Discussion in 'Entertaining Diversions' started by Creole Ned, Sep 28, 2012.
Little over 20,000 words now. Eek.
I am never going to complete, but I'm still kicking around. Finished my last exam today, just got two final projects for the semester and pfft those can wait until December amirite?
Every night so far when I have hit my daily goal I have been so damned pleased with myself, and then I remember that in the morning the daily word count is back to zero. Big fat zero.
Nothing's more annoying than passing the 27,000 word mark and then having another novel idea start kicking around your head. Go away, MMA musical adaptation!
29,421 words as of last night. I think my writing is starting to speed up but doubt I'll ever get to James 'book factory' Patterson's apparent one-novel-per-week pace.
Some random observations:
I was initially skeptical of Scrivener's ability to let you break down the writing to individual scenes but now rather like it. It allows me to effortlessly jump forward or back in the story or add experimental scenes without having to do a bunch of awkward cutting and pasting or losing my place. That has helped with my current novel because it contains multiple perspectives and the chronology jumps around a bit.
After trying third person for a few days I'm going to switch over to a combined first/third person approach. This means changing a ton of 'he said's to 'I said' in the second draft. I try not to think about it too much.
It's still fun seeing how characters will do things you don't expect. The protagonist in particular is much more of a loser than I'd planned on him to be. His best friend has that 'such a great guy you just know he's going to die in the end' thing going and I'm enjoying playing with (or is it against?) that expectation.
I'm not able to complete it this year. I've received several notices that I will be getting some of my poems published and Final Exams are about to start in a week and a half so yeah.
Congrats on getting the poems published. That's something to be very proud of. And there's always next year another stab at NaNo.
As for me, halfway through Nov. means halfway done:
So I figured out a way to finish this bad boy on schedule:
More sex scenes.
That's going to be the most interesting Watership Down sequel ever.
I crossed 30,000 words yesterday, which should be the halfway point. According to my outline, I'm nowhere near, but I've already written stuff that I've put later in my outline and added new things to it, so it's basically out of date. I'm feeling like I'm about 2/3's of the way through the first act. Unlike Ned, I'm finding Scrivener's sections to be kind of screwing me up. For instance, I've got a folder named after a character. In the folder is a section called "purple corduroys" because this kid is known for his purple corduroys (it's the 70's, he's cool). I've already introduced this kid and talked about his purple corduroys in a section called "Being Smart," because this kid picks on smart kids, so I no longer need the purple corduroy section.
Basically, I have sections that are plot points, sections that are character-based, and sections that are setting-- I have one called "Map of the World" to describe the neighborhood. So even though it seems like I'm very organized with all my outlining, my outlining is kind of shitty and I meander a lot. I'm really itching to go back through and cut the shit out, but again, as a good WriMo, I'm going to get it all done first.
Today I'm going to do something weird, and go back a bit to put in a section I forgot to write yesterday. Just a plot point that has to be hit based on something I wrote earlier in the week that was never in the outline. This smacks of editing, because I'm going to have to massage the stuff immediately before and after a bit to make it flow, but without this I'll have a gap in the story.
The other thing that kind of baffles me is that I see people over there who wrote their 50k last year, and this year are trying to "finish the novel" by adding another 50k to the same story. I can't imagine getting to 50k on this thing, then just stopping for a year and picking it up again.
What the. HOW DID YOU KNOW I START MY NOVEL WITH A WATERSHIP DOWN QUOTE, NUTE.
I see everything, Bill. And that "Tax Returns 99-03" folder isn't fooling anyone. You should be ashamed.
There is no particular point to what I'm about to write.
I finished part of two of my novel today. In August I did Camp NaNoWriMo and wrote 50K of the book, which covered most of part one and the beginning of part 2. So far this month I've written 27K, taking me, as I said, to the end of part two. That totals 77K, though Scrivener has the manuscript at 82K so far. The extra 5K is actually the little I had written before August, mainly the first chapter or two.
So 82K. I compiled it into a pdf in manuscript format and it comes 405 typed pages, and thats without breaks for chapters, which I haven't put in yet. My guess is that I could do part three (the final part) in about 30K. But I'm not sure. Maybe I can complete it this month.
The book will probably suck, as I've never written one before. But at least I'm getting it done.
Now quit reading this forum and get back to your writing! Me, I'm going to get a beer. I fuckin' earned it.
I'm behind now because I'm totally sick, and wasn't able to write yesterday. But my daily count is still only 1900, which means I can still finish. Going to write fairly solid this weekend even though it will mean little to no Dark Souls and it will make me cry, but then at least I can say my tears went into making it.
For now, I gotta turn off the internets.
Back. 2300 words, good for today. That officially puts me past the halfway, with about 26000 words. A day late but better late than never!
Did it in an hour and a half as well (with a break to continue doing laundry). That's gotta be a record for me.
Yesterday we got up at 4:30 AM to catch an 8:00 AM flight. By the time we got in, got the dog back, and felt like people again it was around 3 in the afternoon and I was good for nothing but sitting in the recliner and watching TV.
So for the first time since this sucker started, I missed a day.
Writing all day today, I guess.
