Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winner!!

I did it! I wrote 50,000 words in one month! Through all the craziness that life through at me, I wrote and wrote. It's a lot of crap, to be honest, but it's my crap and I am so very proud to have created it!

Now I'm going to give my little fingers a rest and stop typing. First, I'll leave you with the quote on the winner's certificate, which I will be printing and proudly hanging in my home and work offices.

Through storm and sun, you traversed the noveling seas. Pitted against a merciless deadline and fighting hordes of distractions, you persevered. You launched yourself bravely into Week One, sailed through the churning waters of Week Two, skirted the mutinous shoals of Weeks Three and Four, and now have landed, victorious, in a place that few adventurers ever see.

We congratulate you on your hard work, salute your discipline and follow-through, and celebrate your imagination.

You did something amazing this month, novelist. We couldn't be prouder. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, November 24, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Lessons learned

I'm not done with NaNo--I still have about 14,000 words to write. (Scary! Especially considering the fact that Thurs. is likely to be a wash.) But I did want to write about one of the things I learned from NaNo.

Recently, I got to a point in my story where I felt like I was done with it. Not as in, "This novel is awesome and totally complete!" but as in, "I have nowhere else to go with this." But since I made this promise to myself and the NaNo world, I needed to push forward anyway. So I started writing from another character's point of view, just to help me get into his head.

And you know what? I realized that this story should be told from multiple points of view! That M.C trying to figure out her sister's suicide impacts the people she interviews in various, interesting ways. So that's where I'm taking the story now. I'm guessing I wouldn't have learn about that part of the story as quickly (or maybe at all) had I not made myself sit down and write when I felt like I had nothing more to say.

So, thank you NaNo!

(WriMo word count as of 8 p.m. on Monday: 37,830 words) Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NaNoWriMo: I did it!

No, I didn't hit 50,000 words on Day 18.

But I did allow myself to try something new--writing from different characters' perspectives, and it felt really good! I got 2,100 words written in about an hour and a half. And I like them. (Well, I haven't reread them, but I liked them as they were coming out.) But more importantly, I like the idea of making this story from more than one point of view. So now I have a whole bunch of stuff to write, which means that I will get to 50,000 words, I just know it.

Feeling inspired as I break to go to my physical therapy appointment and then get some much needed food into my stomach. Best Blogger Tips

NaNoWriMo Update

I fell a bit off course because I had my lovely friend Gracie (who has a new fabulous blog about cooking and eating) come visit this weekend.

But I skipped dinner last night and wrote 2,000 words to help me catch up. I'm at the point where I think most of what I'm writing is pretty awful and won't make it past draft 1, but the point here is just to get the words down, and that's what I'm doing.

I'm hoping to hit 2,000 more tonight. I'm hopeful that I'll finish this crazy thing, though I know Thanksgiving is going to mess me up a bit, since we're hosting a house full of family. And this internal editor of mine is coming on strong, telling me over and over what BS I'm writing. But I'm trying to duct tape her mouth and slog on through. Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Your opinion please!

So I'm coming to a blocked place regarding my novel. I know MC has one more family member to visit on her quest to figure out why her sister killed herself. But that surely won't take up 25,000 words. So now what?

There's a potential love interest brewing between her and her best friend, David. I would like to expand that, but I'm thinking there might need to be more tension there. Maybe another man comes out of the woodwork and thwarts David's efforts? Any other ideas?

What else could happen? So far, her visiting with her parents has led to a tentative kind of reconciliation between her and each of them. I'm thinking something different has to happen when she goes to visit the aunt (That's the last family member she needs to learn from.) I think what she learns from her aunt is just that living with the death of someone close to you will never get easy, but it will get manageable. Not sure how that comes out, but I assume I'll figure that out as I go. But if you have ideas...I'm open!

I think M.C. has to come to terms with the fact that she drinks too much. Not sure how to make that happen... Any ideas?

And any thoughts on what else could happen? The themes of the book so far are suicide, alcoholism, and reconciliation.

Any ideas, prompts, thoughts, direction, etc are most entirely welcome. Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 12: I'm getting tired

My excitement is starting to wane a bit. I think I'm getting a little burnt out. I'm not going to stop, mind you, but I want to be honest about how I'm feeling. I'll do my 1,600 words today, though I'd much rather just watch TV, clean up, and then take a bath. (I'll try to write and then do the latter two.)

I'm taking tomorrow off from writing because my dear friend Gracie is coming to town from Seattle, and Kerry and I are meeting her for dinner after work. I might not get to write on Friday, though I'll try to squeeze some in in the morning, before G and I go off to have some fun in Boston.

Then on Saturday, she's having coffee with a friend to give me some time to write in the morning. She leaves on Sunday afternoon (wah!) so I'll have time to write then. And I took Monday off work just in case I need some more hours to devote to NaNo'ing, so I'm not too worried if I fall a bit behind.

Anyway, that's where I'm at: still devoted, but glad to have some time to spend with some dear friends and to get away from this damn computer. Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 11: A very short post

I wrote more than 3,000 words today! So I won't be writing much more here. But I am at 21,055 words!! 21,055!! That's more than a third of the way there! Whoo hoo!! Best Blogger Tips

Monday, November 10, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 10

I can't believe it's Day 10! And that I'm at 17,000 words! I'm pacing myself perfectly (not to jinx myself). I have tomorrow off from work, so I'm going to try to hit 20,000. That way, when Gracie comes to visit this weekend from Seattle (yea!!), I won't have to be too stressed if I miss a day of writing.

