Sunday, December 16, 2007

Still Going, but Embarrassingly Slowly

I'm up to 60,000 words and not quite done with the story. It could easily end up in the 65-70,000 range, which would make it an actual novel by something other than the NaNo definition.

I'm pretty disappointed at how slow it's going, particularly since I just proved to myself that I can hack out 2,000 words a day for 25 days straight. Ah well. I suppose there really is something magical about November and that NaNo synergy.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I realized about a week ago that my chances of finishing were a little less wonderful than I'd hoped they would be at that point. I thought I had completely steeled myself against the possibility of not winning. I didn't think it would bother me that much.

It does bother me though, and it's not just because I don't get the nifty winner's icon. It's because looking back at my wordcounts for the month, and knowing how many words I cranked just in the last couple of days, I know that I could have won, I should have won, and, really, I sort of gave up before I even started. I think that by expecting to not finish, it became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy and that just ticks me off.

The good news though, is that I managed to get to over 42000 words which is about 36000 more than I wrote on my first attempt at NaNo two years ago. Plus, I actually really like the way my story is developing and I plan to continue working on it until it's actually complete. And even more important than liking my own story is the fact that I've let my husband and my 16-year-old daughter read what I've got so far, and they both like it too. (and that's sayin' something since both are avid readers and both tend just a little bit toward brutal criticism when they feel it's warranted.)

So overall I guess I'm disappointed with my effort, but still happy with my results. I guess that will have to be enough for this year.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I did it!

I'm at >50K words and still plugging. Thanks to PK for the suggestion and the encouragement along the way!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I hope no one minds, but now that there are several winners among us (with plenty more to come, I have NO DOUBT!!) I've added the Winner icon to the sidebar. As you can see, I stuck the "Participant" icon up at the top; then comes the list of our names, with the winners icon at the bottom. I thought it made for good symbolism.


I finished, but I don't know how I feel about my story. It needs to sit and ripen for a while, I think, before I go back to finish it off.

I've gone through periods of thinking that it will be the best thing ever written, to the worst thing ever written, to "it's okay, I guess." That's where I've settled lately.

It's hard to finish without the looming deadline facing me. I know this from last year. I still need to get the 2006 NaNovel out the door again to see if I can get representation for it; I've only collected one agent's rejection letter so far. I'm sure there are many more to go.

Are we there yet?

I've reached 46,750 with two days to go. Still plugging away though I realized my story will not be finished at 50k. It still needs an additional 20-30k at minimum to wrap everything up. So, I decided to begin my own KeGoWrimo (Keep Going Writing Month). I'm afraid if I stop I'll lose steam. Anyone with me?



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

oh wow

If you read my stats post from Saturday ... you will find I was a bit behind, yet hopeful because I'd written 3000 words that morning ... I was at 35000 (started the day at 32000 ...

I'm now at 45k ...

eeks ... I'm going to do this!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Won, Too

I won! I never thought this would happen to me. I never thought I would write 50,000 words in one month... but I did. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Won

I did it.

Today I was getting so close, I just pushed ahead and hit the 50,000 mark. The thing is, though, I'm only about 60% through my story. My intention now is to forge ahead and finish the darn thing. I've gotten into the habit of forcing out about 2,000 words every day. Even if I settle for less (which I feel I can, now that the pressure's off) I have every intention of finishing this story. Then I'll let it sit while I work on the one I put aside; when that's done, it'll go on "sit" while I come back to this one.

And the best part is that -- once it's all revised and polished and proofed; a process that's going to take considerably longer than a month -- I think I even have a place to submit it.

So come on, everyone; if I can do it, pretty much anyone can.
I am doing well. I am writing my new story that I am tacking on to my memoir. I'm up to about 42000 words. I feel confident that I can make 50,000. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Impressive . . .

I have to say that you all are so impressive. I was going strong until I realized that I hated--absolutely friggin' hated--my story. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, so I stopped writing. I need to learn the steps to writing a novel . . . Yes, I know. It isn't about quality; it's about quantity. But I wasn't writing anything that I can use in the future . . . I need to step back a few paces and learn some things.

I am, however, the biggest NaNoWriMo fan! Write on . . .

tk (Collecting Cats)


1000 visits to this blog!
this is the 79th post.

I'm 35,000 words ...a bit more, but under 36,000, behind, but not uncatchable.

I had an infected finger on my right pinky for a few days! EEEK ... I couldn't hit the enter or the right shift button! I could mess around and play on line, but it drastically slowed me down and typing for real just wasn't a possibility. I tried the writing, and it interfered so much I decided I'd rather work harder the last few days after it healed than to fight with the finger and try to keep up. Today I've done 3000 words, so, I think I may have done the right thing.

We have till Midnight on Friday ... how's everyone doing?

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Going to Work

At last, I'm confident not only that I'll be able to reach 50,000 words, but that my story will be long enough. I'm at about 37,000 words now, and I'm only just getting into the second part of the story. I don't think I'll be able to finish the story in November (though 50K looks good) so my next challenge is to not stop writing like a fiend once November is over and actually finish the story.

Pandora Radio ---> Inspiration

If you don't already use this, try Pandora Radio while you write. I think it's good for inspiration. What you do is enter either your favorite singer or song and the program will play songs that have been judged to be similar to that one. It's free!!!

Right now, I'm listening to songs by or similar to Johnny Cash because he's a badass and likes his drugs, good for the character I'm working on right now.

It's a pretty good program, I've put in some somewhat obscure artists and the program was familiar with them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Three words: Repetitive. Stress. Injury.

My wrists hurt like a motherf***er.

Stupid typing. Stupid, stupid typing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


My book is totally finished and it's only the... uh... guess it's the 18th now. I added as much as I possibly could to it, and did the final spelling and grammar check. I read the thing three times to make sure it was how I liked it. I published it through in about an hour and fifteen minutes because I was having some difficulties with the site. I may not have won NaNo (clocked in at 36,393 words), but I completed my goal of writing a memoir. I think I'll begin a new book, a fiction story, to work on, just kind of for fun.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The power of Google: Nurse K invents a gay bar in Brooklyn, NY

Google has been my friend throughout this little writing experience.

