Day 18 #NaNowrimo ‘R’ Research without telling a thumper

Research! Research! Research!

I feel like a kid running in circles after eating a ton of sugar. I love searching out information. So much so that I get lost in the mundane and lose my plot line.  Too much information is a hindrance. Too little has the same effect.


Researching your novel helps to add that touch of realism.  Double checking your information will ensure that your readers will not be taken out of your story, due to a  timeline  that doesn’t connect with real timeframes. There is so much information to find, that you should double check sources. Keep a detailed list.

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Finding this information on your own can be overwhelming.
Do an Internet search by using what you want to find, and adding dot org (.org) as the extension. This will pull up government sites, colleges, medical, and everything else. Be very specific with your search it will save you time.

The difficult history of Russian Jews

You don’t want to be pointed out as ‘telling a thumper,’ unless your characters are out of the 1800s. “American Slangisms’ from the NPR history dept.

Nautical Language Here…

Research can take time. Research can be used to find out how you need to protect your rights. Look into them  here… Author Rights

If you are looking for statics of immigration, Homeland Security is where you will find that information.

These are amazing sites with so much information you can get lost. Use your computer and pen and paper to keep on track.


Check out your own local library online resources.

U.S. History: Here 

Internet History HERE

Teaching History

Authors Guild HERE

“Les fossoyeurs se mirent a rechercher la tombe qu’ils avaient préparée.”~
Ben Jelloun, Tahar La nuit sacrée


For images  check out pixabay

Day 17 ‘Q’ Questing plot asking Quem Quaeritis NaNoWriMo

Day 17 ‘Q’

I was stuck in a quagmire of questions. The letter ’Q’ requests from me, Quem Quaeritis (Latin, for “Whom do you seek?”) And a quire. (Medieval manuscript)

I will focus on the quest plot: a goal or a searching for something. The quest will have a group of main characters ‘questing’. Questioning the  ‘who’ and ‘why’.

The main character is incomplete in the real world and doesn’t quite fit in.
That ‘It’ is being searched for and must be extremely important.
Overwhelming obstacles will stand in the way of the main character from getting his/her hands on ‘It’.

The main character changes into a better person by the end or may end in tragedy.

ACT 1: introduce the lead characters and their inner lacking. A lacking that can be corrected by this quest. There must be a lacking in the character.

Example: Lion is a coward (Wizard of Oz) by the end of the story he finds his courage.

ACT 2: Characters suffers setbacks, struggles, conflict- but- the characters struggle on. Dangerous Journeys with physical and internal struggles

ACT 3: The ‘IT” was found. Now, show how everyone has changed.

Here are examples of a Quest plotline:

Beowulf  by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet
Jason & the Argonauts  from Greek mythology
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Raiders of the Lost Ark by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman.
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ( I am currently reading book)
Harry Potter By J.K. Rowling
The Gunslinger By Stephen King
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
A Wizard of Earthsea By Ursula K. Le Guin

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when an action is through. That is all Plot ever should be. It is human desire let run, running, and reaching a goal. It cannot be mechanical. It can only be dynamic.” ― Ray Bradbury-the Zen Writer …

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels foot prints in snow

Day 16 Plot for Nanowrimo letter ‘P’ find your story’s why

This will be a short blog post. A winter cold caught up with me, and my head is aching.


“Let us define a plot. We have defined a story as a narrative of events arranged in their time-sequence. A plot is also a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality. ‘The king died and then the queen died,’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief,’ is a plot. The time sequence is preserved, but the sense of causality overshadows it. Or again: “the queen died, no one knew why, until it was discovered that it was through grief at the death of the king.”— E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

Narrative events. Dramatic action and structure of the story. The basic part of the story holds the ‘who, what, and where’. The plot is the ‘why’ of the story.

Going back to the queen you can read all the information showing you ‘who’ she was? The queen.

And where does she live, – in the castle

And what’s going on in her life?  Her husband just died.

I wonder why he died?  And, why did she die of grief?

Photo by Alain Frechette from Pixels

The curiosity of those ‘whys’ has the story moving along on its crisis, conflict, and the set up to the plot.


The plot. She died from grief.  So, we ask, ‘why’? Why did she die from grief?  Maybe the big question was, why did the king die? Finding those answers brings up to  the conflict the crisis, the plot.

‘The king died and then the queen died,’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief,’ is a plot

“The queen died, no one knew why, until it was discovered that it was through grief at the death of the king.”— E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel


Here is the link back to Day 15 ‘O’ for a kiss Outline-A simple  basic outline

Day 15 ‘O’ for a kiss outline Nanowrimo

Todays walk was cold, snowy, with pastel colors caught in the moment. Looking like a  Claude Monet winter scene painting.

