Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thoughts for next year

It occurs to me that Santa's elves invading north america on Santa's orders would make for a fun nano...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This, an update.

Just passed 120,000 words in total [Insert mutters about Open Office here], and just reached Thursday, plot wise. As Dogs of War ends mid-Sat, novel time, that's pretty good overall. It is pretty much certain I won't make the 160,000 word goal, however, for a few reasons.

1) Helping parents move this weekend (Fri-Sun) and also did on Saturday.
2) Right hand is being rather sore. Long story, incident at work involving a window, customer, me, arm, tenons etc. It was fine last year, but this year is rather colder and seems to be being rather more annoying as a result. Doing even 1K an hour is unlikely at present.

Not a problem anyway, really. I hope to finish the plot of the Dogs of War book 1 story, but if I don't, I can always use December for that and probably begin work on Book 2 as well.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Open Office update

Today has proven itself to be an odd day, thanks to Open Office. Via a random browsing of the nano tech forums I learned that OO has a bug where it takes curly quotes (which I like, because they are pretty) and turns them into a word. So "Hi," becomes 2 words, with one quote or two oddly. Which means once I reformatted both nanoes to straight quotes and ran them through the word count nano api I ended up losing 3.5K of 'words' from Monsters and almost 2K from Dogs of War.

Which means that I have written over 5,000 words today and thanks to OO I have also written none. Yay.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Midpoint-ish update

Just hit 100,000 words overall. 30K in 6 days on Dogs of War. Not as much as I'd like -- or planned to do -- but I have to do just under 5K a day to hit the goal, so over 6K a day for a few days isn't all that bad. It is going slower than I planned, but I think some of that is a factor of having a real outline: I large know what is going to happen already, so while I still get some surprises while writing it out, the general plot isn't going to do a giant swerve and have me writing to find out what happens next.

Also managed to toss another $20 to nanowrimo via paypal (I was just lucky to have some money in it at all), so that was nice. Now for a break and then - onward!

Monday, November 15, 2010

fun with dogs and war

13,000 words into the story, first day of it (and plot) finished. The rough plan is for the entire story to span one week, and the same for each subsequent book. I hope to shift focus from character to character at it goes and, since this is the first time I've done a real outline (about 4K of pointform notes) I've been able to add in stuff I forget about briefly and foreshadow characters and events who won't pay off until the second or third book.

It's proving fun so far though I'm still getting a handle on some of the characters and not quite sure if I'll be able to pull off a few of the conceits properly -- I have decided that the mad scientist is going to stop explaining his inventions in real-world terms, if only because it causes the other characters to have massive headaches when he begins designing a car to run on what he calls cold fusion, but made up overnight from parts of a car, fridge and a microwave.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

bits that don't make the first draft...

These are bits I write during sections that elicit a chuckle and then get deleted after. (I don't hold with the 'keep all deleted stuff in a file/never delete!' nano aspect, but that's me, so they die.)

And so, for the sake of the future ..

From nano #1:
"I just get ticked off at people like that. Saying there is no God, by whatever name we give it, as if the entire universe has no kind of plan, no order, and was just being created while we sat here by someone trying to reach 42,00 words (who has realized typing that out would have netted more words) and also that this entire paragraph will not be in any draft after this, amen."

And written today while working on #2:
“Look, the author of this story doesn't find those things important. You could just as well ask me my favourite colour, but he doesn't give a shit about whatever hobbies I might have. We're just vehicles for prose and not real people at all. The bastard.”

I do think it would suit the spirit of nano to do an entire story breaking the fourth wall, though... perhaps next year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nanowrimo - finished one!

The first nano has finished, at 70,000 words. Oddly, the result is I wrote 50K in 5 days and then 20K in 6. Was hoping for 80K, and the second draft of the story is liable to be closer to that.

Now to spend the next 2 days working on plot/outline for the second nano to see how it all will hold together.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Nano #1 progress

And at 60K now as a total, which is about where I wanted to be at the end of this weekend. The goal for this weekend is ~20K to finish this story then a pause of a day or two to work on plots for the Dogs of War novel. On the plus side, the latter is intended to be a trilogy so if the story for book 1 comes short I can always work on book 2 and so forth as needed.

Surprises thus far:
* Terry and Aiden's relationship became a LOT more important once I realized where it was going to go. Knowing what would happen at ~50K at the 5K mark made it much easier, if creepy, to build things up to that point.
* The eponymous government agent became fun enough to keep alive (that and I realized most every introduced character was getting killed off, which doesn't work that well).
* Mr. Morrow, owner of the Crematorium, almost tempted me to toss the entire story aside and do a story about his life instead :) Were I doing a 'all words count! more, more more!' nano, I'd have thrown in a giant "Hi! Here is my past!" few thousand words from his pov, but no.

Problems to work out in a later draft:
* Glasses. Aiden should have some, Terry not. (Terry had them only for a 'omg! I don't need them!' moment later on, but instead they just vanished and never get mentioned again.)
* Terry's breakdown needs to last longer initially, and he should be literally dragged back into Stuff.

All told, I'm pretty happy with the way the plot's gone so far though I suspect it would be a better novel were it not in first person.

Friday, November 05, 2010

And note for NEXT year ...

I have determined that next years nano will be one story. Over 50K, but not sure how much over. Just one single story, about 5K a day, and once it is done it will be done. Not that this year hasn't been fun and won't be, just that I realistically can't push myself to do more words than what I have planned. Well, could but I know I wouldn't much like it, and liking it is the large point of doing nano to me.

So this will, probably, be the last year I challenge myself, word-count wise, toward a goal.

Update (november 5th)

And 5 days into nanowrimo, at 50K. Plan do do a little bit tomorrow and Sunday, but mostly take the week slow and get the last ~30K of the story done and then work on the second nano the next 2 weeks, but at a slower word/day count. the story is shaping up pretty well though I am not quite sure how/where the plot goes from here, in concrete terms. I know how the story ends for the major characters, but am still not quite sure how they'll all get there.

Monday, November 01, 2010

nano progress, day 1

Having decided to not do The Empty Book, I am working on Monsters & Miracles (another version/variant on) from the first person. So far I've done a shade over 10K for the day and worked up a mental game plan for the month.

Week 1: 10K a day for 5 days, weekend 'off'. (If I don't make the count, I can make it up those days: no big deal deal.)
Week 2: 30K for the week, thanks to work and everything else.
Week 3: Repeat week one.
Week 4: Repeat week two.
That leaves me with the tail-end of the month as a buffer and no real stress in all of it. Or so I tell myself :)