Tag Archives: November

No NaNoWriMo For Me This Year

I gave it a lot of thought, but decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

The biggest factor in this decision is that I want to devote my writing time to the Dark Crystal Author Quest.  I currently have a couple of thousand words written, but am going back constantly and editing things.  I considered writing a Dark Crystal novel during NaNoWriMo and using the parts of it that I liked as part of my submission, but that would leave me with only a month to polish things; in the end I decided that doing what I’m doing now is for the best.

I also toyed around with the idea of writing several short stories that would total 50,000 words.  Those I could use as part of my writing goals for the year (goals that have largely fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons).  But once again, I decided that I need to focus on my Author Quest submission and thanks to some other commitments, don’t want to juggle any more projects at this time.

So I’m going to pass on NaNoWriMo this year.  But best of luck to everyone who is participating!

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NaNoWriMo is Over…Now What?

NaNoWriMo finished about four days ago.  And now that it’s over, I’m really starting to feel its absence.  Sure, the mad-dash, month-long creativity is hard to sustain long term.  But after writing “The End,” I sort of feel at a loss for what I should work on next.

Sure, I could keep working on the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo.  As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, I already have ideas for revisions.  But I’d prefer to take a bit of time, put a bit of space between me and the novel before I start tackling revisions.  If I don’t want to work on that right now, I could work on one of my other story ideas, or maybe start trying to untangle last year’s NaNoWriMo story.  But pretty much all of those are stuck in various stages of world building right now, and I’ve been content to let them sit, letting my mind work away at them here and there.  That’s not going to work long-term, but it’s working for now as I focus on some more immediate projects, not all of which are writing-related.

Besides novel ideas, I’ve also been wanting to work with RPG Maker.  As I mentioned in that post, I had an idea for a game and I had every intention of working on it; unfortunately life got rather busy last month and I was unable to.  Much like the novel revisions, I have every intention of tackling this project in the near future, but an RPG also needs to be put on hold for more immediate concerns.

The problem with all of these projects is that they are a little too large in scale.  Right now I need something much smaller.  I’ve wanted to write shorter stories over the last year, but the vast majority of my ideas have been too big for that.  So instead, I’m going to try to write a small something every day based off one of the many writing prompts I have in books and find online.  My plan is to get through with different writing prompts until January 1st, at which time I will try following along with A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves.  Like NaNoWriMo, I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t write every single day; but I want to continue a relatively consistent writing habit into the new year, which is something I failed to do after last year’s NaNoWriMo success.

I’ll let you know how my progress goes!  🙂

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I Won!

Winner-180x180The title of this post pretty much says it all: I won NaNoWriMo once again this year!

This year went a lot differently from last year.  Last year I had written 50,000 words on November 24th.  This time around it took me right until today, the 30th, to break that benchmark.  I fell behind twice over the last month, first when I needed a break, and then again when I went to Montreal for about a week.  But that didn’t matter; I still managed to write my 50,000th word before the end of the month, which is what really matters to me.  I won!

The last week and a half has been pretty crazy.  I needed to start wrapping things in the story up but I was afraid I’d started too soon.  So right now, at 50,105 words, the story is not quite finished.  I’m going to spend a bit of time when I’m done writing this post finishing things off.

Another highlight to my last two weeks was when I actually ended up with two Chapter 27’s.  I started the first one but it wasn’t really working out, so I started again, leaving the original one because some of the dialogue was good.  It turns out it’s a good thing I kept it; as I was travelling home from Montreal I started planning revisions and realized I would need some of that dialogue.

This story has been a great experience for me.  For one thing, it’s a zombie story, which is a genre I’ve never attempted before.  For another thing, it was more planned out than last year’s story was.  Last year I ended up with two plots mashed together which really didn’t belong together; it worked for NaNoWriMo, but it will be difficult to untangle them, should I ever do so.  This year there is one solid plot which is going to be much easier to revise.  And as I’ve already mentioned, I do have revision plans.  I’ll be taking a break from this story for most likely the next month, but I have every intention of coming back to it.

As to the ending, that’s going to be another thing that will need to be revised.  I’ve made it here, to the end of the story, and it’s worked out alright for NaNoWriMo.  But I’m not convinced that this ending is the real ending to the story, so that’s something I will have to re-examine when I start the revisions (and when I’m less worried about hitting the word count).  But for now, I’m just excited that I made it to the end of this draft.

