Category Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Swiss Cheese Manuscript

Well my NaNoWriMo manuscript looks like swiss cheese right now with all of the holes in it. No, not plot holes – literal holes in the… plot.

(Okay, ‘plot holes’ is misleading. I’m talking about holes in the linear A-Z structure of getting from beginning to end. Holes in the… what else would you call it? GAH)

Whatever, the point is, the manuscript isn’t finished. There’s a decent chunk in the middle and the ending stretch is riddled with them — and I haven’t actually written the ending either.

Pfff – did you think it would be done, at only 50k words? No way, that’s like, half done in my world.

*cough* Anyway…

I started with 6610 words and ended up writing 62k. Sooo… the book is almost 79k words right now. I’ll probably add 10k more. (I’m repeating myself from my last blog post — moving on)

really don’t want to work on this manuscript anymore. What is wrong with me? I’m right at the finish line — the exciting part, it’s all coming together — and instead I’m daydreaming about other stuff. And, my main character for my INITIUM series is throwing images of naked men into my consciousness she’s so annoyed I’ve been ignoring her.

(Don’t ask… because I don’t even really know what she’s talking about yet)

Which is actually pretty awesome, because I’d been feeling a little drained from writing that series. This has been a great break. I think I scared my characters into talking to me again.

Now, I have one last thing I need to finish, a fun short story project that needs to be done mid-December… then it’ll be back to torturing Fairian and Daimyn. I’ve been mulling over this book three problem, and I’ve got some devious ideas…

But back to the point of this blog post. My November project needs some work before it’s even a real draft yet. I think I know what’s bugging me — I’m not used to writing in third person, and my main character isn’t compelling enough — but I’m going to let it sit for a little while. I need to do some research and devise a better game plan. This manuscript is definitely a lot more craft and less… intuitiveness. It’s good practice for me, but not something I’m quite used to.

NaNoWriMo is great for getting the words out — but they’re not always the best of words.

I hope you all had a great create NaNoWriMo 2016. And if you didn’t get to 50k — whatever. You still wrote, you got a little farther in your novel. That’s an accomplishment. We’re all proud of you.


Surprise!

I wrote 52,000 words in 23 days. As of now, I’ve written 59k in 27 days, and that’s not with what I will write today. This is definitely the most I’ve ever written for NaNo! It comes as a surprise, considering how much I disliked this manuscript about two weeks ago.

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I hit a stride… as my last blog post can attest… and I’ve hit the final stretch, which always comes easier. I’ve actually left a few major holes in the middle-end of the manuscript, difficult areas that need more research or more patience and time than I have right now.

My hope is that I will be able to get to the ending scene by the 30th — but even if I don’t, I’ll continue on into December. I won’t be able to write quite as intensively on this manuscript due to other projects arising, but I want to get a draft done by 2017 — then I’ll leave it and come back it when I’m ready to start overhauling all this craziness.

… it’s going to need some serious overhauling. For one, I keep finding myself flipping between limited and omniscient third person. And my MC has a bunch of problems. And I need to be sure…

Yeah. You know what I mean.

How’s everyone else doing?? Still fighting the need to voraciously edit?


#NaNoWriMo Update: I hate my novel?

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So a few days ago I wrote a rant about how much I hate my current #NaNoWriMo project. I can’t remember if I’ve hated projects before for NaNo — and I don’t have time to go back through blog posts and find out — but I’m pretty sure I’ve disliked or been disinterested in them before.

Anyway, this is what I wrote:

I don’t remember hating a manuscript as much as I hate mine right now.

My main character is kind of a bitch. Beyond that, she’s kind of boring. She also doesn’t have enough agency or drive, beyond the whatever monologue in her head. Sure, there’s supposed to be a big character arc (if I can do it right) but nobody is going to read to that point anyway if they can’t connect with her at all in the first chapter.

My world is also boring. I mean, come on. Enough of the western civilization-esque crap that’s been written over and over again. Why can’t I write something original? Why can’t I write something really poignant and fresh and part of a culture we don’t really know much about or something?

My stakes are also crap. I’m really good at making my characters comfy in their situations and finding safe places to hang out for moments in time. UGH.

Then there are my tropes. Oh Lord, the tropes. Every time I’m like — I’m going to this! And then — wait… it’s turned into that instead (which had been done a million times already, of course).

I suppose all of this would be okay if I trusted my ability to edit afterwards. I’m really good at line editing — but developmental editing I struggle with, a lot. Once I’ve written something, the box has been created, and I somehow get myself stuck within it. That’s why I usually end up editing and writing at the same time, because I can really think through what I’m writing and make sure I’m happy with when it gets ‘on the page.’ But with intense, fast writing like NaNoWriMo, I cannot think much about problems or situations that arise in the moment because I just have to keep writing.

I have done a lot more plotting this time around, but not enough to deal with everything that arises (does anyone, really?). So I’m spitting out words and new exciting things are evolving and some more disappointing things are developing, and I’m feeling… like I don’t know what I’m doing.

This may be partly having to do with some poignant writing advice I’ve absorbed lately (and feeling overwhelmed by), which is another blog post all together (upcoming).

But either way. Is anyone else having these doubts and problems? We’re halfway done with NaNoWriMo. How are you feeling about your manuscript now?

