Monday, November 28, 2005

Day 28 of NaNoWriMo I know how hard it actually is for me to write that much...

I'm currently at about 34,000 words (reached yesterday) and quickly losing steam. I had a few days where the writing just wasn't happening, and of course Thanksgiving was an all day affair...

But I still have a chance, if I write like the wind and don't care at all what comes out...

I haven't already given up but, better luck to myself next year in advance.

If I don't finish the 50k by the end of this month, I will be by mid-December (I've got family breathing down my throat). And at least then I'll have two rough drafts to work on. There is still a bright side, even though I probably won't be getting that little certificate *sob*...and I actually thought I would get it, and easily...goes to show you things aren't always as easy as they appear!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Day Sixteen of NaNoWriMo

Haven't hit the 25k mark yet but I'm pretty close. Unfortunately my wrists aren't taking to the extra keyboard action, so try as I'd like tonight, I'm not going to reach halfway. But I'm much less behind than I've been this whole month, so that's good.

Total, 24,067

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Day Fifteen of NaNoWriMo

The official halfway point is today!! I have not hit the 25k mark, but will soon (hopefully tomorrow)

Current word count is: 22,273

And I finished the date scene - isn't it funny how things turn out? Didn't know what to expect with that scene, and now that it's done I'm not quite sure what happened. LOL! Moving on...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Day Thirteen *gulp* of NaNoWriMo

I wrote almost 2,500 words today, for a grand total of 19,544. I decided to leave the 20k milestone for tomorrow, along with the new scene(unless I just get so inspired I can't help myself - which hasn't happened yet with this project). My character is going on a DATE! woo hoo! I can't help it with the woo-hoo!s. I just love the totally awesome party sound of it *cringe*, and I'm having significant feelings of accomplishment the last couple days.

Ever since my early teens (yes, I wrote about this before, a while ago..but since not many people know about this site it's worth it for me to delve into it again), I've identified myself as being someone who has trouble FINISHING things. The technical term would be "lack of task commitment." It was (is) a label for me, something I could point to and go, "See? This is me." It's hard to change things when you've accepted those things as a part of your personality. When you're told by really smart people that this is your problem, you accept it (well, I did). It was the big thorn in my side (not the years of living with alcoholic or otherwise diverted parents, mind you)that I could point to and say "This is a characteristic and something which is very difficult to change" - what a fabulous excuse...."This is just the way I am. I am designed to be a failure. I am meant to want something I cannot have."

I've far too long let preconceptions about myself (and the world) get in the way of actually accomplishing things. So what if I don't have a degree? So what if my first novel STUNK. So what if this one STINKS. How will I ever get better (and I know I can be good; I've been there) if I don't just keep writing? There is never a finish to the grand idea. Who the hell really even knows?

Well...getting down off my little excitement track there...I thought I'd share my excerpt that I have posted at here as well:

Rereading it, I realize it's very short. But I'd be uncomfortable posting anything too significant. I do intend to polish this one and send it out sometime next year:

He was rubbing his thumb over her etched wooden face, and I imagined the little doll screaming at him for doing so, in that garbled voice people use when they have food in their mouths. Then he started feeling the fabric of her little skirt and said, “Oh! It’s a clothespin! Okay...”

Now, aren't you glad you stayed with me this far? *silly eye roll*

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Day Twelve of NaNoWriMo

2,766 words today. I fucking rock. Got past the 17k mark. Woo hoo!! I'm getting closer to being caught up. Still about 3,000 words behind but if I can kick out some extra words tomorrow, I might actually be set up to be at the halfway mark by the 15th, which is my plan.

Hanging around all day while my husband is upstairs, sleeping off a muscle relaxer (poor guy) reminds me of how pathetic TV is on Saturdays (until MadTV and SNL, of course). But I found something to soothe my channel-surfing calloused fingers - My Name is Earl. Pretty funny, and I like Jason Lee. And he's hosting SNL tonight. Score! And I didn't have to watch college football all freakin' day. What a coup. LOL, it's been a while since I've written that word...