For instance, one of my characters is trucking along in NYC before flying back to his hometown. Seeing as I've never been to NYC, I needed to do the briefest of all research.

I randomly picked a bar in Brooklyn from NY Mag and used their slideshow and the coinciding subway stop info to pretty much steal it for my story. See the slideshow, and read my description. The character, who is a semi-closeted gay, is fixin' to whoop some ass and got a lead that the person whose ass he needs to whoop might be at this gay bar.

The Eagle was on the corner of a 3-story brick building off Seventh Avenue, an easy walk from the F train’s Seventh Avenue stop. It had a black painted front with a black awning and a little neon sign at a right angle to the building which simply said “Eagle Bar” in red. In the olden days, when the building was new, it could have been a neighborhood grocery, a pharmacy, or soda fountain. It was hard to tell. The ceiling was painted black and track lighting dimmed for ambience. The bar was just a bar, nothing particularly notable. There was a small stage area where, perhaps, someone playing a guitar could fit, but Ted had never seen any performers there. Apparently, there was an “Open Mic” night on Mondays.

Opposite the bar was a collection of small tables and an area with old, as in antique-appearing old, couches with a coffee table in their center. There were brightly-colored photos of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe on the walls. In the back were the bathrooms and the exit into the small alleyway and the non-primary entrances to the apartments upstairs via fire escapes. It was the "neighborhood" gay and lesbian bar, if you will.

Editing Away...

I managed to add 472 words to my manuscript just by sneaking in adjectives here and there and adding a sentence every now and then. I went back and edited my novel-in-progress, that's when I added the words. I know, I know, I am not supposed to edit, that's supposed to be for December, but I can't help myself. It's in my nature to edit things. In this case, the editing actually helped me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Half a Novel

I made it to 25K, the halfway point. That puts me slightly ahead of pace once again, but it's going to be down to the wire I can tell.

I finally murdered the first person in my murder mystery. I swiped the storyline from Genesis 38.

The MC and his soon-to-be love (they haven't figured out their feelings for each other yet) are escaping the scene of the crime. Now the mystery/romance half of the novel is set.

me neither

I, too, will not make it to 50,000. I sure am trying my best, but I simply do not have enough material. I'm at 30,550 and will probably be able to sneak in about 5,000 more. Oh well. Next year I'm doing fiction for sure. Then I can just write and write and take my plot in various different directions.

Not Going Well At All

I haven't been able to write much, at all the past several days. I got sick, then had an allergic reaction to the medication I was given. Combine that with a couple of days full of migraines equals just over 2000 words total. Blech! I'm lucky I've gotten 10 words a day for a couple of days. Hopefully, this weekend I'll be able to catch up. There's just no way I'll get to 50,000. I'm finding it extremely difficult to shut up my inner editor. I want to go back to what I've written and add more descriptive elements to the scene, instead of plowing forward. It's how I normally write, and the old habit is dying hard.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Strangely Carved Forms

I'm at 22,103 words, not quite halfway. I went through a serious case of the week two blahs, but now I am liking the story and the characters again. I'm even springing some in-jokes that I wanted to include. Nothing like a series of bad puns to get the writerly juices flowing.

I have a pretty good idea now how the second act of the story will go. (I figure we're well into Act Two). I've got Act Three sketched out in my head, and I'm pretty sure I know the ending. So far, I've been writing a SciFi Robinson Crusoe thingy. Now it's going to turn into a mystery/chase/romance thingy. I love putting genres in a blender and hitting the "puree" button.

Tomorrow isn't looking good, word count-wise, but I think I can make up for it with a light "real work" schedule on Thursday and Friday. The weekend approacheth as well.


I tried something new tonight: I used the NaNoWriMo site word count validator instead of just posting my own word count. Imagine my surprise (and pleasure) to find their count was exactly one word greater than mine! I thought that was very good to know.

Also a nice change from last year: I didn't have to save as a .txt file to upload it. Just copied and pasted straight from MS Word, click "submit" and the deed was done.

I'm doing well with a pace of 2000 words/day. Still not completely sure which will come first: 50,000 or story's end. We shall see.


Willow's Bridge is half way done! 25,025 words.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I got a widget too.

I liked DA's widget, so I got one too. Call me a copycat.

wordcount widgets

I'm A Flake

Sigh... I've now experienced a couple of days of zero word counts. I was ahead for a while, but those week two bugaboos have stolen my lead. Or my head. Or something. I put down only a couple thousand words since last Wednesday.

Oh well.

I think my story is about to take a turn from basic exposition to send my MC ricocheting in a new direction. I'm hoping it will spur one of those 5K days I've heard about. That would about put me back on track.

Now, if I can tear myself away from the internet and the dogs and the reruns of CSI I should be able to crank out the next chunk of story. Off I go....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

word count

27,879 words! I'm still super happy with my AlphaSmart and figured out how to upload text onto my computer from it today. I wanna get a widget... I'll get one off the NaNo site.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I got it!

I got my new AlphaSmart Dana today... and only for $65! It retails for $350. I absolutely love it. It gives me the freedom to write outside my home without resorting to hand-writing, and that is so awesome. I wrote today, on the couch, just because I could. :)

I attended a write-in this morning at The Bean Factory in St Paul and that was great. I had a lot of fun, and also was productive.

I wrote over 3,000 words today. I am now up to 21,975 words as of this moment. I'm very happy about that. A bonus is that I got two more stories today from a couple of friends about their experiences with mental illness, so that will up my word count and enrich my work even more when I put it in my book.

Happy writing!

Getting Ahead

Well, I am getting a little ahead, giving myself a cushion feels good.

17,726. It's not much of a cushion, but it's a day or so's quota of a cusion. For me, that's enough to make be be able to relax a bit.

My story seems to be flowing ok too. Enough so, it's kind of scary.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bowing Out

Hi Guys,

I've started at a new job that I wasn't expecting that is out of control so I'm bowing out for this year.

Good luck everyone.


How's everyone doing?

Is everyone still writing? Still conscious?

I had my first-ever 5K day yesterday. 2 writing sessions sandwiched in between my theatre class. I found the physicality of acting out short scenes and doing improv helped me visualize the action (such as it is) in my story so much better!

Anyway, off to start working on today's word count...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Various Things

I am just over 15,000 words now, and am quite happy about that. I'm trying desperately to not let my Inner Editor delete anything... just add to things and correct spelling/grammar. I always wanted to be a copy editor, so I'm a stickler for stuff like that. I feel much better about probably not making it to 50,000. It's not like I would get money if I "won" NaNo or anything, so nothing's really at stake. Oh, and BTW- I'm getting an AlphaSmart Dana from a fellow NaNo-er! She accidentally bid on two Danas on eBay and won both of them. I'm paying around $100 for it... Danas retail at $350. I am so excited! No more hand-writing for me... it'll save me so much time, and give me the freedom to type outside of my home! Yay!

I need more hours each day!

Has anyone out there perfected time travel yet?

I'm excited about my story, I have lots ideas - I just need time to get the words down!

Congrats to everyone who has cranked out >10K words so far - I'm hoping that my count will hit that mark at the end of the week - I have time mapped out on Thursday and Friday to get more down.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cracked 15K tonight...

... but I'm too tired to go much past it, so I'll record it here (15,333) and then go do a pillow faceplant.

Happy writing everyone!

How Do You Back Up?

Backups are absolutely essential, as we all know (some more to our dismay than others.)

I have multiple backups: I write (and save -- frequently!) on the hard drive of my machines at work and home, with the addition of a thumb drive that I use to take it back and forth. (I do "save as" onto the thumb drive when I'm done with a session.) Then I also print it out on paper (switching it all to single space, to save paper; with my other WIP I also convert it to a font size of 10; it's just backup; I never really have to read it; besides, I'm still pretty ok with tiny print.)

I've also thought about uploading it to the web somewhere. I do have a couple of websites I could "park" it on, but so far that seems like a little too much trouble. Perhaps I could also copy it into a blogger post that I never publish (just "save as draft") and then delete afterwards, but I'm not sure a post can hold that many words. Besides, even though I've had relatively little trouble with it, I've read that Blogger can be unreliable.

What other backup methods do you use?


My mantra for today was "10,000 or bust!" And I did it!

This means that I've gotten about 2,500 words a day for the last two days, instead of the minimum of 1667. And that's on top of two very busy days at the office. It feels good.

The story is going well, I think. Perhaps when I read it again in January (after letting it sit for the obligatory month) it'll seem awkward, redundant and full of info dumps, but for now, at least I'm getting my words in.


I just got to 10357 words! Past the 10K mark!

How is everyone feeling about the stories they are writing. I'm surprised at how I'm feeling about mine. My subplot is flowing easily, the main plot, a bit harder. Overall, it's not as difficult as I feared, and I think I have a real story going.

That, scares me. If I think it's good, is it really any good or am I just fooling myself? Or it really good?

I realize that at this point, it doesn't matter and it's better for me to think it's good and keep going.

Physically, I'm struggling a bit. My eyes and hands aren't taking too well to this. So, I'm not able to write like I wanted to. So pacing myself has become manditory. I've decided that it is better to go slow and steady and by the pace than to try and race through it and be done before deadline and burn out and not get done.

Monday, November 5, 2007


So after a slow weekend (hey: I had a house full of college students and an Ultimate Frisbee tournament to attend) I started getting caught up today. I'm still not all the way there, but I'm closer than I was this morning.

Feeling better about the story (as in, getting all the way to 50K with it)? Maybe. Hard to say. It's still a lot harder than when I'm going for *funny*.

Nighters, all.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Coming Up Short...

I don't think I'm going to have enough words to make 50,000. I'm halfway through and only have 12,088. I've expanded on each section I've already written as much as I can without it sounding stupid and wordy. Unlike with fiction, I can't just keep on expanding the plot or adding in new characters. Mine's a memoir. There's only so much one can write. I'm only 22, after all. I'm really sad about this because I really wanted the prestige of "winning" NaNo. I'll have enough to make the 32-pg minimum that is required for LuLu (self-publisher, for those of you reading who didn't know already) to be willing to bind the book, and thus I will have the book bound even though I probably will not "win". This shouldn't be such a big deal to me, but it is. Oh well.

Diamonds and Stones

Like Emily, I am having some frustrations.

As I posted to the "Geezer Clubhouse" thread (when the NaNoWriMo site was working again last night), I got a rejection letter Saturday from an agent I had queried.

It was the dreaded "not my cup of tea" form letter, which of course has no information about whether my a) query; b) sample pages; c) face or d) entire existence is the problem that she has.

I know the slush pile is a drag, but my writing is fun to read. Really. I swear.

On the plus side of the ledger, we just returned from a trip to Boise, Idaho where Roxy (dog, no kids) got a lot of compliments and a qualifying score for herding sheep. That's something we've been working on with varying degrees of success for months. It was nice to see her "doing her job" and not stressing out about it.

That meant, of course, no words Saturday or Sunday. Try as I might, I can't write in the car.

Monday is a bad day for me, work-wise, so it might be Tuesday before I get back to NaNo'ing. I'm having motivational issues since receiving the rejection letter, and I know it's silly, but it not only released my Inner Editor but gave him some methamphetamine to snort as well. He's running through my house, trashing the furniture and making a general nuisance of himself right now.

I know everyone feels like their writing is crap at some point, but usually it's in the 15,000 word range when that feeling hits. I'm just getting it early this year. The odd thing is, I really like this year's story, but then I liked last year's story too, so what do I know?


Microsoft Word is NOT behaving itself today. It's crashed three times so far! I've lost a total of 250 words. I am SO frustrated. F*** you, MS Word!


I broke through my writing block and have been typing away about my experiences with anorexia and bulimia for the last half an hour or so. I'm up to 11,172 words. I'd love to get to 13,000 tonight, but my minimum goal is 12,000.

Slow Going

Only just cracked 5000 words this evening (Sunday), but I've been out at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament all weekend. Interesting how despite the fact that I have an outline (plus a very detailed sense of where it's all going) it's still much tougher than I thought it'd be "one word at a time." That's my mantra, because no matter how well you have a book outlined, plotted, visioned or figured out, you still have to write it one word at a time. I came up with that once I realized that's how the reader experiences it.

