wildfillysama: Twelve Days of (Writing) Christmas

a-non-writing-writer-is-a-monster-courting-insanity

On the first day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… one knackered spine!

On the second day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… two published papers!

On the third day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… three poetry collections!

On the fourth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… four poetry readings!

On the fifth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… five book reviews due!

On the sixth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… six thesis chapters!

On the seventh day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… seven scumbag characters!

On the eighth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… eight freaking rewrites!

On the ninth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… nine weird plot twists!

On the tenth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… ten calloused fingers!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… eleven alternative career paths!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… twelve months of frenzied typing!

 

Happy holidays everyone! 😀

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo – The Final Result

1526848_10152856419114323_8720131510297968200_nVictory is mine! Final word count: 50,028

I think I need a new keyboard.

 

It wasn’t pretty by any sense of the word. The last three days of Nanowrimo were absolutely appalling, and the fiction that spawned from them equally questionable. I was more than 9000 words behind schedule last Friday and needed to make up the headway almost all in one sitting. There was blood, sweet, way too much coffee, a cricked neck, and some questionable casting choices involved. I have no idea why characters have done they things they did. I’ve written a massive plot hole that threatens to destroy the entire world.

But hey… progress, right?

Now for the tricky part: sifting the trash from the treasure, rearranging floating bits of story, and taking out all the bits that just don’t work. I’m cautiously optimistic. Next week I hope to have most of it patchworked into a workable story, because I’m unreasonable like that.

 

I hope that everyone has enjoyed (ha!) their Nanowrimo experience, and that their novels are shiny and resplendent.

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo Day 24 (Intermission)

Words written: 36,519

Words should have written: 40,008

Verdict: 3 days off, plus a flight = not conducive to typing.

Also, I’m knackered.

This is why I should never remark on how well things are going; it will always invite disaster and/or disarray. In fairness, this has come in the form of a few days visiting friends in the south, then flying up to Hong Kong to visit family/do immigration stuff. However, my tentative lead has slipped.

Tomorrow and beyond will be a quick and brutal round of catch-up. Hopefully.

Moral of the story: no fun allowed in Nanowrimo. Only typing. Billions of typing.

On the bright side, the novel continues to be novel-shaped, which makes a pleasant change from the usual sea of notes, mismatching dialogue and vagaries that usually make up my attempts at writing fiction. The end is in sight, and it may even be legible.

 

Watch this space… and good luck with your novels!

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo – Day 17

Nanowrimo Day: 17

Words Written: 28,363

Words Should Have Written: 28,339

Verdict: My eyes, oh gods, my eyes.

 

I’ve overtaken the counter for the first time!!

Admittedly, that was after a considerable struggle. On Saturday morning a grim pact was made between myself, the counter, and my sanity: I needed to make up all the lost ground I’d created via laziness and skipped writing days. As a result, the missing 4700 words were hammered out in one glorious morning of frantic typing. Sweet was the victory, agonised were the fingers, dim were the eyes (and questionable the content).

But still… success!

I’ve found the writing process to be pretty interesting so far. Characters who I’d planned to leave for later have been roped into the story and are making a compelling argument for their continued place there. Characters who weren’t meant to be very helpful are suddenly being less cryptic because they’re sick of other characters jerking them around. In short, I’m actually having fun with this, even though I’m not using weird prompts any more. The characters and plot are actually settling down and getting into gear.

It kind of feels like it’s turning into a novel… I think I might be sick.

Not much long to go now – good luck with your novels! Type through the pain!

 

 

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo – Day 10

Nanowrimo Day: 10

Words Written: 12,257

Words Should Have Written: 16,667

Verdict: Life is distracting and I want my money back.

 

Nanowrimo’s website was a bit flaky of recent, with its dodgy word counter and tendency to crash, but it’s a paragon of reliability compared to my writing output of recent. Two days without any writing, coupled with some lacklustre attempts at making the recommended word count, have not been kind to me. On the bright side though, lots of new scenes and dialogue have been written! The book is starting to look like it’s going somewhere, and I no longer fear that readers will be bored to death in the process. Fingers crossed that’s how it’s going to stay…

 

Current plot points include: toast-eating couch gremlins, when is a bushfire not a bushfire, brooms do not prevent abductions, strangers in cars have the best sandwiches, and my boss is a crazy person but probably doesn’t intend for me to die.

