Friday, 30 November 2012

NaNo Wrap Up: 4 Things I learnt About Myself Through NaNo

So it is the end of NaNo. I didn’t manage to hit 100,000 words like I wanted to but I’m proud of myself anyway. Several days in a row I managed to hit 6,000 words and one day I even had a 10,000 word day. I tried for another one yesterday but sadly it was not meant to be. This month I began three different novels, I learnt to knit again, I gained some valuable work experience and I made some very important life choices. I also learnt some very important things about myself and my writing process;

1) I’m part plotter and part pantser
I like some detail before I start writing. I like to know, roughly what each chapter will involve and how the story will develop within it. A brief description of each chapter and various scenes is all I need to be able to start writing a story and have it go the way that I want. I cannot work off a vague idea, it’s fine for a couple of chapters but after that I need some clue as to where it’s going, even if it’s a general thing. But I can work best off a partially plotted storyline.

2) Too much detail kills my writing
My first idea for NaNo was very planned. Each scene was written in meticulous detail, ridiculously so, and once I started writing I started to hate it. My writing had nowhere to go, the characters had no room to develop and I just started to hate the story. I don’t want to hate my writing but I need to be able to have fun with it, to let it go off-track and wander in its own direction before I brought it back to the main storyline. So clearly over-detailed plotting is not for me.

3) My characters develop as I write.
My characters in o.S.a.M (which still needs a new name) were quite well detailed; I knew what they looked like, some of their history and a rough idea of their personalities. This was all before I started writing it. Once I started writing the novel though my characters grew, they developed bigger personalities and odd quirks (such as Will and Gabe’s friendship being reminiscent of Turk and JD in Scrubs) and their back-stories shifted into something that I didn’t even think of in the beginning (who knew Gabe was a prince of Labolai?!). The same happened for a contemporary fantasy police novel I started writing on Monday. I knew roughly what the characters were like but as I wrote they too developed and one even revealed that he had multiple personalities.

4) I start to go off track towards the end
For the last few days I’ve been reluctant to actually write anything even though I’ve not finished the novels. I think it may be because I’m focused on writing and not doing much else but now that I know November is almost over I’ve started planning what I plan to do once I’m free of writing each day.  Having to focus on just one thing at the expense of everything else is clearly not for me, I like the freedom of being able to work on what I want, when I want.

So there we go, 4 things I learnt about how I work when I was doing NaNo.
Oh and incidentally, right now I’m at 80,339 words and I still have 3 hours left of November 30th. Maybe I’ll manage to up that, maybe not.
Keep Writing!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

NaNoWriMo #28: Winning and Aiming Higher

This is just a quick check up post today. I won NaNoWriMo on Sunday night and got fully validated. Now I’m desperately trying to reach 100,000 words by Friday. I managed a 10,000 day yesterday and I’m aiming for the same again today.

The novel write of o.S.a.M is coming along well. I’m getting down important parts and a fair bit of dialogue but I’m a little worried that I’ve gotten too exposition-y. I’m working out stuff about Labolai and the world it’s set in as well as the magic system as I go so I tend to write down every little thing that I can think of. Actual world building is something that I plan to work on once NaNo is over. For now I’m hopping between stories and different chapter, starting a new one when I finally figure out how to start a new story and going back to others when I figure out where it’s going.

I’ve also started a new novel, one that I just make up as I go along. It’s an idea I got from watching too much Death Valley and I’m not really sure if it’s actually going anywhere. I have fun, lots of fun with it, just typing in any strange situation thing that I can think of and it fits because the world it’s set in is crazy enough for it.

I’ve completely left the first story behind, just leaving it sitting there on my hard drive. Sure I might go back to it at another point but for now I’m just including it as a failed experiment. I’d need to go back and take out the parts that are dares and work on the description and dialogue but the bare bones are there. It helps that I didn’t keep working on it even after I began to hate it. If I had done that there’s a good chance I would have failed to win NaNo at all.

