Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Prep… or not.

Raise your hand if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year.

Okay, this being the internet (and me not being a creepy webcam-stalker) means that I can’t see you. So I guess commenting would be more appropriate there.*

Yes, it's going to be one of those posts.

Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo is an annual event during which writers all over the world (yes, even Antarctica one year) attempt to write 50,000+ words of a novel in one month. This equals 1667 words per day, assuming a steady pace and no days off. You can write the 50,000 in the first week and nothing the rest of the month if you want to. Or leave it all to the last minute, which is… it’s generally not a good plan. Trust me.

I’ve participated every year since 2010, when a (very) rough draft of the then-untitled Bound was my project. And then I lost almost all of it in a software-related mishap, but that’s another story. Since then I’ve won a few, “lost” one (though I don’t think anyone loses as long as you get some words down), and participated in several Camp NaNo sessions. I drafted Torn in 2012 and thoroughly revised it in 2013. It was much better the second time around.

Okay, technically revisions are not allowed by NaNo rules. But I did change/add 50,000 words, so I counted it.

And it looks like this year I might just be a NaNo rebel again. Or maybe not.

See, if all goes well, I’m going to have the first draft of my current project finished by November 1 or shortly thereafter. Even though I blasted past 50,000 words in a private NaNo in October, I can’t count any of those words for the event. So I can’t use that project.

I need to do another editing pass on Torn before it goes to my editor in December. I need to make a few plot and character adjustments to better lead into book 3, plant a few ideas in there to bloom later (being a time traveller is fun!), do a sweep for over-used words and other issues that are going to make editing more expensive. I have to start that ASAP.

And I can’t count it.

During Camp NaNoWriMo, one hour of editing = 1000 words on the progress bar. Not so in November. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I can take my cheating that far.

This makes it a little difficult to join in on the NaNo prep excitement. I miss it.

So Here’s What I’m Going to Do:

  • I’m going to bust my ass to get Torn finished quickly. I’m going to work every hour I’m at home without the kids. I’ll use NaNo word sprint events and Facebook write-ins to keep me focused, I will get organized before I start, and hopefully I’ll get it done in a week or two.
  • And then I’m going to start something for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be a late start, as I can’t have my attention divided when I’m editing as many people can.** I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I might go back to my as-yet-unpublished vampires***, because I’ve had a lot of fun with that. I might buckle down and flesh out the plot for that gempunk thing I started for a flash fiction challenge. Maybe, if I just want to relax and play with something that will never see the light of day, I’ll get to that erotic ghost story. Why not have fun? I’ve been busting my ass to get the Bound trilogy done. I can’t stop writing, but maybe I can just play for a few weeks.
  • As for pulling off a win… it’s probably not going to happen this year. I have to make editing the priority, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be right in there. I’ll be participating in groups and forums if I find time, cheering my writing buddies on, neglecting the housework. I wish I could say I’ll go to write-ins, but we don’t get those out here.
  • But darn it, I’m going to have fun.

And then after that it’ll be just chilling and relaxing and…

*accepts note from disembodied hand*

Wait, no. After that it’ll be biting my nails while Torn is with my editor, then surviving enjoying Christmas, then the stress and pressure to get the edits done so that I can get it out to second-round readers and get proofreading done and formatting and figuring out promotional stuff and planning a party and uploading for pre-order–

Deep breaths.

So November should be a cakewalk compared to January and February is what I’m really saying.

It’s a good thing I like my readers. 🙂

For more on my experiences with NaNoWriMo and why it’s the only reason I ever wrote more than three chapters of a novel, see this post. I talk a lot about perfectionism there… we’ll have to revisit the topic some time.

If you’re participating, drop your username in the comments or just go ahead and add me as a buddy.

If not, we can still be buddies.

*Do you guys SEE how well my brain is working today? I know. It’s bonkers.

**I don’t hate you. I’m just jealous.

***Resurrection is the working title of the first novella, Sanctuary is the 1/3 finished second one. I’m starting to notice a theme…


Novel: VALIDATED

 

If only I could find my Kobo, life would be just GRAND. I’m supposed to be finishing a beta read. Anyone seen it? Little thing, flat, white, hair dye stain on the back? Answers to the name of… um… Kobo?

No?

I swear, I’m going to buy one of those car-key finders and stick it on there if I ever find it.

I NEED TO FINISH THIS BOOK!!!


ROW80 Update: Cat Legs Edition

First, the good news:

Image

Harriet’s got her legs back.

I hit 50,000 words on Thursday, thereby winning NaNoWriMo, and celebrated with a delicious box of Count Chocula cereal (thanks, Jae!).

I can’t call it official until I validate my word count, and we can’t do that until tomorrow. Until then, I’ll be on edge, waiting for every computer in the house to simultaneously self-destruct, thus thwarting my victory.

