musingaloud: (Default)
Ok, I'm NOT going to finish/win Nano.  I figured from the beginning that I wouldn't, given my problems with November as the month.  I gave up yesterday.  The WIN is that I did get 27 k written and further along in the plot than I've ever been before, with even a hint of where to go from here and how to end.  So it's not all loss.  Nano is never, in my mind, about winning, but only about writing as much as possible and pushing past the "I can't do it" mind set.  And writing even though the inner editor is whispering insidious words about how horrible you are as a writer.  So, even though I officially "lost", I'm not counting it as that.  Any progress made is always a win.

However, I am soooo jealous of those who are swimming their way through, and wish I could do it, too.  I know I CAN write 50k in a month, I did it in July last year.  But November is just the most hellish month that could have been picked for me on a normal basis (ok, besides December), and this year was even worse.  Vacation, procrastination, medical procedures, procrastination, antibiotics that have put my entire system into overdrive, procrastination, and Thanksgiving and its preparations are just too much for me. 

I feel better now the pressure is off.  And I'll just suck it up and pay full price for Scrivener when it debuts.  If I decide to buy it.  I have the Beta version but haven't had time (see above) to play around with it yet.
musingaloud: (Default)
Debate on the value of Nanowrimo is all over the net.  Some people think it's silly to try to write a novel in 30 days, but I think they're missing the point.  I know I'm not going to write a complete novel in 30 days--a 50k story is not a full length novel.  I think most of us are just trying to get the basic idea of a novel down--maybe a 50k synopsis--or perhaps the first half in rough draft form. 

I am worried that I'm putting down words without caring what the heck they are.  I'm not sure it's leading me to an end state of the story or if I'm just wasting time and causing myself more work in revision time. Without a road map, I'm afraid the story's going to end up lost in the woods and never be able to find its way to completion.  I'm reminding myself that anything I write can be undone later (although it'll be a heck of a lot of work!).  All this writing is good practice, even writing bad words can be good, as long as I recognize what I've done wrong and figure out how to change it.

I think the important point about Nano is learning to set a daily goal of writing X number of words and sticking to it.  And to turn off the damned internal editor until Draft 2.  I started out miserably, missing 3 days completely and not hitting goal in several others.  But the last three days have been going quite well and I feel confident that I can make up for those lost days -- even though it will mean writing every single day from here on out, even though there is Thanksgiving coming and jury duty and a day lost to medical procedure.  I'm aiming for 2-2.5 k a day from now on out, and if I hit the 2.5, I'll have caught up by next week.  And if I can keep that pace up, then I'll finish a day or two early, which would please me immensely. 

But the story is starting to get into VERY unfamiliar territory, and I really don't know where its going.  Which will be leading me to a new post in a day or two (sorry for the length of this one!  If you hung in until the end, then you get a big virtual {{hug}}.) about how I'm beginning to see the value in *gasp* outlining.
musingaloud: (Default)
Honey, I'm hooooome from Disneyland.  And glad to be here.  We had a great time, but boy did my feet hurt.  The grandbigboy did very well this time, and is starting to really enjoy the rides instead of being scared.  He even rode Soarin' Over CA, which scares me (but mostly it makes me motion sick if I watch the movie part of it -- which *is* the whole point of going on the ride) -- TWICE!  He just didn't like the "dark part" (in the beginning, when they lift you up, the lights are off for about 2 seconds.)

I read through my flist, but it often happens that I miss some posts here and there, flipping through the pages, so if I missed something important, either remind me or, well, consider yourself congratulated.  Or commiserated, as the case may be.