I've missed two days so far (technically I wrote 12 words on one of them) but have managed to stay ahead of pace by being extra productive on some of the other days.
Over the last two days I've realized that despite dividing the story into thirds I'm still in the first section, though my word count is over 32,000. I suck at math but even I know this doesn't add up.
I'm also finding it difficult transitioning from the setup to the central part of the story but I think that may finally happen in today's session. If it doesn't, I introduce the man with the gun.
The constraints of the NaNoWriMo format are being more keenly felt now. I'm jotting down skeletons of scenes to keep moving forward, knowing this sucker will expand by two or three times in a future draft. It's not a problem, per se, but I feel like a bit of the magic in story creation is being sacrificed by the assembly line approach. This didn't happen in 2009 because that novel was a series of action set pieces with bonus sarcastic observations that took place over a 24 hour period.
About how many hours does it take you guys to get 10K words down?
And how many hours can you write before burning out?
I've got 5 days of break over Thanksgiving, no plans at all, and a lifelong passion for finishing things last minute.
If I'm humming along I can probably write around 1,000 words per hour. Humming along = writing without long pauses to think about things/research/be distracted by the Internet. If I'm in the right frame of mind I can write for 3-4 hours before needing to take a break (apart from the usual getting up from the desk and stretching stuff).
50,000 words in five days is not impossible but you may break your brain in the process.
I think 50,000 in five days is 100% possible. I would think you would need a large amount of outlining done first. Or, have a well thought out story already in your head.
Whelp, crested 30k words. And I still haven't started unravelling the plot! It might have been possible if I'd stuck to one POV, but not now!
But I like my characters! And I like how it's building!
I can't speak for anyone else, but what I always tell my students is, "Writing isn't typing."
Yes, you can probably type 10K words a day, but I have no idea what those 10K words will be. It's the thinking about it, the turning it around in your mind, and daydreaming in the shower or while you're driving that gets the writing done.
It's living inside the world of your story all the while you're writing it that allows you to sit down and put words on paper (or on the screen) for however many hours you're doing that every day. That's why it's important to get in the habit of writing every day, so that you get down the stuff from the shower this morning, and you have something else to think about on the drive home tonight. So that the stuff that's swirling around in your head doesn't get stale and you abandon it because you're done with it but you never wrote it down.
So by all means, use your Thanksgiving to start writing, but don't stop when you don't do 10K a day. Do what you can, and do that much again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.
However, not typing is not writing. (unless you're a luddite using a pencil or something)
I kid. You would have to literally do nothing else but write in those 5 days.
Yeah. I split my novel up into 3 parts. Part 1 skipped practically nothing in terms of narrative. I am doing a little more than barebones for part 2, which is kind of a transition part but still necessary, and heading to part 3. I'll fill in more stuff in part 2 last.
I wish I had the ability to do this. I'm a progressive completionist, so it drives me crazy to leave anything undone and move on.
I figure singe my novel is going to go way long, I will probably just keep working on it from december onward, but with a reduced word count requirement. Say, 4000 words per week or something.
If the reward for 'winning' is like 2010, you have until june to get your free print of the novel. Should be enough time to finish a first draft.
Oh, trust me, I had to force myself to do this for the sake of wanting to finish this on time and have an essentially complete novel.
I'm conceding defeat in this year's NaNoWriMo. I managed to write nearly 30k words without an outline, but I can't do anymore. That said, I'm proud of what I have been able to do. Nearly 52 pages (Arial,11 pt) of stream of consciousness fiction that served to reawaken my love of writing.
If I don't stop now, with my current levels of frustration and the feeling of dread that hits me when I sit down to work on this awful awful novel I might not write again for a very long time. The entire purpose of this grand experiment was to remind myself that I like to write. I've managed to do that, but to continue to force myself to work on this thing that I'm beginning to resent would ruin all the progress I've made on that front. So I quit.
You win this round, NaNoWriMo. Next year though - next year I'll have an outline, and plot points, and all the things I should have had this time around. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
To those of you continuing to fight the good fight, I salute you. As for me, I'll be over here doing something other than writing for the next couple of weeks.
I am extremely happy with what I have written, and I hope to continue writing before the end of the month, however, family drama is currently sapping all my will to create. The few times I've sat down to write just ended up with me staring at a blank screen as my mind circles the latest garbage. I look forward to returning to this work whenever the dust settles.
Creole Ned, how are you gonna keep writing if you're busy posting Black Friday specials in the bargain thread? The next few days will be crazy...
There's a critical mass for sales that, once reached, I just slowly back away.
My novel is now a mess of different perspectives (that will need to be fixed) and I'm adding scenes both willy nilly and out of order, something I've not done before. I'm pretty sure the end result will be an unreadable mess but I'm already looking forward to the second draft!
I'm surprised at how much talking there is. My characters talk a lot. I'm not sure why but they do.
I've also resolved to write until I hallucinate this coming weekend.
Two-thirds of the month complete, I'm still chugging along.
I just crossed 40,000 words. I just wrote a long scene describing a basketball game. Actually more about smack talk during a basketball game.
