NaNoWriMo 2016: Update #3

blog-graphic-nano-update

I have another update about NaNoWrimo!

I’m doing really well so far!  I ended up doing a bunch of scenes set in Romania, since Hermione and Charlie take an unexpected detour.

I did skip quite a bit of the middle, because I was doing only the slightest variation on the same thing, and I was just so bored writing it.  I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with it, and I knew if I wanted to keep going, I had to go for the stuff I wanted to write.  And that, apparently, was Romania, so I went for it.  I jump back to the story, and I ended up writing the last few chapters I had outlined…only to realize that the story was nowhere near done.  I, of course, had planned for the story to be over and done with on November 30, but clearly, the characters have other plans.  They always seem to go off in their own direction, and never mind what I wanted them to do.

I did add on an extra chapter, and it actually gave me some ideas for the middle part of it. Assuming I actually go back to it, but let’s be honest here:  I’m probably not going to go back to it or keep going once November is over, and this time next year, I’ll probably be on some other new idea (or ideas, because that’s what I usually do) and completely forget this one ever existed.

There is a part of me that wants to actually finish this one, but I know I’ve said that before.  And there was that one year where I did keeping writing after November.  If I remember correctly, I was still working on stuff in December or January before I stopped.  And the novel I did last year was a re-write of the one I did 2 years ago, so it’s possible I could keep going.  Who knows how I’ll feel after 50k/November 30.  Maybe I should just get through this month first before deciding.

I have noticed something interesting this year with my writing- Mondays and Tuesdays seem to be the days I have the least motivation.

I was willing to write it off that first week (because being on my period combined with not taking the election results well meant my writing took a hit).  But last week?  It made me wonder if maybe Mondays/Tuesdays weren’t my best days for writing.  The only way to know for sure is to see what happens the next couple of weeks, but two weeks isn’t going to give me a definite answer.

Still, I’m way ahead of where I’m supposed to be, so I’m not at all worried about falling behind.  I was a little bit nervous a few days ago, knowing that the last few days of the month are the days I’m the least motivated to write, but at the same time, I write the most on weekends.  Especially Sundays. And with Thanksgiving this week, I have a couple of extra writing days.  There’s nothing like a 4-day weekend to (hopefully) reach 50k.

And speaking of word count…

blog-graphic-word-count-update

I’m at 43,343 words!  I can definitely reach 50k this week.  That’s the goal.  Which means I won’t need to worry about trying to finish when I’m potentially not motivated to finish.  Because anything I write after 50k will be icing on the cake.  And I will be eating cake when I finish.  Because cake.

That’s all of the update I have for today, and hopefully I’ll have a really awesome update soon.  In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S., and a great week if you’re not!

Advertisements

NaNoWriMo 2016: Update #2

blog-graphic-nano-update

It’s been a busy week!  NaNo is going pretty well so far.  I think last time I mentioned having really bad back pain, and I am really glad to report that it went away.  Writing is a lot easier when you can actually sit long enough to do it.

Last Sunday was a really good day for writing, and I ended up being really glad I had a buffer.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I didn’t have a lot of motivation to write.  The results of the election really got to me (more than any other year) and as much as I wanted and hoped writing would be a good distraction, it wasn’t.  By Thursday, though, I was starting to feel more motivated to write, and now my writing is back to normal.

I did go to a few fun write-ins that I really want to talk about.  My co-ML and I hosted one at the Ghiradelli store we have in downtown San Diego because chocolate and ice cream and writing go together.  I was on a little bit of a sugar high, since I had an eclair for breakfast and then the sundae and root beer float.  I was glad I arrived late to a friend’s birthday thing at Extraordinary Desserts and didn’t order anything because as it was, I went to bed at, like, 8:30 which is insanely early for me.  The sugar crash was not fun.

That worked out well, though, since a bunch of us took the train up to L.A. and I had to be up early.  I did look out the window for a while, looking at the ocean, but then I settled into writing.  A few of us ate at the train station at this really good crepe place, and I took a writing break.  I did crochet, just because I needed to clear my mind and do something creative that I didn’t have to think about.  It turned out to be a pretty good idea, because I was super-focused on the way home and got a lot of writing done.

