NaNoWriMo 2009

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1:40 AM —> Done! Quantity rules the day. Quality will have its chance some other time. Yeah, that’s right, I WON. I Won! I won. I WON!!!

Sunday Nov 29

Everything was going great – hopped out of bed bright and early, stole some of my husband’s pants to wear to keep my legs warm while writing, and headed to the kitchen for a cup of coffee to rev my writing engines …. aaaand nearly stepped in a pile of doggie vomit. It is mostly made of rope (someone destroyed a toy last night) but it’s still doggie vomit. Great. That kind of ruins my “flow”. Creative thoughts out window, reality is just a little too pungent at the moment. : P

Updated: It’s now 10 PM on Sunday night. I have 3,800 words left to write. Can I push through and make it to the finish line *tonight*? Is it worth it to do so tired and foggy? I’m not sure… it’s worth a try though, right? I think I will go clean up from dinner and make a fresh pot of coffee and just see what happens.

Updated TWICE: 11:50 PM and this is why you should follow me on Twitter: 2 cups of coffee later and I am sitting at 48,000. Gonna take a quick stretch break and grab another cup. Caffeine+me=friends fo’eva.

I have tons more where that came from.

Is anyone else’s butt asleep?

Also, do you think people have any idea that this totally is a marathon effort? Like, I keep posting about Nanowrimo on my facbeook, twitter, etc, because it has been a huge part of my month- a real commitment. I think most people just ignore it… and a lot of people still have nooo idea. Conversation with my dad on Friday, “What are you doing this weekend?” (him)

“Well, working, and I’ve been writing a novel, so I am pretty much going to be writing all day. I need to finish 50,000 words by Monday.” (me)

“Huh? You’re writing a novel?” (him)

“Yeah, I’ve been writing one for a while now, but this a different one. I’m doing a novel-writing challenge for the month of November. I have to finish 50,000 words by Monday.” (me)

“You’re writing a novel?” (him)

“Sigh.” (me)

Saturday Nov 28

This week was a slow one, writing-wise. I have just a hair under 8,000 words to complete in the next 49 hours. Boy, that puts it in perspective. I took the day off from work tomorrow and part of the day off Monday as well, so I have no excuses. I should have written tonight, but I spent time with friends instead. It nourished my soul so that kind of counts as working, right? Anyway, off to the sweatshop. The hard part now is I’m not sure what should happen. I need to do “something” for a bit, then the big battle scene, and some sort of wind-down from the battle to set up the cliffhanger ending. I guess I could just write the battle (or take a stab at it, anyway, I have a feeling this will need MANY attempts to get right) and then fill in around it? I dunno… that seems pretty intense for late at night. I’m on the early schedule now so 11 PM seems pretty sleepy for me…

Sunday Nov 21

I’m now sitting at 36,000 words and 72.2% done. The writing is pretty terrible. Seriously. But it’s moving. I started doing “word sprints” over on twitter a few nights ago and have really felt productive. I’m all about the short, intense bursts of concentration. Still hovering over this endeavor is my worry about “what will be left on December 1.” I don’t want to have a pile of trash, but trash I may have. I at least have a few thoughts on areas that need more work. I need names for different items, better character development. I need to figure out how I want to narrow the focus and make the story more personal. Do I want to limit the POV to four main students (Chloe, Charlotte, Kyle, and James) and alternate between chapters? I’ve seen that done a lot (and tend to enjoy reading books written that way) but don’t know if that is trite and overdone. If I *don’t* do that what other tools are at my disposal for zooming in closer? Should I pick one main character and write mainly from his POV? I also need to continue my scientific research to flesh out some of the concepts more fully. I think the basic storyline is decent, though, once it is a little richer. Of course, the writing needs to be polished, but I know from many many years (and many many pages worth) of experience that I am a primo editor. My brain just needs to spit things out in something resembling order, and on the second go-around I work magic. My first drafts are so far below my second drafts that I almost never let anyone even know of their existence. Anyway, there is just over a week left. For all of those still working – you can do it! And for my fallen comrades – don’t be such quitters!

Thursday Nov 15

Well, that was fun. Monday I got more writing done- hooray for me! Tuesday my dog scratched my eye and I’ve been letting it heal, hence ZERO writing. I feel so far behind, but have gotten some of my excitement back. I also spent last night brainstorming with a couple friends and somehow came up with the potential plot for a series of adult science fiction books. I was trying to come up with a short story idea to submit to my university publication and the idea took on a life of its own. Having all of these ideas bouncing around in my brain is great for my creative energy. Better get to it!

Saturday Nov 14

Well, once I made it to my word count goal for the day, I lost the drive to keep stringing words together and frittered the rest of my time away. I worked last night a little bit on trying to weave more of “the point” of the story in – adding more of the why to the how and who etc. I need to remember that although I am confident I can write a 50,000 word story (I could probably do that in about 3 days if I had to), I want the draft I am left with on November 30 to hold some value and to be something worth taking into December. I know, I know, embrace the imperfection. Don’t worry, it’s plenty imperfect – I just want this to be an actual story, instead of sentence after sentence of gibberish.

