Better Late than Never

Tina Here!

Sorry about that lack in post on Wednesday. It was my day and although everyone around me has said, “Why don’t you pre-write the posts?” Well, I am an authentic writer. I like to write something that is relevant to what is going on with me at the time. However, this leads to some of the same issues we just had. I was bogged down with Doctor appointments of various kinds on Wednesday, which is also my Pathfinder game night where I am the DM, and it was the last day of the week for my online school to turn in work for that week. So I thought, ehh, I will be a day late. NOPE! My life had plans.

One of the greatest things that has happened this year was the meeting of my amazing friend Gen. She is a freaking god send. She loves the same stuff I do, she is right on key with goals and life goals. She is, as one of my favorite books Anne of Green Gables, would say, my bosom friend. Someone that it seems like my life was never whole without. She understands me, she listens and I love her to pieces. Gen has, above everything else she has done for me, inspired me to follow my dreams of owning my own cafe. A dream I have held in my heart since middle school. The reason she comes up now is because yesterday she came over to work on homework with me and we got sidetracked and started talking about my plans for a cafe again. She started asking me some really tough questions about funding and where I was going to get the money for start up and such and it got us cooking on how to make this thing really happen.

So, I would like to introduce Keyboard Crafts. My new craft Etsy store. I am working on finishing up things like logos and other set ups, but I will be crafting for my cafe, using the money I make to fund my dreams. I enjoy making all kinds of crafts, from crocheting cute little dolls, to making notebooks, soaps and custom designed shirts. So keep an eye out for that stuff and a link to the store to come up soon.

In other news, I am now in my 4th Term of school! I have almost finished my first year!!!!! I am so freaking excited and can’t wait to look back at everything I have done and use it as fuel anytime I start feeling low. I got this! We got this! YOU got this! Let’s go make stuff happen!

In which Kris wants to, but can’t yet, roleplay on the table.

Kris here,

Recently I thought about how cool a few different concepts would be if put into a tabletop RPG. I’ve also been playing a lot of Pathfinder, totally unrelated.

Well, one thing led to another and here I am in the midst of writing up the plans for my own RPG type game to play with my adorable wife Tina. I’m calling it Dads and Dragons, or D&D for short. It’ll be smooth sailing if I ever decide to publish it and become rich and famous I’m sure.

One thing I’ve never really thought about was how easy it was to make one of these games. Those game designers really have it made nowadays don’t they? It’s like making a pie for your company picnic only they tell you an hour before the picnic that you’re actually making 15 pies and you have no oven and your career rests upon this pie. But also, seriously props to those D&D and Pathfinder folks and all the other variants out there making these games up. Even if you have stellar ideas for what you want it to play like, there are thousands of tiny rules that will only be invoked once in a basement on a drunken idea. But you have to solidify all the tiny details if you want everything to flow smoothly.

As an example, in my local ring of players we have a few different types. One, we’ll call her wife for anonymity, loves playing finicky characters who are more about the “RP” part of the game and less about the “fictional murder” bits. As IF! Then there’s the polar opposite, let’s use codename Watson for him. His guys are always like blah blah okay yeah yeah gotcha…okay I attack the gazebo. You can’t attack the gazebo! “Well I need to kill something or my character goes into withdrawls.”

So far I’ve got prototype character sheets drawn up and some prototype scenarios played out on paper just to test the numbers a bit. I think by the time I’m retiring I definitely should have enough to post in the blog sometime too. I was going to do it this week, but we’ve had a few distractions getting suspended from school and I definitely think it’s worth putting the fun and games on the back-burner to resolve first!

If I’m lucky, you’ll all be so out of breath from yelling “NEEERRRRRRRD” the whole time that you won’t resist and you’ll just accept what I give you.

NaNo-more please my fingers are bleeding.

Tina here,

So with that grim title I am here to share with you all my outlook on this the day after what should be the Halfway mark of NaNoWriMo. Meaning we should have 25k words written into our projects.

However, I am working on an existing project so I should have 75k and Kris is well, Kris is Kris. He has been working so hard on his project and I am so proud of him for all the challenges he has overcome. The biggest one being him asking me to read over his last writing session to see if what he wrote sounds good or if it makes me think of fire and death. He laughed at me last year for asking him each day to review my work. Stating firmly that he would review it once I had finished with it… here we are two years later and I am still writing. However, now I feel no need to show him any of the work!

It has been fun to see him get excited about creating and moving his story along, and don’t tell him but I have been reading it each day and watching what he adds. He is building a beautiful story that I am now racing to try and beat with my own story! I can’t allow him to finish his own novel before mine is done now can I?!

