Archive | November 2010

My Month of NaNoing

50,000 words done. Writing at home, the boyfriend’s and the office all done. Writing on the tube and in an airport are done. Writing in a holiday flat in Bournemouth is done. Writing at in cinema foyer, in theatres, on a bench on the South Bank of the river Thames, in a park and in a pub are all done.  NaNoWriMo for me, is done.

I’m currently at the last ever 2010 NaNoWriMo London write in. I should be writing my novel, but seeing as I’ve finished, I thought I’d write out a blog instead. Naughty.

I debated whether or not to come to the write in, after all, I’ve finished, I don’t need to write any more, so why should I? Then I thought about it a little more, and I realised I NEED to come along. The Dating Project currently sits at 50,011 words. That’s NaNo finished, but not the novel. I think the novel is going to need another 15-20 thousand to be finished. I’m here to write, because without the pressure of NaNo, I’m not sure of my motivation to carry on writing.

Look at last year, I finished the novel in 30 days, I did the right thing and left it alone for a month or six weeks, then read it. Then did nothing until September maybe when I edited ONE chapter for a competition. So… Does this novel have any better hopes?

I don’t know. A lot about it annoys me. I think maybe the characters are a little shallow. I’m not even sure if the main story line is good enough, especially as it didn’t get going until about 35k.

I was reading a novel on the tube journey over here. It made me worry about my novel. Well, my novel and my writing in general. There is just so much more detail. Even two characters sitting next to each other on the sofa takes a paragraph to describe. In my writing it would just be ‘X and Y sat next to each other on the sofa.’ I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing… Or do I? I don’t know.

I guess right now I need to concentrate on finishing it, not worrying about the editing. That will come later. I hope.

Ok, lets  move away from NaNo.

As I just said, I’ve started reading again. In November I didn’t let myself read. I thought that if I read something really good, I might get caught up in that and spend NaNoing time reading. I couldn’t let that happen, so I just didn’t pick up a book. Tube journeys were boring as hell. Last weekend I walked along South Bank (after NaNoRilla – Gurilla writing in London  – I may do a whole blog dedicated to this) and stumbled upon the second hand book market there. I say stumbled upon… I purposely walked past it. I told myself I’d only buy something if I saw something I was really interested in reading. And then I saw… Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. Woop! Second hand, but it looked as if I’d read it – no creases in the pages, or… on the spine. Double woop. And, only £4.

On the way home that night, I read the first chapter. I even nearly cried on the second page. And then I hid it from myself. And didn’t pick it back up until this morning, when I realised I was finally allowed to read on the tube again.

So far, guess what? I’m liking it. It’s intreging me and I want to read more. NOW. I don’t want to be doing a blog or writing more novel, I want to be reading. But I’m not going to.

Really what I need to focus on in December is the Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge. Uh… Yeah… I’m supposed to read 12 novels in the year from the genres Thriller or Suspense or anything like that. I did really well to start with, but then I kind of lost my way a little. Without checking (I’ve got no internet connection at the moment) I don’t know exactly how I’ve done so far, but I have a horrible feeling I’ve got about four books to read and six to review. Uh, oops. Still, December is a good month for reading. It had better be anyway!

Ok, I really should crack on with writing my novel. I can’t wait to have time to start blogging regularly again, I almost felt like something was missing not doing it much in November.

I also can’t wait for Fiction Friday on Friday. Yay.

Did you do Nano? If so how did you get on? If not, what did you do in November instead? I’m looking forward to reading through people’s blogs to find out… although it may take forever!!!

NaNoWriMo – Day 20

I cannot believe it’s 20th November. Where has the month gone? There’s only 10 left. Craziness. Total craziness.

So where am I with NaNo? Well, remember last time I blogged I was about 1.5k behind? Well as of right now, I’m 3698 word behind. And that’s after writing 1960 today. Oh dear. BUT, all is not lost. It’s only lunch time today. I’m planning on kicking out at least another thousand today. Easy. The tomorrow I’m going NaNoRilla-ing.

NaNoRilla-ing you ask? It’s a full afternoon of writing in different location in London. We’re starting off at the Southbank centre then somehow, making our way along Southbank, stopping to write in different locations along the way. Last year, they wrote on the steps to St Paul’s and on Blackfriars’ Bridge. I must say, I’m really hoping there’s not going to be too much outside writing tomorrow, it’s SOOOOOO cold at the moment. Even if it is, I really hope by the end of the weekend I will have caught up.