… and then something weird happened. Here, let me show you the results of this ‘weird thing’ that happened:

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That’s SEVEN DAYS AHEAD on my word count.

*cue shock and blank staring*

I’ve never done this before. Somewhere in all my insecurity I hit this weird plateau and just starting writing. It helped that I had several hours blocked away to write, and hit an interesting part, and suddenly my characters were talking to me, and I got excited about the current way my story is going.

I can feel the little doubt demons in the back of my head going — yeah, you’re going to regret doing this later because it’s too much like ____ trope.

And… somehow I’m ignoring them. I’m just writing my little trying-to-be-a-plotter-actually-a-pantser butt off and rather enjoying the ride.

But seriously — how is everyone else doing? Are the doubt demons kicking your butt? Are you hating/post-hating your manuscript?

 


NaNoWriMo Update: Tough First week

I knew this NaNoWriMo was going to be a little different, mostly because of how busy I am compared to the previous years I participated. But it was a real struggle to keep up with word counts!

Most of this can be attributed to the lack of real time I had (thus the lateness of this blog post). Between working and goats and building a house, there isn’t a lot of time lying around.

I started getting into a groove and making progress when I began writing during my breaks at work. Even if it was on my ten minute breaks, I could get out a few hundred words if I really focused. That helped a lot — probably because it got me in the mindset and routine of really using any time I had.

Also, I was really struggling with my main character and writing in third person limited. This is the first time I’ve written something long in third person limited. I’m used to first person’s ability to get right up in the character’s thoughts, and felt really distanced from my main character. Also, maybe because of that or maybe because I’m writing a bit of a selfish character… I didn’t like my main character much until lately.

But the plot — and her development as a character — has picked up a lot more lately, and that’s been helping with churning out the daily word counts.

 

So while I lagged behind the first week, I seem to be getting my groove the second week. I had Thursday off as well, which really helped me catch up. Since then I’ve been staying above the needed word goal for each day.

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I hope everyone’s first two weeks of NaNoWriMo have been going well!


Obligatory “What am I doing for NaNo” Post

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Synopsis for the win:

The banished king of the Underworld has a plan: kidnap one of the Fertility Daughters, who’s magic powers the prosperity of the Overworld, and force her to marry his son to save his people from starvation.

Fox, one of the seven Fertility Daughters of her generation, wants more from life than to marry her Prince and make babies. She knows that her magic fuels the abundance of her kingdom — but she wants more than filling a prescribed role.

When she’s kidnapped to the alien and gritty Underworld, the harsh, pale-skilled prince is bad enough. Between the cruel military rule and the starvation, all she wants to do is go home and escape the hell of the Underworld.

Yet when she finds herself at the mercy of the people she can help the most… she finds herself falling in love in a way she could have never imagined. She’ll have to marry her alien prince, fight for survival, and now — prevent the Overworld from stealing her back.

ELYSIUM meets BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, this is an NA cyberpunk romance… with a twist.


Completing Camp NaNoWriMo

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Camp NaNoWriMo technically isn’t over yet, but I set a low word count goal (as I was working on a novella) so I completed it with time to spare.

Unlike with NaNoWriMo and it’s pressure for a 50k goal, I don’t feel there were as many lessons learned. Probably because I had time to play and take breaks and fiddle around. The less pressure was nice, and I enjoyed keeping track of word counts. It helped keeps me motivated and I like seeing my progress; I think I want to find a program where I can input word counts year round. It seems like a helpful tool to keep me motivated/pay attention to much I’m writing every day.

Completing my first shorter-but-still-long writing task was pretty neat. I really like how the novella turned out, with a longer story that’s still simple (and completed within a month). It’s actually not going to fit into the original writing contest I had planned (because of the word count) so I’m going to try for another publication. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll take a hack-saw to the story and see if I can cut it down enough for the original publication idea.

Of course, I’ll be needing to let it sit for a while and do some editing. I sent it off to my sister after it was completed, who always has incredible responses along the lines of “OMG THAT WAS MAGICAL SEND ME MORE NOW NOW,” so that was encouraging. I’m going to get a few beta-readers for this thing as well to try to make it (more) perfect.

Otherwise… it was a fine April. I liked it overall and I’ll be doing it again next year (maybe with a bigger goal, depending on my needs at the time). Until then — novella completed, and it’s probably time to return to writing my series!

How has everyone else’s Camp NaNoWriMo been?


Camp NaNoWriMo

Hey, so, apparently November isn’t the only day to join up with pals and use word goals to kick your writer-butt in the pants. Only for Camp NaNoWriMo, you get to choose your writing goal. And you also are put into “camps” with other writers to help facilitate and make friends.

Mostly I really want to work on the project I’ve tasked for it. But I can’t, as I want to use the word counts for the month of April, and this project I’m working on can only be 17k words (it’s for the contest I mentioned in my last post), so I’m constrained that way. Which is actually kinda fun and I’m looking forward to it. But impatient for April to be here.

So instead of writing on the novella I’m writing this post. I probably should be outlining and researching for the novella, but I’m feeling too restless. Probably because it’s sunny and I actually should be outside working on the barn.

Because look at these faces that will greet me: