Monday, August 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo is creeping upon us, slowly...

So, my writery peeps, if you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, I am sad!  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the month of November.  You write 1666.66 words per day, or write extra some days to make up for slower other days, for a total of 50,000 words written by the end of the month.  Midnight Nov. 1st, you can start your word count.  It's meant to show you CAN write a novel in a short amount of time.  

Of course, this is just the first draft, and we all know editing takes at least two or three times longer than the first draft.  Which sucks if you get distracted and take forever on the first draft...  but I digress.  The point is, you can prove to yourself how much you really CAN write every day if you put your mind to it.  There is no major awesome thing you win at the end, they won't send you a T-Shirt or a coffee mug or anything in congratulations.  It's just you, patting your own self on your own back, saying, look, I did it!

 <<  See, totally awesome thing to have.  I did it!  The beginning of book 1, The Order of Yuli, the one I'm nearing completion on, was born here.

So!  If you're participating in 2011, do you have your plan?  Do you have a plot, outline, character sketches going, or are you planning to just wing it this year?  I flaked out last year, but I had my reasons...  (Recently reconciling with the estranged spouse, not wanting to take too much time away from family during the up-in-the-air emotional time.  And if I had it to do again, I'd do it the same way.)

Anyway!  So, what's your plan??  Are you going to join me in my crazy writery land?  How do you do such things?

And if you're interested in reading the general idea behind all of this craziness, the lovely person who started NaNo wrote this book.  Check it out!  No Plot?  No Problem!

However, I do find a problem with no plot.  I ended up rambling incessantly (What?!  ME?!) for the first 30k pages without really taking my story anywhere.  Granted, once I figured out what I wanted to do, I have lots of useful things I can work from in those 30k pages...  but a LOT of it will have to go.

If you want other good how-to-write-a-book books, I'd recommend these:  250 Things You Should Know About Writing, and Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey.  They're written by the same guy, and 250 Things is much shorter and more concise, but they're both VERY good.  I'm currently in the midst of the editing section on COAFP, and it's blowing my mind out of the water.  Seriously, I put a lot of thought into what I put on a page, but I've never used spreadsheets before.  Now I'm going to have to start.  It makes sense, I used to do lots of other kinds of writing things out (highschool students and their class schedules so I know who is in what class together, etc)....  but spreadsheets??  Genius!  Even if it means an assload more work.  Ah, well.

Anyway.  If you want to see how crazy this whole idea of spreadsheets can be, Wendig recommended looking up J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter plot spreadsheet.  Holy crap.  She keeps track of every little thing, subplots, month, general theme of each chapter, dream sequences, what's happening with each person during the course of the chapter, how they all intersect, etc.  Seriously amazing.  I knew the books were well planned, and I always wondered if it was planned ahead of time or not...  Anyway, the question with this is...  did she plot it all out before she wrote it, or after, and fixed the things that didn't fit?  Either way, loads of work.  BUT you can absolutely see how well it panned out for her.  Those books really are fantastic reads, and the further into them you get, the better the writing gets.  Rowling is someone to learn from, to be sure.

I leave you with this.  Chew on it for a while.  Wow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Miss Anna and the ghost story

I was hanging out at a friend's house after work, with the kiddos, and it was getting late.  Anna had a falling out with the little boy there, rushed down the stairs in a fury and demanded we go home.  "Because of him!" She screamed, pointing at the other kid.

I calmed her down, we dealt with the issue that caused the unhappiness, and told her I was not ready to leave yet.  She did not have to go back upstairs, she could stay with the grown ups if she wanted, but I was not going anywhere yet.  She got all flustered and upset, then I offered to find her something to read on my Kindle.

She asked to read one of my stories, so I pulled it up for her.  She read until we left last night, asking periodic questions that impressed my friends, "What does 'subsequently' mean?"...  Mostly, this was impressive because she is 8 and didn't spell it as well, and ask how to say it.  Apparently my answer was also awesome, "As a result of something else happening, something new will happen.  So, you hit your brother and subsequently were sent to your room.  Make sense?"  She nodded and continued on.

