Posts tagged novel
Up at 6am. Out the door by 6:30. Out of work at about 5pm, after an entire shift where I literally wasn’t able to so much as sit down until the last fifteen minutes. I don’t do well with no food for ten hours… Really need to find a way to grab a granola bar or something on the fly. It’s sad when you put in two hours of overtime, and still leave an hour of work undone behind you. Frustrating, too.
OK, back to Waltham by about 5:20 – made good time. And made it to the dentist late, but they took me anyway. Had to get a temporary cap on a tooth replaced (old one cracked). It didn’t take them very long. Feels a little odd, but hey, it only has to last a couple of weeks. Then they do the permanent crown. (SO not really looking forward to that!)
Got home in time for Susan to leave. She was out to visit with a friend this evening, and left shortly after I arrived. A very “ships in the night” sort of day. I continued reading the book on writing; also browsed some Amazon genre pages, doing a little research on what is selling, and how. I still track percentage data sometimes, although not as carefully as I once did. Anyway, thinking about the genres, I had a new idea for a story. Actually, I had several new ideas for stories, but this one, I decided to work on a little bit.
So after dinner, I skimmed the first couple chapters of “Skylark of Space”.
For anyone who’s never read the book, this is a bit of classic SF from E.E. Smith, one of the most famous science fiction writers of the pulp era. Awesome story, if you can handle the dated storytelling style. I love it, but I admit if can be an acquired taste. Anyway, I was thinking about Skylark, and looking at my bookshelf, where there is a book titled “How to Build Your Own Spaceship”. So I stole the title, and the seed of the technology from Skylark, and started writing something for my kids.
My girls are seven, and one of them is voraciously reading anything in her path. She’s not – QUITE – to where she can handle full length adult fiction. But she’s close. And I was thinking I could maybe write something she would like, that older people would enjoy as well. So I wrote about 750 words of a story, then sat her on my lap and read the story to her (actually, she was supposed to be in bed by then, but was complaining of a nightmare, so I let her read it to me as a bedtime story to take her mind off bad dreams).
She liked it, and wants to read more.
This will be a fun side project to spend some time on while working on the other stories.
For your entertainment, the very first pages of How to Build Your Own Spaceship (first draft work)
Dana’s face froze.
Playing chemist in the basement was one thing. Accidentally dissolving your mom’s platinum ring was another, she figured. And if Mom would ground her for the chemistry (well, she might or might not – Mom was pretty cool), she’d feed Dana to piranhas if she found out about the ring.
Lucky her, it wasn’t a piece of jewelry Mom wore all that often. It was an old family ring, and Dana had figured it was a prime candidate for her experimentation in electroplating. She had the acid bath. She had the copper bar in her hand. And she had the electric current from a car battery, which up until a few moments ago had been hooked up to the platinum ring.
She wasn’t expecting the platinum to dissolve! She clenched her teeth, trying not to howl in frustration. Mom used the aqua regia to etch platinum for her artwork. It wasn’t supposed to make platinum just go poof like that.
Absently, she reached forward to stir the solution with the copper rod. Maybe the electroplating would still work?
Her ears hurt. Her fingers, the ones that had been loosely holding the copper rod, stung. The steel wire she’d looped around the bar to run back to the battery was dangling loose. What had made that loud noise? And where was the copper rod? She looked into the little pot filled with solution. Had the copper dissolved too?
No… She thought it would have left some sort of telltale residue. The platinum had.
She looked around the room, wondering what had happened, and her eyes were drawn to a small hole in the wall, right near the ceiling of the basement. It was small; she only noticed it because she could see sunlight through it. She’d never seen the hole before, though – and she spent a lot of time down here, working on one science project or another. If it wasn’t chemistry, it was robotics or engineering or rocketry. So she knew that wall as well as she knew her bedroom.
And funny, that hole was about the same width as the missing copper bar.
A short while later, she had four holes in the wall instead of one, but she’d figured out what the heck was going on. She winced, looking at the holes, and pulled out the chunk of gray modeling clay she’d swiped from the art supplies in her homeschool room. Carefully, she took four chunks of the clay and pressed them into the four holes. The color matched the wall pretty well. She didn’t think anyone would notice.
