NaNoWriMo—Conclusion

So! Today is…December 2nd.  (I almost forgot that for a moment.). NaNoWriMo is over.  Did I make my goal?

Eep.  Not quite.  I ended the month with 26k.

I’m content with that, though.  I wrote, almost everyday.  So I’m good.

Meanwhile, finals are sneaking up on me (okay, not-so-sneaking), and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to be on WordPress much for a week or so.  So I won’t really respond to any comments.

On that note, how did NaNoWriMo go for the rest of you?

NaNoWriMo—Past the MidWay Point! & Extras!

I’ve found it’s strangely discouraging to see how much further ahead everybody else’s wordcounts are from mine, so I decided to stop looking.  After all, it doesn’t matter how much everyone else has written! NaNoWriMo isn’t a race against other people.  It’s a crazy motivational month in which we all try our bests to write a full novel.

Okay, at the end of the month, I won’t have a full novel.  I’ll have 30k of assorted, random scenes that I can then use to write a fairlyish good outline of the next two novels.  (Instead of just one.  Oops.)

So far, I’m right on track.  Today’s the nineteenth and I have almost 19k.  (Okay, fine, I’m a few hundred words behind.  There, you got me.)  I’m not worried, though.  I’m still pretty confident I’ll make my goal, and I’ll be pretty happy with it.

Meanwhile, I realized that come December, I won’t have anything to write.  I’m not finishing the novel I’m writing this month, for several reasons—the biggest of which simply is that I have written absolutely nothing this year that wasn’t set in this world and with these characters. (Well, okay, I tried a few other things for Camp NaNo, but I’m not sure those count because I didn’t do much.)

I want something new. Something really different. So while I write my 1k for NaNo each day, I’m also brainstorming for a new project that I had an idea for way back in…I don’t even remember when.

The premise?  Aaaaahh, you want spoilers?  Okay, fine, you convinced me.  I managed to figure out how to turn Sleeping Beauty into a heist.

I love this story.  Unfortunately, I have never written a piece of sci-fi longer than 3k (which means I’ve never done any sci-fi worldbuilding), and I have never ever written a heist.

Nothing like new experiences, right?  (If anybody has any world building advice they could share, I’d be eternally grateful.  I am so lost.)

I’m excited.  Since I probably won’t start the writing itself for another month or so, I think this project will either be a really good way to start 2016 off, or it’ll be a really bad way.  Or both.  Probably both, knowing me and my projects, hehe.

NaNoWriMo, Day Nine & Summary of the Week

Over the weekend, we lost Internet (and the phone line) for roughly 24 hours, and I got sick with a cold.  Great for productivity, right?

Well.  This cold left me feeling particularly…fuzzy, and I couldn’t concentrate.  So I mostly bundled up under a blanket (it’s actually getting cold! sort of!) and wrote basically nothing.

However, on Friday, I came to a conclusion that I was going about my writing, and even NaNoWriMo, wrong.  See (prepare for random tangent), I have two methods for brainstorming.  Method A = rambling at friends until they get sick of me or I bore myself or I come up with a solution.  Or all three at once.  Method B = scribble on my whiteboard.

Method A is great when you aren’t writing a sequel that’s full of spoilers you don’t want to spoil.  So, I spent the first week trying to figure things out without brainstorming at all, and I kept getting stuck and feeling frustrated.  Then it occurred to me that I forgot about Method B.

So I went and grabbed my headphones and cleared off my whiteboard and brainstormed.

I started by writing down everything that my “primary protagonist”, as I’ll call him since he seems to be most important in this book, had to deal with.  Which was a lot, poor guy.  Then I started writing down the random plot twists that I’d already encountered, and how they led to other scenes, and how they affected other characters, and suddenly, I was afraid my whiteboard wouldn’t be big enough.  (I’ll be eternally grateful to anybody wants to buy me a whiteboard for Christmas.  Okay, just kidding.  I don’t need anything for Christmas.)

IMG_1077
I blurred it so nobody can read spoilers (or at least not as many). The red column, and the one black part at the bottom, are all of the things my main protagonist has to deal with. The two blue sections and the two black sections on the left are the other four characters, and you can see how much smaller THEIR problems are. And then the black column on the right are all of the major plot twists I’ve become aware of.

So after doing all of this, I came to a realization.  My goal for NaNoWriMo isn’t to write 50k, but to write enough to figure out where the story is going.

And look at that! Look at all I know now! Before November, I knew probably two or three things from that list.