Friday Nov 13

Chalk up a fourth day in the “on-time” column – last night I exceeded my word count for Thursday. I found out we MAY get our first snow of the season on Monday, which I conveniently have off, so I am looking forward to spending that cozy day working on my book. That is, if I can find time in between chugging hot cocoa. I mean, it is going to be snowing, after all.

Wednesday Nov 11

Hurray! 3 Days in a row – I’m on top of that word count. Being ahead is a good feeling. Still trucking along – trying to get a bit of a lead so I can devote one of my days off next week to doing some more coherent planning. I know this is all about “embracing imperfection”, but I don’t want my effort to be wasted. Yes, I want the best of both worlds: a good book, written quickly!

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Tuesday Nov 10

Hurrah, passed 15,000 last night before bed! Boy was I tired. Correction: Boy AM I tired. This is the first time I’ve met the daily word count goal and it feels pretty good!

Monday Nov 9

With work all day Sunday I only got a couple hundred words added, bringing me up to 12,104 for the weekend. Things are still trucking along, but I am reaching the end of what I had imagined-out (sort of like planned out ; ) and am about to drop off into the darkness, with only the barest of outlines to guide me. Additionally, this is the part of the novel where I wanted to begin incorporating the technological aspect – how things work, why they work, and tying in as much actual science as I can, so that promises to be labor-intensive. It is a sci-fi/fantasy novel, after all. I’m terrified that if I get more than a day behind in word count I’ll be lost forever. Send good vibes my way!

P.S. Is it bugging anyone that your prose is so rugged? I keep getting an itch to go back and edit. Any time I catch a glance of a previous page my eyes somehow absorb a million errors and things that need to be changed but I know that between my 2 jobs and all the other stuff, I don’t have time to write AND edit this month. It’s horrible to have to choose on or the other! Nails on chalkboard.

Saturday Nov 7

10 AM: I’m up past 8,000 words now. My goal is to crank out 5,000 words today for a total of 13,000. I’ll be happy making it past the 10,000 mark. That mark represents a milestone for me. This will be the longest single work I have written since middle school. I wrote a 170 page novel about figure skaters… it was pretty cheesy. They had hopes, dreams, romance. Ambition got the best of some but good friendships stayed strong. There were badly written Russian accents and lots and lots of stretch fabric. For some reason (gosh, I wonder why) I never “count” that piece of fiction. I wrote it more than a decade ago and I guess the fact that I’m too embarrassed about it to ever share it with anyone probably means something. Anyway, since that…interesting… experience, I haven’t really written fiction. I wrote a poem in high school (yep, just the one) that was published. I think I may have also written a handful of short stories for high school English class, but since then, I haven’t written fiction until I began planning “my book” nearly two years ago. I began writing on it this summer, but scrapped it and have started over, shifting my direction slightly, for this November contest. I’m still not sure fiction is really my thing. But, 10,000 words have to mean something. I mean it- statistically speaking, there has to be some sort of likelihood that SOMETHING I have written makes some sort of sense! : )

12PM: RaH, rAh, RaH! Three cheers for me!

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P.S. I am now officially in love with milk stout. It may have trumped my former love, oatmeal stout.

Friday Nov 6

You know what helps the writing process? Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout.

Yummy. In. My. Tummy.

Thursday Nov 5

This does not bode well – I am neither updating my NaNoWriMo journal nor storming ahead on my book. Don’t get me wrong – I am writing, and I think it is pretty decent and mostly coherent writing – but it is not nearly ENOUGH. I just had TWO days off and wrote fewer than 1000 words. My attention was (rather unwillingly) pulled in other directions, but it’s my fault for not making this a priority. I have to work today and then I work from 8 AM until 9 PM on Friday, but I took a vacation day on Saturday. Saturday is my chance for redemption. I’m a fast writer when I sit down and focus – it’s not too late to catch up… Or at least that is what I keep telling myself!

Monday Nov 2

This is starting to feel more and more like I am flying by the seat of my pants, coming up with things spontaneously. I will repeat that I feel uncomfortable writing when I haven’t devoted my usual amount of time to pondering the “next step” and I am starting to worry that by coming up with this stuff on the fly, I will “ruin” my Big, Good, Awesome book idea. What if I can’t get these random spontaneous thoughts out of my head and I ruin my book idea forever? Ack! I keep telling myself I can change it later if I hate it… but what if I never do?! Still, this might be beneficial to my creative process – sort of like free association. I’ve been thinking about this idea for more than a year. The characters are newly born, but I don’t want to screw up my plot. From what I’ve read about writing I should really be worried the other way around, but I guess all this stuff will have to work itself out. I’ve been writing for an hour and twenty minutes, off and on, and am up another thousand words. Slow going. If I get the pondering out of the way first, my writing flies. Pondering and writing simultaneously is a much slower process. Sort of like writing a research paper when you haven’t done any research and you have to flip through books and come up with citations at the same time as you are trying to use these never-seen-before citations as evidence. I think I just wrote a longer paragraph about writing than I wrote for my novel.

Sunday Nov 1

This isn’t too bad. I don’t like writing when I haven’t had ages and ages to ponder what I am next going to write about, but it’s been fun. I only spent about 30 minutes writing tonight so I don’t know how that will be reflected in my quality of writing, but I got 1000 words in.

2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2009

  1. Pingback: The Path is Long and Winds in Mysterious Ways « Ad Astra per Aspera

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