But she’d figured it out. Somehow, the platinum solution, plus a current, in contact with the copper, made the copper move. And not just move, but move fast. Almost faster than her eyes could see, even at the lowest level of power. Plus, the holes got bigger if she added more electricity into the mix. And when she hooked a bunch of paperclips onto the copper bar, they went along for the ride.
“Holy shit,” she said softly. She figured even Mom would agree this was one of those times it was OK to use bad words.
She’s been lucky she wasn’t holding that first chunk of copper too tight, or it might have taken her along. Through the wall. Who knew how far. She shivered a little.
Take away the current, though, and nothing happened. And when she tried a smaller battery, the copper sped away noticeably slower. So however the reaction was being created, she could control it by controlling the amount of electricity present.
Dana wondered how far those copper bars had gone before the reaction stopped. Maybe they’d even gone into space! She’d launched model rockets before, but it would really be something if she could launch her own little copper rockets into orbit.
Mom would be home soon, though. And she felt like she wanted to keep this from her mother for a little while yet…like maybe forever, if she could. It was a really cool reaction, like nothing she’d ever read about. But she didn’t think it would be cool enough to save her if Mom found out about the ring. And she didn’t like the idea of being grounded. Like, forever. Or at least for however long it took to get from thirteen to being away at college. Which might as well be forever.
Totals for Day 23
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 750 words Month to date fiction: 33650 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 529 words Month to date blog posts: 14239 words
I realized last night I was coming down with a cold bug – fever and all, last night – so I called in sick to work. This morning, I woke up late and stayed in bed later. The fever was gone, but I still felt like crud. Still, I was up and about a little by late morning. I helped Susan get the girls launched for a girl scout meeting (homeschool troop) by 1pm, and hit my email after that. Worked my way through assorted email and other stuff, played with E (he stayed home with me) and mostly rested.
After dinner, Susan went out with a friend, and I got to work on some writing. The interruption level from the kids was off the charts, though. They wanted to play. Or needed help with a homeschool workbook. Or fighting with a sibling… The reason varied, but they were running in pretty regularly. Every time I tried to write, someone would come in, and the next one would arrive before I was really able to get back into a writing mindset. A little frustrating, so I let myself write a few LinkedIn posts. I don’t need as much focus for those.
Finally got the kids to bed at 9:30, and hit the writing more intensely. Carried on until 10:30 when Susan got home. Caught up with her, and came in to write this post. Still feeling yucky, so I’m going to bed soon. I’m borderline feverish again, but really can’t afford another day off work (much as I might like to!). So it’s better to get an earlier night and try to kick this bug.
I’m officially over the edge of halfway now. I’ve finished 16 days of this little experiment. What’s gone on?
I’ve managed to write every day this month except one; and that one, I still blogged, so I was still actively engaged in thinking about writing, even if I didn’t get new words in.
I’ve managed to stay more or less on track for word-count. I’d really RATHER be producing 2k+ words a day of new fiction, but I said going in I was counting the blog words too. So I’m OK with about 32k words at day 16. That’s pretty precisely on target, in fact. The blog words count because the blog is the tool to keep me on track, to keep me accountable, and to keep me motivated so that I continue producing new fiction words daily.
Tomorrow, I’m back to work, and back to writing in the evening. See you then!
Totals for Day 16
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 1000 words Month to date fiction: 21900 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 474 words Month to date blog posts: 10005 words
Woke up this morning and spent a quiet morning, hanging with the kids and my wife. Watched a show with my wife, worked with D on her new computer, and came to the conclusion we were definitely going to need to get her a different machine. For a variety of reasons, it just wasn’t working for her. She’s a very tactile kid – and the biggest problem the machine had was that the trackpad was one of the ones with the little bumps all over it, instead of being smooth like she was used to.