As it stands I am currently at 67,152 words. By the end of tonight I hope to be at 77,000 or even possibly 80,000. How’s your NaNo going?

Keep Writing.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

RoW80 - Sunday Check In and problems with titles

So it’s that time of the week again. That’s right it is my RoW80 check-in. I don’t have much to report if I’m honest. I’ve been so focused on building up my NaNo word-count and feeling under the weather that I haven’t gotten much else done. Am I disappointed? Sure. Am I going to let it bother me? Nope.
I know what I want to do. I want to write and sell my books. I don’t want to do it for money, I just want to get my stories out there. The money is just a shiny extra in my mind and that little incentive I need to encourage me to work harder and faster.

I have been thinking about my current novels, the ones that are finished and the ones that are still on-going in my mind, while I’ve been at work this week and it has helped me a little with my goals.

1) Write NaNo every day; success.
4) Figure out how to convert o.S.a.M to novel format; ongoing
Some days the word count may not have been as high as I wanted and I am ridiculously behind on my intended word-count if I were aiming for 100k. But I have several days of uninterrupted writing time and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make it up with those. In fact I managed to write 4k last night. Granted it took me like 5 hours but that was with lots of distractions going on such as tv and films. Tonight I’m aiming at a little over 8k by midnight. I don’t know if I’ll hit that target but I’m hopeful. Incidentally I’m still struggling on the rename but more on that in a little while. What is most important is that I’m finally managing to tell this story that has been bubbling away in my mind for the last 6 months. It’s coming along, gradually, but it is coming along.

2) Edit Darkling Watch once a week; fail.
So I’ve done no editing this week. Again. I’m a little down about it but there’s not really much I can do other than put my NaNo to one side and concentrate on the read-through. That isn’t something I want to do. Darkling Watch is not going anywhere and were I to try and edit it now the story would just end up suffering. I have found at least one, possibly two, beta readers for The Darkling Watch once I finish those edits though and I’ve even set myself a cursory release date for the first book; September 2013. There’s quite a lot I plan to do with Darkling Watch and the Darkling series but more about that another day.

3) Write one Feral Diaries entry a week; fail
I haven’t written anything for Feral Diaries again this week. It’s in the same situation as The Darkling Watch. I’ve been thinking about it though, considering how I would write it when I’m done with NaNo and how I’m going to go about editing it and that’s all good progress.  I’ve even managed to make a few contacts for certain areas of it and get a bit of research done. So although I haven’t actually written anything for it there is progress being made. It just isn’t tangible.

5) Blog at least 3 times a week; success
Despite last week’s failure to get any posts written I’ve done a lot better this week. I managed to keep to my set schedule and I’ve even ended up with a two part Monday post that I personally think is a pretty good read, but that’s just me. I haven’t seen any particular growth in readership or people favouriting my blog for quick reading but that doesn’t really bother me. What matters is that I’m managing to make regular blog posts that stick to set schedule. I’m overcoming a massive weakness of mine and in the long run it can only prove helpful.

 I’m still trying desperately to come up with a new name for o.S.a.M as Of Swords and Magic sounds like a really boring dissertation title for a literature degree. With this problem in my mind I thought I’d give a little synopsis of the story and then let you, dear readers offer possible suggestions.
It’s about a witch and two knights, travelling the country of Labolai, tracing curses with a similar magical signature and trying to find out exactly who destroyed the magical school/city of Magewick (dodgy name I know, I’m working on it). They have several adventures and it is more a collection of short stories joined by an overarching plotline, sort of like tv programs are. I want to include the name of the country Labolai in the title and I’ve been considering Tales of Labolai but it seems a bit... trite and doesn’t really explain what happens in the story. So... does anyone have any suggestions?

Keep Writing.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Tough One Today

Today has been a hard one to write for me. I don’t really know what to say. I did plan to write something about how much I love to do lists then I realise that I’ve written about to do lists before. It’s difficult to come up with something personal and writer based to talk about this week.

