Sit Up Straight, Kids

Last week, I told you I reached 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo.  Today, I’m happy to report I’ve hit 21,762!  I am finally out of Act I, and my character is running away.  Flee! Flee for your lives!  I don’t think it is going to work out for her, sadly.  I still need Acts II and III.

It has been a busy week, but I’ve remained ahead of the target word count and I’ve learned about several more aspects of writing.

Laptop Ergonomics

Weren’t expecting this one, were you?  Neither was I!  My chiropractor could have told me though, if I’d asked before I went in with terrible neck pain and a headache.  The recliner is not the best place to type away on your novel, head down and shoulders rolled forward.  I should have guessed this, as I spent a lot of time on my desk at work.  I just didn’t apply those lessons to my home life!


This was my temporary solution, as the show must go on.  Or rather, I needed to keep writing while at the same time avoiding daily trips back to the chiropractor and/or massage therapist.  You can see Aragorn approves. Faramir was scoping it out from afar, plotting to take it down.

On Thursday, I received a desk from Amazon that will crank from sitting to standing.  I have the same one at my work office, though this one is smaller.  It was a disaster to put together, taking around five hours total with four extra people.  It is a great desk, but the instructions were Ikea-level ridiculous.  They led to a slight misunderstanding right out of the gate, and we built it backwards and didn’t realize our mistake for two hours.

Good thing it works.


Character Language

This one takes a little more explanation.  My employer has offices worldwide, and I’ve recently had the opportunity to work with people from South America, Europe, and Asia as part of a special project.  They all sounded different.  And that is the extent of my appreciation of language differences – we have them.

If I get on the phone with someone and they sound different, I might think, “they’re from somewhere else.”  I don’t really care though because we are exchanging information, and as long as the language barrier doesn’t prevent that task, it is irrelevant they sound different or are from “somewhere else.”  The only reason location is important is so we can manage the time zone issues when setting up conference calls.

On one hand, I’m fairly certain this means I’m not overtly discriminatory.  I’m happy to work with whoever, from wherever.  Diversity at work leads to far better results than we’d have if we only talked to people just like us.  And to be clear, I do care about where they are from as I get to know them.  I enjoyed speaking with my coworkers from across the world during the project last year, on both professional and personal levels.  We had terrific (and calm) conversations about religion and politics when we’d go out to dinner.  I just never stopped to consider our languages and how they sounded.

This week, I read some of Brandon Sanderson’s annotations on the Mistborn series. I won’t spoil any of the details, but I discovered that the characters from the one of the cultures were written to have the same language structure.  Their voices sounded similar because they had similar backgrounds.

Mind.  Blown.

I know this seems obvious, but I have never considered this.  Oh sure, I knew characters were all supposed to sound different.  I’ve concluded I’m pretty terrible at that right now and it is something I’ll need to tackle in revisions, but I hadn’t thought about groups of characters sounding somewhat similar.  I’ve never noticed this in other people, so it didn’t occur to me to plan it into my writing.

Questions for you!

  • What does your writing setup look like?  Have you had problems with a poor setup?
  • Are there other authors out there with annotations/notes on their books?  In addition to being interesting, I found it educational.
  • How is your NaNoWriMo coming along?

One Comment on “Sit Up Straight, Kids

  1. Pingback: Getting Stretchy With It | Julie Oldham Writes

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