We also did this cafe hop last week, and went to four different coffee shops.  That was a pretty productive day too, but I had a massive caffeine crash when I got home because I had like, 4 cups of coffee.  I could barely stay awake during Once Upon A Time, and I ended up not watching Walking Dead because I was too tired.  But I know they have re-runs, so I know I’ll catch the episode another time.

As for the actual writing (since I’m talking more about the stuff going on around the writing), I’ve definitely hit the middle part of the story where I just feel very blah about writing quite a few chapters.  I mean, Hermione and Charlie are wandering around, the way Hermione, Ron and Harry wandered around the Forests Of Dean for months, and I’m just bored writing it.  I normally write out of order anyway, because sometimes I don’t want to write certain scenes or chapters, but I’m jumping around a lot more than normal.

I did want to include Hermione and Charlie hiding out in Romania on the dragon reserve, but I wasn’t sure how to work it in.  I still don’t, but for now, I’m just writing it.  I can always fit it in later- assuming I actually go back to the story at some point, and that’s not likely.

*But it is possible.  At least writing random scenes are helping, and it’s a nice change from what I was writing for the story.

blog-graphic-word-count-update

As for my actual word count: I’m currently at 30,021 words!  Which is really good, and I have a pretty good buffer. I’m a good 5 days or so ahead of where I’m supposed to be, and I’m really proud of that, considering some of the things going on this month.  Writing wasn’t always the distraction I was hoping it would be, but I’m glad that I’m still writing something every day.

Hopefully I’ll have another update next week!

NaNoWriMo 2016: An Update From The Trenches

blog-graphic-nano-update

I can’t believe I’m 5 days into November!  I thought I’d give an update today so everyone knows how it’s going so far.

I went to the midnight write-in/kick-off party in my region (which is good, considering I am one of the ML’s and help plan events).  It was super-fun, and I got a bunch of writing done.

I also took the 1st off, since I knew I was going to be up late, and I figured sleep was more important than going to work exhausted because I either got no sleep or very little sleep.  I also figured I’d get some more writing done, and try to write ahead as much as I could.  I didn’t write as much as I hoped, in terms of the novel, but I was able to get a couple of blog posts done.  If I can manage to get the day off again next year, I definitely plan on doing it again.

I know I mentioned not being sure what I was going to write- I was deciding between an alternate 7th year fic where Hermione gets separated from Harry and Ron but ends up with Charlie Weasley instead and a post-Deathly Hallows but before the epilogue Marriage Law fic.

I literally decided what I was going to write an hour before midnight by rolling dice.  True story.  It’s easily the most interesting way I’ve picked what to write.

So what am I writing?  The alternate 7th year!

It helped that I was okay with writing either idea and that both ideas were vaguely outlined.  I was definitely prepared no matter what I decided to write.

I’ve been writing during my lunch break, and it’s been working really well so far.  I’m sort of surprised by how much I can get done, but it’s a good thing because it means I have less to write when I get home.  I think that’s part of why I’m ahead of where I should be- I end up writing more than I plan to, and even though I could probably take a day or two off of writing completely, I’ve decided to keep the momentum going.

I’m particularly glad that I’ve been writing during lunch because I’ve had horrible lower back pain the last few days, to the point where sitting has been super-uncomfortable at home.  I know it’s going to resolve in a few days (because PMS, not that anyone wanted to know or cares, and I’m sorry if it’s TMI), but it’s sort of something that’s going on right now.

MOVING ON: I was still able to write (even though I did have to write standing one night), but at least I’m enough ahead that if I only write at work, I’m still in pretty good shape.

It’s why I like having some sort of buffer- it’s great for when the unexpected happens, or when I can’t write as much.

blog-graphic-word-count-update

I am currently at 12,833 words!

It’s a really good start, considering I’m only writing one novel this year.  If I keep up this pace, I’m supposed to hit 50k on November 20…at which point I will stop writing, keep going or start one of the other ideas I have.  Assuming I finish early, of course, but I’ll figure it out if/when that happens.