Well almost. I may be doing some ghost writing of a gentleman’s life story. That should be interesting and a good experience in terms of writing. I’m not sure what his story is but he was so excited to have finally found a writer to write it for him that I don’t mind. There may be a chance to make some money from it but that really isn’t important to me. It’ll give me the chance to learn to write from someone else’s direction and to just write in a different genre. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to actually do this.
If anyone actually knows anything about ghost writing please let me know.

Keep Writing!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 21 - Slowing to a crawl

Well what to say this week. It’s really been the same as ever. I’ve been writing every day. Some days the words come easier than others but for the last few days, for the last week even, I’ve hit the NaNo daily target of 1667 and often going a small bit past it. I am not however, where I wanted to be at this point, both in the story and in terms of word-count. I’ve been consecutively 30,000+ words behind every day. I could put that down to my illness last week but that’s still on going and I’m managing to write a fair amount each day. I could put it down to hating my story at the start and having to change it.

Those excuses are too easy, too cliché, too... not enough. A lot of it is sheer laziness, on days where I have nothing to do at all, few and far between though they may be, I’ve not written much. In fact, when I think about it I’ve written less on those days then i have on the days where I have to squeeze in my writing time. Who knows what is going on in my head though, even I don’t have a clue.
For now I’m going to plow through and keep writing.

I’m also still seriously consider including the word-count for my blog posts on the NaNo site, as they have all been written in November. Should I?

Keep Writing!

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Life of a Novel (REMOVED. Read post for details)

Writers often call their novels their babies. We nurse them into life before we set them free into the world, just like a person. The life of a novel is, when you think about it alot, much like that of a living person. It goes through stages, gradually developing more and more. Except unlike a person, a novel doesn’t die. Sure it can fade into the background of Amazon and delve into the depths of obscurity but it is always there. If someone wants to find it they can. Unless every single copy ever created is destroyed. Then it’s definitely dead. Really most sincerely dead (yes I just quoted Wizard of Oz, ‘cause that’s how I roll). But you probably don’t care about that. You’re probably wondering how much it is that I came to imagine the life of a novel and the life of a human being are in any way similar. Well, I’ll tell you.

A novel, goes through many stages;
Conception/ Birth
Troubled Teens
Middle age

Yes I’m ignoring death; in my mind novels never die despite what many may think.

Edit (23/12/2012): I've taken most of  this post down for now as I plan on working on this again in the New Year and then uploading it in more detail. I'm hoping to make it into a short series of small articles on the subject as I feel like I rushed it all and didn't really take the time to explain my thoughts properly. Plus it was really really boring... A link will be included to its new location once I've edited and rewritten it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day #14 of NaNoWriMo: Back on Track but still a little behind

I know, I know, I’m a very bad blogger. I said that I would update every Monday with a writerly post and I missed this week. Actually it was less that I missed it and more that I came home from work, wrote a few thousand words and then promptly passed out in bed. I’m a bit poorly sick basically. But I have been working on a post that I find very interesting and I may actually split it into two parts and put it up on two consecutive Mondays. Who knows?!

Anyway, it is Day 14 of NaNoWriMo and if I were sticking to the word goal of 3334 words a day that I originally aimed for I would be trying to hit 46,676 words today. Unfortunately my stalling last week and a deeply unproductive weekend has put me behind by about 10,000 words. Instead of being in the 40,000s I am currently sitting pretty on top of 27, 569 words. It’s a fair bit more than the count given by the NaNo site is and I’m happy with it.

My novel is developing well, the switch to turning Of Swords and Magic into a novel seems to have paid off and the words are flowing. I’m actually hitting about 2,000+ words a night, not bad considering I’m mostly making it up as I go along and I’ve spent the last two nights exhausted. My biggest hope is that I can keep this up, get in a couple of good writing days over the weekend and as a result bump up my word count. I might even manage to hit par for 100,000 words at some point next weekend. I’m 19,107 words behind at the moment and all I really need is a few really good writing days to get me up there.