So after lunch (leftover pizza from the night before), D and I went back to Best Buy to return the old computer and buy a new one. This is part of Kevin’s Theory of Techy Goodness, by the way: I always buy my tech local. Seems counter-intuitive, maybe. But if I buy online, I need to wait two or more days for it to arrive. Then, if there is anything wrong with it, I might have to wait weeks to send it back and get it replaced – maybe longer. Tech companies are not exactly building good reps for service these days. But Best Buy and Staples both have really good service departments, at least around here. So I got to these stores. I get to see the machines in person. I get to try them out, and if they’re not working for some reason, I can return them and get cash back or a different machine that same day.
When I bought my Chromebook (the 11.6″ Samsung one) that I use as my main “writing while traveling” machine, I was iffy on whether it was worth it or not. I mean, there’s not much you can do on a Chromebook unless you have a net connection, and with no 3G, that means the one I bought is very reliant on a WiFi connection. But Best Buy gave me a couple of weeks to try the thing out, and said I could return it if I didn’t like it. As it happened, I DID like it – but I probably never would have purchased it if they hadn’t offered the return policy.
So anyway, I went out with D and we spent most of the afternoon, between driving to the store, hours looking at every laptop they had, and driving through traffic on the way home. But she’s a happy camper now: a nice HP Envy with an A10 processor and a hefty bunch of RAM. It’s not an uber-laptop. But it’s probably more laptop than a seven year old really needs. Still, this is the same kid who was converting short stories to ebook format at age four, reading at age five, and is now reading better than most kids twice her age. She’s learning programming (homeschooling is cool that way) and hosting Minecraft servers. So a little extra machine isn’t a bad thing. If she’s not using the machine to its full potential yet, I feel confident she WILL be within a year or so.
Got home and touched base with Susan for a while. It was about then I started feeling cruddy… Our youngest had been sick yesterday and today, some sort of respiratory bug. And I was coming down with it. I got dinner into everyone anyway, and was feeling even worse by the time I was done with the task. It was getting late by then, and I went on my ipad to get caught up on my email, which had gotten ahead of me – a way to relax a bit while laying down. I even closed my eyes and rested a bit. After I got the last of the kids tucked in, Susan and I watched a show, and then I went back to work on Ashes. I got 2000 more words in, and decided to call it quits. The tylenol is holding, and work doesn’t want me coming in sick (bad for the patients). But I’m tired, and it’s time to get some rest so I can get better fast. I don’t get sick often, and it generally doesn’t last long, but no sense making things worse.
Motivation for Writers
But I wanted to talk a little bit about motivation. I had a chat with my wife about motivation this morning. And an old friend from high school sent me a note on Facebook today, thanking me for these blog posts – they motivated her to write a short story last week, which is awesome. She and I used to chat about writing over two decades ago, and I still have one piece she wrote for me in a box with all my old (and oh-so-bad) high school meanderings.
I’m glad to hear the blog posts are helping other people. I know they’re helping me, though.
Here’s the Mystery behind motivation. I’m going to borrow from a lovely bit of poetry which I think fits well:
”…know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not,
unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek,
you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”
Motivation comes from wanting something badly enough to be willing to work and sacrifice to obtain it. It really is about that simple. We all say we want things. We want a better job, or a better education, or a better car. We want to eat healthier, or be more fit. We want to write a novel, or a bunch of short stories. We want to be better parents. Whatever the things are that we say we want, we pretty much all do it. We desire things in our lives, and we voice that desire.
But that’s not enough to accomplish the goal. Because when we voice a desire, we end up facing opposition. It’s a universal constant: when we try to achieve something, we will always face some sort of challenge in the doing. That’s part of why quest stories ring so true to all of us – because we’ve ALL experienced the “Hero’s Journey” type of quest. Most likely, we didn’t slay dragons or sail our ship past monsters, but the concepts the Hero’s Journey talk about are pretty universal. When someone steps out and tried to accomplish anything, opposition appears. And generally, the opposition which rises is in direct proportion to the immensity of the task undertaken.
The bigger the task we try to accomplish, the harder we’re going to have to fight to win the prize.
And most of us, most of the time? We hit that wall, and we crash. And when we crash, we give up. We give up because it’s a lot easier to give up than it is to try harder. Seth Godin talks about a concept he calls “The Dip”, which he describes as:
“Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point-really hard, and not much fun at all.”