I'm still optimistic, and equal parts impressed and jealous at all the other massive WC's being posted. WTG, folks!

Cracked 10K!

Just barely, but it's a good feeling.

I spent a good chunk of the morning (well, the chunk of the morning not devoted to lying luxuriantly in bed, soaking in the extra hour's sleep *grin*) reading Stephen King's On Writing and I must say that other than his inexplicable aversion to adverbs (which I disagree with wholeheartedly), it's been a very enlightening read.

I was getting a little bit anxious because my plot was leaky, but reading King, he's more of a believer in character and story than plot. It's hard to pin down his interpretation of the differences between "story" and "plot" though - to me, they sound sort of the same. But he's very NaNo-friendly, in that he believes the story is within us all, and must be written first and edited much, much later.

Good luck to everyone writing this evening. :)

Blown Away!

Wow, I'm seriously impressed with the amazing progress everyone is making. 10,000 words here, 15,000 words there. Bravo!

I'm still plugging away at my 1667/day goal and was able to reach 5186 yesterday - today's goal is 6668 and I'm anxious to get started. I've set up my characters and scenes in the first 5000 words and introduced a hint of my mystery. Today begins a new chapter and the action is going to really get started. Mystery, intrigue and a smidge of potential new love all await my fingers.

And... GO!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


After an uncomfortably slow start this morning, I finally managed to crank out over 2000 words. That puts me well on my way. And despite my characters making a few unexpected decisions, I'm finding that I really like the way things are going so far.

So for anyone who is feeling like nothing is flowing the way you want it to, hang in there! You may end up surprising yourself. I know I did.

10,503 words

I wrote the hardest section, and made it through just fine. :) I unexpectedly lost over 600 words of material thanks to my word processor crashing on me and me not saving the information in time today, so I'm just a little crabby. I'm still worrying about not having enough material to make 50,000 words. And the NaNo site's down, so that's rather upsetting as well. I've had a long, hard day and I just want to go to bed and forget writing the other 1000 words I need to write for the day. Maybe I'll get up early tomorrow and make up for it. I'm going to have to do that, because I am exhausted and am literally yawning about every minute. That's it. I'm going to bed.

Day 3 and less than 24 hours

Well, I'm at 5332 words.

Day 3 has about 3 oh ..4 hours left.

Less than 24 hours has gone by in my book.


I am also not able to get to the Nano site. Which, is frustrating, because I want to see my little blue bar and my graph showing my progress.

I'm so glad we have this blog to share with other Nanoites!!

Eeeks, can you imagine if we were stranded on individual Nano Islands without support because the nano site was down? (and I was worried I couldn't write fiction? My brain has gone to the imaginary quite fine ...maybe too fine???)
Today, is the 3rd anniversary of my *real* blog, so I had to write a blogaversary post over there before I could write on Willow's Bridge. I knew if I started on my story the blog post wouldn't get written. Stalling for stalling ... *grin*

Responding to Pear's post (just below)

Hi Pear - I'm at the point today, too. Being a very visual person, I decided to get creative, and make my plot a little more real.

I have a bunch of families in my story (about 3 right now) as well as assorted loose characters. So I did some selective (and highly creative) culling of my kids' Halloween candy and came up with this:

Lollipops of different colours were Family 1 members;
Chocolate bars of different kinds, Family 2 members;
Loose candy of different types, Family 3 peeps;
And assorted characters became... assorted candy bits. ;)

I stuck PostIts with each character's name on the appropriate candy, and "played out" my plot on the dining room table (to my children's hysterical laughter) and you know what? I have a MUCH better idea of where everything fits in, and how everything needs to go from now on (I wisely wrote it down as I went along).

Naturally, "where it all fits in" became my mouth, in the case of certain unfortunate characters who were "marked for death"... teehee!

(well, it's supposed to be a fun exercise, isn't it?) :)

PS What is going on with the NaNo site? Is anyone else unable to get on at all? It's been a sad, forum-less afternoon and evening for me.

Day Four Check-In

Words: 1792
Total: 6972

After four days I am so loving this - hope it continues! I have two thoughts to share. Firstly I love the freedom to push ahead without worrying too much about what's coming out. My critic seems to like it too and for the moment has gone on holiday. Already I can see where scenes will need specific research, where settings can be honed/developed, where dialogue can be altered/improved. It feels like creating a template. I have not written a book this way before. The process reminds me of the training I did when I ran a marathon years ago - my own training schedule was ridiculously hard but when I followed a program suggested by a former Olympic runner, it was much less punishing. Writing this way has a similar feel - 1700 words a day is achievable and it just keeps accumulating until we cross the finish line. Thanks MaryK for suggesting it to me.

Happy writing everyone.


Taking a break

... and thought I'd check in here. I've got about 500 something words done for the day. I've got a bunch left to go. It's frustrating to find myself writing literally a sentence at a time - I have paragraphs - pages even - of ideas, but putting ink on paper (errr... changing the color of pixels on a screen) is being a torturous process for some reason.

I think my real problem is that I haven't been able to get inside the heads of my characters yet. I'm having to think about how they would react, what they would say, and what the 'rules' of their world/existence are. It will get easier if I can start living in that world in my mind, but I'm not there yet. Oh well.

Guess I just gotta keep pounding.

It's encouraging to hear that others are breezing through these early days - maybe some of your novelistness will rub off on the rest of us. :)

playing catch-up

I am most impressed with the volume of writing going on here - I have a measly 556 words as I have had too much life going in the last 2 days, and not enough novel. planning to write like a banshee (do they write?) tonight and tomorrow to try to catch up a bit.

Can't get onto the NaNo site at all now - so will plow on with the words and do the uploading another time...hopefully when i have a bit more to show.

just keep writing just keep writing just keep writing.....

8,714 words

and barely one afternoon has gone by in my novel's time line.

I was worried about my story being too flimsy for a full-blown novel. Now I'm starting to wonder if I've crammed too much into the plot (characters, side plots, exposition) and will end up with a monster I can't finish.

Anyone having this problem?