Or I could be a bit cheaty and include my blog post counts in there.  That would certainly bump up the count a little. Actually it would bump it up quite a lot. What do you think?

How is everyone else handling NaNoWriMo?

Keep Writing

Sunday, 11 November 2012

RoW80 Check in

Before I start writing today I’m going to do the check in for RoW. It’s been a good week, for the most part. So, let’s get on with the show.

Write 3334 words a day for NaNo – semi-success
I stopped writing as many words in the last week. I had to change which novel I was focusing on after I started to hate the story and was only writing 300 or so words a day. Once I changed which story I was writing things started to go much better and my word count began to climb once more. Although I’m not hitting 3334 words like I was at the beginning of the month I’m still writing everyday and that’s what counts right now.

Edit Darkling Watch once a week – fail (at the moment)
I’ve not even looked at DW this week. I’ve thought about it, on the bus and while I’ve been trying to get to sleep but I’ve not actually opened the document it’s in and looked at it properly. I’m not overly disappointed but I still feel like a bit of a failure. Then again the day is still (fairly) young and there’s time yet for me to actually do some editing.

Write one Feral Diaries entry a week – fail (for now)
This one has gone much the same as The Darkling Watch has gone; poorly. I’ve not even thought about this novel set. I might do some more writing of it tonight, then again I might not. I shall have to wait and see.

o.S.a.M. – Success
This one has gone really well this week. In fact I’ve changed which novel I’m working on to focus on o.S.a.M and I’ve already started writing it as a novel. It’s going slowly but I’m finding it much more inspiring. It’s slow going as I don’t have much of the later stories worked out but it’s gradually coming together.

Write 3 blogs a week – Success
I managed to keep to my newly suggested schedule and I’ve put forth three whole blogs, just as I said I would. So this one was a definite success.

Overall, I’ve got a success in 3 out of my 5 goals met. I’m quite happy with how it’s going but I know that I should do more, focus more if I want to meet all of them. First thing tomorrow.

Keep Writing.

Friday, 9 November 2012

In which I ramble about my writing and making the time to write

As I sit here, taking a break from my usual NaNo writing (which is going better than it was earlier this week incidentally) I tried to figure out what to talk about. Fridays are the day that I talk about my writing or thoughts about writing that relate directly to my experience. Then I thought ‘hey, I’m working and writing during NaNo at the same time for the first time, I’m working and writing at the same time for the first time full stop. Why not focus on that?’ So I am.

Writing is one of the most important things in my life. I think about writing and my ideas most of the time, even when I’m watching brain-numbing TV. I read about it a lot, I’ve got close to 20 books about writing on my Kindle alone, with a couple more physical books in my room somewhere. I searched for and downloaded podcasts about writing. Hearing about other people’s experience in doing what I do and learning from the mistakes they may have made or adapting ideas that they use is something that interests me, it inspires me. So I want to try to inspire you dear readers as others have inspired me.

If I don’t write I get grouchy. If I have no access to paper or pen, if I can’t get hold of anything to put down my ideas I get grouchy. If the words just won’t come out I get grouchy. This grouchiness, for me tends to lead towards the beginnings of depression (something that both sides of my family are genetically inclined towards, I don’t know why). This is something I’ve experienced at least twice before, once earlier this year when I was doing mind-numbing clerical work for 7 hours a day and once earlier this week. Thankfully I caught the shift in my mood quick enough and made changes to what I was doing so that I felt fulfilled and happy. The bad mood shifted away pretty rapidly after that and now I don’t feel like I’m going to break down in tears at any moment. That’s how much I love writing. Not being able to write or not feeling like I’m writing the right thing gets me down and has that much of an effect on my mood and mentality.