What can I say, it’s been a lot of fun so far, even with the less than full-on output levels!

 

In the meantime, one of my excuses for not writing was my going on a roadtrip to see my old horse’s first foal. Summary of foal: freaking adorable. Summary of my old horse: has surprised everyone and not eaten her own offspring. Much delight has been had and cuteness very much made a fuss over. Here’s a picture, since I’m essentially a proud grandmother right now.

Rinjani 2

How freaking adorable are these two?? Good luck with your writing projects!

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo – Day 3

Nanowrimo Day: 3

Words Written: 3,433

Words Should Have Written: 5001

Verdict: I need to stop doing other stuff.

 

Despite being a bit behind in the projected word count, I’m actually pretty happy with how my Nanowrimo is going!

Most writing has been done in three short bursts, and I’m hoping to do a make-up session tonight to catch up to the rest of the projected count. At the moment, I’m not writing the story in chronological order. Instead, I’m writing some individual development scenes that are meant to take place in the early stages of the novel. Key words so far: chickens, paddock ghost, popcorn. Fun times!

Another approach that I’m trying this time is not to write massive slabs of text. I’m aiming to write short scenes that can be laced together to make more interesting opening chapters overall.

Also, in between working on the story, I’ve been editing some poems and sending work off to journals for consideration. Wooo progress!

Some current thoughts on Nanowrimo:

1. The daily word counter/projector isn’t working at the moment. Argh.

2. Feeling cautiously optimistic.

3. Stop talking about chickens.

4. Dialogue is going well so far. All three characters who’ve had a chance to speak haven’t been too annoying. Some senses of humour are also appearing. Huzzah!

 

Good luck with your novels!

wildfillysama: Nanowrimo next week

It’s that time of year again! Yet another round of trying to write a novel, or at least a novel-sized load of “words”, for lack of a more flattering description, in one month.

My first Nanowrimo attempt took place in 2006. I failed miserably.

My second and third Nanowrimo attempts took place in 2012 and 2013. Both were victorious. I’m hoping to repeat the experience again, but to actually have publishable results. Thankfully, the last few years have generated several handy techniques for getting the word count and the contents up to standard (mostly). Here are a few things I’ve found handy:

1. Have a plan. Plain and simple. Know what you want to write about, for how many words, and in what order. Set yourself a number of words to write per day, and also set yourself some days off, to prevent brain haemorrhaging.

2. Have a word challenge for each writing day. Don’t expect plot points to show up on time for work each day. While you’re making your plan, also make an event/word cloud for each week. Write yourself some prompts. For example: unusual words to include in descriptions; characters to argue about something in a long dialogue spiel; a monologue about the harshness of poptarts; a sudden diary entry from one of the characters…

3. Stay off the Nanowrimo facebook groups. Everyone on there is there for one reason: procrastination. Don’t join them.

4. Don’t ask for feedback. You’ll end up waiting until after Nanowrimo is over for good feedback to return to you, in which case you’ll have run out of time. Crush all insecurities. Forge on ahead and blindly write. Yes, it will probably be crap, but there will be one or two things in there that you can keep. It’s more important at this stage to get the momentum up than it is to get the technique refined. Refinement can come afterwards. Learn how to self-motivate and keep a story going first.

5. Think about the next step. Do you want to publish with a commercial publisher? Do you want to self-publish? Do you want to email the story around a group of friends? Bury it in a hole and never look upon it again? Have a goal in mind, the whole time you’re working on the story. It needs a future. You’re giving life to a story (for better or worse), so you should treat it with respect. Give it the time and space that it deserves, and later, when you’ve got time to reflect, give it the kick up the backside it may need to get where you want it to go.

 

Next week, I’m going to start writing, and I hope you are too. Will be returning here on 3rd November to rant about it…. good luck! If you want to be friends on Nanowrimo, my profile is here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/wildfillysama