I should also say that I've thought about this a bit, and realized that the first 50 or so pages of any novel are the "set-up" chapters, where we meet everyone and become introduced to the action of the story. I'm so used to writing short stories, where this is condensed into a few paras, that maybe I'm just over-reacting to the length of this section, but it all feels really "introductory" to me still.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Word Count, Etc.

8,032 words have been written. So many more to go...

I fear I will not have enough material to reach 50,000. I will have to add to each section I've already written and add to the outline in general. I'm kind of panicking, actually, since I really want to "win" NaNo.

My hardest section is coming up. I'm nervous to even write it... but I must write it anyways.


Day 3 Check In

Num words: 181

Total Num words: 3807


Late start this morning.

Err...maybe that should say afternoon.

I just wanted to pop in real quick and say thanks for letting me join in here. Even though I'm running extremely late I was able to get 793 words in for a total of 2480.
i'm guessing it's better than nothing right?

Happy writing everyone and I'll see you all later this evening.


Good morning, novelists!

*downs more caffeine and pries eyelids open*

Is everyone ready to tackle their MCs, antagonists, plot swerves and plotbunnies today?

I wanted to share a small epiphany with you (or maybe, it was just one of those wonderful coincidences that happen when one's creative spirit is working in overdrive):

At midnight on Thursday morning, I sat down to start my novel. The first scene involves a group of Japanese tourists (including my MC) standing in front of a cathedral and taking pictures. I was describing the scene (it's a real place in my home town) and I needed to describe a row of copper statues of saints located at the top of the cathedral. The MC focuses on one in particular and describes it in detail... but what saint is he?

Not wanting to stop writing to do research, I used the first name that came to mind... Saint-Andrew.

Yesterday, as I got ready to write again, I decided to look up Andrew to see if there were any other details of his life I could incorporate into my novel, and found this:

His feast day is November 30, and he's the patron saint of Scotland.

It's amazing what kinds of cool tricks you end up performing sometimes, isn't it? So on November 30, I'll celebrate the end of my first NaNoWriMo and raise a glass of my favourite Scotch to you all (and to Saint-Andrew, patron saint of my first novel). ;)

What cool/interesting/nifty/downright freaky coincidental things have you discovered through writing your novel in the past few days?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

2620 words of ambiguous dialogue

It's late evening here in the USA, and I'm realizing that this morning's output is going to be all I get for today.

That would be 2620 words, enough to keep me on track but far from the 5000 I had hoped for.

That first passage pretty much wrote itself, but it's mostly silly dialog. The protagonist wakes up in a hospital, disoriented and hurting. There's a lot of two people talking past each other as he struggles to figure out what is going on. I'm amusing myself with a lot of inside jokes (he craves Chocolate Mousse, and a character named "Moose" is going to be summoned instead) and my Inner Editor is screaming, "that's not funny, it's just stupid".

Pardon me while I go adjust the duck tape on the Inner Editor's mouth.


I was having a discussion today with someone I know who is convinced he has written the next great American horror novel. I told him about my book, the theme, the characters, etc, and he told me the following:

You have to make each one of your characters a little different than people would expect.

For instance, my drug-seeker character who goes to the ER to obtain prescription drugs under false pretenses because he's addicted to them shouldn't just be a run-of-the-mill low-life junkie, he should be someone who is a non-stereotypical prescription drug addict. Why is he addicted to drugs? Just because he likes getting high? Yes, but...

We discussed and decided he should be a businessman who lost a fortune during the tech stock crash around 2001, became despondent, found Jesus, and started volunteering at a church. He was helping to do repairs in the chapel, and as he was reaching up to do something with a cross that was hanging (eg. take it down so he could paint around it), he fell off the ladder and broke his back, starting his need for prescription pain pills, which eventually morphed into an addiction.

My book is entitled Seekers and the unspoken theme is that everyone is seeking something, everything from approval of a parent, friends, drugs, money, or companionship . The only character outright referred to as a "seeker" is this "fallen businessman" (who falls figuratively and literally)/drug seeker. Of course, the character who is seeking companionship, instead of joining a social group or whatever, deals with it by drinking and so on.

The great American horror novelist told me the image of him "reaching up for the cross" (ie seeking God) and falling was very powerful. He failed himself, and when he needed it most, God failed him, and, eventually, he started seeking drugs. Of course, I'm not going to explain it like that...

In short, that's a lot more interesting than "a junkie showed up at the ER looking for drugs...."


Day one and I already feel like I'm behind the power curve. It was a very busy day at my job and I didn't get a single chance to steal time to write a couple of paragraphs. I still have about an hour left before today becomes tomorrow though, so maybe I can get my 450 words up to something a little more respectable before I hit the sack.

I did want to share my review of the No Plot? No Problem! Novel Writing Kit though. Thought it might be interesting to some of you. You'll find it on Epinions. I hope you enjoy it.

Off to do some more noveling....

Off and Running

I got off to a later start than I had hoped to, so I've only got about 1000 words at this point. But, I'm ahead of what I had done at this point last year. I'm trying to be conscious of being more descriptive of my setting, letting the reader see, hear and smell...well, since my first scene is in a hospital room I may leave out the smell part, lol! I don't have much to do tomorrow or Sunday, so I should be able to spend some quality time at the computer!


Day 2 Check in

Num words: 1980

Total Num words: 3626

Comments: I got up at 4.30 am and wrote this morning. It took me back to my Uni days when I used to stay up to all night to finish an assignment and then drive at to the campus before 8.30 am to get it into the submission box before they cleared it for the morning. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

I usually wake up at 4.30 am every morning, but I just role over and go back to sleep. I got a lot more done a lot more quickly today. Probably because I've been half asleep while doing it. Maybe I should get up every morning at 4.30 to do my Nano writing. It's getting a lot harder as the morning goes on.

Sneaking in some writing

I wrote another couple thousand words this morning, and am grateful to the Stuffed Fabric Fish of Inspiration my son handed me. It's perfect for flinging at walls, tapping on my head, and generally just lying on the table next to me, looking fishy and, erm, inspiring. I'll try to get a picture of it in the next couple of days.