Working full time for the last couple of weeks and the next couple of weeks to come I need to make time for myself to write. Thankfully I have few obligations to family and friends which means that I generally get left alone. A pair of supportive parents who understand how much I love writing has certainly helped. They let me lock myself away in my room to hammer out a few thousand words and only interrupt me with important stuff, the news that dinner is ready or, my favourite, to bring me a cup of tea. They ask me how it’s going; they want to read my work and let me mumble about misbehaving characters. They don’t complain that they don’t see me for hours. In fact they remembered that come November I’d be out most of Saturday every single week. They encourage me and drive me onwards. In fact my mum gave me an idea on how to get more time for my writing once I get back from work this week. She said I should do it as soon as I’m home, when I’m still in a mildly professional zone and before I veg out with a computer game or book. And she was right. The first few days of NaNo I’d come home from work, play a game and then try to write. The words wouldn’t come. I’d gotten out of that zone and lost my focus. So I tried doing what she suggested and I found it amazing, a real improvement. The time it took me to get out a certain number of words was less and the words were all better quality. For a woman who doesn’t write that was some pretty savvy advice.

Originally I intended to take some time to write in the mornings, just to get a few words out before I got sucked into spreadsheets and attendance lists. That didn’t really happen as the buses to work are too uneven in when they arrive at the bus stop. I couldn’t write on the bus either as I get travel sick. Instead I’d listen to podcasts on writing and think about my characters and my plot. I also planned to write in my lunch break, to take a quiet 20 minutes or so to just get some ideas down. I even bought a notebook with just that purpose in mind. That didn’t happen either. My work colleagues are too fun to chat to (conspiracy theories and existential conversations abound in the canteen) and I tend to lose track of the time during lunch. Plus I didn’t want to become that odd work experience girl who sits in the break room covered in paper. 

As it turned out though I didn’t need to do any of this; my word-count is healthy (about 20k+ at last count) and I’ve got plenty of time to write in the evenings. I may not be getting as much written each day as I could hope for but that has less to do with me having no time and more to do with the number of distractions I allow myself; namely surfing the NaNo site, sitting on Facebook and looking at blogs. So I decided to give myself some incentives. I bought a new game on Saturday and began to play it. I had to stop quite early as it was bedtime but I was really into it. SO I’ve decided that I can’t play it again until I hit 45, 000 words. I also use chocolate bars as an incentive, giving myself one entire row every time I hit the daily word goal. I ate the entire bar by the end of Saturday. I need to buy a new one tomorrow. I have also got plans to buy a new notebook. Which one that will be I don’t yet know but what I do know is that I can’t have it until the end of the month or when I hit the 100k+ that I’m aiming for, whichever one comes first. I make myself write for an hour with the internet turned off and I refuse to move my butt from my chair until I’ve got 1k down, even if I really need to pee.

Incidentally withholding that kind of thing (peeing or cigarettes) from myself actually gets me writing more than I plan to; I did it earlier to get to 2000 words. When I added it up and topped up my word count on NaNoWriMo site I found I’d written 200 words past that goal. That little extra incentive to write lots and to write quickly really spurred me on.

What about you dear readers? If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo this month;
what do you do to encourage yourself to write?
How are you making time to write if you have a busy schedule?

With those questions I leave you, to continue writing and to see what it is that’s making that loud banging noise I keep hearing.
Keep Writing.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day #7 - Stalling and downers

NaNoWriMo has... stalled a bit for me. That’s really the only way I can describe it. I’m making sure I write daily, don’t get me wrong but it feels like the words are forced and I hate the story. No, actually it doesn’t feel like I hate the story. I actually hate the story. I don’t know why as I was really jazzed about it last week, I got loads of writing done, hitting 13,000 by the end of the first weekend. I think that may be the problem though, I’ve burnt out before I’ve barely begun. I’m trying to balance working 5/6 hours a day with an hour’s travelling time each day, the need for at least 8 hours sleep and writing an word count goal of 3000+ words a day. It’s too much. I can’t do it right now, not when I hate the story and would rather be doing other things.

