Category: NaNo

Sundays are for Writing #33

This was my first full week without school or work obligations on Tuesday and Thursday, and it was an excellent writing week!

I got in writing sessions on three days, for a total of six pages, plus some planning on the King Arthur project, and a bit of work on the Holly Lisle HTWAN class. And…I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo this year for the first time in…years! I’m actually super excited about this, and the Muse is already hinting at ideas. I want to finish the first draft of the King Arthur story before November, though. So it would probably be a good idea to plot that out…

Also wrote three book reviews and I’m trying to write a narrative nonfiction essay just because.

 

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Sundays are for Writing #13

This week was crazy busy. Seriously. But, I still got in two writing days!

About 1,500 words of fiction this week. (Ah…10,000-word days are such a fond/unbelievable memory now. Thank you, NaNo!). I also wrote five book reviews this week (three of those were written and scheduled on Thursday, before I left for my conference.)

For accountability purposes:  in addition to three writing days this week (or 2,200 words), my goal is also to get two lessons done in HTWAN, because I am woefully behind.

How was everyone else’s writing this week?

NaNo: Week 2 Update

writer
I do not own this image. But it’s so true, right?

I kind of forgot to post an update yesterday, so this is a day late (and a dollar short).

Current word count:  24,257. Almost halfway done.I feel this word count is more impressive if you also know that I’ve written 4,000 words each of the last 3 days.

Current mental status:

writing-cat
I don’t own this image, either, but can we talk about the slightly manic look on this cat’s face? SO. ACCURATE.

 

NaNo: Week 1 Update

With the first calendar week of NaNo over, I thought I I’d give a brief update:  I’ve written 10, 272 words so far. That’s more than I’ve written in a week in probably 5 years! I’m happy with my progress, and eager for more.

Over-commitment?

So…I’ve decided to do NaNo next month for the first time since 2012.

Yes, I have a full-time job with long, crazy hours. Yes, I go to school, too. Yes, I have a 5k to train for in 2 weeks, a 10k in 5 weeks, and a half-marathon in February. Yes, I have 2 blogs to maintain and I write book reviews for My Trending Stories.

What’s your point?

I participated in—and won—NaNo 5 years in a row, from 2007-2011. I started NaNo in 2012, but depression hit me hard, and I abandoned it (along with practically everything else). I found that barely-started story (about 35 pages of it) last year and did not even remember writing it. (But I was pretty impressed!)

When I had mostly conquered my depression (May 2013), I wanted to get back to my normal life. Then I had a stroke on June 1st. I spent the next 6 months in a haze of exhaustion, recovery, and adaptation as I came to terms with my new normal after almost dying.

I didn’t write a thing for over a year.

Slowly, I’ve gotten back into writing, but I miss the adrenaline-fueled rush of NaNo, so I’m giving it a shot next week.

Guess which story I’m going to finish? Yep. The one I started during my last NaNo.

So…

…I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo for the first time in 4 years! I did it–and “won”–5 years in a row, from 2007-2011. In 2012, I started it, but then my depression kicked in and I stopped writing.

Had the stroke in June 2013, and I’ve been struggling to get my writing groove back ever since.

I’m not going to write a new novel, though. Instead, I’m going to finish the novel I started in 2012, now called Siren Song. I finished the outline months ago. Now I’m going to put it to use.

I’m witchofbreithla over there, if you’re interested.

Yes, it’s probably insane to be working full-time, finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, and training for a 10k..and deciding I need to spend most of November writing.

Insanity is relevant.

The Muse Returns

I finished up the outline for Siren Song in January, and then promptly didn’t write a word until… late February. My “goal” (which I frequently find myself ignoring) is two 500-word sessions a week. I can remember writing 10,000+ words  a day for NaNo years ago, so 500 words twice a week should be ridiculously easy. Should be.

As it turns out, actually making myself sit down and write is almost impossible. But this morning, I made that my first priority, and wrote 1,000 words.

Not setting any records with that, but I’m thrilled with it.

I also started outlining my final project for my capstone class, which is a short story based on the mythos of Camelot. I’m actually looking forward to writing it, and using it as backstory for when I start writing the Camelot project sometime in the future (because my Muse gave me a fantastic idea with that months ago).

How is the Muse performing for you?

Getting My (Writing) Ducks in a Row

So…School is out. Vacation is over. Real life has started again. That means it’s time to get back to writing. Yay! In that direction, I went through the “Writing” folder on my computer on Sunday.

And found 67 pages of a story I don’t even remember writing, for NaNo 3 years ago. I read probably 15 pages before I believed that I actually wrote it. It’s a YA about the Sirens and Spartans, but set in the here-and-now. It was kind of like having an out-of-body experience, reading through something I have no memory of writing. (The writing took place about 6 months pre-stroke, and I stopped when my depression got really bad).