Now off to tend to the sick (son and self) and healthy (daughter). ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Off and writing ..and now to bed!

I stayed up ... to midnight, to get started. I just had to do it that way!

I was SO touched by my husband's show of support! He went to bed, a very exhausted man after having started back up at therapy today. 2 hours of physical & respiratory therapy! 3 hours if you include travel time! He went to bed at 10 pm, and set the alarm for midnight to get up and give me a good luck kiss!! How lucky am I?


My word count is only 486 ...but's 486 to the start.

I've put the exerpt on my page on Nano ...

So, anyway to bed for me ... tomorrow we go pay some bills and are going antique shopping to buy some blue willow china for a muse for me.

The adrenaline rush!

Hi everyone... and thank you to Mary for being so patient with my whacked-out giddy self that I asked to join this blog yet forgot to send her my email addy. *hangs head in shame*

Just a quick hello since Fate has decided that the start of my very first NaNo adventure wouldn't be complete without inflicting not one, but TWO sick kids on me - heh. So inbetween administering cough suppressant and cold compressed to feverish foreheads, I wrote me about 2000 words tonight. *beams*

Good luck to my fellow WriMos, and may your Muses work overtime for no extra pay, and leave you a few cookies too.


PS My NaNo name is MadyV, but it's showing my blogger name as momsie564 since I already have a blog here.

Here I am...

...stuck in the middle with you. All of you. And I'm glad to be here.

I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the month and it hasn't even started yet. Yikes. I'm sure I'll get over it though - I have a huge desire to be a NaNo winner this time instead of just an 'also ran' if you know what I mean.

So, best of luck to everyone. I know we're all winners!!


Day One

Hi NaNo Writers

I made the decision to do this only yesterday - have been surprised by what came out in my first morning of writing - obviously a very, very rough draft but I've enjoyed the freedom of that - and it has opened up a triangle of characters and a rough structure that I feel excited about pursuing. Looking forward to tomorrow and the next 1700 words...

Happy writing...


Housekeeping: Sidebar Stuff

Since I don't have enough to do, I went ahead and added some links to our roster on the sidebar. For those with more than one blog (in addition to this one), please either
  1. Let me know via comments or email which blog you want linked to, or
  2. Go to the setup page and do it yourself, if you're HTML gifted (or have read HTML for Dummies, which is all I've done.)
I also added "2007" before NaNoWriMo in the header. Like I said, I need a life. Then again, as of tomorrow I don't think I'll have the time. Then yet again, I might very well find myself doing it instead of writing. This stuff is addictive.

Day 1 Check In

Num Words: 1646
Total Num Words: 1646
Comment: Just shy I the minimum daily workcount. Maybe it will take me less time tomorrow.


Character Help

This may sound silly, but out of curiosity I downloaded the High School workbook for the Young Writer's program on NaNo. It's a very complete workbook that asks you to fill in questions about your characters, plot, etc. I've just sat down to fill some of it out and have discovered that it's been extremely useful in filling in some of the gaps I've been missing. For instance, I now know why my MC is at her job (instead of "just because"), what her pet peeves are, etc. - all fodder for more words toward the final word count.

If you're interested in checking it out, go here :

Right, back to the workbook...

1 Day left...

Thanks so much to #1 Dinosaur for inviting me to join. I feel so special now.

As an introduction, this is my second year doing Nano. I "won" last year with a silly little chick lit novel called Crash Test Dummy of Love that I immensely enjoyed creating. This year I'm going to try my hand at a mystery novel written in the silly little chick lit style. (sorry folks, I can't help it).

Premise of the novel: The MC is an art director at a crappy little local magazine. She begins to notice odd words and letters appearing randomly throughout ads she's placing and investigates. Through her sleuthing, she discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the Governor. Mafia thugs, casinos, a hunky FBI agent, a motorcycle named Greta and tiny little bog turtles will all play a part by the time I'm done. I'd tell you more, but I don't even know how it will go. I suppose I should outline this thing to keep it on track, but where's the adventure in that?

Last year I tried to loosely outline my story but by the time I hit mid-November, the story had suddenly taken on a life of it's own. It ended up writing itself. Many times I'd sit down not knowing where it would go and my MC would take me there. Kind-of freaky, but a nice freaky all the same.

I have a few things left to work out - The name of the MC, the name of the FBI guy and just how many people are involved in this conspiracy - y'know, minor things. I do have to say though with all that's missing from my story, my MC is almost flushed out completely including the fact that she has a weakness for Mai Tais and men who live dangerously. Well, who doesn't? *wink*

I'm excited for the month to begin and I'm very pleased to be a part of this group. Looking forward to spending NaNo with you!

Ready... Set... Go!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

fried brains anyone?

ok ... I tried ... I tried to get a couple of counters that would give us information that we needed to know. My favorite ... I've used my limit on and they wouldn't let me put another free blog on. BLEH.

So, I went to another couple of them. First one ...looked great ... then as more people started to join ... I realized ...unless they know sign language, as I do, they probably can't read the numbers and have no clue when a 3 is a 3 or a 6 or a 9 ... woops.

So, I added a couple of more ...

Then, I added the names with the intention of adding links back to their own blogs ... but alas, I'm not that technical saavy and my brain has been fried beyond all repair ... and if someone knows how to use it ...more power to ya!


3, 2,1 ...

I've decided to spend the last day (its October 31 here) teasing out some of the story ideas. More importantly, I think, I need to start thinking about the conflict. I've got the overarching theme covered, and the essential problem that drives the story, but what I learnt from my first novel attempt is that each scene needs to have the point-of-view character in conflict against something or someone. I need to start finding the answers to the questions:

What are they trying to get?
What is stopping them from getting it?

The answers to these questions propels the protagonist toward the climax.

My characters have to spend a lot of time in chose proximity to each other and rely on each other for companionship and getting through the day in camping situation over an extended period of time. This tends to magnify any problems in the relationship that can normally be swept away by getting busy somewhere else in their lives while at home.

Over the course of the trip, the main character implodes and all the frustrations and bitterness pushed down over the past 45 years propel her to the climax of the story. And it ain't pretty.

So, today I need to start thinking about what each of those events is and exactly what happens at the end of them that unfolds the conclusion.

