Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh, the joy

Oh, the joy of having actually written a draft of a novel in such a short time! For me, it was 16 days (37 hours of keyboard time).
But the work is just beginning. I've decided that the story doesn't seem to contain enough threat to the main character (MC) and he doesn't seem to be under enough stress at the end.
So I've begun adding a second thread, a subplot, that I had always intended to put in but never found the easy links to include. Now's the time for that.
As I'd learned in High School English, I made an outline (but, as in HSE, after I'd written the first draft; sorry, Mrs. Bagnal).
Now I'm happily adding 3x5 cards of plot points and filling in the MC background to make the events the worst possible things for him. I get to devise his history, so why not?
The happy bit is that I'm still having fun with this, and now I actually feel I could make it into a salable book. I mean, it's done, right? Now I'm just editing the internal bits.
So if you've never joined NaNoWriMo, consider it for next year.
It's kind of too late for this year; tomorrow is the last day.
Man, writing is so much more fun than any other hobby!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Too much celebration

Well, to celebrate hitting the 50,000 words in the NaNoWriMo challenge, I bought a triple-chocolate cake and some chocolate ice cream. Sunday AND Monday, I had ice cream and cake for desert, with extra chocolate sauce.
Before you ask, I am not normally a chocolate person.
Tuesday morning, my toes felt like they had rug burns. I'm told this is a warning to diabetics that they have strayed too far from the proper diet.
Like I needed a reminder? Well, it seems I did. That's the trouble with things that don't hit you over the head with reminders: you forget, or decide you are OK now. 
I'm not.
So back to extremely little alcohol, no sugar snacks, slow-digesting starches, etc.
Maybe I'll remember this time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I did it!

Day sixteen of NaNoWriMo and I finished my book, as well as making the 50,000 word target handily. With the epilog and hook for the next book, I got to 51,200 words, 200+ pages. 
According to the program I use, (CopyWrite) that was 36 hours of edit time. I am very pleased.
In fact, I am happier with the story, the arc of it, the characters and plot resolution than I am of anything I've ever written.
And it started out as a dare.
So don't be chicken, take a dare once in a while.
And props to the Everett, Washington writing group and to the co-MLs (Metropolitan Liaison) for spurring me on.
Go writers!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nearing the finish line

This morning I start on the last 6,000 words of the 50,000 target. I'm pretty happy to be there on the 15th of the month.
I had vowed to "get out there" more than in the past; that's how I got suckered into this novel month. That's worked out extremely well for me, BTW. I've figured out what (one of) my problems has been all these years.
So I'm going to meet some other writers from the area in a couple of hours. My stomach is trying to rebel at the thought of voluntarily meeting new people, but I'll drown it in good Ghirardelli coffee and see what happens.
There's a thought forming in the back of my head that maybe 2009 is the year I also sign up for the Whidbey Island Writer's Conference in some capacity or other.
I'm not sure there's that much coffee, even in Washington!
I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Writing hard

I'm still crashing away at the challenge. It's day 13, I'm at almost 39,000 words, the most productive run in my entire life.
I once finished six chapters in 5 weeks, but that was a long time ago, maybe in 2002. That was about the last serious fiction writing I've done.

I've now done 165 pages in 13 days.
What could happen if I made even half of this productive rate a regular thing? Why, I might finish a story! I've only ever finished one book and three stories.
Maybe this sitting in the chair and just getting the words down without regard to "fixing things" is the way to go. I can edit next month, right?
Time will tell.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Writing Frenzy

I've signed up for NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing month. I made a commitment to write at least 50,000 words in thirty days.
I admit to thinking it was going to be difficult, but the part I thought would be hard was getting down that many words. 
It turns out that it is pretty easy. I write pretty fast, when called upon so to do.
The hard part?
I have realized in just 8 days that all the years I spent pretending to write were really just pretense. I finished my book, did a couple of short stories, but always got distracted by what ought to go into them, what a reader might like to read. What would sell.
All of these turn out to be kind of pointless concerns if you don't get enough words down on the page in the first place.
The point of NaNoWriMo is to produce word count. The secret message is that once you abandon any thought for _what_ those words are, you become freer as a writer than I would have believed.
Now I charging ahead and having more fun with writing than I have since that first story back in 1968, banged out on a rented typewriter on newsprint paper.
I know I'll have to spend December doing edits, but every writer knows the editor is louder in his brain than the creator and so is easy to call upon.
I'm at 27000 words this morning, and I'm just stalling now. So back to it.