The writing is moving. I'm getting a much better sense of what this story is about--M.C. finding her way back to her family, which she has been estranged from for a long time. In doing so, she really fulfills the wish of her sister, which M.C. didn't even know about until she started to look into why Sister killed herself.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm sure a lot fo these 17,000 words are pure drivel. But they're words. Words that wouldn't be there without this challenge. So thank you NaNo!

PS--Check out the awesome NaNo badge I added to the blog (on the left)! Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, November 09, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Days 7, 8, 9

I planned a fun writing day yesterday--a friend met me at Borderland State Park and we took a long walk with Chloe the Wonderpup. Then we went back to my house, had a quick lunch, and wrote for a few hours. (Well, I wrote and she wrote/read/napped.) I got 3,000 words done, which made up for my lack of writing on Friday.

At the end of that session, I got the feeling like maybe I didn't have enough of a story to continue onward for another, oh, 40,000 words. And I started to get anxious. But this morning, I wrote my way through it. I think I have enough to get me through the week at least. And hopefully by then, I'll be able to brainstorm my way through any other block. Best Blogger Tips

Friday, November 07, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 6

Not much to report. I got about 2,000 words in yesterday at a library-sponsored write in. I'm taking today off because the writing time I had set aside for myself is now being devoted to a friend's father's funeral instead. But I figure I can make up the word count over the weekend. (And of course I think it's important to go support my friend!) Will post again over the weekend for another update. Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 5

I broke the 9,000 word barrier! Which means that tomorrow, assuming all goes as planned, I'll hit 10,000 and be 1/5 done! I feel like I'm just getting into the meat of the novel, and I'm excited. I know the next two major plot points, and it feels good to have some direction.

I believe MC goes to NY to talk to the guy who was dating her sister when she committed suicide. They haven't talked since her funeral 5 years earlier, but MC wants to ask him if he has any more information now about why she might've done what she did.

From the boyfriend, MC learns that her sister had been in touch with her dad, which MC didn't know. (Their dad left when they were little and started a new family somewhere else.) MC then goes to see him. Not sure what happens after that... Best Blogger Tips

NaNoWriMo: Day 4

I'm late in posting about yesterday's progress, but I have a very happy excuse, what with the history-making election and all. When I walked into my office this morning, a person who works in the building greeted me with a huge smile. He said, "I don't recognize this happy feeling in my chest." I said I knew just what he meant. And there's one word for it: hope.

As for NaNo, we had a write-in yesterday at the library cottage and a few people came, despite having to fit voting into their day. That's what I call NaNo dedication. And I hit my daily word count goal, getting to almost 2,000 words. It was, dare I say it, easy yesterday. The words just flowed. Now, they might be utter crap but that's something to worry about in December. Now, I'm just worried about keeping up this pace for 26 more days...

Current count: 8,000 words Best Blogger Tips

Monday, November 03, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 3

This is going to be a short post because it's 9:30 p.m. and I'm behind on my novel word count. I just want to say that a huge benefit of NaNo is that I'm forcing myself to find time to write, even on really busy days like today.

Work was crazy, and my commute took way longer than usual. Then I had some freelance stuff I had to do. So I didn't get to start on the novel until 9 o'clock. If that were to happen when I wasn't involved in this challenge, I would've given up and allowed myself some TV/relaxation time. But with this challenge before me, I said, "1 hour of writing is better than nothing" and got down to it. Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, November 02, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

Day 2 was harder than day 1. Much. I spent about an hour crying--For various reasons, but among them was the "fact" that I just can't do this. This was after B and I looked around for a good coffee shop to write in. We were in the city, where there are a ton, but they were all crowded. We ended up in a Borders nearer to our house, but I found the space annoying. There were screaming kids for one thing.

But now I'm back home, post cry. There's a fire in the fire place, a screwdriver on the coffee table next to me, and Thai food is on it's way. I decided not to worry about moving the story forward, to just brain dump from the main character's point of view. I'm writing it as a conversation between her and her friend, David. Not sure if it'll go anywhere, but this is all about the word count, right?

So. onward, if not upward. Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

I started out the day by sleeping late and then going to PT to work on some exercises to help with a persistent shoulder problem and headaches. Then Brian and I headed over to Starbucks to get our NaNo on. I was surprised at how scared I was! I had forgotten how intimidating it can be to embark on a new writing project--not to mention the fact that this is really my first foray into novel writing.*

But with the help of a mocha, I got started. The words have been coming. They're not good. And I'm switching between third person and first. But I'm writing. And I'm grateful for that.

My goal is to write 3,000 words/weekend day, and 1,600 on weekdays. I'm up to 2,200, with the whole night ahead of me, so I think I'm in good shape. For today. We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Good luck fellow NaNo'ers. Let me know how you're doing!


* I did sort of attempt a novel once. I wrote a short story, and decided to expand it into a novel. I got about half way through before I realized that it really didn't have enough of a plot to be anything more than a short story. So I revised it in its short form. Best Blogger Tips
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