I knew the story wasn’t quite right, particularly once I started adding all the dares. Some of them, are cool and have helped develop the plot some more, some are just fun inserts to right. If I’m brutally honest though I think they’re making the story suck. Suck so much that I think I’ll just leave them out from here onwards. Apart from the ones that really appeal to me. Despite feeling all this though I’ve kept going and this feeling of hatred towards that story is slowly creeping over me. I don’t want to hate the story, it actually seems like quite a good one but all these dares that I’ve added have just made it seem silly. The only answer is to take out the dares.

It probably doesn’t help that I’m getting all these ideas for The Darkling Watch, how I’m going to edit it and then a bunch of ideas for the o.S.a.M rework and other novels set in that world. I jot them down with the intent of coming back to them later but really all I want to do is write them now. I’m actually thinking about being a bit of a rebel, using The Death of Yggdrasill as practice and warm up each day before I start editing or rewriting The Darkling Watch. But I’m not ready to do that. I know The Darkling Watch isn’t finished in the first round of read-throughs. It’s not properly planned out. So there isn’t much I can really do except for hit each day’s word-goal and keep writing but ignore the silly parts of the story.

Maybe it is hormones, maybe it’s burn out or maybe it’s a completely other reason that I don’t know about. All I do know is that I refuse to let myself burn out or hate my novel, hate any of my novels. SO I’m just going to write the bare minimum I want to write until this weird mood lifts or I hit 50k. Whichever comes first.

Keep Writing.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Thoughts of Fantasy

I didn’t quite explain myself very well yesterday when I mentioned the new schedule. Mondays are about writer/novel based thoughts while Wednesdays are all about progress. Finally, Fridays are focused on my experiences of writing. Today I’m going to focus on the Fantasy genre and my thoughts on this. But first I just want to tell you all that this post almost didn’t get written. Not because I don’t know what to talk about but because I’m exhausted. I’ve proved to myself and the people that I work with that I need to get at least 8 hours sleep if I’m going to be a functioning person. Not falling asleep until half past 12 at night and then being woken up at 4 before getting up at 7 does not make me an awake girl. So if this post seems a little weird and rambling, completely lacking in coherence that’s why. Anyway, on with the post.

I’ve always loved fantasy. It was the first kind of story that I read. How could it not be when my childhood readings consisted of fairytales and Enid Blyton stories. Yes, many of her short stories, aimed at the younger children were fantasy. How could they not be when they featured princesses and elves and magic, all set in a far away kingdom long ago. I loved them all. They just gave me this chance to escape into a land of make believe and that need for escapism has stayed with me, even today.

When I got older I started to read The Hobbit, before taking a brief foray into the world of R.L.Stine and other horror writers. I was always drawn back to fantasy though. And I’m talking old school epic fantasy here; The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Shannara. That last one is one I know I’ve mentioned before, in particular here and here, and there’s a reason. I started reading the series when I was about 12 and since then have continued to read it. I like seeing how Brook’s writing has developed and how, as he’s grown more confident in his writings he’s moved away from common fantasy tropes and instead worked with some very original material of his own.

The one thing all epic fantasy shares though is that fight for survival. The characters are always striving to combat and beat a foe that is much stronger than them, a foe that threatens to destroy the world the good, and not so good, guys live in. Always though, the author manages to make this epic idea a lot more personal for the characters, showing their families and homes, essentially the things that the protagonists are fighting to protect. It’s a nice thing really, showing what it is that these characters that you follow, for almost 500 pages, are willing to risk their lives to protect. Often they die and that makes their sacrifice bitter sweet. The thought that the authors have so much skill that they can make a huge analogy about the battle between good and evil and bring it down to the bare bones, personal level is humbling. It’s the mark of a good fantasy writer in my book.