But still… feels good. 🙂

The bad news is that I haven’t got anything done since Friday morning. We have some people coming to look at things that need to be fixed in out house (yay!), but that means that we had to clean the house to make it presentable (boo). Most of it wasn’t too bad, but the kids’ areas (their bedroom and most of the basement) looked like they got hit by a toynado. I had to go into mean mommy mode and spend my days helping them. And then there were little, unimportant things like cooking, dishes, groceries, cleaning everything ELSE…

It’s left me in a REALLY bad mood. As torturous as writing is sometimes (and as good as I am about procrastinating), I do notice a change in my mood when I’m kept away from it for a few days.

If anybody’s going to screw up my writing schedule, it’s going to be me.

In any case, the weekend is almost over. We’re going to go do some Christmas decorating right now, before the boys go to bed (yay!) and watch the Grinch (boo).

What are you all up to this weekend?


ROW, ROW, ROW Your WIPpet: Creeptastic Edition

It’s WEDNESDAY, the greatest day of the week (for me), and hoooo my goodness I forgot to put the garbage out again.

Dangit.

You all know what that means (she said as readers not interested in this stuff quickly navigated away). WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 Update! Yaaaaaay! *partysplosion*

WIPpet Wednesday:

Nine paragraphs from Rowan’s POV in this year’s NaNoWriMo novel (20th, minus 11 for November, so as not to bore you all… wouldn’t want to keep you against your will). Just for fun, no context. Most of you don’t know this guy, anyway.

“Keep those clothes on,” Callum said. He locked the door and released me, then sat to remove his boots. “I don’t have anything for you to wear.”

“You… you’re staying in here, too?” I asked, and he smiled sadly.

“Funny, isn’t it? If things had gone as they were supposed to, we’d be married by now, and you’d have been sharing a bed with me since midwinter. Now you’re with me against your will, and I can’t risk leaving you alone to piss without thinking you’re going to disappear.” He stood and walked barefoot toward me, and I stepped back until I hit the wall. Callum sighed, and reached out to cup my face in his hand. “You should have been mine. Sweet Rowan.” I tried to look away, but he wouldn’t let me. He rubbed his thumb over my cheekbone, tenderly, then pushed me toward the bed. “Get in.”

“No.”

“You’re not in a bargaining position, love. You have nothing to worry about, anyway. I know what you’re thinking. You assume too much about your own appeal if you think I’d defile myself with someone like you. Don’t make me angry, though. You’ll regret it.”

I took my time deciding whether I could believe him. In the end, I sat down and took my own boots off, then slipped under the uppermost blanket and wrapped my skirt tight around my legs.  Callum closed off the oil lamp. There was silence for what seemed like several minutes, and then he climbed into the bed. My muscles twitched as the lumpy mattress shifted under his weight.

“Go to sleep,” he said.

I didn’t think I would, but I must have drifted off. I woke to the feeling of a heavy hand sliding from my waist down over my hip and resting on the outside of my thigh for a moment before retracing its journey back up to my ribs. Callum sighed and shifted in the bed, then rolled away from me.

I lay in the dark, eyes wide open and unseeing, waiting.

Oooooh, how did THAT happen?

Want to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to this week? Check out the link here, and as always, please stop by to pay your respects to K.L. Schwengel, the Godauthor of WIPpet Wednesdays. She just might make you an offer you can’t refuse. Want to join in? Post a snippet of a work in progress on your own blog that relates somehow to today’s date, and link back. Easy-peasy, London squeezy, as my 5-year old says.

ROW80

NaNoWriMo word count: 44,076 as of last night. I’m having a pacing issue in that a character has encountered friends he hasn’t seen since book one and they have a lot to talk about. I mean, it’s interesting stuff, and a horse just got eaten by a dragon in the middle of it… and there’s sexual tension with the wrong damned person… but still. Do I need to throw more dragons at you people? Because I WILL DO IT. -_-

I need to get back to work. There’s a box of Count Chocula calling my name, and I can’t open it until I hit 50,000.

Also, if I get 50,000 likes words, the doctors say they’ll put legs on my cat. That’s a thing that works, right?

"Help... meeeeee!"

“Help… meeeeee!”

Boy, that’s a lot of pressure. I’d better get back to work.

TO THE WRITEATORIUM!

[This post dedicated to Shannon, who was the first person who reminded me to tie up this loose end 🙂 ]


ROW80 Update: Quickie Edition

My right arm is currently trapped under a pile of dog face, so I’m going to have to keep this brief.

Specifically, this face.

Specifically, this face.

I passed the 40,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo this morning, and there was much celebration… mostly because this means I’m only 10,000 words away from breaking open a box of count Chocula, which I haven’t had since I was a kid.

YESSSSSSS!

Holy carp, this dog’s head is heavy.


Wednesday Stuff: So Many Question Marks

ROW80:

I think my twitter feed says a lot about how writing went for me this week.

*Wrote. Ugh.

But…

I count this as proof that BICFOK (butt in chair, fingers on keys) works, even when distractions abound and motivation seems to be at a standstill. And the words, they are not all crap. True, I did have to write circles in that one scene with an uncooperative character, and ended up skipping it for now, but this is how the story gets written.

It also gets written with a lot of typos. I blame the excessive amounts of caffeine I’m consuming.

So there you go. Closing in on 30,ooo words now out of a 50,000 word month and a 100,000 word draft goal.