I’ve also had some really funny/interesting sentences, and I’m going to have to share those.  When you’re writing and not paying attention to your inner editor, you end up with really random things. At least I got a laugh out of it!

That’s all I have for an update, but I’ll definitely be back with another update!

A NaNoWriMo 2015 Update

I haven’t done much blogging lately, except for the odd review round-up or a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I did want to talk about NaNoWriMo since I have yet to talk about it this month.

I’m a huge supporter of NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been a fan for years.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, where writers from all over the world write their own 50,000 word novel in one month.

NaNo 2015 Participant Badge

This is my tenth year doing NaNo, and my blog actually started out as me blogging my way through NaNo.  It was the year I decided to do three 50k novels in one month, and I have never done 3 in one month again.  You can click here to read about my previous NaNo novels, or here to see all of my NaNo posts.

Last year, I wrote a YA paranormal book about an amulet that needs to be destroyed, other humanity will be wiped out.  You can read more about the original idea here.  I had the hardest time with world-building and I wasn’t sure where I wanted it go, but I decided to write it anyway, and found that once I reached my 50k, it was a book I really wanted to re-write.  I’m still not sure how I want it to end, but I have a slightly better idea of what I want to do with it than I did last year.

I think, of all the years I’ve been doing NaNo, this has been the easiest year by far.  I’ve never been one for planning my novels out, because I’m much more of a pantser but I’m actually surprised at how much easier writing is when I have an outline.  There have been 2 or 3 days where I didn’t want to write.  Even though I knew what I was writing, I just didn’t have the motivation to write very much, so I have a few days where I struggled. I’ve been consistently ahead of the 1667 pace, so I felt okay not writing as much because I’ve had a buffer.  If my lowest day is 1000 words, I’m doing pretty good, and I am trying really hard to maintain that buffer, because I don’t want to lose that momentum.  I’m currently at 21,373, so I’m doing really good.  It’s sort of surprising, considering I was sick the first week (waking up sick on November 1st was horrible) and with how much Daylight Savings is really messing with me this year.

It’s vague enough that I feel like I have flexibility in where things go and what I’m writing, but it’s also specific enough that I know where things are going.  I can move things around as needed, and since I have an outline, it’s a lot easier to jump around if writing a particular scene or chapter isn’t working.

I’m using Scrivener this year, and I absolutely love it!  It makes it easier to jump around when I can’t focus on a particular scene, and the split screen feature is completely awesome and super-helpful.  I have the scene I’m writing on one side, and the chapter outline on the other side, which makes it easier to write each scene when I can see how it fits in with the rest of the chapter.

Unfortunately, I didn’t work on any character sketches or world building, and I still need to go through last year’s novel to see if I want to keep any of the world-building or character stuff from last year’s novel.  But this year, as I’m writing, I am adding that information to Scrivener, for when I have the time to properly focus on it. It’s daunting because I have to go through Word, and I don’t even know what I’m looking for, or where to find it.  With Scrivener, even if I’m not completely sure where to find a particular scene, I at least have a general idea of where to find it, and it’ll be easier to stay organized once I’ve worked on characters and the world more, particularly with a series.

I don’t know how much I’ll be talking about NaNo this year- at the very least, I’ll be doing a post at the end of the month, and maybe something in between, but I’m not sure.

If anyone else is participating, you can always add me as a buddy!  I’m wingedcreature (or click here to see my NaNo profile and my progress).

Happy almost mid-November!

Let’s Talk About How I Wrote 50,069 Words In 29 Days

Winner-2014-Twitter-Profile

I wrote words.  50,069 of them, to be exact, which means I have “won” NaNoWriMo for the 9th year in a row- I’ve won more, if you’re going by number of novels I’ve written, and not number of years.

This November is one of the more interesting Novembers I’ve had in a while.  I actually wrote just one novel, and didn’t have the beginnings of several different novels because I didn’t like anything I was writing.

I liked being able to focus on one book this year, but I also like having two because I can switch back and forth if I’m having trouble with one.

