Thursday, November 27, 2014

NaNoWriMo Feature: Dianna Muircast

NaNoWriMo is coming to a close. For some, it's time to validate those 50k (or more!). For's frantic scribble scrabble time to reach that humongous goal!

This week's NaNoWriMo feature is author Dianna Muircast, who you can see in the photo accompanied by an adorable ball of floof. :-)

You can follow Dianna on Twitter @DiannaMuircast and check our her NaNoWriMo profile.

You take it from here, Dianna!

Is this your first time participating in NaNoWriMo? What's your project?

I attempted this last year, because I had an image of a baby unicorn standing at a pool of water after a storm, but it all went flat, and I gave up after a few paragraphs. This year, I wanted to try again. I still had the picture of the unicorn, but it walked away as I wrote, getting replaced with a vision of a kind of scary world I hadn't foreseen, a world that supposedly has no religion, and is very controlled.

Basically many people in the world are blind, or they are very good at faking it. No one uses their eyes obviously, except, possibly for what I call the weather-people, but even that is not known for certain. Weather-people can predict the weather, and they claim to speak to Nature or to other gods. Their predictions, however, are not as accurate as people could wish, and so they are often mocked. My character has gotten exiled--her term--to go care for them. (Except I haven't gotten her there yet! She is on a moving train, an hour away from there. Wherever there is. I still haven't worked that out, either!)

How are you approaching NaNo? Are you in the midst of a writing frenzy, or do you have a carefully thought-out plan?

I just decided to write, write, write. I didn't think I would need an outline, so I didn't bother making one.

Have you learned anything from this experience so far? Is there any advice you would like to share with other NaNoWriMoers?

Next time, I am going to write out some ideas, at least, or notes that I can refer to if I need to. It might help. As for advice, the process of crafting is fun, but don't let the word count or lack of words in a given day depress you. As I often say to people on twitter, if you wrote some words that day, even if you did not meet your goal, you're that many number of words ahead. So don't beat yourself up over it! The trick is remembering my own advice! :) Also, remember that whatever we write this month is likely not going to be perfect. I am not entirely pleased with what I wrote, because I added more descriptions in some places and short-shrifted descriptions in others. Also, I have some run-ons. And all for word count. But the good thing is, that if it's a good enough story you'll want to look at it again in December, take a few deep breaths, and revise. And if you decide you don't want to do that, it's OK! :)

Finally, here's an excerpt from Dianna's current NaNo project. Go, Dianna!

It started with a storm. Not a dark and stormy night, but a sunlight-filled thunder-and-lightning day storm. Of course, there wasn't much warning, unless you paid attention to the weather-people.

Weather-people are ... special. They come in all ages and sizes, and they claim they can predict when storms will happen. The trouble is that not many of us believe them. Some people say they aren't entirely sane, you see, and can't be trusted to care for themselves, let alone predict the weather. But their carers believe in them and take good care to keep them alive and comfortable. Weather-people can use their eyes, too. Fully. The rest of us can't. Or don't. I'm not sure which it is. Well I know I don't use my eyes, but they say the weather-people do.

Myself, I'm not sure what to believe. Yes, I have to admit they've been accurate. They've even predicted stuff that the meteoroligists totally discounted. what I don't understand or trust is how they do what they do.

If you talk to one of them--and I have managed it with great difficulty!--they speak of hearing from Nature herself. Some even say they have seen her. Which is not supposed to happen. Ever. Gods, if there ever were any, were banned from this world a loooong time ago. You can't even talk about them now without risking ... Well, we don't know what we are risking, but gods? Religion of any sort? Dead. Non-existen. That’s the law.

But no one believes what weather-people say, or no one takes them seriously, except for their carers, and the few who do pay attention and listen. Reporters will ask a Carer for a statement on what a certain weather-person has said about upcoming weather, and if it sounds good, they'll put it under a large headline. You know what I mean. ON a clear day: WEATHER-PERSON SAMANTHA PREDICTS LARGE TIDAL WAVE THIS AFTERNOON AT 3:00.

It happens, but not in our area, somewhere else, and no one hears of any disasterous consequences, so she's laughed at. Mocked. Ridiculed. Used to prove that once again such people, while they should be allowed to live in the hopes of producing more sane offspring, should not be taken seriously. Which I find to be problematic. It's not like Samantha, or any of them, can help being the way they ar.

The paper was on my screen as soon as I woke up the morning of the storm. It always is on my screen when I wake up, because I always glance there first thing to get the time, weather, and a look at the headlines. I understand "glance" used to mean you used your eyes to "see" stuff. These days I reach out with my fingers and the screen is there, with Braille on it and I read it. Or I have it spoken aloud and listen at a fast speed. That morning, I was feeling especially irritable and didn't want to work with Braille, so I ordered the thing to speak to me, and quickly.

"Good morning, Tina," the voice said. "Today's weather is sunny with a high of ninety degrees, but it will be snowing by nightfall ..."

I only half-listened. Such radical temperature change was no news to me anymore. I was used to the extremes by then and didn't really care, because I knew there would be enough fuel to keep me going for the rest of the week. And beyond. I was over my ration, but who was to know or care in this bleak city?

Yes, I said bleak. Sure, the sun was shining, but it was very hot outdoors, and the air felt heavy. No one wanted to talk as I made my way to my office. And for all that the place was bleak, I felt oddly cheerful. I *wanted* to talk to people, but no one else was talking beyond the bare "Morning" and "Where to?" so I kept my thoughts to myself. It's dangerous to say too much, or to not conform to what's going on around you. It's been like that for as long as I can remember.

I got to my office. The building was air-conditioned today. I was surprised. Normally, the computers have their own air-conditioning units, but we humans aren't so lucky.

My, my! I would certainly keep working on these ominous "weather-people" because they sound very interesting! Don't worry about working out the details because you have all the time in the world to get that straight. ;-)

Thank you so very much for participating in the NaNoWriMo features, Dianna! It was great having you here and good luck in these (hectic) final days!

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