I had a horrible 1st day of Nano, just couldn't get myself going.  My second day was the drive down to LA, and I made my daily goal while hubby drove.  But then the kids came the next day and I was too tired by night to do any writing.  So now I've got a LOT of catching up to do.  And yet I have Thanksgiving (at least 2 days, there) coming up and a doctorly procedure which will take all day AND jury duty.  So there's another 4 days gone.  I still hope to have some really awesome word count days and catch up.  We'll see.  Speaking of which, I better get going. 
musingaloud: (Default)
November Stats:

Words this month:  20019
Average words per day:  667.3
Days of writing at least 100 words a day:  126

FOUR MONTHS of writing daily.  Every single day.  The first month of writing daily, I averaged 178 words per month.  The second month, 283.  The third month, 325.  This month, I attempted to Nanowrimo.  I didn't expect to hit the 50k mark.  About halfway through the month, my goal dropped to 25k.  So I didn't make that either.  Thanksgiving happened.

But here's what I did learn.  I need a roadmap to write a novel.  I won't call it an outline, because I have a psychological aversion to outlines for some odd reason, despite my love of organization.  But I love maps.  A roadmap to my destination is just what I need.  And with all maps, there can be several roads to take to a destination, some straight and narrow, others winding and long.  And sometimes along the way to a destination, a breakdown can occur and the traveller stuck in a location.  Maybe a new destination becomes more realistic, more desirable. 

Writing without knowing where I'm going gives me anxiety.  Anxiety makes me want to turn my back on it, to do something that is more comforting, and so I turn to teh internet surfing or freecell or a myriad of other possibilites all designed to distract me from trying to decide on the spur of the moment where I'm going. 

Forcing myself to write even though I not know where I'm going makes me stutter and write dead prose.  Knowing where I'm going will actually make me feel freer and more open to possibilities.  It will not lock me in a corner.  I like to be a more deliberate writer.

In the end, failing at Nano has been a success.  I've learned what doesn't work.  I've learned I'm not a speedy writer.  Steady as she goes, that's me.  And that's okay.
musingaloud: (Default)
I always thought I was a person who could concentrate really hard on things.  Imagine my surprise when I realize I'm not.  I suppose it's one of those things that's easily seen from the outside looking in, but not so easy the other way around.  The grandbaby went home early today so I've had some time to write.  Hard to tell exactly how much, as I also went outside and planted some Spanish bluebell and Paperwhite bulbs I forgot I had, plus I dug up two rooted Goldmound Spireas that I found when I was pulling weeds and potted them up.  So I don't know if I actually tried to write for an hour or two, but anyway I did have a chunk of time, and had high hopes for at least 1k.  And I only have 838 words to show for it.  Because I have to stop and go play a game of freecell when I lose the map of where the story's going.  Do a few more words and then play another game.  blah blah blah.  My discovery is that I don't concentrate as well as I thought I did.  I am easily distracted, as [livejournal.com profile] mylefteye  said.  It's all his fault.  I blame him.  Yep, Mike's fault.  I'd write a little more but I'm bored and need to go play freecell.

Addendum:  I made myself write to 1 k after I wrote that last night, so I ended up with 1048 words yesterday. 

I've also discovered, in the process of attempting Nano and failing at it, that I do need a roadmap.  I hate calling it an Outline, because the very word sends me into shivers of loathing.  But without a map, I get very worrisome and then I avoid the conflict of trying to decide what to have the characters do next by doing something I'm not supposed to be doing -- like watching tv or playing a computer game. 

So my failure at Nano is actually a very positive thing.  Whereas I think it's ok to not have a detailed roadmap in a short story, I have learned that it's vital for me to have one with a novel.  I'm also starting to think of the novel in terms of scenes, something I wasn't really able to do before.  I'm finding that exceedingly helpful.  So from here on out I know to not attempt a novel unless I have a map of scenes at the very least.  I don't have to have detailed Outline--I would hate that, it sounds so rigid to me and I like it when the story takes a life of its own and heads off on a rampage through a city or a wood that I didn't expect it to.  But I do need to have a vague sort of heading for myself. 