If I haven’t, I do have a lifeline though. I’ve got Monday and Tuesday off work (YAY). I’m going down to Bournemouth tomorrow until Tuesday evening, but it’s not a holiday, I’ll be helping my aunt with some stuff. But, I should get a lot of time to write too. Last time I was there, I was knocking out 1,000 words a day, and that was pre-NaNo, pre-NovelPI, so really really good because I was doing it off my own back. I’d like to aim for 3k a day. I don’t think that’s out of the realms of possibility.

My NaNo story The Dating Project is going pretty well. After this bit coming up, I don’t really know what’s going to happen to get it to the end. That’s a little problem, but I’m sure I’ll find something. I just hope it’s not going to be too boring with the days at school and in lessons I’ll probably have to do.

There is one thing I don’t really like about the story – my characters are always laughing. The MC Lucy and her best friend are always looking at each other and laughing, or giggling, or sniggering or something. I’m getting a little bored of it. I’m also a little worried it’s making them a little 1 dimensional. I’m sure it’s not, because they’ve both got a lot going on as well, but.. well it will be interesting to read it and find out.

That’s right, I have to read it to find out, because I’ve not read any of it. Every day I read the last paragraph I wrote the day before, too see where I am, but nothing else. It’s a little worrying. Today I had to go back to find out something written at the beginning of the chapter I wrote a few days ago, and had totally forgotten something pretty major. Oops. I’m looking forward to finding all the discrepancies throughout it.

Most of the characters have names now, so that’s good. The best friend’s boyfriend is still X and I’m not sure if the person whose party they are about to go to has one, but other than that we’re pretty sorted on that respect. Although maybe not in the next scene when they go to a party so will be chatting to lots of people. Will be interesting to see how I handle that one. Hmmmm.

I don’t have any non-NaNo news I’m afraid as that’s taking up all my free time (except for going out etc – the reason I’m so behind). I’m really missing reading on the tube, but don’t dare start a book in case I really enjoy it and it cuts into my writing time. Poo!

In December I’m going to have to concentrate on the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. I think I’ve written reviews for about 6 books, and read maybe 9. Which means I really need to read 3 or so more, and review them along with the other 3 I’ve already read. There’s no way I’m not completing that!

As I know you like it so much (well I do), here’s my geeky NaNo chart.

Day Target (total) Day Words Total words Variance
1 1667 1854 1854 187
2 3334 3099 4953 1619
3 5000 1643 6596 1596
4 6667 2459 9055 2388
5 8334 1035 10090 1756
6 10000 1690 11780 1780
7 11667 1970 13750 2083
8 13334 2035 15785 2451
9 15000 1201 16986 1986
10 16667 345 17331 664
11 18334 2121 19452 1118
12 20000 781 20233 233
13 21667 0 20233 -1434
14 23334 410 20643 -2691
15 25000 1806 22449 -2551
16 26667 2227 24676 -1991
17 28334 0 24676 -3658
18 30000 2473 27149 -2851
19 31667 527 27676 -3991
20 33334 1960 29636 -3698

Next time I blog, I promise it will look more healthy! And because I got a little sick of my online graph being out of date (I keep forgetting to update it daily), he’s my geeky graph of my word count:

It’s not all that clear, but you get the point. I’m so upset the blue (actual words) started off so much higher than the read (target words), then it swapped. But, I’m going to get it back. I really am.

Hi, You Might Remember Me

I cannot believe it’s been so long since I last blogged. I miss it. Well I miss it when I think about it, and at the moment I’m so busy, I don’t really have time to even think about it.

I can’t decide what’s more important to write about first, NaNo or my story.

I think the story is going to win!

I got what I presume was my final email from the editor of the website I’m getting a story on, before it’s publication. She’s happy with my changes, and making a couple of extra ones. Everything she suggested makes so much sense.

I also had to write an ‘Author’s Bio.’ AUTHOR. Ha! That was almost as hard as writing the story itself. The best thing ever is there’s a section of the website that says ‘Authors,’ if you click on that, you’re going to see my name. Under Author. How fab? And, next time I write one, I will have been published somewhere else. See – look at the confidence it’s given me ‘‘next time.’’

