Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ta Da - NaNoWriMo

image courtesy of minegro

Is it the end or is it the beginning? I typed my 50,000th word on November 20th just hours before departing for Minneapolis. This is the quickest I've every completed a NaNoWriMo. However, I couldn't validate the results until today. So that said, I WON. Woo hoo, what a great feeling to have a third novel waiting in the wings.

That brings up the it the end or is it the beginning. Even though I have the 50,000 words, the novel is far from over. Now I begin the laborious project of adding, cutting, editing and in general getting the masterpiece into well... masterpiece form. After 20 days of writing with my internal editor locked in a drawer, the resulting novel needs more work.

So, why try and write 50,000 words in the span of a month (or 20 days for me) if it is going to need to be edited and massaged into shape? Because, if I hadn't challenged myself to going all out, I would still be at the starting line thinking about writing the novel.

Where do I go from here? Good question. This novel (working title Dirty Deception) goes into mothballs for a year. Yep, I let her stew for about 12 months. She lingers around on my hard drive while I pull out the novel I wrote for NaNo last year and start the editing process. Dirty Deal (working title from last year) has been laying around relaxing and now it's time to drag her out and see what needs to be done.

Why do I let them lay around for a year? Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say. And with my NaNo projects nothing could be truer. If I were to start the editing process immediately I would probably just delete the sucker from my hard drive because after working on it non-stop for twenty days (for hours and hours each day) I am sick of it. So to prevent me from having a meltdown and to preserve my prose, it gets to rest for a year.

Now for a well-deserved Thanksgiving dinner for one and all. Remember to give thanks to all that is important to you and yours.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 14 NaNoWriMo

image courtesy of duncan

I'm reveling in my aheadedness (is that a word, I don't think so,) but I'm ahead of the curve and my writing buddies. Take that maryji and k9friend1 (I mean that in all sweetness. I'm not trying to be ugly, I swear.)

I pulled ahead of maryji yesterday, but she has a good excuse -- company and football. so I'm sure the minute her company leaves, she will kick my butt.

k9friend1-- don't know about her. I'll send her a little email and see what's up. Though, I imagine the minute she gets back to writing, she too, will kick my butt. That woman can write some words.

I've got company coming tomorrow, so I'm trying to get some extra words in today.

The weather here is excellent for November. Windows wide open today and no coats. Makes it hard to stay inside and write. Though it looks like rain all next week, so that will help the word count.

I have 1450 for today so far, with another three or four hours to write yet. I'm hoping to pull off 3000 - 4000 today.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 11, 12, 13 NaNoWriMo

image courtesy of sneeu

The last three days have gone by in a fog.

Day 11 - I spent with my friend Barb, who I am so thankful chooses to spend her Wednesdays with me. It's like having a free therapist and getting to each lunch all at once. Let's hear it for good friends who listen even when you rant and rave... :) Word count for Wednesday was 2002.

Day 12 - Critique day. Yep, after the gym and critique, I managed to squeeze out only 1586. But I noticed the word count widget is working. Yeah, NaNoWriMo gadget gurus. Thanks. don't ask me what the colors mean. I tried to figure it out thinking it was days I hit a target were one color and days I didn't were another color. And what's the thirds color. Anyway, that's not it. So if anyone can enlighten me, please do so. It's driving me crazy.

Day 13 - I am struggling mightily. I'm ready to kill off my main character and throw her love interest off a bridge. Sometime this week I totally abandoned my linear process and jumped write into writing out of sequence big time. I swore I wouldn't do that this year, but I did. I'll have to work on the linking scenes when my brain isn't so muddled. Word count today is 3003.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 NaNoWriMo

I've been busy, busy, busy.I noticed my little counter thing is still not working, so tomorrow if I get some time, I'll see if I can download another one.

Day 5 - Today was my critique group. No I didn't dare take in what I've been working on for NaNo. I do have some pride. I managed to crank out about 1500 words today.

Day 6 - Headed to the lake for a little peace and quiet. It's always easier writing in an atmosphere conducive to reflection. It doesn't hurt that it's in the middle of nowhere and there are no kids running up and down the roads on 4-wheelers. The only sounds are the rustling of the wind through the leaves. Oh wait, the leaves were all on the ground. The sound I heard was actually acorns falling on the metal roof --ALL NIGHT LONG. Due to travel, eating out with friends and the fact that my eyes were sagging by 8 p.m., I only managed a little over 100 words today.

Day 7 - Got an early start today. Had almost 1000 words before 8 a.m. Hubby went to coffee with the old codgers, so I hopped up and went to work. The afternoon lagged a little because my neighbor invited me to lunch. But I picked it up again in the late afternoon while hubby was raking leaves. YEAH for NaNo, it gets me out of raking leave. I did feel a tad guilty, but not for long. Grand total today 2300.

Day 8 - Neighbors went out of town, so we had no interruptions until hubby climbed in the attic and began tearing up the floorboard. His hammering and prying nearly drove me insane, so I read. Seriously, he should have been out raking leaves. When he realized I'd quit working on the novel, he went out to the barn to work. YEAH! I managed 4009 words today.

Day 9 - Neighbors still out of town. I fixed and awesome breakfast then gave hubby the rake and told him to get to work. I moved out onto the porch with my laptop and cranked out 4025 words. Hubby rewarded me with a bonfire and s'mores that evening. He must like me.

Day 10 - Travel day and bunko night, plus had a pukey puppy at home. Between all that and a visit to Crane's Country Store, where I swear I have never seen so many Carhartt items, I managed to get in 1615 words.

My grand total for 10 days is 23,765.