Congratulations to everyone else who has won this year’s NaNoWriMo.  If you haven’t quite made it yet, you’ve still got a few hours left – good luck, and congratulations on all the words you’ve already written!

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Back on Track

Last time I wrote that I had taken a few days off from NaNoWriMo and had fallen about 4000 words behind.  Two days later I am now back on track!  I was back to par last night, but now that midnight has happened I am about 1000 words behind, which is nothing.  I’m hoping to be at least a day ahead (if not more) by the time midnight rolls around.

The last few days have been a real whirlwind for my characters, Amber, Danny and Kyle.  Kyle panicked and left the other two alone in a zombie-infested house; he’s the one who had all of their gear (he drove off with the truck).  The other two have been doing their best to avoid the zombies.  They’d almost made it to Danny’s house when they ran into another problem: a couple living in a nearby house started shooting at them.  They retreated to a somewhat safe place where they discovered Amber had been hit by a stray bullet.  The wound isn’t lethal on its own, but they don’t have any first aid supplies.  Or water.

At this point I’m having fun throwing as much stuff as I can at my main characters, but it’s almost time to start wrapping things up as I make the push towards 50k.  I’m still hoping to get ahead before the weekend, so expect to see my word count climbing in the next few days.  If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site.   As always, I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can watch my Twitter feed for news.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year – we’ve got 10 days left to go!

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A Weekend Off

So this wasn’t exactly planned, but I ended up taking the weekend off from NaNoWriMo. I ran into some non-NaNoWriMo issues late last week and just really needed to spend some time relaxing.  I read a little bit, but inevitably ended up playing video games until stupidly late at night with some friends (and now I’m really tired).  But I’m feeling ready to start tackling writing once again.

Unfortunately I’m now about 4000 words behind par.  Luckily I was about a day ahead before taking the few days off, otherwise I would have been further behind.  But I’m not too worried about it; I’ve got this next week off so I’m hoping to spend a lot of time working on NaNoWriMo.  Besides getting back on track, I’m hoping to get ahead of par this week too because I have a trip planned for next weekend and won’t want to worry about NaNoWriMo while I’m away (and I’ll only have a few days left to write when I get home).  So wish me luck in the coming week!

If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year – we’ve got 11 days left to go!

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Week 2: 25,000 Words!

Yes, I’m super excited: this year’s novel is half finished.

This week has seen a lot of action within my novel.  The plans were all made last week, so now is the time for the characters to act.  My main characters have made it to Thunder Bay but it’s been a struggle for them to get there.  There was a stand-off and a car chase, all before anyone actually saw any zombies.  But they survived, albeit a little wounded, with their water supply now in jeopardy.

It was when they drove through Kakabeka that they saw their first zombie.  My characters saw a couple of zombies at a distance, watching from fields or shambling through parking lots.  But now they’re in Thunder Bay, and they’ve had a couple of zombie encounters up close and personal.

When I initially started writing this, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted my zombies to be like.  But now that I’m here, half way through, and the zombies have appeared, I’ve decided to stick with zombies who are slow but strong.  A human can outrun one on its own, but that same human is dead if they get surrounded.  I think this is going to come up much more in the remaining 25,000 words.  My characters didn’t have a lot of ammunition to begin and have even less now; they’ll have no choice but to rely on outsmarting and outrunning the zombies.

Overall, this past week has been a lot of fun to write, throwing problem after problem at my characters to see what they do to survive.  And now I’m really excited to see what comes next (and how this story is going to end).

If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.  Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Week 1

So it’s been one week since NaNoWriMo started and I thought I’d give an update of my progress.  As of right now I am 11 words away from 15k (I was writing earlier and stopped at the end of a chapter which just happened to be 14,989 words), which puts me about a day ahead of par.  I even managed this while taking a day almost completely off from writing (that was the 6th, the day Halo 4 came out).  So all in all, it’s been a good week, word count-wise.

In terms of the story, I got off to a rough start.  The first chapter is almost all description.  When I started out I knew that a lot of details would be important, so I wanted to include everything.  But I found it rather boring to write, which made it hard to sit down and type.  Chapter 2 got a bit better when I finally introduced more characters, meaning I could now write dialogue.  Chapter 3  was the point at which the plot slowly started to move.  Chapters 4 and 5 were made up mostly of planning, with the end of Chapter 5 being the point where my protagonist needed more information.  So she decides to go talk to the people she hates (the Gang).