Looks like a big day.


Here I am

This is a big step for me. I've been toying with the idea of *actually* writing down some of the ideas that I've had for some time; I actually started a writing class (then took a multi-year leave of absence, finally restarting this year) in an effort to learn some discipline in the world of writing.

I hope that the potential humiliation of not finishing will spur me to the end!

Best of luck to everyone over the next month.

Moral Dilemma

My day is off to a good start, I had a dilemma in not being able to figure out for the life of me how to spell dilemma. I need coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ok, here is my dilemma: My main character is going to be a young girl with an eating disorder. I was trying to decide if she was flirting with behaviors, or if she really HAD one or not. The more I work on her character, and family dynamics ...etc... the more I know; she has a full blown eating disorder.

The question is ... how much of the eating disordered behavior do I let slip into the book? Ya know, IF it goes to publishing, I don't want to give anyone any idea's (which is ...quite frankly how I started purging) but I also want to make it clear the extent of her eating disorder?

Should I put it in during NaNo while going for the 50,000 and as part of developing the story ... and then edit out what is extreme and likely to trigger those with a disorder? Or do I just leave the behaviors beyond the least obvious ones (playing with food on the plate, etc) in the character development stuff that never makes it to the novel?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Physical descriptions of characters

Believe it or not, I don't read very many fictional novels, maybe 1 per year, if that. I'm not used to reading how long works of fiction play out.

One thing I never liked when writing is the early-in-the-story physical descriptions of characters and locations. Just plain old "here is what so-and-so looks like and here is how old she is and she lives in Minnesota, which looks like this in the Spring" stuff.

How important is it to just describe what a character looks like physically early in the book? I usually let little bits and pieces of it come out throughout the story, which means I get to avoid lengthy descriptions, but leave my readers with no one to really picture early on.

I'm Here

Thanks a gazillion for the invitation, folks. I'm truly honored.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to post in generalities, because I signed up for NaNo under my real name (because I was a NaNo'er before I was a blogger) so if I'm too specific, you could find me on the NaNo site and then I'm out of the closet. Not that I wouldn't tell you anything you wanted to know anyway, but only privately in an email. To the blogosphere at large, I'm #1 Dinosaur.

As it is, I can't post my title on NaNo because I already posted it on my blog. I'm going with "The Phlebotomist," the "take this job and shove it" fantasy love story.

Status: Remembering that I've been cogitating about this story for months, if not years, I actually started "outlining." This "outline" looks *so* nothing like the format we all learned in 5th grade; no Roman numerals; no nested lists; none of that. It's sort of stream of consciousness, "pre-writing", so I know what comes in what order, and so I don't leave out any specific detail that needs to be there. It looks like a solid block of handwritten text on the page. Yes, I handwrote it. Although I won't do this for NaNo, I've found that I prefer to write longhand. That way I'm not trapped in front of the computer, but can do it on the couch, upstairs in the easy chair in the bedroom, at work; wherever. Then when I actually type it in, that constitutes the first editorial pass, as I'm always making changes.

The most important lesson I've learned from NaNo, though, is just to get it down. With my current WIP I have successfully resisted the temptation to go back and edit or re-work, even where I know it's going to need it. Job one is to get the draft done.

NaNo itself is a little different. I'll be keyboarding from the git-go, mainly for time but also because it lets me keep constant tabs on my word count. But as long as I have the "outline" by my side, I know where I'm going and a general idea of how I'm getting there. Plot-wise, this one is pretty straightforward; quite a change from my WIP, which is twisty as hell. But WTF, it's only NaNo.

Now all that's left (after finishing the outline; I'm only about 75% done with it) is hoping (praying; begging; wishing) that I can squeeze 50,000 words out of it. Nothing to do but try.

Awaiting 11/1. Tally ho!

Details, Details

Ever since I signed up and sent off my donation, I haven't been able to contain the story ideas. Getting them down without slipping into novel writing mode remains a problem, so I've decided to focus on how I can keep the momentum going once the first burst of NaNo enthusiasm begins to fizzle.

As I have already mentioned, the setting of my story is based on a road trip I took last year. There are so many details about the setting, or I should say settings, of the novel it will be difficult for me to remember them all off the top of my head. I know, its fiction, but I like authors who make the effort to get details such as the weather patterns for the season in which the novel is set correct, and buds bursting into flowers in the right place at the right time.

In this novel, the changes in the colour of the soil plays an important part. As you drive across the Nullarbor and up through Western Australia, the soil changes from white to pale yellow, through all the variations of orange and red until it reaches a deep rich burgundy.

My favourite moment of the whole trip was when I drove around a corner and saw the sun shine striking the the burgundy sand covering a mount making it glow fluorescent. I was so taken with the sight of it that I had returned to the state of a child who chases a ball across the road without looking and in my moment of inattentiveness drove off the road. I would like to put a variation of this in my novel, but was it at Mount Gibson or Mount Singleton? I have to dig through my travel diary to find out. And just how many hundreds of miles is it between one metropolis and another on the Great Northern Highway. I'll need to check.

I guess I'm lucky because being a bibliophile, I bought a number of books while in WA on the geology of the area, campsites, rest areas and national parks, and what WA is most famous for as a tourist destination, a guide to the wildflowers. These combined with my notebooks, should give me the type of details that will enrich the sense of place I hope to create.

I still have the map I used with the route I took highlighted and I've displayed it on a huge pin board covering the width of one of the walls in my office. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to flick through my books, diary and my NaNo novel notebook and start adding addendum's to the map with information like the geology of the area, flowers in season, natural catastrophe's like the bush fire the burnt out the camping ground we were going to stay at at Hopetoun and the major events in the story that I can turn into scenes like the one that happens at Bunda Cliffs at one of the lookout points along the Great Australian Bight.

For me, thinking about details like these inspire new story ideas. The trick is to have the general details on hand in a visual format so you don't get lost in hunting them down and lose your momentum.

I don't now which details will find their way into my novel, but it's comforting knowing they are there like a security blanket just in case I need them.



I spent an hour fleshing out my various characters ... and personality types. Why they do what they do ... and ... and I went to hit save ...and I hit the x instead ...