Conclusion? If I had written this story chronologically, I wouldn’t have known half of what I’ve figured out now.  In other words, writing all of those random scenes that popped into my head (and then figuring out what scenes could result from it, and who it would affect and how and writing those) was actually probably for the best!  Granted, I only have ~7k out of my 30k, and I don’t think I’ll get a full 30k out of nothing but random, unconnected scenes, so at some point, I’m going to have to start writing the beginning and following it from there.  But for now, I think I’m doing pretty good.  In fact, if I didn’t write a single other word at all this entire month, I think I would have enough to write a vague outline and have almost enough to be totally satisfied.

How’s the writing going for everybody else?  Have you gotten to the Week Two Blues, as I think the NaNoWriMo staff often call them, or are you still going strong?

NaNoWriMo, Day Five, and Other Things

Day five!  I’m at…somewhere above 6k at the moment.  Since my goal is roughly a thousand words a day, my word count should be the same number as the date.  Since today’s the fifth, that puts me at just slightly ahead.

Clearly I’m not following behind.  How’s the writing actually going, though?

Well, to be honest, not so great.  On Halloween, I figured out more or less a basic idea of where my first chapters would go.  This sequel starts about two months after the last one ended, so I had to figure out what (if anything) had changed for each of the characters in that time, and what state they would be in.  And of course, which ones I wanted to narrate first.

So November first (or maybe it was the second), I started writing chapter one, right at the beginning, and promptly got suck.  I got a little further the next day, but am still pretty much stuck there.  So instead, I’ve just been writing other random scenes that happen later on in the story.  Mostly irrelevant scenes that probably will be immediately disposed of when November is over, but… eh.

So yeah, there’s that.

Meanwhile.  I’ve decided that I will not let myself start draft three of the first book until after I’ve had a beta reader make it all the way through it and give me critique.  One and Only BetaReader Volunteer = Mom.  (And my cousin, but she’s busy with school and stuff, so I’m unsure if she’ll make it through it, heh.)

We decided it would be nicer to edit it printed out, instead of trying to edit it digitally.  So much easier to write in the margins with a scary red pen, right?  (I’m going to ask her nicely to use one of her other pens.  Leave the red pens for grading my siblings’ math, thanks.  Hehe…)

The only problem is that ink is expensive and I have over (or roughly) three hundred pages!  Turns out there are a few office-supplies stores locally who will happily print things out for you.  For a price, obviously, but it seems…to not be too bad?  I’m not totally sure, because they’re mostly there to print out the same business card or the same flyer 300 times, not 300 separate pages only once each.  We figure we’ll just put the story on a USB drive and just go in and ask.

Okay, I have to be honest.  The idea of having my story printed out and being able to hold it in my hands, all typed up and neat, is really making me feel giddy.  Even if it’ll just be a big stack and there won’t even be any binding or anything (unless we make one, which I’m considering, just for the fun of it… I mean, that sounds fun, you have to admit), but still!

And that’s about all, currently.

NaNoWriMo, Day Three

So, a probably short update.  I finished my editing up on the 31st—right on schedule.  It was perfect.  (I also finished my homework right on schedule, too, and for that I am pleased.)

And now today is November third. How has NaNoWriMo been?

Well.  While, while everyone around me was finishing off their first day with wordcounts of 10k or 16k (I still don’t know how she wrote that much and is still alive), I finished the day with 2k.  I decided not to be jealous of their wordcounts, however, and instead be proud of my 2k.  2k is twice what I intended to write.

This year for NaNo, my goal is to write a thousand words a day.  By the end of the month, I’ll only have thirty thousand, and not the 50k, but I am going to be okay with that.  I don’t need to win officially—my goal, and the thing I need to do to “win” for myself—is to just write and have fun with it.

So how goes the writing for the rest of you? Did you have a good start?

How To Be Unprepared For NaNoWriMo

There are plenty of people who will happily tell you how to prepare for NaNoWriMo and what worked for them. (There are also plenty of people who will have no idea what NaNoWriMo is and when you inform them they will think you are completely crazy for trying to compete in it.) So if you want to know how to prepare for NaNo, ask them (the former, obviously), and you’ll be all set.

But what do you do if you want to be unprepared for NaNoWriMo?

Unprepared.png

For those of you wondering, here’s a handy guide.

Step One: Whatever you do, do not chase after those dwarves!

I mean, really. Going on an adventure with other people? That’s preposterous!

A proper adventurer—and therefore a proper writer—goes alone. A proper adventurer carries all his own supplies, encourages himself, and never asks for help.

Think of it this way. Writing a story is like a roller coaster, right? Well, NaNoWriMo is like a really fast roller coaster. And how do you ride a roller coaster? Holding very tightly onto the seat because there’s nobody beside you to hold onto, and screaming at the top of your lungs into the ear of…that person who isn’t actually sitting next to you.

Isolation is the best. You need nobody. After all, you’re like a one-writer band! You can do all the writing, all the brainstorming, all the encouraging, all the fighting of writer’s block, and all of the procrastinating, too!