That was where things really started getting interesting.  My characters started surprising me with stories I hadn’t really thought out.  I wrote one particularly heavy scene which I hadn’t expected, revealing what happened to my protagonist’s uncle (and also why she hates the Gang).  And then a few pages later, one person I thought she hated (I’ve called him Danny) turned out to be her friend; they were just hiding it from his brother (Ryan).  I didn’t know it at the time I started writing this novel last week, but it’s Ryan who is the main antagonist.

So now I’m starting Chapter 12.  Chapters 6-11 have had the characters actually succeeding (so far) in getting away from Ryan and the Gang; they’re on their way back to Thunder Bay, which is where the zombies are.  It’s been a lot of fun to write now that the characters have sort of taken on a life of their own.  I’ve already got some plans should I decide to rewrite this once NaNoWriMo is over (but don’t worry, I’m not changing anything for this draft, just making notes on a spreadsheet!)  I’m looking forward to what the next 35k words will bring.

Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year.  If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can also watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.

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NaNoWriMo 2012 Start!

So yes, I was excited.  So excited that I started writing at midnight.  And despite taking multiple (quick) breaks to update my word count, I wrote 1,600 words in the first hour.  And now, half an hour after that, I have 2,455 words written.  Not a bad start!

The weirdest thing about this is that all of those words have merely been setting the scene.  The inciting incident will be happening in Chapter 2 (which I will be writing tomorrow).  But that being said, I think I’ve really laid the ground work for things to come.  I did my best to establish the setting, and have thrown in some future antagonists.  All in all this has been a productive night.

And as I said on Twitter, I love the first line: “I ran out of insulin four months ago.”  That line is so important to the story I’m telling, and yet it has so much possibility that you really could go anywhere with it.  I feel like it should be added to my list of writing prompts (although I don’t know if I would ever use it again; like I said, it is really important to this particular story).

If you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress so you can also watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.  As I did last year, I’ll probably be writing a blog post on here once a week, giving a more substantial update.

So how is everyone else’s first day of writing going?

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NaNoWriMo Starts at Midnight

And I’m getting really excited.  I can’t wait to start writing “My Zombie Survival Plan.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done a bit of planning this time around.  I know the two main settings (camp and my city) well enough to write them.  Last time I said I wasn’t sure if I would use the real camp or not, but I’ve decided to just jump in and write whatever this draft needs; I can change things if I decide to continue working on this once NaNoWriMo is finished.

Characters have also fallen into that same thought pattern.  I know that in some ways the main character will be like me.  As the title suggests, this is MY Zombie Survival Plan, so I’m going to use myself for this version.  So what if it’s not a completely accurate representation of myself?  That can be changed in a later draft.

The final thing I wanted before jumping in this year was a semblance of a plot.  That being said, I also want to keep the spirit of NaNoWriMo alive in my writing and be surprised when things happen.  So I’ve come to a compromise: I know what gets the plot going, but I have no idea how this is going to end.  So I’ve got room to just hang on as the plot goes where it will.

Good luck to everyone else who is participating.  Once again, if you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress once I start, so you can also watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.

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NaNoWriMo Novel Setting

When I decided to write a novel for this year’s NaNoWriMo, I already knew exactly where it was going to take place: my city after a zombie apocalypse.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’m writing about my zombie survival plan, so it made sense for me to keep it in familiar territory.  But another location that is going to feature heavily is camp.  Unfortunately I don’t seem to have any pictures on Flickr of the actual building.  But I’ve put together a set that shows off some of the things that are inspiring me for this novel.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to make up a camp that is similar to my uncle’s, or if I’ll use the real one.  But either way, there are a couple of important things that will feature in my novel which these pictures really show off: the camp is in the middle of nowhere in the Northern Ontario forest, the camp is close to the railway tracks, and there’s good fishing.  🙂

Once again, if you want to watch my progress (or be writing buddies) you can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site. I’ll also be updating Twitter with my writing progress once I start, so you can also watch my Twitter feed for news about my novel.

Good luck to everyone else who is participating!

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