She's still not done, but she's spending her free Sunday morning sitting with my Kindle in the living room, trying to finish the story before I abduct the Kindle and head back to work again.

Ah, kids.  What fun!  Also, even if it's a little out of their official reading level, it doesn't mean they won't LOVE it and follow it anyway!  The story she's reading is geared toward high school age, give or take a couple years.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Number Obsessions

Happy Friday, oh, if only it were a really REAL Friday for me.  Alas, I work all weekend.  Not on the words.  Probably not on the words at all, actually, not after this morning.  Work does tend to take over the entire three days of the weekend at the brick and mortar place that pays me regularly and provides insurance for my blow-up-from-bug-bites kid and the occasional random kidney infection.  Oh, insurance how nice you are.  How lovely it would be if you were not a worry...  WishingthiswasCanada says what?

I digress...  Kids go to school today, to Grandma's tonight, while I work tonight and tomorrow morning (yay, close/open!).  This means I have the whole morning/day/until my husband wakes up and gets distracting to get my words OUT!

So, my general goal, of late, has been 1000-3000 words per day.  Yesterday I managed 2100, day before 1800, 1700 before that...  Yeah, I do tend to obsess about the numbers just a WEE little bit.  Sometimes.  Maybe.  (Also, going to start obsessing about regularly posting here, just because.  So get used to it!)

So, let's see if I can hit 3000 words before the hubband wakes up and puts on something lovely and distracting.  You know, something like Big Bang Theory where I find myself guffawing over whimsical ducks and their umbrellas.  No wait, that was yesterday when I nearly fell in the tub...  It was funny when I wasn't falling anymore.

Tubs are slippery.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Which I Give a Mini Update

Orange juice, check!  Breakfast sandwich from cheap fast food place, check!  Tiny round wanna-be-potato thingies, check!

Ok, I'm up, I'm up!  Stop your nagging!  And the kids DID get to school...  only slightly late.  Nice start to my day, eh?  I'm trying to make up for it with food.

So last night, my assumptions were all proven correct.  I can't drink, not even wine, not even slowly, and get ANY work done.  I had guessed it, but wanted to try it out.  Usually it's my Absolut Citron with Simply Lemonade (Raspberry, please!) and that makes me more fun-drunk than simply laid back.  So last night, I got myself a bottle of Moscato d'Asti from Costco (I love you Costco!), and proceeded with my experiment.

Utter fail.  Nope, can't write.  Was trying to read instead, my new lovely book on writing (because, well, if you can't write, you may as well read about writing, right?  Were there enough "write" sounds in that sentence?  Writey writey write write, right?), Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey....  I had already finished the shorter writing book-thingy by the same most excellent writer dude, 250 Things You Should Know About Writing~  I couldn't read without getting overly tired either.  Damn it.  So I decided to watch a movie instead.  Watch a movie I knew I liked, but had not seen in a while, and pay attention to the STORY behind the visuals.  Let the story take me away...

So I did.  And it was not as awesome a movie as I remember, but I now have a child the age of the one the Main Character lost in an accident, so I got all teary and blubbery anyway.  Ah well, such is life.

Anyway, so the ramble ramble here is all gearing up to why I'm trying to crank out words!  I'm nearing completion on the first draft of a book I've been working on.  I started this one for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in 2009, and I got to my 50k words and walked away even though it wasn't done.  I'm picking it back up, seeing where it goes, and taking it for a spin.  I'm about 79k words in right now, and have the end mapped out.  Just have to do the leg work!  And then, well, edit it about a gajillion times before I'm willing to let people look at it.  Well, unless you peek at my NaNo page, where I failed hard last year, and read the little excerpt.

So, I'm all quiet-like here, but I promise, I really am working.  ;)  Pinkie swear!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Link to a most brilliant blog posting

This is so me.  It's so brilliantly true, I just can't stand it.  I'm deep within the thralls of #8, and need to smack myself some goblins.  They are mean little buggers!  Anyhoo, if you love to do the writing thing like I do, however sporadically I am able to actually DO it, give this a little look-see.  I am really starting to like this guy's view on things.  :)