I did stall a couple of times and resorted to writing a few scenes out of sequence. I highly recommend this in the event your plot is stalling. If you know there are scenes you need, go ahead and write them, you can always go back and write the linking scenes when time permits. I managed 5 of these scenes this weekend, and it helped me to examine my plot and get a better understanding of where I was going with it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 4 NaNoWriMo

photo courtesy of Hilarywho

Yes, Virginia there really was a Day 3. However, I barely made my word count. Needless to say I did not blog.

Day 3 was torture. My character is boring! It's hard to be funny in the face of murder, but she needs to lighten up.

Yesterday I worked for every word I put on the page. I struggled, but true to NaNo, I did not edit. Me thinks that is why I struggled. I know my character too well. As I would type a sentence, my internal editor screamed from inside the desk drawer, "she would not do that. Make her stop. She is not that stupid. Give her a funny line. Make the cop kiss her, you doofus."

I threw chocolate in the drawer, she shut up and I continued to type. I made it through Day 3.

Day 4, a tad better. I got to the point in the story where my character's personality is starting to shine through. (The only sounds that came from my desk drawer were moans of pleasure. I'm hoping it was the chocolate or it could have been the Chippendale calendar I threw in there. Whatever! At least she isn't screaming at me.)

My word count...are you ready (drumroll sounds) 10,140. k9friend1 and maryji are still beating me. But as my professor daughter pointed out, "They are probably writing crap. It's much easier to make your word count when you throw down a bunch of crap." Did I say how much I love my professor daughter. Little does she know how much crap dear old mom is writing.

Ah, but that is what NaNo is all about.......writing. Letting the words flow onto the computer screen. Foregoing contractions. Adding every adverb and adjective in the dictionary and never, ever hyphenating a word. I can clean all that up in December :)

I promised a little widget on the side so you could keep up with my word count. . . it's broken. Rest assured the brain trust at NaNoWriMo is working on it. So when you see it, you'll know it's fixed.

Oh, I need to give a shout out to my friend Barb, for taking me away from the computer today and listening to me carry on and complain. That's what friends are for!

So, how's your day going?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 2 NaNoWriMo

photo courtesy of Rootytootoot

TODAY IS: PLAN YOUR EPITAPH DAY (No I did not make this up.) What do you want on your tombstone?

Took a shower this morning. I'm not one of the NanoWriMoers who can go without the basic necessities like clean clothes, brushed teeth and clean hair. I'll give up word count for personal hygiene any day.

Apparently, I'll give up word count for a good shopping spree, too. My daughter's been gone a week, and today was her first day home. She asked me to go shopping today for goodies for her new house. Could I say no? No. So a shopping we did go. But I did use the time wisely. While we were driving to our destination, eating our lunch and agonizing over which curtains would look nice in her living room, I plotted.

I'm sure the lady who overhead our conversation at lunch was ready to whip out her cell phone and call 911. It went something like this.

Me: If I murdered someone at school, say in the maintenance shed out back, would the cops shut the school down?

Daughter: Depends. Is school in session?

Me: No, the principal canceled classes due to the flood.

Daughter: Did you leave any clues in the actual school building?

Me: No, the murder weapon is in the maintenance shed right next to the body. Easy to find, right out in the open.

Daughter: You should be good to go. They might close it down for 24 hours or so while they investigate, but you should be back in after 24 - 35 hours.

Me: Great, cause I still need to clean up after the flood.

Now to put that all into perspective. It's been raining here for about 40 days and 40 nights with all kinds of flash flood warnings.

Anyway, that's pretty much how my day went--mulling murder and mayhem while shopping for curtains, rugs and utensil containers. What can I say? Just an ordinary day in the life of a writer. Create a scene and buy some pots and pans.

So... I didn't get back to the computer until after six, and I've been slaving away over the keyboard ever since. Except for the side trip to the kitchen for a bowl of pretzels. Oh, and after I started eating the pretzels, cough, cough, cough. I needed a Diet Coke to wash it down.

Next year I am seriously considering buying one of those little refrigerators for next to my desk. I figure if I don't have to go downstairs for caffeine, I can add about 100 words to my word count. And diapers, if I drink all that caffeine...well you know what happens. It's not that the bathroom is that far away, but the time it takes could be more wisely spent adding word count.

Now for the word count you ask? How many did I get? Well, you all aren't cheering me on, so I only managed 2018 today--482 short of my goal. If I'd had that fridge and the diapers, I could have easily made it.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow. NO SHOPPING, NO CAFFEINE, NO POTTY STOPS.

Oh and my writing buddies... K9friend1 topped 8300 today. I think she is so wearing a diaper. Maryji is at 4699. Not sure what's happened to Maryji today. She hasn't checked in that I know of. She's probably out buying diapers, so she can push the word count tomorrow.

Till then, keep rooting for me.

P.S. I don't know what's wrong with the little word count widget I added. I'll keep working on it. I need something to procrastinate on anyway.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 1 - NaNoWriMo

image courtesy of Duncan

Woohoo! I stayed up until midnight last night. Being the rule-abider that I am, I started my novel at 1 minute after zero hour. I didn't last long, and was in bed by 12:45. But I had a start.

After a leisurely breakfast, I read the newspaper and scoured the ads for sales. Nothing of interest, so I climbed the stairs and pounded out 2500 words finishing just before supper. Kind of slow for me, but I took several breaks and checked in with my writing buddies K9friend and Maryji. I am not happy to report that both ladies have exceeded my goal and are making me look bad. Though I am glad they are doing so well. I just hate that they're making me look like a slacker. But I did manage to meet the daily goal I had established and the night is still young. I'm hoping to end the day with about 3500 words. I'll be happy at that pace.

I have kept my promise to stay off Facebook. I might use that as a weekly reward, but only if I meet my weekly goal. It's just to tempting to click on it and check on everything. Oh, Facebook, I miss you.

Keep your fingers crossed. I need all the luck I can muster.

Off to the bat cave!