Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of NaNoWriMo

It's the last day. My final word count according to Scrivener is 87,562. When I upload it to for verification it comes in at 87,454. Real life has interfered the past 2 weeks and I have not written as much as I would have liked, though I am still very happy with my final word count. I still have no idea how long this novel is going to be when it is finished. There is one plot point I have barely touched on, so I need to come back to that. I think the main conflict is coming close to being resolved, though my characters could hijack it at any time. The writing has been slower the past 2 weeks than the first 2, but I think it is because I have been busier in the real world and haven't had as much focused time to write.

I took a break from my Nano novel (that is still untitled) yesterday to go through the edits Tina made for The Moonlight Cafe. I got it back from her a month ago but haven't looked at it yet. She had some very good ideas, subtle changes that make a big difference to the overall story. Now I need to get back to working on query letters for it.

I hope to have the Nano novel complete by the end of the year. A first draft, that is. I have 2 full weeks off around the holidays, so I will be able to get a lot of work done then. I'm very excited about that break. I was very productive over the break last year, when I only had a week off, so two weeks will be amazing.

Next Saturday is the TGIO party - Thank God It's Over. I look forward to socializing with my fellow Nanos guilt free. We socialize at the write-ins, but I always feel like I should get back to writing.

I guess my next task is to think of a title for this novel. I haven't thought about it at all, so hopefully it won't be too difficult to think of one. I'm not very good at titles though. I might have to consult Sylvie. She's our title queen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not Quite 70

I'm at 69,588 words so far. 176 paperback pages. I'm still not sure how long this novel will end up. They mystery is slowly starting to reveal itself to me, but I don't know exactly where it's going yet. The writing has been a little slower. Social obligations set in this weekend. I wrote 2000 words Thursday evening, a disappointing count for me, then nothing till this morning. The time off was bad for my creativity. I sat at my computer this morning and pounded out a few hundred words, then was stuck. I walked away for a while, then went to the write-in. Thankfully words started flowing again, and I ended with a total for the day of somewhere around 7000 words. That's more like it, in my opinion. I stopped writing tonight at a cliffhanger between chapters. I know what is going to happen in the next chapter, but am not yet positive about the ones after that. I stopped here so I will have an easy start tomorrow, rather than having to start on a chapter that is cloudy to me. This way I can get the words flowing, and it will be easier to figure out what happens next.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Yes, it's been almost a week since I posted. I've been too busy working on my novel. I have reached the goal of 50,000 words and then some. As of now, I have 55,068 words!! (That's 139 paperback book pages.) I had the day off work today, so spent the entire day writing. I wrote over 11,000 words today. Amazing! I would love to keep writing, but I really need to get some sleep. Another cold is beating me down. I've been taking Airborne and Zicam for it, and bought some Mucinex tonight. This has been a bad year for me being sick. I'm officially tired of being sick.

But back to my novel. I think it's going to be at least 75,000 words, maybe more. I'm not really sure yet. There's still a lot of the mystery to solve. I don't even know how it's all going to work out, so it's hard to say how much longer it will be. New twists are revealing themselves to me every day. Very exciting!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Over Half Way Complete

As of right now, I have 27,173 words of my novel. I went to the write-in tonight and spent about 4 hours there. Wrote approximately 7K words. I also chatted quite a bit while I was there. Part of me was thinking "shut up and write!" but part of the point of going to a write-in is to meet people and be social. I'm hoping to make some new writing friends by the end of the month. Not that I don't love my Zen Writing Group, but the more writers in my life the better. One girl in particular and I seemed to hit if off tonight, Becky, so we'll see how the month goes.

The bad thing about having the write-in at a bookstore...buying books. I bought 2 books tonight, but they're for research, so it's ok. What did I buy? "Italian Witchcraft" and "Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions." Vittorio is Italian, and the first one practically jumped off the shelf into my hands. I had to buy it. The other one was almost as adamant, as I think a more general pagan background would be helpful as well for my novel. I know enough to get myself in trouble, to think I know what I'm writing about, but have someone who is Pagan read it and say "no no no, that's all wrong." I've had Pagan friends, but never studied it much myself. I must admit though, Earth religions interest me, so I'm excited I can use my novel as an excuse to buy these books.

I'm exhausted. I had planned to come home and write some more, but I think I'm going to hit the hay early tonight. Maybe watch an episode of Ghost Hunters to unwind.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2/5 of the way there

4 days into November. I should have 6668 words written by now to be on track for the goal of 50,000. I have 20,911 words!!! I have 8 more days to be at that point. This novel is ALIVE. It was so hard to tear myself away from it to go to kung fu tonight. I wrote from the minute I signed off work this afternoon until the minute I had to leave for kung fu, came home and wrote 2200 more words. I am hoping to reach 50,000 words by Nov. 15. At this rate, that will be easy. There is one member of the St. Louis Nano group who wrote something like 140,000 words last November. I don't think I'll get that much (stupid day job interferes), but I'm aiming for at least 75,000, if not 100,000. It's a little early to tell though. I'm not sure how much my novel will need. But at 20K words, there is still plenty of story to go.