The inability to do this, is in turn, the sign of a bad one. If there’s no real threat to the world, if the challenge isn’t dire enough, if there just isn’t enough motivation, personal motivation for the characters to battle on then the words seem wooden and the characters lacking. I rarely see this in the books I read. I don’t know if I’m just lucky or the writers of fantasy are just that good. There’s also the struggle with creating a good antagonist faced by many authors. It’s too easy to create a villain that’s just hammy or just plain rubbish. Occasionally too much is revealed too soon and the tension goes; particularly if the villain is so laughably one dimensional that you’re left wondering how on earth they got to be such a threat in the first place.

Most appealing for me about fantasy is the Worlds they are set in. Vast tracts of land with centuries of history and culture created for these stories to unfold in. It amazes me that one person can keep all of this on track and under control, particularly when I can barely remember what I did last week. The art of world-building is an interesting one, it has dozens of websites devoted to it, but many of the great fantasy authors created their worlds before the advent of the internet. They created them when resources and books were hard to come by or lugging a 700 page book on human anthropology back from the library was painful and inconvenient. I have the greatest respect for those authors, particularly as I work on building my own world.

I could go on for many more words but they would more than likely be hopeless fan-girling and gradually lose all meaning. Or I’d start repeating myself. So, before I get any more incoherent than I may already be I will end with this;

I have moved away from epic fantasy in my reading, and my writing, particularly in the last year or so. This is quite sad for me really as it’s a genre I love. Now though I’m turning back to it, particularly once NaNoWriMo is over. Ideas have started to form, I’ve gotten some amazing sounding epic fantasy novels lined up for reading and the stories are coming together. I see bright things for fantasy in my future; once NaNo is over. I see bright things, new and interesting things that I plan to share with you all once I’ve got them straight in my head.

Keep Writing.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Mixed Week - RoW80 Check In

It’s that time of the week again, the day I talk about how well I’ve succeeded in reaching my RoW80 goals or how thoroughly I’ve failed. It’s a bit of both again this week. But that’s not what I’m focusing on. I’m tweaking my goals a little.

1) NaNoWriMo – very good
Originally I planned to just aim for the daily word goal from the site of 1,667 words. Then I decided I wanted to beat my word-count from last year and aimed for a total of 100,000 words by the end of November. That means I need to write 3,334 words everyday. So far I’ve been beating that. On Friday in fact I wrote over 4,000 words. I’m very pleased with myself and i think I am well on track to reach the 100k goal I set myself, possibly before the end of November if I keep this up. I was a little disappointed though that this writing took me about 5 or 6 hours to complete. I tend to have conversations going when I’m writing and keep my internet browser open as well. Next week I plan on trying to write without the internet going, hopefully it will speed up how long it takes me to write and I can cut some of the time and boost my daily word count. Overall though things have been going really really well for me with this goal.

2) The Darkling Watch – disappointing
I’ve not managed to do any editing of this, simply because it’s been taking me so long to write my daily word-goal. This may change next week though once I start writing without the internet going. I did have some thoughts about the book though, and the series and once I have some more time I plan to put a couple of these ideas into play. Hopefully they will have some promising results.

3/4) The Feral Diaries Book 1 and Book 2 – failure
This week I’ve done nothing for these two goals. And I mean nothing, I’ve not even had any ideas about it or made any notes as I did with The Darkling Watch. I’m quite disappointed but again it’s not that surprising considering the time I take to write my NaNo daily goal. Again, like with The Darkling Watch, things may alter slightly once I turn off my internet.

5) o.S.a.M – a difference
While I have had a couple of ideas for scenes and the details of some of the plotline for o.S.a.M I came to a decision about it yesterday. I love the characters, I love the storylines, I even love the settings. It’s a story that I don’t really want to let go of. But I know that I don’t have the necessary skills in my artwork to tell it. It may be the case that I never will. But what I can do is write. So I decided I would turn the comic into a novel. It’s early days and there may be one or two tweaks to storylines but overall it should stay the same. In fact it may actually be better as I can give more depth to the characters by getting inside their heads. I love writing fantasy and I’ve been trying to find a story to write that is set within my fantasy world of Geniania (Yes the name and the world needs some work) and I really think that o.S.a.M would fit well within it. So there, a decision at last on that story.