Another funny thing that Kris and I discovered yesterday as we were talking was that it was amusing to us that the stories we are writing is not even what his world was created for, meaning that he created that world to tell a story that neither one of us has even touched. He is so in love with the idea of the story that he cringes anytime I bring up the idea of storyboarding it or working it out on paper. I had wondered if he just needed a push and that was why I started my story.

Now this year he is writing a story that is something completely different than what he wanted to start with but we are both so entranced with the story that neither of us mind. I just thought it would be funny that in a few years we have a few books out in this world and at a Q&A we get asked about why we started writing in the same world and the response would be because of a story that they have never heard of!

Any way, I have been mostly rambling, but since Nov 1 I have gotten really good at doing that for the word count. Don’t forget to backup your current projects and keep on writing!

How we Outline

Howdy ya’ll Tina here again! You know what that means. I am just sooo much cooler than Kris. I get to say that because I can. HA!

So because thinking up a blog post on the fly is OH so much fun, I am proud to present you with, Our outlines for NaNoWriMo! This is my second year doing it, but I am kinda cheating because I don’t want to start a brand new novel, I am going to do 50,000 more words on the novel I worked on last year! And this will be Kristopher’s first year doing it so he is a fresh new little baby into the whole NaNo world. He is aiming for weekly goals and as he says, isn’t wholly aiming for 50,000 so much as for writing every week on a story.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the brain farts and dumps that we do when we were getting ready to get started!

Let’s start with me first since Kris still hasn’t sent me his pictures yet.

Binder
I have a Binder for Each of my Projects
Acts
Each Manuscript has it broken down into Acts
Blocks
Which is then broken down into 3 blocks
Scenes
Further broken down into 3 scenes

So, When I break it down like this I find it much easier to focus myself on what I am writing at that moment. I make notes on each scene as to what I plan to do within that scene and expand it with my beautiful words. Taking in those tiny little strings of thought and turning them into big fat bottomed thoughts of filled goodness. I push to have about 500-1000 words per scene but tend to end up with more.

So in that image you can see my ideas for each Scene on that Block. Then I included pictures of the word count for each of them to show you that I tend to go a bit more heavy handed in words. I enjoy adding detail, and I can always cut it out later if I need to.  Here are some extra pictures from my project I thought you might like to see.

Project Statistics
Here are some stats from my projects
Full break down
And here is just a full view of more of my acts.

Now, Kris does things a little more wonky….

Now I apologize for the blurriness and crazy tones in the pictures, that was my fault. However, you can see, Kris likes to lay out a bubble plot where he has lines that connect in various ways. How did he say it again? *shuffling papers around, flinging post-it notes here and there* AH! here it is, “double lines are plot progression, single lines or connected bubbles are relevant or progressing ideas”.

There you have it. He included several pictures of his more detailed outlines where he has it more neatly laid out but I thought the bubbles were the cooler part of that whole process.  He has pushed himself so far and I am so proud of him. I have really enjoyed getting to brainstorm with him about ideas for both of our stories since they both take place in the same world. He is even going to have one of my main plot points show up in his book for like a few seconds. *girly sequel* How romantic is that! Well, Until next time Keyboard Couple readers!

 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Place!

 

*Groovy bat symbol spiny sound*

NaNoWriMo – Huh?

Howdy Lovely people! Tina here!

Sorry I am like super late getting a post out to you all. I have been in the down and outs with some pains and visits to the hospital but I am kicking butt and taking names now.

Starting with getting ready for Nanowrimo.

What? Podcast you say? Ohhh…uh well you see, we don’t quite have the funding to go full podcast mode on our site. So that is just something we will have to wait on and maybe look at making it a youtube video podcast or something. We are still thinking about it.

Anywhodal, I wanted to make our first podcast about Nanowrimo, which is short for National Novel writing month. Which is every November where writers pledge to write 50,000 words on a manuscript or just in general. So I guess technically our blogs can count too!

I took part last year and hit my goal of 50,000 words on my very first novel which was then put in a holding pattern as I hem and hawed over it. I have been working on it on and off around the year but now I am going to add 50,000 more words to the story. I have already outlined the next half and have talked Kris into working on it with me. He is reluctantly going to attempt to do some kind of writing.

So, because I have done NaNoWriMo before and won, I was looking around for some print outs to add to my binder of crap I need to do everyday. However, I saw a huge lack of 2017 printable things. So, I offer up to you all my super simple, black and white, no frills no fuss no muss NaNoWriMo printable for 2017 for Free! I hope you can find use for them and that they help you on your own journey too!

Link for Printable here.