Ok. NaNoWriMo. I have been doing really well. Until today. Today I’ve had a hangover so not done anything. I guess the day’s not over yet, but it’s pretty close. It’s going to be the first time I’m behind this month. I’m kind of annoyed at myself that I let it happen, but I’m going to make up for it tomorrow. I’m planning on going to another write in, but this one is 3 hours long, so will have 2 ¼ hours writing. If I get 2.2/2.4k in a 2 hour write-in, I’ll get loads in a 3 hour one. I can’t wait.

The NaNo organisers email motivational pep talks every few days. On this week was about the second week lull. Apparenlty it’s quite normal to be really excited and motivated in the first week, then lose it a little in the second. I was really smug thinking it hadn’t happened to me, but it kind of did.

Day Target (total) Day Words Total words Variance
1 1667 1854 1854 187
2 3334 3099 4953 1619
3 5000 1643 6596 1596
4 6667 2459 9055 2388
5 8334 1035 10090 1756
6 10000 1690 11780 1780
7 11667 1970 13750 2083
8 13334 2035 15785 2451
9 15000 1201 16986 1986
10 16667 345 17331 664
11 18334 2121 19452 1118
12 20000 781 20233 233
13 21667   20233 -1434

 Tomorrow, I’ll pull it back.

NaNoWriMo So Far

I am totally loving NaNo this year for two main reasons: 1. I’m ahead of schedule and 2. The write ins have been great.

First of all. Ahead. Isn’t that great. From the first day I’ve been ahead.

Day Target (total) Day Words Total words Variance
1 1667 1854 1854 187
2 3334 3099 4953 1619
3 5001 1643 6596 1595
4 6668 2459 9055 2387
5 8335 1035 10090 1755

Impressive hey! (And thanks to my new Wrimo friend @jenepel for the idea of a graph – let my inner geek be released!). Even though today and on the 3rd, I wrote less than the 1,667 you should write a day, because I’ve done so well on the other days I’m still almost a day ahead. Woop! I’ll try to get a lot in tomorrow as well, Sunday, I’m not so sure about.

Write-ins. Knew I wanted to go to them, although I have to admit, it was as much for meeting other writers as it was for the writing. How the write ins work is that everyone arrives, chats for a bit, then spends 45 minutes writing. Then there’s a 15 minute break, then another 45 minute stretch of writing. It’s a brilliant idea because when 20 – 36 people around you are typing/writing you feel inspired to write too. Unlike at home, where you might get stuck, so maybe get up to get a drink, or play on Facebook or something. The first write in I went to I wrote 2.2k words, then was so inspired I went home and wrote another 800 ish. Yesterday’s I wrote 2.4. I’d never get that done at home.

Unless it was 5 days away from the end and I needed to.

Also the people at the write ins are great, a really good bunch of people. And they’re like a community too. Half of them know each other from last year, the year before etc. I got talked into going to the pub with them last night and am seriously suffering because of it today. But all in the name of fun, and NaNo!

Guess I should mention the novel – you know, the whole reason I’m doing this. It’s going… ok. I loved it at the beginning, and I guess I’m still enjoying it. It’s just that I’m 10,000 words in, on chapter three, and it’s still the first day of school. I’m sure it shouldn’t last that long. It is where all the back story gets put so I guess it does need to be quite long. I’ll probably have the rest of the week fly by in one paragraph or something!

I’m not reading anything at the moment. I’m too scared to. I think if I pick up a book and enjoy it, I’ll do my usual thing of putting it in front of everything else in life – which obviously I can’t afford to do this month. BUT I’m getting so bored on the tube. I did think of writing on it, but I hardly ever get a seat, so it would be pretty impossible.

What I really need to do is a whole load of reviews for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge. We’re now less than two months away from the end of the year (how??) and I’ve not finished reading all 12 books. Hmmmm. That’s not good. I’ve not even finished (started) reviewing half the books I have read. I keep writing down which ones I’ve done and which I need to do, but then losing the paper I write it on. Doh! Maybe later on today? Maybe not.

I’ve just previewed this post and realised, I’ve not got a NaNo badge for this year. Will have to do that. Silly me!

I didn’t play Fiction Friday yesterday, and I don’t think I will. A couple of people managed to get the prompt into their NaNo story, but I don’t think I’d be able to. I’m tempted to try, but I don’t think it would do anything for the story. It’s sad, but I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m playing again (three weeks at the most I’d guess).