6) Blogging twice a week – success
This one has been one of my bigger wins this week, and for the last few weeks. Granted Wednesday’s post wasn’t too coherent but I still wrote it and managed to say what I wanted to say. More importantly I’ve decided on a set schedule for posts, one that gives me more posts in a week and lets me have the chance to say what I want to say. It’s probably going to be the case that I write some of these posts in downtime at work and copy them up later but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that there will be more posts and they will be regular.
  • Sundays – RoW80 updates
  • Monday – writing based 
  • Wednesday – NaNo progress (novel progress once November is over)
  • Friday – personal thoughts
  • The contents may wiggle a little but those are the days that I’ll be posting.

Overall it’s been a mixed week. I’ve had a variety of success and the usual failures. I’m starting to see a pattern though. That means I need to alter my goals. AGAIN. So here are the altered goals. I’m sure from reading previous posts, as well as this one you will be able to work out why I’ve changed certain goals and targets.

2) Edit Darkling Watch at least once a week
3) Write or edit one Feral Diaries entry a week
4) Wait until Book 1 is done before planning Book 2 of The Feral Diaries
5) Work out how to convert o.S.a.M from a comic to a novel/novel series.
And now I shall return to my NaNo and try to get some more words down before bedtime.

Keep Writing!

Friday, 2 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

NaNoWriMo is upon us once more. Writers everywhere are desperately scribbling words however they can, trying and praying that they reach the 50k word goal by midnight on November 30th. Parents go ignored, spouses go neglected, children are left to turn into feral Lord of the Flies style wild children, hamsters escape and hide under the fridge.

Me though... I’m somehow not neglecting my life. It’s already two days in and I’m at over 6,000 words. I’ve been spending quality time with my family, working full time and I even did a little bit of shopping today now that my money situation has been sorted out by the nice people at the Job Centre. I’m as shocked as you. I work all day and still manage to write roughly 3000 words a day, give or take. The night is still young too which means that this word-count may go up even more by the time you read this. I can’t figure out how I’m managing this. Although that may have a little something to do with the fact that my narrator has become a character in his own right.

Yup that’s right. I have a narrator that is not omniscient and is now a character. He has no name, a paranoid, bonkers personality and a tendency to go wildly off topic. I also struggle to get him to describe anything happening properly. Oh and let’s not mention the fact that there are apparently two people in his brain, him and someone called Cecil. I’m only halfway through the first chapter! I’m getting the feeling that this novel may actually kill me if I ever finish it and get to the stage of editing.

I think one of the biggest influences in my success so far is the CD I got sent by a fellow NaNo-er (I would include a link to the forum thread this spawns from here but the site is down AGAIN). It’s full of a variety of music and most of it is really inspirational. I pop it on as I start writing and it really helps me to get into the flow. It’s about an hour long and once I reach the end I know that I’ve finished an hour of writing, (with a few distractions). If I’m still in the writing zone, which I usually am I’ll pop on my own playlist that I plan to burn onto some blank CDs in the next few days to send off. That’s just over an hour long as well so I know that once it’s finished I’ve been writing for at least an hour (again with a few distractions). Within the next couple of weeks I should hopefully have another two CDs with lots of interesting music to inspire my writing.
I had planned to do an inspiration filled post tonight about how I love the NaNo spirit at the minute but I’m just too tired. Personal problems made sleep an issue last night and it’s almost my bedtime now so I’m flagging a bit. Before I go though I thought I’d share a big bloggy decision with you all.

As of Sunday I will have a regular update schedule. Well, sort of. On Sundays I will be doing my usual RoW80 post as I try to fulfil more of my goals there. On Wednesdays I’ll be making posts specifically about how I’m finding NaNo and some of the tricks I’m employing to get through it all; including a day of my schedule, inspired by this series of blogs. Any other day is fair game with a possible post about basic writer related things and links to other blogs and articles that I’ve found very interesting.

Keep Writing!