Yesterday, I found the story notebook for my newly rediscovered story. That’s the good news. The bad news…in it is one piece of paper with 40 words on it. Mainly character names. No plot ideas, no outline, nothing else. Also some printed out research on sirens and the like. It appears that I will be basically starting from scratch, because, let’s face it, I’m totally sucked into the 67 pages of MS I have. I was seriously like “Did I write this? It’s really good!” Guess what just got bumped to the top of my to-write list?

That’s not strictly true. I want to get going on The Fall again, too. I’ve only got a few chapters written, and I need to change some stuff that my Muse gave me over the past few months when I wasn’t supposed to be writing (my Muse is, apparently, a rebel). An outline would, perhaps, be helpful. Or, heck, even a basic idea of where the story was going. At this point, I’m flailing around in the fog, only able to see two steps in front of me.

I also discovered a tiny bit of another story, along with its notebook and partial outline, as well as a good bit of notes for a third story. I think 4 WIPs is a bit excessive, even for me. My Muse either fainted from excitement, or went on strike, I’m not sure which.
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Let’s not forget my to-be-revised list, which grows ever longer. Sigh…Think I’m gonna start with Witches,  though. Cutting down that 300,000 word behemoth is going to be…tricky, but the characters are talking to me. Or, possibly, I’m hearing voices….Yeah, it could be either one.

Writing question of the day:  does anyone else juggle multiple stories at the same time?  Some tips would be helpful. And very much appreciated.

Things I Learned from NaNo (just not this year)

I may not be participating in NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the beauty of some of the things I learned over the years I did participate (I feel pretty ancient after that statement).  Sure, it’s a crazy frenzy of pouring thousands of words straight from your heart to the page (or the screen), but that doesn’t mean it’s all impulse.  Here are a few of the things I learned from NaNo.

1)  Have a plan.  This doesn’t mean you have to have a detailed line-per-scene outline complete with character names, descriptions, and complete family history going back ten generations, but it should probably be more than “Write about apples.”  (Why apples?  I don’t know.  That’s what popped into my head.  Thanks, Muse.  Such a smart-Alec.)  My personal favorite is a brief 2-3 sentence synopsis of the major scenes, plus a mention of anything that pertains to that scene that the Muse might give me (Like, “It would be really funny if the story opened with her tripping and almost falling into the casket in the middle of the funeral.  Flashing the audience would be great, too.”  Again, thanks, Muse.  True story.).

2)  Have goals.  Goals are pretty important in writing, I’ve found.  How else are you going to write 50,000 in 30 days if you don’t know that you need to hit 1,667 words per day?  Word count goals no longer work for me (at least not currently).  Now I go with pages.  My goal may be a paltry 2 pages per week right now, but it’s a goal.  (Don’t judge me.  I have a lot going on, and my days only have 24 hours in them.).

3)  Have friends.  By “friends” I mean “fellow writers you can talk to.”  Trust me, non-writers do not get it.  Just because I’m a writer does not make me a poet.  Or a biographer.  (The two most common “You should write–” suggestions I get.  Why would I want to write about your life?  Yes, you’ve done some stupid things, but it’s really better if we don’t publicize them…).  If you hit the wall while writing, writing friends are a helpful support group, always available for hand-holding, pep talks, and/or moving the bottle out of your reach.

So, there you go.  A few helpful tips   Now, back to your keyboards!  Those 1,667 words aren’t going to write themselves (probably).  I’m off to work on my plan (since the Muse hasn’t seen fit to grace me with one for The Fall yet…).

NaNo Wishes

It’s November.  Not a news flash, I know.  But if you’re a writer, you might know this month better as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo.  If you don’t know, NaNo is all about writing a complete, 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

The first novel I ever completed was my first year doing NaNo.  I’ll never forget the rush, the thrill of knowing I was writing alongside thousands of other writers all over the world.  That alone was inspiration enough, but if my motivation ever flagged or I had questions, the forums were a fantastic place to go find it again or find answers.  I didn’t finish that novel in November, but I finished it just a few weeks later.  Since then, I’ve honestly forgotten how many times I’ve done–and “won”–NaNo, but I think it’s at least four (For the record, at least twice I wrote 100,000 words during NaNo.  Yes, I’m a masochist.  And clearly insane.  I have papers.)  I was even wearing my NaNo shirt when I met Laurell K. Hamilton, and she asked me about it because she’d never heard of it.

I haven’t done NaNo for the last…um, four years, I think.  Because of school mainly.  I can only juggle so much, and what amounts to two full-time jobs keeps me pretty busy.  I haven’t even found time to write a single page in weeks, much less around 1,700 words a day.  (There isn’t enough caffeine in the world to keep me awake for all that.)  But in early October, when I remembered it was almost time for NaNo, I was tempted.  Oh, so very tempted.  Fortunately, common sense prevailed.  I have a little.  And, in the face of working 3 11-16-hour days a week, plus 2 8-or-so-hour days doing homework, and crazy busy weekends filled with half-marathon training…Yeah, common sense sucks, but it was right.

But I’d like to wish everyone doing NaNo lots of luck (and caffeine).  If you are so fortunate, I’d really like to hear about how well it’s going.