It’s weird, because this year, I didn’t struggle with writing until I hit 40,000 words, which is usually one of the easier parts of writing for me.  I still wrote, and it was hard, but not too hard, since I still got to my goal.  But for whatever reason, I just didn’t want to keep writing it.

I went into the month with some ideas and notes, and a very vague idea of plot and characters, but no other concrete details. I think this is one of those novels I just needed to start writing, because I had a lot of trouble figuring out this world and what I wanted it to be.  Just writing and coming up with this world as I wrote it gave me some really good ideas of what I wanted to do (or didn’t want to do) and if it was something I wanted to do in this book.

I definitely realized that this is a book I want to go back and re-write next year, and I really want to spend the next 11 months working on characters and this world, and reading it over so I have a more organized idea of this world.  I didn’t keep track of anything I discovered about this world, mostly because I was more focused on actually writing, and any inconsistencies can always be fixed later on (if I were one to go back and edit).

I actually really want to use Scrivener to keep track of everything.  It really does seem seem like the best way to keep everything organized.  I’ve also heard really good things about it, so that really helps (as does the discount all participants get once November is over).

It’s always fun to set down with a goal of doing something, and do it knowing that not only are thousands of other people doing it, but that there’s a deadline.  I like it because it’s a way for my to get whatever ideas I have written (because I know I would never write them otherwise) and it’s a good starting point if I ever decide to go back and work on one of them.  NaNo gets me to actually write without worrying about how good it is.  And I love the community too!  I’ve met so many cool people through NaNo.  And the books that have been published that started out as a NaNoWriMo novel is really inspiring!

I really did have a good November, and I hope everyone else did too!

Let’s Talk About How NaNoWriMo Is Going

I talked about how I’m doing NaNo earlier this month, and thought I’d actually do an update on how it’s going.

I started off really well, and was even ahead for the first few days.  Then Monday happened, and before I knew it, I was behind on my word count to varying degrees, then I got close to being caught up, then varying degrees of being behind again.

So, basically, to write 50,000 words in 30 days, you have to write 1,667 words per day.  There’s even a graph that tells you where you need to be, and how far off you are from that, and how much you need to write every day to reach the 50,000, plus a whole bunch of other stats.

I really thought I’d be caught up, or if not completely caught up, then not too far off.  I mean, I’m currently at 20,094, and today’s goal is 25,000, so I’m only 5000 behind where I should be.  I’ve done NaNo enough years that I know that a 5,000 word gap isn’t the worst gap ever, and I’ve totally been behind more than that and still reached 50,000, so I’m not too worried.

I sprained my ankle over a week ago, and couldn’t walk on it the first day, I could barely walk on it the second day, and while I can now walk (with a brace and limping around), you’d think that would be good for writing. Seriously, moving was really hard, and I tried to move as little as possible, and yet, I found myself distracted by catching up on shows on Hulu and watching stuff on Netflix.  Hence, not really writing.

This year, more than any other year, I’ve really struggled with writing at home.  In the past, I’ve had no problem writing at home, but this year?  I can barely get anything going, which is why there huge spikes on the weekends, when I’m at write-ins- and randomly, on Wednesdays, when I’m at a write-in.  Writing not at home, and with other people, has been super-helpful this year, because for some reason, it’s really working this year to write at other places.

Considering that I only went in with very vague ideas of plot and characters, I haven’t really struggled with the writing itself.  It, of course, would need a lot of work if I ever went back to edit but I’ve had no trouble coming up with anything relating to this world at all.  I kind of feel like I need some sort of chart or something to help me keep up with things I’ve learned, and a bunch of new characters I’ve come up with.  Every year, there are always scenes that I just don’t want to write so I always skip over those to the scenes I do want to write, and this year is no exception, but it does seem to be happening a lot less than normal this year.

This update is a bit short, but I think that’s all I have for now.  I’m definitely hoping to have an update next week!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

And We Have A (Rebellious) Winner!

Guess who “won” NaNo with 50,099 words?

Me!

I actually won!

I actually won!

So…I feel the need to explain the rebellious part.  I started out with the one about the two kids who were going to save their parents jobs.  But I started to not feel that one, so I started to write a different novel, that started off with a girl at a party…and wrote a lot more for that one, until I started to get bored with that one.