And I forgot my camera…

Looking closer I spot tracks in the snow, rabbits, raccoons, opossum, rat, ground squirrels and the birds shaking down the seeds still holding tight to the tops of frozen wildflowers. Floating over the newly fallen snow.

Going out on a snowy day is like following an outline to the story of the day. Those tracks can steer me to newly dug borrows, traces of a fight, or an area packed down after a full nights sleep or a few minutes of catching their breath.

Who is your main character? The rabbit? The raccoon? Or a family of deer? How about tigers?

You will pick up companions that want to join the story.  You will follow those tracks picking up figurative breadcrumbs. Being shown new characters that joined the rabbit’s path.

Possibly, at the stories  end  you would have seen  a herd of deer disappearing under trees. Magical helpers? Heroes?

Photo by Anthony from Pexels

An outline for a novel can have 60 or more scenes. So that Fuzzy rabbit will be a very busy-bunny-hopping around maybe humming a song, until he needs to find Ricky the raccoon, who didn’t come home last night.

You don’t have to lay out every hop, skip, and jump at this point.

Just get the entire plotline out on paper, just the basic outline.

“a general sketch, account, or report, indicating only the main features, as of a book, subject, or project:” ~

Keep it simple stupid. {{GRIN}}

The first outline you write is very basic.
Who is your main character?
Where is the story happening?
What needs to be done?
Who or what is the antagonist?
How does the antagonist slow down the protagonist?
What happens at the end?

Act One:
The setup. Where is all this taking place?
The inciting incident-the crisis. What just happened?
Stakes are raised. If you don’t help what will happen?
Should I go and help or should I stay home? Why risk everything for Ricky the raccoon? When the pretty Susie Skunk bats her big eyes at him. Now, we know why he went looking for Ricky the Raccoon.

In Act Two:
You can add a ticking clock. A snowstorm was moving in, to follow those tracks you have a limited time before they are covered with snow.
Have roadblocks to jump out at Fuzzy.  They grow more difficult; until-Fuzzy needs to face the antagonist….

Act Three:

The final battle is where Fuzzy rabbit steps up and fights for her beliefs and saves Ricky Raccoon’s life. The fight can be a coyote, a human or that approaching snowstorm.

With a happy ending, they dance all the way back home.
Sad ending, we let the camera pan out over a battlefield.

Remember. Keep it simple stupid. {{GRIN}}

Day 14 ‘N’ for writer’s notebooks or Nanowrimo


Photo by Jess Watters from Pexels

I started this blog post and it came out as a poem, a poem about my  own notebooks, my own  writer’s journals. .

Worrying Pearls

by Gerardine Baugh

A few words, in my notebook- of odd thoughts.
Surprising about today was the cold
it froze my nose as if January.
Ice beckoning to me, in one great fall,
while sun passed overhead, inline struggling
with melting ice, ice set to keep its shape.
I could taste the hint of snow in the air.
I realized, my snow thrower was checked
Inspecting its inners. Will it still work?
Nor did I check dark corners of the barn
brushing aside abandoned spiderwebs
digging out shovels. Winter has started.
I don’t want to give it deeper power
by conceding its power over me.
My Notebooks filling with lines of odd thought.
A few words or a full chapter scribbled
into many notebooks taking up space
like a gnome on my shelf, making me smile,
Releasing ideas for characters,
places to have them act out and struggle.
Spit, swear, surely worrying pearls with words
my notebook written one cold November.

This was written in blank Verse, iambic pentameter,  unrhymed, ten syllables.

Notebook or journals are the homes of  snippets of thought you come up with while standing in line for coffee, at work when you’re supposed to be listening intently during the office weekly meeting.  A word or phrase that sounds amazing. A dream you don’t want to forget. An idea. That perfect description of a character that you haven’t yet written a story for. Those ideas all belong in your journals, your writer’s notebook. So when you are bogged down with can’t-do, you can open your notebook and see what triggers your muse’s can-do.

I was flipping through W. Sumerset Maugham’s Writer’s Notebook.

“The night is wonderfully silent. The stars shine with a fierce brilliancy, the Southern Cross and Canopus; there is not a breath of wind, but a wonderful balminess in the air. The coconut trees, silhouetted against the sky, seem to be listening. Now and then a sea-bird gives a mournful cry.” ~pg 145

The interesting part about a writer’s notebook is that reading it can help shake up your muse. Keep flipping pages- keep looking until- suddenly you see it…. and your imagination takes off.