Feeling the reading bug coming back. It's always like that with me. I have a hard time staying consistent with pretty much anything. (Why do you think I joined this crazy novel-writing contest?)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Day Eleven of NaNoWriMo

I wrote almost 4,000 words today, and I'll probably write a few more before the evening is up.

What can I tell you? This harder than I thought it would be. But I think I really hit a stride today, and it's simply because I forced myself to produce. And once I was so far in it, I had momentum to keep going even further. I wanted to hit 5k today, honestly (since yesterday was a total waste writing-wise). So maybe the trick is to set my goals high. Hell, the 'trick' is to write and just keep writing. Why is that so hard sometimes?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Day Nine of NaNoWriMo - slowly improving

Mah God, it's before 1 o'clock and I've reached my 2k goal for the day, as well as my 10k goal for total word count. Just goes to show you, if you put your mind to something...I literally woke up this morning to write. (and luckily, when my character was signing up for something and I wanted to check the internet for something, I didn't have it hooked up...a good habit! the internet is DANGEROUS for me. DANGEROUS.)

I think I'll even do another session later in the afternoon. My goal is to get to 25k by November 15. That gives me, not including today, 6 days to complete about 15k words. That's about 2,500 words a day. Simply put, doable if I just keep pushing (and pray for one of those great 4,000 word days). No days off on the weekend, no lazy days where I write 900 words and call it good. I hope to be able to hold myself to this. My thinking is that if I catch up, I mean actually catch up, then I'll be able to write under 2k a day and still be on track - much easier than trying to catch up, and feeling bad because I can't (really I shouldn't worry about it so much).

Other: my 'scene list' has 33 bullets on it. I've gotten to bullet number 7 (well, I've got 7 set up but not completely executed). Yay me! I kind of had a scene inserted from a later number to, so I could effectively say I'm on number 8. What does that mean? Not much, but hey...progress is progress!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Day....Eight of's a slog

Today I thought; Hmmm...maybe I'll write flash fiction for a while... I think I actually just realized I was writing my second novel.

Word count is 8,184. I 'should' be doing a lot better. I suddenly recall that when I started the first novel, I was a slow writer up until around 30k. This time it seems harder; somehow there's more invested; more emotional attachment to the story, to the way I decided it could be in my outline. More long pauses, staring at the wall or the bookcase, between sentences and paragraphs - even though I know, generally, where I'm going, the actual writing is much deeper than just the setup, the way I imagined the story in fast-forward motion, little mannequins of my characters on the stage. Now they're real and they're right in front of my face, they're demanding that I portray the texture of their lives accurately. They've become something else entirely. I mean, they seem to have skin. It's a little eerie.

Several times today I was exhausted mentally and I had only written 100-200 words. At least I have learned to avoid the whole editing trap, where at the end you have even less words than you started with and things really aren't that different. At least I'm still moving forward, and I should pat myself on the back for that.

I was moaning at my husband last night, and he told me sagely, "Less is more." In general, I agree with that - I know that by thinking more about the sentence before I write it, thinking of another way to phrase something, is making it 'better' - I notice improvement in my rhythm, etc (things that don't come naturally to me). But for November, more is more. I need to hit 50k by November 30 at midnight. I'm going to try to be more free with myself. It was easier when there was no outline; but I'm thinking right now that my outline will help make it better as a whole; more complete from the start. I just hope those 3,000 word days will come soon; I need to stop thinking so much and just let it out! And I need to catch up! Tomorrow, I pledge to myself to write 2,000 words, no matter how long it takes.

Note: backed the story up to Yahoo Briefcase today. Something I should probably do every day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

NaNoWriMo Day Four

After a totally unproductive day yesterday and underproductive first two days, I actually got some more done today. I'm still not up to the daily word goal, but I'm banking on getting more into the story through the middle. The beginning is somewhat hard for me - I did finish the first scene and am now working on the second. (Why is it I can't resist throwing in backstory/emotional drivel every time a character sits down or picks something up? It's a sickness I tell you.)