Who needs other people?

Step Two: Run, run, as fast as you can, because you’re way more awesome than the gingerbread man!

As soon as November starts, write as fast as you possibly can and don’t stop. Don’t even slow. Just go! Pull some all-nighters.

Think of it this way. You’re hunting a dragon. It’s about, oh, two hundred times your size, but that’s no biggie. The reward—all that gold—is so amazing, you know you can just do it.

So you go up to the dragon and you slice off its tail, getting your sword stuck in that horribly sticky dragon blood that greatly resembles ooze, and then when it wakes and demands to know why you tried to de-tail it, you hurl all of the well-thought out insults you planned out back in October.

Then you realize you have no weapon and you used up all of your snarky comebacks. And it’s also only November 8th. But pshhh! You totally didn’t need to space out those retorts or have an epic duel with the dragon (that mostly involved running away from dragonfire until you had a delightfully clever, if half-fast, plan to eliminate the dragon).

Nah. That’s not necessary.

Step Three: Breakfast is a “fast break” for a reason

Breaks are for losers. You’ll lose valuable time. No, you should just keep going…and going…and going…and going…

And probably going some more…

It’s like this. You’re shoveling snow. Your back hurts. Your hands are numb. You forgot where your feet a—wait, you actually have feet?

Then your best friend offers you a mug of hot cocoa (or some other hot drink). Should you take it?

Of course not. You obviously have an entire month more of shoveling left to go! And you’re always telling yourself to never procrastinate. No procrastinating!

Hot cocoa = definitely procrastinating.

Never mind that those mythical feet you thought you used to have are lost and you aren’t going to find them in this snow.


 

If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a wonderful, totally unprepared NaNoWriMo!

And NaNoWriMo Approaches Again!

NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching!  Aaaaaaaahh!

As I write this, I still have about five more chapters left of last year’s novel to edit.  Five chapters.  Sounds like a lot and like nothing at all at the same time.  Considering I have school and only about two weeks to edit it, on my end, it feels more like a lot to do.

But…whether or not I complete it before NaNoWriMo starts, I am still going to try for NaNo this year.  This year is probably going to be the hardest one of all.  Again, because of school.  Ugh, when did school decide to become such a huge pain?  How does the rest of the world deal with it?

Hmm, they probably don’t do lots of school and NaNoWriMo and have a family life and draw and have all of the other random hobbies I have.

Anywho, I have absolutely no plan for NaNoWriMo this year or how I’m going to win.  The only thing I know for sure is that I’m sticking with 50k this year, and not going for 100k like I did last year.  I’m going to write the sequel to last year’s novel, even though said novel…still has five chapters left before I’m done with draft two, and I should probably be spending time editing that more instead, but I know nothing about the plot of book two and I’d really like to know where the plot is going.  So I’m writing that.  As I said, I know nothing of the plot.  I have a…vague idea of the beginning, a possible vague idea for a couple character arcs, and then an idea for a random scene that’ll be somewhere in the middle.

That’s about what I had when I wrote the first book, so I’m really not worried.

I do not have any sort of plan on how I’m going to manage school and NaNo, though.  Probably, I’ll just do what I’ve been sort of doing up until now—which is procrastinate from both school and writing and find other things to do.  Oooh, idea for a drawing!  Let’s draw that!

Ahem.

So anybody else doing NaNoWriMo?  If you’re still in school, how do you balance between the two (or do you at all)?

 

 

New Years, Anniversaries, and Stuff Like That

While most people are making posts about their “New Years Resolutions/Goals” and whatnot, I have something else to be excited about today—it’s the day I officially started writing.  December 31, 2010.  I’d been writing a little before that, but I’d never taken it seriously and I didn’t do it consistently.  But that one day, everything changed.  (And it didn’t include any attacks from the Fire Nation.  Err…never mind.)

So, New Years Eve is, for me, my writing anniversary.  This year, I’ve been writing for four years.  It seems kind of fitting for today to be the day I look back at what I’ve accomplished for the year, doesn’t it?

So.  The beginning of the year, was, well, uneventful.  I wrote, but I didn’t write anything memorable and I didn’t really make any progress in writing.  I hardly learned anything, I completed absolutely nothing, and my confidence suffered greatly.  My blog suffered, too, I think, because I mostly posted complaints about this.

In June and July, I took a break from blogging while I went on vacation with the family (and I got to see more of the US in those two weeks than I’ve seen in my entire life).  I participated in Camp NaNo in July.

In August, or thereabouts, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my writing life, and I killed two of my favorite darlings.  The character that I’d started my writing off with four years ago, as well as her “partner-in-crime”, neither of whom had a real story, and because of that, when I tried to write them, I wrote a whole lot of nothing.  Giving them their “happily ever after” and saying goodbye to them was the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing, because it forced me to move forward, but also the hardest thing.

