Monday, December 28, 2009

Metaphorical Navigation

I let things slide during Christmas because I had so much to prepare for, but now I'm back.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone! I hope it's good for you.

I learned awhile back that people who rate websites think one of the worst layouts a website can have is to have metaphorical navigation. This peaked my interest so I poked around.

Metaphorical navigation is when, instead of normal underlined text or buttons to click on, the various links to other places in the site (or other websites) are objects or pictures.

I personally love those sites and think they're awesome but I guess they get a bad rep for taking a long time to load. And for sometimes being tricky to figure out which object leads to what. (Does clicking on the magnifying glass take me to a page about Scotland Yard or to a handy search engine?)

This leads me to three things:

1. The best metaphorical navigation site I've seen is this one. You've probably heard of the Ology series books which are known for thinking outside the box and being creative with layouts. Their website is no exception.

2. As long as I'm talking about Ology books, I have an upcoming project I want to show you all. It's been a lot of fun and I've wanted so badly to tell you about it but it was a Christmas gift for three people who read this blog regularly so I've had to keep quiet until now. I won't go into details yet, but this project was inspired mostly by the Ology books and a few others. If you haven't checked them out yet, and if you're in a tough spot creatively, they just might add the extra creative juice you've been needing. Hint.

3. When making outlines for novel writing, we are all trying to navigate our own story. Figuring out where the plot goes, where the characters go, etc. So why not make a metaphorical navigation? I've begun outlining one of my WIPs using Photoshop, but a large piece of paper and some colorful pens could work too. Take a look at this for some idea of how it could be done. I've never tried this before so I don't know if it will help, but it sure looks like a lot of fun.

Happy Writing Everyone!

PS Do you have any New Year's Resolutions, writing related or no?

Altered Journals

So about this secret project I've been working on...

I found some nice, cheap, journals where the binding was a little too wide for the pages it contained. For my purposes, this was perfect.

I've been a fan and connoisseur of Origami and Kirigami for a long time. (Also Scherenschnitte.) I wanted to combine these with my love for journals and books with unique layouts.

After reading about altered books, I decided it was time to make some altered journals. I hope someday to have an actual plot line linking all the doo-dads together. For now I'll leave that up to the people I'm giving them to. But I have an outline written and a few character sketches for such a plot. And even though it will be a kid's adventure storybook, I'm hoping it will also capture the attention of the adults in my life.

I made this journal out of old wallpaper samples and printer paper for my younger brother.


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Special Person's Near-relation

Sorry for the unannounced unplugged two-weeks but I needed to take a small breather after NaNoWriMo.

I've been thinking a lot about titles this past week. There's a particular kind of title that I think almost has its own genre. Or brand. Or some sort of categorization because they all sound similar. And they're all just as intriguing.

The first one I heard about was "The Time Traveler's Wife". I thought it was a great title and it's on my to read list. Then I read this article in Publisher's Weekly about trend spotting, and one of the comments listed other books with similar title structure: The Zookeeper's Wife, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and my favorite, The Grave Digger's Daughter.

I have to admit that if I had known about all of those books, I probably would have found the trend annoying. But it sat in my mind long enough as a unique thing that I still like it. (Note: I haven't read any of these, nor have I seen The Time Traveler's Wife movie. Based on what I've read in reviews I don't think I'll go see it. Too much nudity for me.)

Got a creative twist on the formula? I'm excited to hear what you might come up with. Post in the comments what might make an intriguing title with "The Special Person's Near-Relation".

My contributions:

The Hacker's Daughter


The Florist's Wife

I think one reason these titles seem so intriguing to me is in three or four words, it introduces two characters and a relationship between those characters. The relationship immediately sounds mysterious and worth reading about. It begs the question from my reader's mind, "What about the Hacker's Daughter? Why is this relationship important enough to be in a title? It must be adventurous."

Edited: Wow. I totally wrote this post and then read my regular blogs again, and found this post by Cindy. Hehe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And it's over...or just beginning

NaNoWriMo is done and I'm proud to say this is my first time finishing with 50k words! I did it! I made it! I am very thankful.

Final word count: 51,886

My original goal at the beginning was 100k. I knew it was ambitious. Even though I didn't reach my personal goal, I feel accomplished in a small way knowing that I did better than I did last year.

I think that will always be my true goal for NaNoWriMo: write more words than I did the previous year. (Of course, if I get a fluke year and write 200k, that goal will probably stop and I'll make it more realistic.)

Congratulations to everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo! And an extra applause for those who wrote 50k or more by the deadline.

I'd like to hear a short synopsis about your NaNoWriMo experience. A synopsis of how you get into your writing groove, what your favorite part about NaNoWriMo is, or even a synopsis of the novel you wrote during November.

Also, what did you do the day after NaNoWriMo?
I promptly started another story. I don't know why. It sounded like a fun thing to do.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Praise the Lord for His incredible blessings. This year I am most thankful for my fiance and the way the Lord has brought us together.