Today marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a novel of 50,000 words over the course of November. That’s approximately 1,667 words a day. I might not seem like much at first, but once you get into it, it’s a lot! Of course, I hear that as you get toward the middle of the month it isn’t so bad. Anyway, I have my outline to help me.
When I decided to join NaNoWriMo this year, I saw that there were regional message boards you could check in on. One of the message boards had a questionnaire to fill out to introduce yourself to other NaNoWriMo participants in your area. Following, you will find my NaNoWriMo questionnaire giving a little information about myself and my writing habits among other things. I hope you enjoy this look into my process!
1. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE US TO CALL YOU?
I don’t really have a preference. My writer name is J Courtney Wilkerson, my first name is Jason. So you can call me Jason or J. I used to be in a metal band, and my stage name there was Whitey McWhite (because I was a black lead singer doing metal) and there are still people who don’t know me by any other name than Whitey. In high school I had a plethora of nicknames: J-1, Uncle Jemima, Shaft Jr., etc. Of course, a lot of that came from being the only black dude in a white school.
I don’t eat cereal, but when I did I liked Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
It depends on what’s available. If I walk into an ice cream shop for a waffle cone, I’ll take cookies and cream. Otherwise I always go with Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream from Ben & Jerry’s.
Right now I’m really into Stephen King, Chuck Pahlaniuk, Elmore Leonard, and Roddy Doyle. I also absolutely love J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
At the time that I’m writing this, I’m not wearing shoes. I prefer not to be wearing shoes if I can help it.
I think a bluish green. Mainly because those were the first colors to pop into my head and both blue and green popped up at the same time. I couldn’t decide so I mixed them together.
I would say summer, but I never seem to write as much as I want to during the summer. Of course, the places I want to write are better for writing in the summer. Autumn is when I have the best ideas though.
Pip from Great Expectations. He might have had it hard early on in life, but he had a rich benefactor later in life. Sure he couldn’t get the love of his life, but I’d like to think I wouldn’t make the same mistake of wasting so much time pining for a girl I knew I couldn’t have.
9. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Football and football. Well, I guess I should say American football and football. If you still don’t like that then football and soccer. I’m a fan of the Florida Gators and Wisconsin Badgers in college football, Green Bay Packers in the NFL, and Manchester City in soccer.
I’m watching a movie right now, but the last couple of albums I listened to were Collapsible Lung by Relient K and War by U2. I’ve been on a major rock n’ roll and alternative rock kick lately, listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind, U2, later Relient K, early Weezer, Oasis, Black Lab, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc.
When I’m writing I prefer to listen to Nine Inch Nails. I find the creepy vibe really works for me.
I’m currently watching the Irish film Intermission starring Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, and Cillian Murphy (back when the only part he was known for in the US was 28 Days Later). Before tonight I had finally gotten my wife to watch The Hunger Games so that was the last movie I had seen in its entirety prior to writing this.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, however, I haven’t really been reading it since the semester picked up. Since then I’ve read excerpts of Jesus’ Son, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and The Graduate.
I don’t have a desk top computer or a desk, so I don’t have a mouse pad.
Probably coffee, beer, and whiskey.
My handwriting is pretty atrocious, if I wait too long to type what I write I can often forget what I had written down and I’m unable to translate it. I do like handwriting at times, stories as I feel the writing by hand leads to a more organic story, but because of the way I hold writing utensils (pens and pencils) I find it cumbersome because of hand cramps. So for NaNo I’ll be largely typing out my story.
This will only be the second time. The first time I didn’t make it past a week, but this year I’m working on my outline over October so I know exactly what I’m doing throughout the month.
I’m typically a short story writer, so I know exactly what I’m doing prior to writing. Often I come across news stories that lead me to consider how a character sees a certain issue, or I think of how I feel about issues and I take those issues and figure out how to turn them into stories. Even using forms such as satire to make them into stories can help me usher my thoughts into something coherent that I and my audience can understand.
I have what I think is a great plot and idea, which is why I decided to participate in NaNo this year. Novels aren’t typically my ideal form of communication as a writer, so I decided this was the year to really work toward it. After communicating with a small group of writers and friends, I feel very confident in this idea.
I really like to write at the beach in Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee or the Beer Garden in Estabrook. The problem with those places is there’s too much stimulation, so I end up watching people more than writing. I really enjoy writing in my basement as well. There’s very little stimulation down there and I usually have my cat, Maggie, for company.