Then I decided I was going to use the time to get ahead with blogging.  Top 10 Tuesdays?  December and most of January is done…as are the next few weeks of Gilmore Girls episodes.

And then I decided that I need to do some free writing so that I could get back to noveling.  But then…I realized…free-writing worked out much better than that noveling thing.  Considering the blog posts and the free-writing was a good chunk of my word count, I have decided that makes me a rebel!  I am happy that I just wrote, because really, that’s the spirit of NaNo.  Even when I didn’t want to write anything…I came through in the end, even if it was unconventional.

In some ways, it wasn’t a good month in terms of noveling.  But in terms of just writing, I am glad I did write.  The 50,000 words is nice, but…sometimes, it’s just about letting go and writing about what I need and want to write, instead of writing what I think I should be writing.  I definitely need to be better prepared next year…with an idea that I’ve actually worked on for more than a week!

And congrats to everyone who did NaNo, whether you won or not!

NaNo And Other Thoughts

So, NaNo has been interesting.

I got bored with my original idea, so I started over with a new one.  I have remembered the importance of backing up…because Sunday morning, when I started writing, the file I had wouldn’t open, because the file was corrupt.  Thankfully, I didn’t lose everything, because I had saved a copy to dropbox, but unfortunately, everything I had written Saturday (which was few thousand words) all disappeared.

This is why you back up, and why I will have multiple copies from now until the end of the month, which is coming up soon.  That was a setback, but I am determined to get to 50,000 words.  Catching up is fun, and I’m still sure I can catch up.  Partly because I am word padding, but also because I don’t want this to be the first year I don’t complete 50,000 words.  50k or bust!

I’m currently at 31,879 words, and I’m hoping to be around 40,000 by the end of today.  That’s a little bit less than where I really need to be, but that’s close enough that I’ll be able to catch up if I write like I maniac the rest of the week.

In other news, I finished my goal of 200 books.  It’s weird that it started out as 115, which I kept changing until I finally left it at 200.  That review will be coming this week.  It’s so weird that I’ve read so much.  Like, do I want to do something more next year?  Keep it the same?  Or do I want to make it low, and see what happens?  I’m not sure, so I’ll have to think about it over the next few weeks.  Maybe I should see where I end up at before deciding anything.  It was definitely a fun year reading, but it won’t stop just because I reached the goal that would not stop changing.

I think that’s it for now, because I really to start writing!  Those words aren’t going to write themselves.

I’m So Behind!

Since it’s been a while since I’ve talked about NaNo, I thought I’d share my progress.

The problem is that I haven’t really written.  Only two days this month, and I know I have around 896 words typed up.  I have yet to finish typing everything I have written down, and once I do that, I’ll be able to get going with the story.  I’d say I have around 1,200 words, but I’m not completely sure.  That’s my best guess though.

I’m not worried about being so behind.  One, I’m only writing one novel, so catching up will be really easy.  Two, I’ve been behind in previous years, and caught up.  Three… I can’t come up with three, so two it is.  But I’m totally okay with being behind for now.  It’s still early, and it’s still possible to catch up.

It’s too bad I don’t have more of an update on NaNo.  The first few pages are absolutely hysterical, because I’m trying to get used to a different keyboard , and everything is horribly misspelled.  Re-reading it will be funny, I’m sure, and I doubt it will make a lot of sense.  Then again, it’s not like they make a lot of sense to begin with…

I really do think that’s it for today.  It’s time to get some writing done!

Ding, Ding, Ding, You Are A Winner!

I won!  I can’t believe that I won!  It took me 4 different ideas, almost a week off of writing, and a lot of complaining and forcing myself to write to get there.  But I managed to get 50,381 words!  I didn’t finish on Monday like I had planned, but I’ll take finishing. 

I'm A Winner!

 I managed to win, and Harry Potter totally saved me.  When in doubt, write about Harry Potter. 

I did a happy dance to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, because that’s what I was listening to when I won, and I had a cookie.  I knew I’d win today, so I made some cookies as my celebratory treat!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post-NaNo wrap-up.