Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
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.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
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.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I am, however, the biggest NaNoWriMo fan! Write on . . .
tk (Collecting Cats)
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
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
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
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 Avenuestop. 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.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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.
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.
Monday, November 12, 2007
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
Friday, November 9, 2007
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.
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
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
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
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?
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.
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 ...is 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
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*.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
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?
I'm still optimistic, and equal parts impressed and jealous at all the other massive WC's being posted. WTG, folks!
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. :)
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.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
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.
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*
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.
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.
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. :)
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.....
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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...."
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....
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.
Now off to tend to the sick (son and self) and healthy (daughter). ;)