Almost forgot to mention the winner of the Search Term Competition byErgoFiction magazine has been announced. Well done to Merrilee Faber in 1st place with an awesome story and to Ruzin in second and JC Hart in third. Go have a look, they’re great stories. Also you can read my entry, which is slightly different to the romance I usually do, here.

In other really exciting news, I’m moving in with my boyfriend at the end of the month. Yay. But also – in November?!!?!? As if having a full-time job and writing a 50,000 word novel wasn’t enough, I’ve now got to start looking for a place too. Oh well, it’s all good.

NaNoWriMo Day One

I want to go to bed more than anything else right now, but I wanted to stop in here and boast how well I’ve done today.

Last night I was half thinking about staying up past midnight to start on NaNo. I’d had a late night on Saturday though, so was really tired. Nasty Twitter people talked me into staying up though, and to be honest I’m actually glad I did. Getting 154 words in before bed felt like an achievement.

But boy am I paying for it now. I can hardly keep my eyes open.

The story started pretty well, and I’ve managed to rack up 1854 words today *runs round the house in excitement* I’m on my way. Not only am I on my way, I’m ahead of target! By nearly 200. Woop!

I do have a pretty big problem. actually I have one pretty big problem and one medium size problem.

The medium-sized problem is that I keep forgetting what I’m doing, and deleting words. WHAT?? I’m deleting words and replacing them. That can’t happen. There’s no way I’m going to be deleting every time I get a word or two, or sentence wrong. I have a plan. At the bottom of where I’m writing, I’ve drawn a line. Any words I don’t like, I’m going to move below the line. That way I get to keep all the words I write, but I also get to keep my real word count. Result.

My bigger problem is tense.I’ve been writing Holiday in present tense, but this one is in past tense. Or would be if I could remember. It seems at the moment I automatically write in present. I guess that’s to be expected when that’s all I’ve been doing recently, but it’s so annoying. I keep wanting to hit myself. My housemate may be wondering what all the strange noises coming from the room are!

I’ll get there though. Part of me wants to just scrap the idea of it being past tense and just do it present, but I don’t want to. I managed Italian Infatuation past so I can damn well manage this.

What I really didn’t like today, was constantly seeing my word count in word. I’m using 2007 (I think) where at the bottom next to the page number, is a word count. Because I started on 0 this morning, the word count was my word count for the day. That made it hard to write. Although actually it only made it hard to about 800, after that I was flying.

I’ve said this before, but I find writing to be a little like running – it’s hard when you start, but once you get into it each time, it gets much easier. Yesterday I went for a run. I planned to do 20 minutes. For the first 7 or 8 minutes I was constantly clock watching, it seemed to drag, but then once I got into it, I started flying, then suddenly I was on 18.

Writing today was the same. I was constantly looking at the count. I worked out where half of my total was and kept watching to get there. Then as soon as I passed it, I forgot about it until about 1500 words. See, writing is like running!

I got invited out for dinner tonight, but said no. Why? Because I wanted to go to the gym, then come home and write my words. I really hope I can be that disciplined for the next 29 days!

I’m going to my first write-in tomorrow. I think someone’s called it Two Thousand word Tuesday. The plan is to meet up at a cafe, chat for a bit, write for 45 minutes (I think) chat, then write again. I’m going to try for Three Thousand word Tuesday. He he!

I’ve been thinking about tomorrow actually. I’ve got Wednesday off work (some reason like going to meet the boyfriend at the airport – although just as much so I can write lots of lovely shiny NaNo words) so don’t have to get up early then. Which means I guess I could stay up late tomorrow writing, seeing as I do my best writing at night. Well, that or I’ve run out of other things to do instead by th evening?

Just before I go, I’ll just remind you about the Search Term Challenge over at Ergofiction. There are ten stories entering the competition. One of them is mine. If you go over to the website you can read them all and vote for your favourite three. There are some really good stories (well, one’s mine isn’t it, ha ha), well worth the time if you have it. And all cleverly constructed to included some of the bazaar search term words that have been used to find blogs. Bazaar like ‘secret smell,’ ‘corduroy buttons’ and ‘ torpedo breasts!’ Seriously, go check it out.

 Me, well I’m off to bed now. Night people!