Monday, November 29, 2010


The holidays were a major distraction. My daily quota fell from 1800 words per day to 300-500 words per day. But I was close enough to cross the 50,000 word mark tonight. I probably still have another 10,000 to 15,000 words before the novel is really finished. (Then comes revision, revision, revision, then more revisions.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Homecoming

No, that's not a remake of some Waltons story, I'm flying home tonight. Woo Hoo! It's been six long weeks in Denver, and my family misses me as much as I miss them.

Not sure how I'm going to keep up my writing quota, I'm hoping to have some quiet time before everyone wakes up. I'll be using paper and pencil on the plane, and in the airport if I can't find an outlet.

I have lots of things to fix when I get home. Apparently, the automatic sprinklers decided to burst something and flood the streets. Not sure I can fix them this weekend, but I hope to identify the problem. I'm hoping we're far enough into the quasi-fall season that the yard will survive without water. Maybe it will be something simple that I can fix. And that is only one of my many chores that await me.

The weather news is predicting blizzard conditions in the mountains that may hamper holiday travel. I may end up with more paper scenes than I would otherwise anticipate.

I just read a NANOWRIMO pep talk from Lemony Snicket. I suspected all along that this madness of writing 50,000 words in a single month was an unfortunate event.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

40,000 words and counting, but not rambling yet

The question comes up on writing forums a lot. Are you a plotster or a pantster? Well, I've always been somewhere in the middle. My first two novels were plotted out thoroughly in my head. I mulled over the plots, sub-plots and parallel stories in my head long before I started writing. Then, when I finally sat down to type, I followed my plots but still wrote in pantster mode. I frequently found my plot changing, surprised at what some of my characters did that I had not foreseen.

Somewhere in the middle of the second book, I started using a tool called yWriter, which allows me to plot out my chapters and my scenes ahead of time. It was perfect for me, since I already wrote my first two books in chapters and scenes, only I didn't know it.

Now why do I bring this up? Because, I've been to some group writings and have found that others are have far more trouble reaching 50,000 words than I was (I thought my story was going to peter out around 35,000). They suggested adding flying monkeys and visiting aliens. They were joking (I hope they were joking).

Seriously, however, I think a lot of them, and I am guilty as well, have developed a habit of being excessively wordy, during the month of November. I repeated myself when it wasn't necessary, I did not use contractions to keep word count up. I considered changing my names to Joe Bob and Norma Ray.

But when I read my early chapters, I found I was breezing through the action and the dialog, without painting the scenery. I've thumbed through a couple books about writing a novel, and it is more common to over-write, then edit out a lot of junk. When I tell people my first book was 162,000 words, they assume the same.

Reading this book, I can see that my edits will remove some of the replication, but I will have a lot of fluff to add back into the book.

It doesn't matter, it's just different.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NanoWrimo still

Well I'm sitting at around 33,000 words. I've clearly overcome my concern about running out of story at 35,000 words. I'm confident that I should be able to hit 45,000 words, and more likely 48,000 words. Once I approach 48,000 words, I'm sure I can hit 50,000 words.

I'm on pace to complete around Nov 28, which is just slightly ahead of the proposed track to finish on the 30th.

I'm very excited about the contest over at talebait. I've made a few entries and hope I can get one of my novels into the hands of one of the judges.

I've recently moved my two "finished" novels to my new Android phone, and found a typo on page 1 of Mother of All Viruses. Clearly, I need to make one more pass through my books. (Of course, I'm not an editor, that may be a never ending challenge.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Denver Fiction Writers

I joined in with the Denver Fiction Writers on Sunday. They were great. We wrote and chatted, I had a great time. I think next time, I'll do paper and pencil because tearing down and setting up my lap top is just too much work for a couple hours of writing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Too many distractions!

I started off with a good daily quota, but fell behind for a few days.
  1. I'm from Arizona, and I'm currently working outside of Denver. It's snowing. My wife is still swimming in the pool, and I'm brushing snow off the car.
  2. I'm putting some extra hours in on my day job.
  3. TaleBait is having a contest where the winner can get a review, possibly by an agent, or a book reviewer.
  4. TaleBait has some collaborative stories which I'm trying to work towards a conclusion.
  5. I'm exercising again (don't want to slip in the snow.)
  6. My new phone, a droid x, just arrived. WHAT A HUGE DISTRACTION.
  7. My fish tank at home had an emergency, the pump died and the amonia built up in the tank. I couldn't deal with it. Thankfully, my grand daughter and wife managed to do some of the things required to fix it. Good job, but we did lose two fish. :(
  8. I miss home.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More on Nanowrimo

I've restructured my chapters and combined three chapters into one. The combined chapter is barely the size I hoped the original chapters would be. If I don't find a new thread to weave into the story, I may plateau at around 35,000 words.

I'd also like to take a moment to gripe about my keyboard. It's decided that now would be a good time to start dropping letters and missing strokes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time to Panic

My goal was to fit 7,000 to 8,000 words per chapter, but so far, the first two chapters are about 9,000 words (combined). I'm going to have to devise another plot twist to either fit some more scenes into my planned chapters, or to add new chapters while consolidating the smaller ones.

At my current rate, I will run out of words at 40,000 - 45,000 and fall short of the 50,000 minimum.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More on Nanowrimo

Day 3 comes to an end. I'm meeting the NanoWrimo official daily quota, but I'm falling behind my own quota slightly. I was hoping to average 2000 words per day, so I could have Thanksgiving off, more or less.

I'm also concerned, because I just wrapped up the first draft of my first chapter and it fell short about 1000 words of where I wanted it to be.

Concerned about NanoWrimo word count

With two days under my belt now, I find I am less concerned about meeting my daily quota, and more concerned that the story I outlined won't produce the full 50,000 words.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congratulations San Francisco Giants

I want to congratulate the San Francisco Giants on their World Series Victory. And I want to thank them (sorry my many Texas friends) for making it short and sweet. I need to minimize as many distractions as possible for the month of November, so I can concentrate on my NanoWrimo project.