He goes on to talk about how people OUGHT to quit sometimes, and why that is smart. And I agree; sometimes people beat their head against the wall on something which really isn’t a good goal for them in the long run anyway.
But I think far more often than that, people give up on perfectly good ideas or goals once they hit that Dip – the place where it suddenly gets really hard. And I think that’s really sad.
As for me? I know darned well I could have accomplished more than I have just in this year. I watched myself use every excuse in the book to explain why I was doing unproductive things instead of working at being productive at my writing. I had the time. I had the tools. I had great story ideas. We’re not talking about writer’s block here; we’re talking about simply not doing the work.
Motivation is about doing the work. Not once in a while. Not when you feel like it. Motivation is about putting in the time even when you don’t feel like it, because you know the end result (whatever that might be for this particular goal) is worth the effort. Motivation requires passion – the deep and fundamental love for what it is you are working at or striving toward. Motivation requires faith in yourself – belief that you can stay the course, and that the work you are doing will be worthwhile in the long run.
I believe one of the great challenges we all face in life – not once, but as a daily, ongoing thing – is to FIND our passions, BELIEVE in them, use those things to BUILD motivation, and then use the motivation to inspire and power the WORK required to accomplish those things we are passionate about.
It’s a chain. Break a link, and you have nothing.
Build the whole chain, and you have everything worthwhile.
Totals for Day 15
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 2000 words Month to date fiction: 20900 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 1511 words Month to date blog posts: 9531 words
Well, today was another work day… And was too tired upon getting home to do much of anything. Answered some emails, hung out with wife and kids, even tried taking a nap and then waking up again. Not a lot of luck. The 6am wake-up time is brutal for me, as I’m more of a night person.
But we do what we need to do.
Long story short, I got zero new words done on Ashes today. Did some work on cleaning up the second editing pass on Starship 5, which I just got back this evening.
And I also wrote this… It’s from a response to an interesting thread on LinkedIn. The debate there is over productivity for writers, and how much impact does it have – wrapped up with quality vs quantity discussions as well. Fascinating thread, and it’s a closed group or I’d link to it. But here’s my post (slightly edited so it makes sense without the context of the posts I was replying to).
Productivity for Writers
I don’t think that being a productive writer is a “particular strategy”. Nor, honestly, am I some sort of poster child for that strategy, if it is one. I’m not a particularly fast writer. I’m MUCH less productive than most successful indie writers today. I wish I was more productive than I am; and much of the point of the “Writing in Public” challenge is to help improve my productivity.
Productivity isn’t about models or strategies, though. It’s about constants. If you spend more hours working on writing (whatever your personal process), you will produce more work AND your skill will improve faster. That’s pretty much set in stone: the more time you spend writing, the more stories you will write. The more stories you write, the better you will get at telling stories. Makes sense, right? Also, if you produce more work, you can publish more work, which WILL increase your visibility, and in my experience always increases sales of both current and older works.
So when I say I wish I was more productive, and need to work on being more productive, it’s because I see increased productivity as the number one factor involved in moving from part-time hobby writer to full-time career writer; which is my target. For people who have different targets, that may not be relevant advice.
For people with similar goals to mine, I do firmly believe that the more you are able to write – the more hours you work – the better your chances of achieving your goals, and the faster you will reach them. And I think that holds true for all fiction, and most likely for a lot of nonfiction as well.
We’ve left behind the era of the book a year writer, I think. Instead, we’ve re-entered a phase of literature where writers who work more will tend to have better careers than writers who work less. We really haven’t seen that sort of thing in a long time – not since before I was born, certainly. Most writers have spent decades being limited by publishers to a book a year, maybe two. If they wanted to write more than that, they were forced to use pen names.
And now that’s gone. Wiped away. Writers are free to write and publish as much as they can produce, and the lid is off the box. As a result, I think we will see a shift in which writers succeed, and the drift will favor those writers who are willing to spend the time to produce lots of stories.