Total word count, (per MS Word)is 4,053. I'd better get moving this weekend unless I want to get even further behind.

I'm wrestling with the whole 'idea in head'/'idea on paper' thing. I even said to myself today, "It works so much better when it's in my head." Meaning, it's hard to mess up when there's no physical evidence. I'm finding that the 'idea' I had of my character's personality is harder to show through her own thoughts/actions (it's a first person story), so I'm trying to creatively show ways in which she interacts with others, and how people react to her's definitely a learning process!

Unfortunately, I have this love/hate relationship with writing (well, with life actually) that gives me trouble when actually getting to the page and writing. Once I start, even if it's slow usually I can keep at's actually getting to the point where I'm saying "I'm going to write now" that seems to be the problem. Which is weak, man...I'm hoping that I just need to establish the routine again, then it won't be so freaking hard.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

NaNoWriMo Day Two

Day Two of NaNoWriMo. A little bit more productive today, but I'm finding the habit of not writing for several weeks at a time very detrimental to the health of my budding writing 'career' (I'll call it a career since...well...I don't really have one...and yes I AM an adult...physically, anyway XD) Today I am sitting, dazing, writing a little, dazing some it's hard to get back into the routine I had going so well earlier this year.

I'm enjoying the writing though, it's a different feel from what I was going for before. Now I am reading the words, not just flying past them, I am thinking about sentences instead of just pushing them out of my brain (sometimes the quality doesn't seem to change much) and I find myself finding new ways of saying the same ole thing which I guess is nice. I don't mind the couple minutes 'stall' if something good comes of it on the page.

Why do I sound so ambivalent? Cuz I am. I've grown up all my life with the idea of being "a writer." And it's just weird. It's just not natural. I've begun to question the validity of this as a lifestyle; damn, I need motivation retraining or something. Motivation Bootcamp. Hopefully Nano will help. It's not really the writing or not writing anyway. It's my life in general - I should write to combat this feeling of "not going anywhere."

Already last night I started fiddling around with my 900-so words. Rewriting the whole entire first paragraph in present tense, when the rest of the piece is in past tense, totally screwing up the whole intention of the 9 or so paragraphs I wrote after that. So I clicked "Undo" in Word about 50 times, saved as an edited version, and went back to the previous version to write on. And I cut and paste a little. I am NOT going to get stuck editing things which then mean having to fix eveerrrryything else, or having two drafts of the same piece that I have to sew together somehow. Notgonnadoit!!

I thought I'd be working on two drafts this month - the first draft for NaNo and the rewrite of my first draft. But I quickly lost steam after plotting out the rewrite; now I have a scene list I can work off of, keeping in mind the 'original' characters...but basically it's a whole new book, and I don't feel like dealing with that right now. I'd rather play The Sims. Talk about addiction....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NaNoWriMo begins - 913 words today

I've been gone for a short bit, but I'll be back all during this month, chronicling my first year's experience with National Novel Writing Month.

I come back to writing with a sense of apprehension. This summer I finished my first full draft of a novel, only to come back a month later and see that really, it is not a novel. It is a bunch of words strung together lazily with the constant mantra of "I don't care if what I'm writing is crappy, I'm just getting the words out." Well, the words came out, but they weren't all that great. It's one of those things that you're not sure can ever be made to shine.

So, this is my new opportunity to write well - this is the challenge. Shit, I can type crap all day, anybody can - it's writing something that actually says something beyond this surface crap that people want. So, I'll try to create that.

I've started writing my opening scene, and Word says I have 913 words. That's a good start, but I'll have to step up the game in future days. I'm happy with that for now. Tonight I'm going to review my notes made in October and start fresh tomorrow. The first day is not always the hardest.