Tag Archives: Writing

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #16

Word count: 40546 (+1783 from day 15).

Another day of low output.

Wordcount as of 2008-11-16

I did not feel productive during the day at all, and spent way too much time procrastinating. It became much easier to write after I took a walk (in the rain, no less) in the evening, but I became very drowsy while I was writing. I vaguely remember going to bed…

I finished the scene I was working on this morning and reached a convenient break point. In total, it was only 1783. However, I did reach the 40,000 words milestone, and will definitely reward myself for that today.

Plot-wise, things are progressing in a fairly straight forward manner. I think I will have to change one aspect of what I wrote, however. We will see. My two main protagonists should find the main objective today or tomorrow (day 17 or 18, that is) and then it’s resolution time. As there are still several things I need to work out before “The End” I am absolutely sure 50,000 words will not suffice. As a rough guess, I will say 65,000. It will be interesting to see how accurate this prediction is.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #15

Word count: 38763 (+1938 from day 14).

And so we reach the half-way point of NaNoWriMo. I made it to 38763 words today (yesterday, technically, as I am posting this on Sunday morning). Progress was slower than I had hoped. I am really feeling the chore of writing now. Words flow less easily. I have to pay more attention to steering towards the conclusion, and this limits my freedom. Instead of “this would be a fun obstacle to write about”, I find myself compelled to make sure than anything I add will get my protagonists closer to their goal. It does not mean they are having a free ride, of course. In fact when I left them today, they were in a life-threatening situation.

Wordcount as of 2008-11-15

As you can see, I slowed down a lot the past two days. This is a direct result from the lessened enthusiasm and fun. I still made the minimum quota on both days, and with over two weeks remaining I am still confident that I will make the 50k goal.

These past two days have re-affirmed my respect for writers. I was never part of the crowd who thinks writer have an easy life, but to actually be forced to write something on schedule, whether you like to or not, is a new experience for me.

Now I will take a break and reward myself with breakfast, before I tackle today’s writing session. I ended on a cliffhanger, so hopefully I will have more fun writing the narrow escape than I did getting my characters into the situation in the first place.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #14

Word count: 36825 (+1667 from day 13).

My buddy Pedro made level 58 on World of Warcraft today, and so I ended up playing in the Outlands with him for quite a while. Yes, it was a lot of fun, but it also ate away too much time from writing.

Not that I really felt like writing today. I was tired and felt terribly ill, with headaches and the works.

As a consequence, I almost did not write, but I managed to do it. I only made the minimum word count, but that would be OK even if I was not way ahead of schedule. It does mess up my nice graph a little, but it would be silly to get upset about that.

I again went back to an earlier point and added some things in that I needed. It further shows that a decent outline would have saved me a lot of trouble, and did I mention that the whole thing will need an urgent rewrite / editing process – in December?

I am off to bed now, and hope that tomorrow will be more productive again.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #13

Word count: 35158 (+3250 from day 12).

My two main protagonists are now on their way to finally tackling the main objective of the novel. And I do not mean that in a meta novel plot type sense; they are actually on their way to the location. The group of shelter survivors shattered today, as the character I do not like basically took control of it. What can I say, he is a jerk and an egomaniac.

I really did not want to write today. I had to force myself to do it. It was very awkward at first. Then I went back and expanded a scene much earlier by a short bit, and this laid the groundwork for a conflict I wanted to include today. After I had done that, those 3250 words came fairly quickly. Listening to good music helped too: I have several hours of DJ Risc’s now defunct Eve Radio show recorded. It’s really good music to listen to while working, in my opinion – not too aggressive, but energetic enough to keep you going, if that is the right term.

With 35000 (thirty five thousand!) words written in less than two weeks, I am starting to feel a little proud of myself. Sure, this ain’t gonna be a best-seller, and had I not promised at least one person that he could read it, I’d probably hide it forever. But it’s going to get done, and it’s going to get done in November, unless an Act of God prevents it.

But honestly… I don’t think it is so bad that I must be smitten with lightning.

Wordcount for 2008-11-13

Fairly smooth progression, eh?

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #12

Word count: 31908 (+3088 from day 11).

Woke up at 4am today, after I had gone to bed early, and so I did what any responsible NaNoWriMo participant would do… I began to write. Or so I tried. I failed miserably. I was stuck! I did not know how to proceed. I spent some time planning the future progress of the novel, and tortured my poor head all day. I finally began to actually write in the evening, and once I had gotten past 500 words, the rest of today’s output followed quite easily.

I am at a fairly convenient breaking point, so I decided to stop for today. I have a few more things I want to settle, before I approach the “grand finale”, so to speak. That is, where the protagonists tackle the main objective of the novel. I know I will hate the novel as I write it, and I know I will put a lot of garbage in it, but that’s okay. It will get done, it will have the two magic words on the last line: “The End.”