From the Inside Flap of  W. Sumerset Maugham’s Writer’s Notebook.~
“From 1892, when he was eighteen, until 1949 when this book was first published, Somerset Maugham kept a notebook. It is without a doubt one of his most important works. Part autobiographical, part confessional, packed with observations, confidences, experiments and jottings it is a rich and exhilarating admission into this great writer’s workshop.”,

I like using paper, -hard copy- notebooks. I find them easier to access than getting lost in amaze of emails or folder in my ‘documents’ on my computer.

day 13 the letter ‘M’ do you feed your Motivation

The Letter ‘M’ for  Motivation

I could use this word to swear, stomp my feet and bang my head on a feather pillow.

After pulling words out of my muse for the past 12 days, I will accept day 13 as my good luck day. Tuesday, November 13, 2018, a very lucky day.

Photo by Sudipta Mondal from Pexels

I have made it to day 13. I am still writing loads of horrible scat. I will use that word, ‘scat’   with the implication  of music, jazz with a beat, a sound that has me tapping my toes as my fingers dance across my keyboard.

Hey, don’t take that away from me, the music –words- are flowing –with coffee and lots of eye pain.

So let’s get on with this ‘motivating’ day, with a little swing in your step and broken lead in your pencils.

How to find motivation on this 13th day, of NaNoWriMo

First I set up what I want to get done in the morning the night before.

I don’t write down my schedule. What I do –as I am falling asleep is go over what I need to do first thing, starting at the moment I open my eyes.

Then as the day starts  before I even open my  eyes, I am going over my story ideas.

Before I even get out of bed- I stretch. Pulling out the kinks in my back. I spend some time on a few yoga stretches. Then, I roll out of bed and immediately fix my bed.

My day starts on myself. Then I feed my pets, make coffee, and turn on my computer. By the time I have butt-in-seat, my fingers are hovering over my computer’s keys dripping words out on the page.

My characters motivations: Physical such as food, water, a home, a family, painful death, beliefs, exercise, the hiccups even the taste for ice cream.

Characters have the same motivations as we do. Picture your characters motivation as your own. Feel their emotional side; love, hate, longing, your character’s motivations for dating, for hate, or sadness.

Motivations move my day along. A motivation for my characters moves the plot forward. Giving them a reason for moving through their story and mine.

Day 12 NaNoWriMo Letter ‘L’ For Logline

Letter ‘L’ For  Logline

Is this like a  story question? Yes.
Or is it a premise sentence? Yes.
Or is it just a logline? Yes. yes, and yes.

Since today is ‘L’ day I will stick with Logline. Even though I have seen this used as the ‘story question’ and the ‘premise sentence’.

I have seen descriptions and ‘how-to-do-this’ all over the web.

I will show you what  works for me. When writing your ‘Logline’ for your novel, ask yourself three questions.

Then, play with your answers.

First question: what is the inciting incident, that thing that happens

A rabbit runs into the garage….

Second question: who is your protagonist?

Jenny …

If I put those two together I will get:
When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny …..

What is Jenny’s goal, the protagonist goal?
When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out.

Third and last question: Will she succeed? Add your own people, places or things that are out to stop your protagonist.

When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out. But, will she succeed when she is up against her kids who want to keep the rabbit, the dog who wants to chase the rabbit, and her husband who loves rabbit stew.

When the (inciting incident) causes (the protagonist) to react (What is your character’s goal?) And will he succeed (when set against what?)

Have fun setting up your logline…

Day 11 of Nanowrimo letter ‘K’ for Kenning


Today I became word-stuffed on this eleventh day of NaNoWriMo. Even taking a walk did nothing to help with writing this Blog post; nothing could remove that word-wall blocking my muse. So, I wrote a Kenning  inspired poem.


A NaNoWriMo Writer By Gerardine Baugh

Pencil- nibbler

Daily –counter

nemesis- scribbler

Once every November
A NaNoWriMo writer

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels



“Kenning, concise compound or figurative phrase replacing a common noun, especially in Old Germanic, Old Norse, and Old English poetry. A kenning is commonly a simple stock compound such as “whale-path” or “swan road” for “sea,” “God’s beacon” for “sun,” or “ring-giver” for “king.”~

Day 10 for NaNoWriMo ‘J’ juxtaposition

I moved through the fields taking pictures of dried wildflowers. Wild thorn bushes, burrs and stickseeds  grabbed  at me as they tried to get me to acknowledge their existence.  A frantic last-ditch effort to hide their seeds  as I unwittingly  drag them back to shorter grass and soft mud, thus giving them a place to survive the winter.