If a month ago you had asked me if I was ever going to write a bunch of stuff about basketball I'd have laughed at you. A surprising amount of my novel is about basketball. I don't even like basketball.
I'm just jumping in without any knowledge whatsoever, but it seems to me the obsession with words per day can really take the fun out of writing. I'm writing stories these days, myself, and I think if I had to put down 1,600 words per day I'd go 'fuck this' and take up knitting. I try to write for an hour each day. I just decided to write 6 days a week, too, just sit down and do it. So maybe it's just a different measure; I use an hour, you guys use a words per day metric. But for me it's about habituating the process of writing, of just sitting down and doing it just about every day, making sure I engage creatively in a manner that really brings me pleasure. The habituation is the fun part, mainly because even though I try to do a hour every morning, I don't get too hung up on production during that hour. Some days it's 650 words, others it's 2500 (that day was more than an hour, of course). Habituating writing has turned into a very fun, very engaging, nearly spiritual process. Just show up and it's worth it. No matter what happens. Stephen King says in 'On Writing' that writing isn't mystical or hard or anything; it's a job like any other, like laying pipe or building houses. You just show up all the time, do the damn thing, and every now and then the muse shows up and things get amazing. And then you just keep showing up, keep showing up.
I get that NaNoWriMo is about just effing doing it (and also the sense of accomplishment in following through with writing), but have many of you folks found the month of frenzied results-oriented production has actually helped you with regular writing? Does it help you love it or hate it? Or does NNWM just exist in it's own weird continuum? "Welp, it's that time of year, time to write a short novel."
Results can vary from one individual to the next but I think NaNoWriMo is a terrific way to get into the habit of writing regularly, since to succeed at it makes the habit all but mandatory.
Look at Richard's post above, for example. He's not going to finish but just getting to the point he did was enough to rekindle his passion for creating.
For me, I know the novel I end up with will be a mess that will need a lot of work (possibly too much) after this month just to make it presentable but the enforced writing schedule was what I needed to restart. Writing is a weird passion for me. I deeply enjoy it but some time away and it's all too easy to let other things distract me.
I didn't write last night but I have enough written that I'm not behind. Today was very busy, I've finally got some time to myself but it's already 10 p.m., I'm tired and I don't want to write. If I don't write tonight, I'll still be ahead of the pace. But I know if I skip two days in a row it will be insidiously easy to skip another and another, so I'm writing, dang it.
I'll just write something zany. Zany is always fun.
In my case, zany is a guy killing homeless people with his brain, so it's a creepy awful sort of zany.
Ha! I like your zany. I was writing a while ago and I realized the main character kept wishing a particular type of adventure was happening. He kept going, 'wouldn't it be cool if...' So I let some crazy shit happen and had some of the most fun I've had with my pants on.
While I won't be anywhere close to the end of the month goal, since I didn't really start until a week or two ago, this has inspired me to work on one of my several projects I've been sitting on for quite some time. Out of them all, this one is the most developed and it's been ready for drafting for a while, but I never got up the effort to do it because the first chapter had to be done completely by imagination at the time of writing (plot points of it worked out, but needed a looot of detail- it's an adventure story ala Indiana Jones). Anyway, I just finished a draft of that first chapter clocking 3881 words. I don't know if that's too much or too little, and I really don't think I'll get to 50,000, but we'll see. Thanks for making me get off my ass to sit on my ass and write.
It has absolutely helped me. I commit to writing one hour per day during non-NaNoWriMo months and find that often my production is miniscule. When I did NaNoWriMo in August it was a huge jumpstart on my semi-stalled project. Doing it again now, its another big jumpstart on the same project. In between, in September and October, I sat down every day but made only small bits of progress.
Ideally, I wouldn't need NaNoWriMo. I wish I could be like you, DoomMunky, where 'Habituating writing has turned into a very fun, very engaging, nearly spiritual process.' That would be ideal. But I'm not. I am learning that I need the bigger gun to my head to produce a certain word count, as opposed to just clocking in each day. Do I love it or hate it? you ask. For me the answer is both.
Back in grad school, I would reward myself for finishing a play by buying a videogame and playing it until it was done (these were usually Sierra or LucasArts adventure games, but Wasteland was in there and some other RPGs). Then I made a little more money so I could buy enough games to keep me gaming even while I was writing. Then some other stuff happened and I gamed more than I wrote.
Then people paid me for writing, so it became work, and gaming became fun. Before that whatever shit job I had was work, and both writing and gaming were fun.
It's great to love what you do for a living, and I do, but writing with no strings, with no real expectations (I have no idea what to do with this novel once I'm ready to call it done), and with nothing but a word count to guide me has made writing fun again.
Last night I was tired, I'd had a little whiskey, and all I really wanted to do was veg in front of Storage Wars, but I hadn't made my word count. I hauled my ass over to the computer and wrote from 10 to about 11:45, and knowing that if I went past midnight I would have missed a day, it became a kind of race to get some stuff down. It was fun. I had more fun than I would have had watching Storage Wars.
Also, you should all read this interview with NaNoWriMo creator Chris Baty. He talks about motivation and coming up with structure in NaNoWriMo.
Separate names with a comma.