And speaking of those words that I hope are not all crap…

WIPpet Wednesday

For the thirteenth of NOVEMBER (jeez, I wrote October again!) I offer the last 13 paragraphs I wrote, as of right now (this being Tuesday at 11:10 am, because I’m on the ball this week). Aren’s hubris (that should be his middle name, I swear) has got him into trouble, and he’s getting schooled by a secretive warrior-monk-wise man type. We’ve all been there, right?

He released me, and I dropped to the floor, gasping.

“Who are you?” I whispered.

“I think a better question might be who you think you are, Aren. Powerful? Undoubtedly. Intelligent, though inexperienced, and blinded by pride. But what else? You’re not a prince anymore, or your brother’s tool. What will you use your magic for now? What would you be without it? Is there more to you?”

I ignored his questions. “How did you block me without magic?”

“Our potions master is quite good, isn’t he?” Phelun crouched on the floor in front of me. “You don’t understand as much about this world as you think you do. You have been given great gifts, and you squander them. You use them for selfish reasons, to harm and kill and destroy. Do you think this is what the Goddess intended when she blessed you so?”

He offered a hand, and I ignored it, instead pushing myself up from the floor by pressing my back against the door and forcing my legs to straighten.

“I don’t know. Was it her plan for my father and his father before him to plan their marriages to produce the strongest children? Was she at work in his bedroom when I was conceived, or Severn? And where was she when my father and my oldest brother turned me into what I am? It seems she was absent when my mother died, when my caretakers were killed, when I lost the only friends I’d ever had. Did she expect me to rise from the cesspool of hate and mistrust I was born into, to turn my back on the advantages of belonging to the wealthiest and most influential family in the world? To betray them for a deity who’s never given a shit about me?”

“You did betray your family, in the end.”

“Not for her. You said yourself that the magic I use is dark, and not her will. And yet you also say it’s a gift from her. Which is it?”

He stayed where he was, crouched at my feet. “I don’t know,” he said. “But I don’t believe she would have sent you to us if you were beyond redemption, or if I couldn’t help you.”

“So you believe you’ve done good here?”

“Perhaps. The results of our actions are often not immediately apparent. I trust in the Goddess, in my experiences and what my brothers have learned over the centuries.”

“Do you? I trust in myself.”

Oh, my beloved character. You are going to get cut down like a friggin’ Christmas tree.

So there you go, my contrubution in all of its NaNo draft glory. FEEL THE GLORY, HUMANS!

Sorry. Too much coffee again this morning. *tweeks*

If you’d like more WIPpet Wednesday fun, click on over here to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to this week, and as always, feel free to join in! Just post an excerpt on your own blog from a work in progress that somehow relates to today’s date (chapter, number of lines, whatever). We’re a good bunch, I promise. We probably won’t bite… Except for maybe our host, K.L. Schwengel. *flips through notes* Wait. No, she’s bright, not “she’ll bite.” Sorry.

Curious about ROW80, the flexible writing challenge that’s not as insane as NaNoWriMo*? Here’s the link to the site and the blog, from which you can find links to see what everyone else is up to this week. It’s never too late to join in!

*You know I love you, NaNo. gimme a kiss.

 


Random Dialogue, The Hulk, And a NanoThon

Someone recently said (and I’m really sorry I can’t remember who it was) that a writer’s brain is like a junk drawer.

It’s true. We’ve got character flotsam and setting jetsam floating around in there like nobody’s business, waiting for the day when they’ll find a home in a story. Ideas just rattle around until the day when two or more crash together to make something new, and we can pull out the tangled ball of string and paper-clips out and go, “Yeah, I can McGuyver something out of that.”

It’s stuff that many people would throw away, but we train ourselves to remember.

And there’s the dialogue. I know I’m not the only one who finds myself in a situation where suddenly comments from unknown characters are floating in my head, talking about what’s happening. I don’t usually know exactly where they’ll fit into a story, but they hang out, filling the junk drawer, waiting.

This one is re-surfacing for me today:

Him: “I don’t get why you girls make such a big deal about it. Cramps can’t be that bad.”

Her: “No? Imagine that the Incredible Hulk is grabbing your uterus and wringing it out like a damp dish rag, and you’ll have some idea of what it feels like.”

Him: *snort* “I don’t have a uterus.”

Her: “That’s right, you don’t. So just shut up about it.”

Something tells me she’s the one with the cramps. 😉

In any case, here I sit on the morning of the November 9 NaNoThon (or whatever they’re calling it), chugging a hot tea and Advil cocktail, about to start on my to-do list. It’s like I’m the protagonist in a story where my goal is to write, and the author just glommed on to the whole “throw obstacles at your protagonist” thing.

We’re going to visit the in-laws around supper time. AJ is working, so I have kids to keep busy all day (and I should probably feed them, too). I have laundry to do, suitcases to pack, birthday cards to fill out, cat litter to change, scenes to plan, and various aches and pains making me want to say “screw the world” and crawl back in bed.

Are we going to place bets on how much writing I get done today?

*cracks knuckles*

*finishes tea*

Let’s do this.


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