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). ;)