Totals for Day 10
Daily Fiction Wordcount: 0 words Month to date fiction: 15350 words
Daily Blog Post Wordcount: 617 words Month to date blog posts: 6716 words
First, he was right – publishing is facing a lot of problems.
Second, that digital technology and distribution were on their way to solving many of those problems.
The list of problems was very different from the ones we hear so often. Nothing about indie bookstores being in trouble, or bad contracts, or the other stuff. It was all meta-analysis of the industry as a whole, and therefore kinda interesting! I thought I’d give a few of those problems AND the likely solutions here. The solutions that are already happening are happening because of digital. Or perhaps a better way of putting it: digital is happening, and happening so fast in book publishing, because digital presents new solutions to many longstanding industry issues.
We have a younger generation which is more focused on “gizmos” than on literacy.
That younger demographic is encouraged to read by the very devices they want to use; the internet is a blossoming ground of reading and writing, and it’s becoming well understood that those who can write well and in a convincing manner can attract a large audience to their work through that medium. The internet mandates a certain level of literacy.
Fiction today seems mostly dominated by tired plots and bad writing.
The tired plots are largely due to major publishers attempting to guess what readers want to read – and then overproducing tons of that specific band of content. Digital publishing, in contrast, opens the doors for ALL content (which means yes, a lot is bad). Readers then get to decide for themselves what is good and what is not; what they want to read and what they don’t. Readers as a group are *exceptionally* good at this.
Literature is lacking in notable masters, and often less skilled writers are marketed as “masters” of their craft without merit.
It’s been hard to determine who the true “master” level writers of fiction are, because fiction sales were dominated by publishers with narrow buying requirements, sponsored book placement, and big ticket marketing moves. Again, digital opens the doors for people with mastery to do very, very well (by reaching an audience!); with virtually unlimited choice of books, and the ability to sample them all for free, readers simply aren’t going to buy books they don’t like. Mastery of writing implies the ability to reach readers: masters of writing fiction will do remarkably well in a free market. On the plus side for publishers, freedom to publish gives them a chance to learn (by watching for successful work) which writers are masters of their craft.
Longer works are the norm, giving readers less time to explore more books.
Longer books were, again, the result of print retail demands in a print dominated market. Digital books have no physical shelf space. My 3k word short stories are selling at a slow but steady pace; so is my 45k word novel. In fact, there is strong evidence that while most readers prefer novels in the 60-100k word range even in ebook form that there is a growing desire among readers for shorter novels (40-60k words). And those shorter works are certainly more profitable for the writers creating them (more than twice as hard to write a 100k word novel as a 50k word one, in my experience; but income does not even double and often does not go up at all). Short stories, novellas, and short novels are back and growing in a big way.
The price of many books is prohibitive, especially in a still-recovering economy.
Books are getting less expensive. Writers can now sell an ebook for $4.99 – and earn about six times as much per copy as they used to get for an $8 paperback. Even selling at the lowball 99 cents, a writer will earn only pennies less per copy sold than they earn from that $8 paperback. Ebooks open the door for books to become less expensive, easier to acquire, and more abundant in terms of selection choice. Publishers are finding ways to reduce their expenses to compete with these lower cost works (or are simply losing market share). Lower prices are good for the readers and the market.
Digital SOLVES problems.
Digital isn’t just growing because it’s the “cool new thing”. It is growing precisely because it DOES solve so many of the problems with which publishing has been faced. The end of returns, which are a huge money sink for publishers. The opening of new options for writers. The ability for publishers to use self published books as a “farm league” from which to pick winners for future representation, and the associated ability for writers to tell them *no*, if the deal isn’t good enough.
Are there other problems in the industry you can think of? How can we push technology to help solve those problems? Looking at the problems an industry has today is the key to seeing what the changes will be in that industry tomorrow.
I don’t really feel like running out new predictions right now. Maybe tomorrow.
Instead, I thought I’d take a look at 2011, and then ahead at 2012, and set some goals.