And then, in December, I will read it again, try hard not to throw up, and fix it.

In more general news, I think I have an idea for a fun project to follow NaNoWriMo up with. I’ll have to mull it over a little more, but I’ll post about it in due time.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #11

Word count: 28820 (+2835 from day 10).

I added that other scene I was talking about yesterday. It probably needs some work… but that’s for later. It added 1300 words to the story. I then continued to write the novel. My protagonists are now getting confronted with the main object of the novel. Naturally, there are more obstacles in their way, but from this point on things should develop towards a resolution instead of getting more confusing.

I was tempted, for a little while, to attempt to reach 30,000 today, but in the end I was too tired to do so. As I said before, I shouldn’t force myself just to try and get a higher word count and then risk burn-out.

I am now past the point where I even worry about criticizing myself anymore. I have accepted, no, even embraced the idea that it’s OK to write crap, that is is more important to progress and “get it done”, because you can always rewrite and edit later. (It’s just important not to forget that, yes, rewrites and edits must be done as well. It’s a matter of prioritizing and scheduling.)

No “in general news” today, because I found nothing NaNoWriMo related worth sharing. I did however discover that it’s trivial to export graphs from OpenOffice, so here’s my word count as a graph:

Worccount as of 2008-11-11

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #10

Word count: 25985 (+2721 from day 9).

I made the 25k milestone. I am half-way to “winning” NaNoWriMo 2008, with twenty days to go.

Writing was hard again today. Not so much because the words wouldn’t flow, but because I think I need “something else”. That is, I think the part I am writing on now should be preceded by another scene. Now, that is not a catastrophe, really. Inserting something can only be good, as it means more words, deleting is what’s not allowed. However, it makes me spend a lot of time thinking about it. I know roughly what is needed, I just need to mull it over a little.

I also created another CD cover for a band I mention in the novel. There’s no real point to doing that, but remember that I am, at heart, a world-builder, and building up a wealth of detail for my world is something I enjoy doing.

I didn’t notice this when I added myself to the science fiction word count chart, but they have nicely formatted statistics for each participant. Here’s mine.

The daily word counts do not match mine because NaNoWriMo seems to cut over to the next day at midnight Pacific time, while I cut over at the end of my day, that is, when I post my daily NaNoWriMo update.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #9

Word count: 23264 (+3460 from day 8).

I am stopping early today – as I write this post, it is just 6pm. I guess I could easily make it to 25k today, but I am at a convenient point to stop. I didn’t quite get to the action part, but I laid the foundation for it.

I easily made the 20,000 words milestone, but I only had 196 words to go, so it doesn’t feel like quite the accomplishment for today. Still, the half-way point is just around the corner, with two thirds of the month to go. This is a Good Thing™.

23264 words in nine days comes to 2584 words per day, on average. Considering I was worried about making 1667, I am quite (positively) surprised with myself. Not that it is always easy. Not that it is good. But it is being written.

As a side note, I checked today: The longest continuous work I have ever written in my life is 54600 words long (and it is unfinished). That’s longer than I had thought! The text on 2nd place is 33000 words long. Therefore my NaNoWriMo novel should, just out of principle, be at least 55000 words long.

And actually have an ending.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #8

Word count: 19804 (+2156 from day 7).

I stopped writing at another convenient break-point. Crazed DJ Molly and our protagonists have joined up, and they are on their way back to the fall-out shelter. Tomorrow – both in terms of writing schedule and in the story world – the real action should begin. I am also “so close” to the 20k words mark – and that’s almost the half-way point. I am very confident that I will meet the 50,000 words, but I also want to “get it done” in November. At the current pace, that may be much harder to accomplish!

In more general news, I added myself to the science fiction wordcount chart. There’s no real point to that beyond being part of some list. As with all things, competition never hurts… I just don’t think it motivates me enough to try and outdo the guy above me.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #7

Word count: 17648 (+2121 from day 6).

Today was not a good day for me, as I was tired and didn’t feel like writing, at all. I still managed to exceed the daily quota; I am a little proud of that: I stuck to the plan even when it was not easy to do so. Not that my output today was overly compelling, but again correcting it is what December will be for.

I did realize that at least some gas masks actually have a very large transparent area, so my removal of facial expressions from a section of the novel was a little hasty. I made a note of it, and will change the relevant section again during editing.

In more general NaNoWriMo news, I saw that some people wrote over 200k words in a few days. Let me spell that out: Two hundred thousand words. Now that just seems excessive, and I truly wonder how much filler material there’s in those novels.