In September/October, I wrote a…I’m not even sure if it’s a short story or a novella.  It’s like right there in the middle between the two.  However, I think that that story might have been one of my best works, ever.

In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and I completed my first novel in a year and a half.  The novel has a lot of flaws and weak points, and probably more of those than strengths, but I’m confident that I can make it something to be proud of with a lot of editing.

So…looking back?  This year has been slow.  And it hasn’t been my best year.  I could have done a whole lot better.  But I think this is ending on a higher note than it started off with, so I’m content for now.  Even if I wasn’t content, though, I don’t exactly own a time machine to go fix the year with, anyway.

Now, as for next year.  Do I have writing goals?  Of course.

  • In January, I plan to start editing my NaNoNovel, Oracular, and this time, I want to actually finish the editing process.
  • I want to finish one of my other long-time novels, Half-Cursed, and possibly edit that one, as well.
  • I want to do my research on traditional publishing versus self-publishing, and make a decision as to which one I want to do—and start preparing for it, hopefully with one of the two novels I mentioned above.

Those are the main ones.  I don’t have any particular reading goals, except to read a lot.  There are a few other goals, however, including some school related ones…

  • Do well on my school work.  I’m in my junior year, and I want it to count.
  • Finish up my drivers ed course and get my driver’s license.
  • Perhaps figure out what I’m going to do concerning college and whatnot.
  • Keep up in my German homework…at least do a little every day, including over the weekends.  If possible.
  • Exercise more.  I want to be able to do some every single day, but I don’t know if I can reasonably expect myself to do that, so at least several times a week.
  • Work on my self-esteem.  ’Nuf said.

And so…there it is.

Say, Kiwi, still need that link? Heheh.

NaNoWriMo 2014: Conclusion

Well.  It’s…December 6th as I write this.  I probably should have written and posted this post a few days ago, but I guess I procrastinated.

Anyway!  NaNoWriMo 2014.  I won, with a total count of 100,016 words.

This year, I had two goals.  One was a word-count goal (which was 100k), and the other was to finish the novel.  I haven’t finished a novel since May of 2013, so I have really wanted to be able to finish a novel lately.  I made this second goal, however, so I am quite satisfied.

Unlike Miss Kiwi, with her 50k in the first week and a half, I wrote a lot slower.  No multiple days where I wrote 10k.  And by the end of the first week, I was at roughly 29k, though I did hit 50k by day 15.

That isn’t as big of a deal for me.  For me, I wrote every single day.  There were two or three days where I didn’t quite make a thousand words—only had about seven or eight hundred—but I wrote every day without fail.  That’s what was important to me.  That and the fact that I finished the novel.

I’m totally rambling here, but I guess I’m going to keep doing that.  Since I am finished, I won’t have to work on finishing it through the rest of December.  Instead, I get to face the terrifying beast of editing.

Well.  I’m actually going to put that off until January, to give myself some distance from the novel.  And then when I get back do it, I unfortunately have to work on filling in the rest of the gaps of my world-building (ha! And I thought I’d done enough world-building in October!) and straighten out not only my plot, but my character arcs.  Once I have that all sorted out, then I suppose I can edit.

Until then, for the rest of December, I’m not completely sure what I’ll be doing.  I think I’m going to try to finish that short story I was working on in October, or maybe I’ll write some more.  There’s also another novel I plan to outline.

I’m really rather excited.

 

Untitled

Okay, I admit it.  I’ve been avoiding my blog.  Why?  Honestly, I’m not entirely sure.  I guess because I’ve felt I had nothing worth saying.  So…bear with me if all of rest of this post is rather uninteresting.

Anyway.  Most of my previous posts mentioned NaNoWriMo and how I was planning for it (and excited for it), so I guess I need to mention that.  Well.  I’m doing NaNoWriMo!

As of this very moment, my word-count is just over forty-nine thousand words—though I suppose you can see that in the little word-tracker bar in the corner.  I hope to have fifty thousand words before I go to bed tonight, but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, I’m rather enjoying the story.  It has problems—in fact, the first twenty thousand words or so are all a problem in and of itself—but I like most of the characters and the plot is…not going where I expected.  Then again, I was after all basically doing an experiment with this novel.  I developed my characters and I built my world, but I didn’t figure out my plot.  That way, I’d know about the story, but I’d still be free to discovery-write it as much as I wished.

So far, that’s going fairly okay.  I mean, there have been spots where not knowing what my plot was did kind of screw me up or slow me down, but I am having fun with it.  I know there’ll be a lot of editing when I’m finished, however.

And that is about all I have to say.  How’s the writing going for everyone else?