(It is a Google Doc link so you can download it in whatever format floats your boat!)

Also, you can sign up to take part and track your words in NaNoWriMo at their website here.

Good luck everyone and I will talk to you all soon!

Creatively Speaking

Howdy all, Tina here.

Kris and I have been talking about it and we would like to let you all know that we are planning to start a podcast. We want it to be a more personalized voice to our whatever we end up making our blog post about that week.

Now, so much has happened. We got decent mics so that we would sound less horrible and we both have been doing research into what type of podcasts out there might be similar to ours. We talked about format and how we would upload it. For now we are working on getting an Apple ID, Google Play and others to post the podcast too. For now it might just be via a link in the blog post to our youtube page.

“Tina, what will you guys talk about?”

Psh, what won’t we talk about?!

Politics… I don’t wanna talk politics, because that requires much more research and dedication to time sinking activities that I just frankly don’t want to do.

Other than that, EVERYTHING. Science, parenting, school, writing, crafting, cooking, you freaking name it and we are willing to try it out. I want to do a weekly update about our life then just jump into whatever topic we are doing that week.

“What if I don’t want to listen to your soft, honey smooth voices?”

That’s fine… I guess. We will still be posting a weekly blog, the podcast will just be supplemental to it.

“Will you talk about my (INSERT PRODUCT/PROJECT HERE)?”

Sure, but we are going to be honest. That’s just who we are. I don’t want my name attached to an idea that I don’t support. But you wanna talk about your book. Want us to talk about your podcast? Meh, why not!

Also, for those of you who didn’t know we do have a twitter, @keyboardcouple . Tweet us a tweet. Well, thank you all for listening and I can’t wait for you all to hear from us soon!

In which Kris supports supporting characters

 

Kris here,

Tina’s been pressuring me to write some stuff recently because she thinks I’m “lazy” even though playing Minecraft is technically writing I’m just saying. We’ve also had Zack down for a few weeks to visit, and between hanging out with the kids, working and keeping the house tidy, I’ve done basically zero writing in the last six weeks. So she’s probably right. Tina also recently said “hey Kris there’s this thing where a bunch of people want to write 52 short stories in 52 weeks let’s go!” and I spit my coffee all over myself. A short story a week?!

So I’ve been setting the backbones for a bunch of short stories recently and in doing so, I notice my protagonists generally seem to be non-heroic or not the main character if you will. It’s a bit interesting so I actually got sidetracked for a while just looking at other stories to see if it’s just because that’s what I’ve read or if I’m subconsciously modeling my writing after someone, but I don’t think so. I’ve got the world I started out of boredom about a year ago that’s stuck with me because I love it (and my wife wrote a 60,000 word novel in it that she almost finished because she doesn’t care about my mental well-being) so naturally my stories are based there – but even when I’m thinking of other ideas, the only type of story that I write the main character as the important person is in horror stories. Nobody is going to be scared if you write:

“and then she received a phone call. It was the police! They said her *related person* was in a car accident and there were ghostly scrapes on the car door!”

That’s..not spooky.

Well maybe those types of stories aren’t interesting and that’s why nobody writes them, but I know I can’t be the only one! I’m thinking of famous big sellers like The Hunger Games (face of a revolution) or Harry Potter (he killed the bad guy as a baby AND an adult); but also the lesser known books too, like one I’ve mentioned previously the Enchanted Forest series (smart princess who’s amazing.) I know a lot of protagonists start as the underdog and then are the hero by the end, but that counts too. I added a story a month or two ago about an innkeeper who was assailed by a bad wizard dude – he’s just a dude trying to get by, then the two magic dudes come fight it out in his inn and burn it to the ground. By the end of the story, he’s still just an innkeeper.

I probably won’t ever make a full-length project out of a supporting character – it would be incredibly frustrating. Even in the story I just mentioned, I was thinking “maybe I should write about this wizard he seems awesome” – I think this sort of thing would be good only as supporting stories or something to tease an audience about how super great the main character for your actual novel is going to be. Each time I set up a short story, it’s a side-person: a kid who needs help with a curse seeking out a witch doctor, an innkeeper getting dragged into an evil wizard plot. This probably stems from the fact that writers are usually notorious for only worldbuilding as much as they actually have to, so I’m always finishing up books like “No! Go back to the swamp why were the snakes on fire! Teell meee!” I’m pretty drawn into side details and background information and I think side-characters are a good way to explore these without detracting from some grand quest to save the world.

Oh man, I got distracted again, there’s no way I’m going to be able to fit 52 short stories in 52 weeks DO THESE PEOPLE NOT HAVE CHILDREN!