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NaNoWriMo update for the 49th of November

Not gonna lie, this is going slower than I’d hoped. But I’m making progress again and hope to have Chapter 3 up before the weekend. It’s interesting how ideas fade when you suddenly don’t have time for them, some plot elements are stronger in my mind now than they were before, while others are completely forgotten.

This is a shorter post than expected, because I just realized how late it is and I have to go! So take this as reassurance that I haven’t forgotten and will be working on it some more in the next week. Good night!

NaNoWriMo update, and Chapter 2

I got off to a strong start on National Novel Writing Month, but that didn’t last. I got stuck trying to figure out what to do next, and wound up spinning my wheels a lot. I’m trying to adopt a philosophy of “I’ll fix it in the second draft!” but it’s not coming easily.

I don’t know what my wordcount is right now, but I’m sure that I’m far behind. It may already be too much for me to get to 50,000. And that’s okay, I’m going to keep working on it anyway. For all my whining about this project, I’ve gotten more actual story written than I have for the space opera setting I’ve been planning for over a year and a half now!

Chapter 2 could be subtitled “In which there is much pointless talking, and very little happens.” Neither me nor my characters knew what to do next, so I wound up writing dialogue as they flailed around trying to figure out what to do. There are a few good moments, but mostly it’s just boring.

NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. I’m trying to remember that. When I’m done, if I hate it, I’ll fix it in the second draft!

I honestly hadn’t planned to post any more of this, but since I’ve had multiple people ask me when I’m posting the next chapter I may as well. This means, of course, that you have only yourselves to blame. Read on if you dare!

(Or, go back to Chapter 1)

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Writing frustrations

I have not done well in NaNoWriMo this weekend. Seems like every time I start to really get moving something, or more often someone, interrupts me and by the time I can sit down again I’ve lost the thread.

I did come to a conclusion on the schizo tech question, I’ve decided that if I want it a certain way and can come up with even the slightest, paper-thin justification for it, that’s the way to go. That way it should be almost entirely the way I want things, but I have rules to guide me when I’m not sure how it should be. Plus rules like that give you nice surprises sometimes.

This post is little more than feeling like I’m doing something worthwhile while stuck on my novel. The awful part is that I was moving along well, and had a good, solid idea of where the scene was going to go before I got interrupted, and now I’m clueless. I don’t even know why the characters said what they said, now.

After November, my next writing project needs to be learning to write an outline.

NaNoWriMo update, and Chapter 1

So here we are, near the end of Day Two of NaNoWriMo. I’ve been setting my word count goals at 2,000 words per day, on the theory that this gives me some leeway for when I inevitably screw up.

Right now my word count is just over 5,000. I’m feeling pretty good about that, and taking the rest of the night off to watch classic (or at least old) horror movies with popcorn & beer. I’m going to post the first chapter of my incredibly rough draft here for your reading… er…. for your reading.

I haven’t really found my tone for this book yet. And that’s okay, NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality. So far it’s looking like a sort of fanfic crossover between Discworld and the Dresden Files. I’ve had a lot of fun dreaming up the world these characters live in. This chapter is going to be under the same Creative Commons license all my blog posts are, which means you can share it as long as you take no money, give me credit, and link back here.

This is a real adventure for me. I never learned to write a proper outline, you see, so while I have a few ideas for how things might turn out, I’m really making this up as I go. With only a few exceptions I honestly don’t know what’s foreshadowing and what’s a red herring or just flavor filler.

I don’t know how long I can keep going before I paint myself into a corner, but I have a few ideas for escaping if I get stuck, including radically changing the genre of the book if things get desperate.

Without further ado, here’s the first chapter of my as-yet-unnamed novel. (The footnote might be a little awkward, sorry about that.)

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Technology, high and low

I’ve been working on my NaNoWriMo project. Writing is hard, so I’m taking a break to ponder what TVTropes calls schizo tech.

I always liked that trope myself, but then I’ve been known to write blog posts by candlelight. I’m including a lot of it in my fledgling novel, in poor neighborhoods it wouldn’t be uncommon to see someone using their smartphone as a light to find the candles, because they don’t have electricity at home and go out to charge up their phone periodically. These people have Twitter but no automobiles. Their military tactics include jamming radio signals so your enemy can’t coordinate a catapult strike. They have detailed computer models of wind patterns so sailing ships can plot more efficient courses for vital shipping.

I’m having a lot of fun dreaming up the world.

Anyway, although I haven’t run into it yet, eventually I’m going to have to face the decision between what I’d like something to be like, and what it makes sense for it to be like. I’m wasting a l0t of thought worrying about where I should draw the line between justifying the odd little quirks of the setting, or just declaring it to be so because I’m the author. I’m sure that at some point I’ll have to do the second, but I’m going to try to stick to the first as much as I can.

Well, I can’t spend all night goofing off here, I have a book to write! I’m really terrible at coming up with names, so if you have any ideas for names of characters, gizmos, geography, or anything else you think I should use, put them in the comments! If you think having characters use “Twitter” over the “internet” on their “smartphones” with “wifi” is just too prosaic for my fantastical setting, tell me what I should call them instead!

Novels of November

November is coming up, and that means National Novel Writing Month. Well, I’m thinking about it.

The thing is, pounding thoughts and ideas into words is such a long, difficult process for me that I’m pretty sure writing 2,000 words per day would amount to a full time job at least. Some of you may recall that in the first few months of this blog I was unable to make a quota of 1,000 words per week,

But then what would I really have to lose? I mean, at worst I just don’t make it. So far every little goal I’ve set in this blog has failed, even though the primary goal of improving my ability to write seems to be succeeding. What’s one more tiny failure?

Well, nothing, really. But I’m getting sick of tiny failures. I’ve had an awful lot of them this year, and they add up to more than their sum.

On the other hand, it’s not like I have a lot of self-respect to lose in this department. And I have too much time on my hands, I haven’t been busy enough to get anything done.

So I’m thinking about it. I’ll have to make up my mind tomorrow, or it’ll be made for me. But I want to sleep on it.

Hey, remember me?

So I’m checking my email, and I see this. If you’re too lazy to follow links today, it’s promoting two writing projects at once. First is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which, in short, is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. This is no small feat, so the second promotion is WordPress’s own PostADay Challenge, which is exactly what it says on the tin, a challenge to post every day. (Presumably, to your WordPress blog.) Read the rest of this entry

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