMV for it and fell in love.)

“Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” – Skrillex (The last minute or so of the song basically sums up what the entire story is about.)

What is your one biggest stressor related to forcing yourself to write at least 50,000 words in a span of 30 days?

Work. ‘Nuff said.

Where’s your favorite place to hunker down and write?

My bedroom – the only place I really write.

List your current, most up-to-date word count. Are you satisfied with your progress thus far?

It’s currently sitting at 20,519. I haven’t written today, so it’ll hopefully go up some more tonight. So far I’ve exceeded my expectations; I thought I’d be very far behind.

Have you told anyone else you’re doing NaNo this year? Who? What was their reaction?

I don’t tell anyone unless they ask. I hate talking about my writing… except on the Internet, obviously.

How does your love of writing manifest in non-NaNo months?

I’m constantly writing something, whether it be a NaNo novel or not. And I read. Always read.

Ever tried collaborative writing (such as play-by-post roleplaying)? If so, what do you think of it?

I’m not a fan of roleplaying. At all. Collaborative writing can be good sometimes, but only if you have a co-writer you can work well with.

Imagine you’re behind in your word count goals (even if you’re not) and are going to pull an all-nighter to catch up. Screencap a playlist of inspirational music you would use to get you up to speed.

I have my playlist… full of creepy songs that give me nightmares.

Name a male character from your novel. Describe him through the point of view and words of the female character you introduced in question 3.

Murray is one of those guys who will never grow up. He’s stuck in the land of games, mostly card games like poker. All that poker playing gave him a sarcastic demeanor and a dislike for meaningless small talk. He looks younger than he is, with that mischievous grin, those small features. I told myself I’d never fall for a guy like him, but somehow I did. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened.

Is the sexuality of your characters a large part of your novel’s story? If so, are there characters who deviate from the heterosexual “norm”? In what way?

Yes, but they’re all heterosexuals in this particular one. Well, except for Liam, who is gay, but he doesn’t come into the story much.

Do any of your characters have a disability or mental illness? If so, how does that affect their development throughout your story?

Aeron. I don’t know exactly what his issues are, but they definitely affect him and make him especially vulnerable to Rachel (my villain).

What else do you have going on in your life (work, school, children, neurotic pets, etc.), and just how much are you shafting it to win NaNo?

Work. Family. My boyfriend. Pets. My best friend. I’m actually managing to keep a balance. It’s weird.

In what time period is your novel set? Is it in this world or another?

It starts in January 2012, in a fictional town called Jekuvia where paranormal activity sometimes occurs.

Who is the antagonist in your novel? What drives their actions?

Rachel. She is confused, lost, and vindictive. Memories of her sordid past drive her to try and change her life, but she can’t break out of the rut she fell into, thus she pulls everyone else she meets into it. Misery loves company.

Which authors or books have inspired your own writing the most, and why?

William Faulkner and Stephen King. Why? Because they write beautifully and the things they write resonate with me.

If you could meet one fictional character from any book you’ve ever read, who would it be, and why?

Hmm… John Aversin from Dragonsbane (Barbara Hambly). He’s awesome.

What are your plans and goals for your novel, should you successfully complete it?

Eh, revision, I suppose. But I tend to get stuck in the doldrums of revision.

If you’ve participated in or won NaNo before, what happened to your other novel efforts? Still in the revision process/querying publishers/scrapped it immediately/etc.

Still revising. See above answer.

Do animals play any part in your story? If so, how do they add to it?

I rarely include animals. DAVID had animals as major players in it, but I was never a big fan of that story.

Is religion featured in your novel at all? If so, which ones? If it’s/they’re your own creations, describe it/them and how it/they play(s) a part in your characters’ lives.

Yes – Catholicism. I could never make up my own fictional religion. That kind of worldbuilding is out of my league.

What are the names of at least two of your main characters? How did you choose their names?

Shelley Damon – She’s a bit of a bitch, so her name has “hell” in it, and “Damon” sounds like “demon.”

Virginia Whittaker – I liked the sound of the name Virginia, and I wanted something that conveyed the concept of purity. “Whittaker” is the name of a street in my town.

Was any research involved (historical or otherwise) in your NaNo prep?


Are you satisfied with your progress or panicked that you won’t have enough time to finish by November 30?

I’m satisfied. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to finish. I have weekends now, so that’s a good thing.

Name one thing you shafted all month in favor of participating in NaNo.

Nothing. Well, needless procrastination.

Name one thing in which you indulged as a treat to keep yourself motivated and writing that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.

I don’t do motivational treats. I never really have. Don’t know why, though. Maybe if I finish, I’ll get one of those Starbucks frappuccino thingies.

Share a link to either your NaNo profile or a location on the internet where your story can be found. If someone offered to beta read for you, would you be willing to do the same for them during the subsequent editing process?

Beta reading gives me the heebie-jeebies. I cringe when others read my work… I don’t volunteer it often. But I like reading others’ work. My Camp NaNo profile is here.

2 thoughts on “N is for NaNoWriMo Survey

  1. You’ve very nearly sold me on NaNoWriMo. One of these years I’ll do it. Mostly it’s the timing – I’m usually in the middle of writing or revising a project & don’t want to break for something new.

    Also, I’d love to know what’s on your playlist. I love creepy songs. Did you ever look into more Florence + the Machine? “Seven Devils” on her Ceremonials album is incredible.


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