Dean’s written some amazing articles on goal setting. He’s done similar articles before, but these just rock. Excellent reading, and very timely – hey, we’re all looking ahead at the new year, right? Check them out:
2011 was a good year. I published three short stories and a novel. I met a ton of really amazing people, and learned a great deal. But it’s time to push things to the next level. Now, I’ve got a lot of changes coming down the pipe. This is going to be a huge year, with a lot going on. So goals – real, achievable ones – are going to be critical.
1. Write more.
I have a brand new book; a little moleskin pocket sized planner. Aside from tracking dates and schedules in it (the obvious), it’s going to be used to track my writing. When I write, how much I produce, what frame of mind I was in. I’m going to use that to figure out when and where my best times for writing are, and build a better schedule for getting more done. I’m going to track every new word of salable fiction and nonfiction, and I’m going to make sure there are a lot of them.
How many? I’m going to shoot for 366,000 words. (It’s a leap year, 1000 per day.)
I’ve never even come close to that before. It’ll be a huge challenge, from the perspective of history. But then again – since I write about 600-800 words in a 25 minute sprint, it’s not really that much per day. In the back of my mind, of course, is the idea I might be able to exceed that, but life has a funny way of breaking in, so let’s just keep it there for now.
Specifically, on the writing front, I plan to publish Ashes Ascendant, finish Dead In Winter, and publish that. Those will finish off the first three Blackwell Magic books. I also still plan to produce the serial fiction work. I got a great start on that in November, but need to re-examine how I can approach the genre. It was my first try, and there were a lot of flaws (primarily, because I wrote a novel instead of a serial!). I will also finish the rewrite of Accord of Honor – which my wife assures me needs a new title, so it might get one. Science fiction in the not so distant future, this is a “lost book” of mine, or almost was anyway. The file was lost in a hard drive crash, but I had a paper copy, so I’ve been retyping it into the computer, rewriting as I went. The resulting story is not the same as the first one was – there are big chunks simply scrapped and rewritten – but it’s much improved from the first attempt to tell the tale, and I’m very pleased with how it’s coming.
I’ve also had a lot of requests for basically a “step by step guide” to the mechanical parts of self publishing. Where to upload. How, exactly, to convert. How to do a basic POD book. All the basics, all in one book. I know there’s a few out there, but when I queried one LinkedIn group in a half joking post, I had a bunch of replies back saying yes, please do! So the outline is done on said book, and I’ll be cranking it out this year.
2. Follow Heinlein’s Rules.
A while back, Dean wrote a blog post where he mentioned the book those rules came from. It’s a great little volume, “Of Worlds Beyond: the science of science fiction writing”. I got a copy of the original 1947 edition for Christmas this year. It felt vaguely like getting a copy of the Gutenberg Bible. ;) I mean, this is THE BOOK. The source of the rules which spawned the careers of so many writers. And I was holding an original edition in my hands. How cool is that? I may love ebooks, but hey, some print books have value as a symbol beyond the actual words contained within the spine.
For those who don’t recall, Heinlein’s Rules are simple:
Heinlein’s Rules for Writing
- You must write.
- You must finish what you write.
- You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
- You must put the work on the market.
- You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
In this new age of publishing, those rules are still valid. Only the market has changed. The rules themselves are still as simple – and simply powerful – as ever. So I intend to follow those rules. I will write. I will finish each piece. I will rewrite based on editorial suggestion. I will get that work up for sale as soon as is possible, and keep it there so that it sells.
3. Business building.
I’ve begun formatting and editing for other writers. Doing ebook and print book formatting, and copy editing manuscripts. So far, I’ve had a bunch of really happy people, and I plan to continue working in this venue into the new year. I watch all the time as writers are caught by this or that questionable – even scammy – operation that sucks them for every cent it can. I feel firmly that hiring folks for basic one-time fees is the best way to go, and I put my money where my mouth is. I’m making those services available to writers at fees that are reasonable – complete with a free set of revisions, and phone-walkthrough assistance in the upload process if necessary. I’m enjoying the work, it’s extra income I can certainly use, and it’s helping writers become successful publishing their work. I don’t intend to set a goal for how many of these I will do, but I will continue to make the services available so I can help writers achieve their own goals.