I took a walk past leaning trees, milkweeds seed pods, tuffs of Goldenrod, and stickseeds the ones that grab at your shoelaces and clothing and won’t let go, even after being put through a couple of cycles in the washer. These cling-ons will survive the washing machine. I slipped out of my coat and carefully picked the seeds, one at a time from my coat, pants, shoes, gloves and my hair, which was harder to remove than gum.

Long pieces of still green stems deteriorating into pieces as I tried to peel them off, when I had looked over the quiet field, I didn’t see the seeds conspiring to rattle my day. But they did. I ended up picking-off-one-seed-at-a-time from my clothing. Getting them caught under my nails, when I try scratching them off. I’m surprised at the strength of these stickyseeds. My first impression was of a simple seed no bigger than a fruit fly. When I saw them in a different light, one of grabby, clawwy, irritating, Velcro-like seeds. They lost their first impression- luster.

A bit of a juxtaposition of what I thought this plant was and was not.

“I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning, or destroyed it altogether.”~Alfred North Whitehead

A juxtaposition of actions, no more a simple wave at you summer and fall plant.

A juxtaposition of sweet to irritating, pretty to hated, and losing all comparison to the Goldenrod waving at eye level, while the stickyseeds wrapped there tentacles around my ankles. What a difference a few feet made to juxtaposition my first impression of what was going to enhance my day, and what will choke me in seeds: and surprise me as I found I was used as a transport system.

I realize that the plants were similar.  I could have compared a bird and a tree, or a plant and a barn, two things dissimilar with preconceived images set in my mind, and then I could have juxtaposed them so what they had changed, and gave the reader a surprise to chew on.

Juxtaposition Examples in Literature from: examples.yourdictionary

  • Juxtaposing God and Satan – Paradise Lostby John Milton
  • Juxtaposing the haves and have-nots before the French Revolution 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness”- A Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

  • Juxtaposing the struggle for life and the acceptance of death 

“Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. / Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light. “- Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas

  • Juxtaposing light and darkness 

“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! / It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night; Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear”~ Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

“Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?; That is hot ice, and wondrous strange snow!; How shall we find the concord of this discord?” ~ A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

  • Juxtaposing the angst of loving someone 

“I thoroughly hate loving you. Your heart is a perfectly-carved stone; Set deep into your chest, soft as granite. I grip you gently with angels’ claws; Icy breath scorching your warm, shivering skin. Your hard topaz eyes shimmer liquidly;”~  Author unknown

  • Juxtaposing violence with goodness 

“You will soon be asked to do great violence in the cause of good.” ~ The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers




Day 9 Nanowrimo ‘I’ Inciting Incident life will never be the same

Cold winds blew across pristine white snow that held tight to the leafless tree branches and frosted the evergreens. The sun caused the snow crystals to shimmer in the sunshine. Heat rose off the ground, melting the snow on the driveway into reflective pools of water.

As I reached the road, the mail carrier popped open my metal mailbox and tossed in my mail, flipping the door closed, then drove off. I pulled open the door, reached in retrieving a free magazine; a letter offering discounts for DirectTv the electric bill and a plain white business envelope with no return address. Curiosity got to me. Halfway back to the house I ripped it open and flipped the folded paper open. it addressed me by name, with only a couple of sentences telling me to watch my mail because in a couple of days I will get a second letter, that letter will have instructions I will need to follow explicitly.

An inciting incident will cause turmoil in the life of the protagonist. Changing everything. Life will never be the same.

Your novel ends, when the inciting incident is resolved.

The ending is the inevitable result of that inciting incident. Clarifying how it is resolved.

Example: In the Hunger Games, the inciting incident is when Katniss’ sister was chosen at the reaping.

Example: That letter in my mailbox can be an inciting incident.

An inciting incident begins the story’s problem.

  •  An odd letter in the mail.

Kicks your hero out of her everyday routine.

  • She thinks about it. Wonders about it. Talks about it.

It is something unexpected, confusing, something that just changed your protagonist’s life.

  • Then the second letter arrives with instructions.

Your protagonist can’t turn back.

  •  She follows the instructions. Her curiosity has her doing odd things.

It will cause conflict, internal and external conflict. And it will have her wondering; questioning what is going on and why.

  • Is this real?

Today’s word count 1,536

My Walking Path