I haven't stopped my Nano attempt yet.  I'm hoping to get halfway there and will consider that a success.  But i'm at the end of having any sort of idea of what happens next in the story, so I may completely stall out after today.  But as of now, I have 11,350 words, and that with not starting until the 5th of the month.  I've only had 2 days of over 2 k (but hey!  That was an eye-opener that I *can* do it!) and only 3 days of over 1k. 
  
musingaloud: (Default)
Not a word count progress--just a general observation.  I don't seem to have the Nano gene.  I simply don't write that fast.  I amble along and think and stop and write a bit, play a game of freecell, write a bit, etc etc etc.  Not that it's bad.  I think I'm just discovering my own way to write.  And that's a good thing.  I sound like I'm a novice at this, and I don't consider myself as such.  But I don't think I've taken myself as seriously as perhaps I ought.

I don't have a lot of hours in the day to write, but then I know most of you don't, either.  Two hours should be enough to write about 2-3k, but not for me.  Not usually.  It feels forced.  I'll be happy if I can learn to do it, but I don' t have a lot of confidence that it'll happen.

What I am discovering is that maybe I am a outliner.  Not an outline in the traditional sense of the word, but I do like to plan ahead in my normal everyday life.  Not usually with my writing, though.  So not having a sense of where I'm going feels scary and I think that's what interferes.  Not that I don't think I'll come up with something to write once I get there, but I have to learn to live with the fear and not let it stop me, maybe.  So I'm treating this nano project as an outlining project.  Traditional outlines make me want to puke, but I think my outline method is to write an essay, a story about the story.  In other words, a *very* rough first draft.  This should be head-slap-simple, I suppose, but I feel like it's an epiphany for some reason.  It's all a matter of how you look at things.  Just changing the way you think about something often results in a big lightbulb moment.

It's all a process of discovery.  I'm going to be really happy if I get to 25k.  Actually I'm going to be really happy if I get to 10k.  I'm learning to write faster.  My poke-along method is just too slow.  Yes, I realize I've contradicted myself a couple of times.  It's my nature to write slow.  That nature is too slow.  But something will work out and come of it. 

Motivation

Nov. 7th, 2008 04:13 pm
musingaloud: (catfish)
For those of you who, like me, sometimes wonder if all this writing angst is worth it; if the Publication Gods will ever see fit to rain forth with glory and paperbacks and hardcovers, I give you these words of wisdom.  The link was garnered from somebody-or-other's blog, I really don't recall.  Probably Jay Lake.  I really enjoyed the article though.  My favorite quote below.  Go here to Clarkesworld for the full article.

"Voodoo Economics: How to Find Serenity in an Industry that Does Not Want You", by Catherynne M. Valente

"... publication was never the point. The point was the work, the book, the voodoo, the faith. The point was the sheer joy of creating something out of nothing, crystal out of gross matter. They will never really want what I have to give."

NANO progress:  Bah!  November is a HORRIBLE month to concentrate on writing.  I had a trip for the first 5 days.  Thanksgiving is coming up!  And need, I say, THANKSGIVING IS COMING!!!!!  November is my drive-myself-crazier month of cleaning and cleaning and then cleaning some more.  I can give some of that up.  But I don't think I can get myself motivated to write 50k in one month.  I'm not quitting, I'm going to just see how many words I can write.  But I don't think it's going to be 50k.

Oh.  And speaking of writing a lot of words in one month.  Good God, [livejournal.com profile] jaylake is an animal.  The man wrote an entire book, which I think is just under 200k, in like two months.  And from the excerpts I read, they're not a bunch of crap, either.  I drool with jealousy.

Nanowrimo

Oct. 25th, 2008 12:15 pm
musingaloud: (Default)
Ok, so I signed up for Nanowrimo.  I don't know why.  I won't be able to start until the 5th.  Because we're leaving to go to the Happiest Place on Earth and see Mickey Mouse on the 1st.  So that means from the 5th on, I have to write 2k a day.  I truly don't expect to finish.  But what the hell!  And its [livejournal.com profile] ajjones and gerardbrennan faults.

So if you're doing Nanowrimo too, I signed up as musingaloud (yeah, creative, that's me!), so buddy me up if you'd like!

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