There’s a lot to do. It’s going to be an amazing year, in so many ways, for so many people! I look forward to the challenges ahead, and the work ahead, and the new experiences and things to learn. 2011 was remarkable.
2012 stands ready to be incredible!
Well, that was certainly interesting. I did 44,000 words in three days, 24,000 words on the last day.
And I’m done.
I had a little time to spare – about a half hour. Thanks, everyone who stopped by and said hello. Thanks for the retweets, the Facebook comments, and especially for the comments here. All the encouragement was welcome, and I’m enormously grateful!!
I’m doing an excellent job with the output. I was churning about 2k words per hour today. And while not all of it is perfect prose, it feels pretty good. Now, of course, the challenge is the same as every year: maintain. Continue working, now that NaNoWriMo is over.
NaNo gives us all an excuse to write. A chance to do something different once a year. But if you want to BE a writer, then that’s not enough. It shouldn’t be enough – should feel like it’s not enough, somewhere in your gut.
One hour a day for me is at least five hundred thousand words a year. How could I possibly agree to settle for anything less than that, and still feel like I’m taking writing seriously? Easier said than done. But honestly, if one is serious about something, is an hour a day too much to ask?
New year challenges and goals forthcoming later in December. It’s going to be a fun, fun year. =)
For now, though, this challenge is won!
EDIT PS: I’ll put up another article, either tomorrow or the next day, talking a little more about process, method, anything I think might be useful to someone else from the experience. But for now, fingers need a break! Brain too… =)
Can’t waste too many words here – sorry – not much time, and much to do!
I have about seven hours left. I have about 12,000 words left to write. I’m producing almost 2000 words an hour though, fingers flying, words spilling onto the page.
The challenge started with three days and almost 44,000 words to write. Today has been insane, but it’s almost over. I am SO taking a day off tomorrow.
Thanks, any of you who’ve been sticking with me through this. I’ll report back at about midnight with the final tally.
So I’m at 25.456 words right now. That’s only 24,544 words remaining.
The good news is, I made about 13,000 words today. And I’ve got a great outline for the next 12,000 or so words, which means they will flow *really* fast. I’m finding that if I have a paragraph blurb for each scene, I’m closing on 2000 words an hour.
Tomorrow is going to be the real test. That’s at least twelve or so hours of typing left to go. And to maintain that speed, I’ll have to take periodic breaks. Spend a half hour at some point writing the rest of the rough outline. And playing with the kids often enough that they don’t sneak up behind me and strangle me with my headphone cables.
Off to bed now. Early rise, and back to work. At this point, I have less than 24 hours remaining to finish NaNoWriMo.
Anyone started a betting pool yet?
Every doggone year, I want to do NaNoWriMo right. I want to get out there, and write not just 1600 words a day – but more than that!
And every doggone year, it seems like things just explode around me every November. Instead of getting more work done, I get less. Instead of having more wordcount accomplished by the end of the month, I find myself wondering if I can actually finish NaNo at all.
In 2009, I had to write 20,000 words in the last day, in order to finish the book in time.
In 2010, I wrote just over 25,000 words on November 30th, in order to finish By Darkness Revealed. Yes, that was a NaNoWriMo novel. Yes, the second half of the book really was written that fast. No, that was not a very fun day. Although it was exciting. And I noticed that the writing from that day was overall more crisp, more clear, and LESS in need of editing that the first half. Go figure.
So this year I’m sitting at something like 6000 words done on the 26th. I have work tonight, and work tomorrow night. If I’m lucky, I might be able to pull out a couple thousand words before Monday. Which leaves me three days.
About 72 hours.
To write maybe 42,000 words.
I’m off from work all three days.
Yes, I’m going to do this.
And as penance for being a dummy AGAIN this year, I’m going to let you all watch.
I’m going to update this blog at least daily, at least briefly, with little bits about how I’m doing. I’m also going to tweet progress on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So you can root for me – or mock me, if you prefer – on Twitter if you want to follow my feed there.
Forty two thousand words.
Signing off for work now. I’ll see you on Monday. ;)