I lost it ... it's gone ..gone ... gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Welcome everyone!

We are off to a good start!

I hope everyone is getting ready ...and has enjoyed their weekend!

I've not only added everyone that's been invited that's accepted the invitation, but, changed you to administration. So, you all can go to the invite page and send your own invitations to get people (ahem DR.DINO we're WAITING FOR YOU! to join!)

I am anxious to get started. I've got a few decisions to make about my characters, not sure where the mentor character is going to come from ... and will my main character HAVE an eating disorder ...or just flirt with one. I guess, that will unfold as the story unfolds.

I've got the character names. My son says that the older sister's name sounds like a stripper ... I've tried to change her name, and no matter what, her name is Camille. I just can't seem to get her to be named anything but. Who knows, maybe she gives into her perfection and throws it all in before she finishes college and starts stripping?


Heya, Nurse K, new contributor to this blog, is ALLLLL up in the house. I killed my blog at least temporarily, and I have decided to use this time productively to write and finish my first novel.

I think my writing talent is (1) finding humor in mundane things (2) witty repartee (3) sarcasm/cynicism (4) dark humor and (5) political and societal commentary, so I hope there will be an interesting mix of all of these and a little touch of human emotion to go with it. Note how my writing talents do not include "plot development".

I am planning a book that uses some of the stuff from my blog and other life experiences. Chapter 1 takes place at the main character's redundant HIPAA training in the hospital, and the reader is regaled with the intrigue of the main character going through astounding and complicated lengths to smoke a cigarette in the face of the hospital's campus-wide smoking ban (the rules of which are the same rules found at my hospital). A little interesting dialogue occurs between the main character (Martha), the smokers, and her friend from the ER (Fawn) once they reach the smoking area.

Martha will go on to get involved personally with an unsavory, frequent-flyer patient (not sexually, but as a "friend") and try to do some behind-the-scenes work to help him repair his life [think Amelie] without disclosing information about another patient who she thinks would be the primo solution to his problems with drugs and alcohol. When she finally decides to be borderline unethical and hook these two patients up, major problems ensue. Meanwhile, throughout the story, Martha's dad is lonely, apathetic, and dying of liver and kidney problems [but still funny]. In the end, all of the characters who are good at heart are happy and at peace.

I think that's what will happen anyway.

kick-off party

The party was fun. We all met at a coffee shop, Nina's Cafe, here in St Paul, Minnesota. The back room, which was decent-sized, was full of people and people had to stand and mingle. I enjoyed some nice hot apple cider and blackberry fizzy water along with some pumpkin bread, met up with one of my writing buddies, and met some interesting people, many who had "won" NaNo. The atmosphere was very inspiring. All in all, I think it was a successful kick-off.


I'm Emily. This is my first year doing NaNo, so I'm kind of nervous about it. My book this year is to be a memoir (please don't go flaming me about that). It's entitled Deep In The Dark and is about my life with mental illnesses. I'm only 22, but I've got a ton of material, and am confident I can make it to 50,000 words. I'm going to a kick-off party for NaNo tonight; I'll post about how it goes. ~Emily

Story Ideas Flowing Thick and Fast

This is a test so we will see how it goes.

Ever since I signed up to the Nano month yesterday, the story ideas have been flowing so fast I can't get them onto the page fast enough.

I spent a number of hours yesterday sitting under my pear tree (no pears as yet) writing them into my lime green Nano note book, and all of today worry about the story ideas I couldn't get down fast enough.

I'm really excited about this years Nano. Last year, I did it with a group of 5 in March. I think about three of us finished. I've been trying to craft my brain dump into a Novel ever since. It's a difficult topic and I have to take long breaks from the content. I wonder if I'll ever get it finished. Maybe one day. (you can take a look at the topic at

So for this year I've decided to start on something new. And something with a little more humour.

I won't go too much into what it's about at this stage. Suffice to say it's based to the ups and downs experienced in 15 year relationship and the two month road trip I took across the Nullarbor and around Western Australia last year.

Hopefully, I'll get this one finished a little more quickly and a lot less traumatised.

Anyway, that's me and what I hope to achieve from this Nano. I am looking forward to the next month and having some fun with all you fellow Nanoites.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

My NaNo Novel ...

My NaNo info ... On NaNo ... I'm Pearls And Dreams (surprise surprise surprise!)

I've named my Novel
Willow's Bridge

And it will most likely go into the young adult genre ..we'll see.

My fingers are itching for November 1st to get here brain is panicking that it will actually coming.

My 'plot bunny' is growing ... and desires to be fed.

I have names of the main characters, basic temperments. I have not figured out what the mentor of THE main character is going to be, however. The idea's are endless.

One that is popping around my brain is ... her father is a doctor ... and part of me wonders if maybe, her mentor, might could be one of his female partners in his practice who takes a shine to her.

????? hmmmm

AHA! Thanks to yakking to a friend on IM I've got the mentor's character nailed down. She will be a neighbor, but not sure how close by. She will be a homeschooler with several children. Their home functions in a loud but rhythmic almost orchestrated purposeful organized chaos. Yet, everything gets done, when it's supposed to and no ball gets dropped, although, every ball seems like there is no way it could possibly land where it should. Cassandra will some how get caught up with this family that is so vastly different from hers .... and the mother will take her on as a mentoring project.

This mother will help her to find the path of the bridge away to safety within her own heart matter what chaos is errupting around her.

OOOOOOOOOOO I can't wait !!!

I'm not sure of mentor's name
I have a couple ..all classics
or Elaine ... Elaine is the one I'm leaning for.

first post

Ok, so I have no idea if this will go over or not.

Just thought, since the message boards are so slow, I like the support system, cheerleader type mentality of the built in support ... I'd make my own (hopefully 'our' own) NaNo blog!

So, I've invited DP ... and I would have invited Dr. Dino, but didn't have his email address. Not sure what other of my regular blog friends are participating ..but ... We can use this blog to cheer each other on, ask for support, get help with plot lines (or in my case ... grammar *grin*) or in general ... screaming about being behind.

Join the fun!!!!!!!

If you want someone specific to join ...let me know!