I read Laurell K. Hamilton's blog every day. She often talks about having an idea of which way the story is going to go, but then one of the characters, or even a new character, walks on stage and says, "No, that's not what's going to happen. Here's the real story," and takes her in a totally different direction. I've often thought of how cool it would be to experience that. Now I have. There was a scene in which my main character, Elena, was supposed to meet someone. As she was waiting to meet this man for the first time, Vittorio (who I hadn't even dreamed of until that moment) came on stage and said, "HERE I AM. LET'S GO." and the story took a completely different turn that I was planning. I will admit he took the story into a much more romantic direction than I planned. I originally planned to have a hint of romance in this novel, but not much. Well, Vittorio blew that out of the water. But that's ok, it all works wonderfully. I think I'll be stepping away from the romance for a while. Unless Vittorio argues with me. He is quite enamored of Elena. (I'm not giving anything away.) And now I have reached the paranormal aspect, which is very exciting to me, and will soon get back to the mystery.

I've also found I need slightly different music for this novel. I listen to music while I write, but it can't be anything with lyrics, or if there are lyrics, they have to be in another language. Otherwise I get too distracted. Until now I've written best to very mellow things such as Mono, Enya, explosions in the sky. Now I'm finding slightly more energetic music works better. Sigur Ros (similar to Mono, but with a bit more energy), Nine Inch Nails Ghosts album, Native American drums, and Middle Eastern or Indian music are working quite nicely with this novel. I don't have much Middle Eastern/Indian music though, so if you know of any leave a comment and let me know.

Now I must try to wind down and go to sleep. 6:00 will come all too early. I'm still wide awake. Here's a little tidbit for you all. Once I'm ready for bed, I turn out the lights, but play a few games of Mahjongg on my iPhone. That helps my brain shut off so I can go to sleep. As it is right at this moment, if I simply lay down and tried to sleep, even as tired as I am (an hour and a half of kung fu tired me physically, writing 8000ish words tired me mentally), I would not be able to fall asleep for quite a while. My brain is still thinking about the novel far too actively.

So goodnight all. More soon.

Oh yeah, tomorrow is the first Crestwood write-in. I'll head over there after work, around 4:00. They said they expect to have people there until 9:00. I already told my writing group I might not make it tomorrow night if the novel keeps this intense flow. If it does, I just might be at Barnes and Noble until they kick me out at closing time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SSM Rehab Foundation

OK, this isn't writing related, but it's for a good cause. My best friend Renee is running a marathon for SSM Rehab Foundation on Nov. 16. On Wednesday, November 12, the Applebee's in Crestwood (Missouri) will donate 10% of all sales to the foundation. You have to have a flier for it, which you can find here:
Print it out and bring it with you. I know the economy stinks right now, but treat yourself and your family to a good dinner out and help the cause. Thank you!!

Oh, and congrats on running 20 miles, Renee. 6 more will be no problem at all for you. Good luck!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On a Roll

I had written 5700 words by the time I left for the write-in today. I wrote another 3500 in two hours at the write in, for a total of 9120. It's 10:20, and my grand total for the past 2 days is 11,660!!! I'm more than a fifth of the way done, and it's only 2 days into November. I'm so excited about this novel, and want to keep writing. I'm tired though. I've spent more than half the day writing. I took a short break to watch 2 old episodes of Entourage, and to run to Target for a few things. Other than that, it's been all writing. I need to get some sleep. My brain is tired, but energized with ideas at the same time.

Tomorrow I'm going to my parents' house for dinner. Tiberius will be happy about being able to run around in their yard. He is not very happy with me right now. I haven't played with him much today. But this story is so alive in my head, I can't type it out fast enough. As much as I hate to say it, poor puppy may just have to entertain himself this until this novel is done. Not entirely, of course I'll still walk him, but I don't want to do anything but write. Too bad I have to go to work tomorrow to make money. I think I'll bring my laptop to my parents' so I can write, but Tiberius can get some exercise at the same time. I'm sure they'll understand. I won't ignore them the whole night.

And We're Off!

I woke up extra early yesterday to start writing my new novel. I wrote 1692 words (the NaNo website is super slow this morning, so I haven't been able to update my wordcount there for the widget on my main page Then I went to Tina's for our monthly writer's day. It was just Tina, Sarah, and me yesterday. Sylvie is in Trout, and Mary had her grandkids. It was a great day. We did a bit more talking than writing, but that's always good too. I wrote another 2222 words there, for a grand total of 3914 for the day. That's 2 days worth of words! So I'm off to a good start. And I have all day today to write as well, so hopefully I'll at least double that, if not more. The only plans I have is the St. Louis Write-In from 2-4, but that will be more writing.

The idea for this novel came from a particularly vivid dream I had one night months and months ago. I woke up and thought, "That would make a great story! I must write that down before I forget it!" Then it sat in my ideas file. I pulled it back out for NaNo, figured out a basic plot, and off I went. Already 2 characters have introduced themselves to me I didn't know about. Plans for the main character are manifesting in my brain. And, are you ready for this? I think this might be the beginning of a series. It started out as a mystery. It's still going to be a mystery, but it's also going to have a paranormal undertone to it. That bit of plot came to me at Tina's yesterday, and I am extremely excited about that. I love the paranormal, and have wanted to write a book in that genre, but haven't come up with an idea yet. This one came about so naturally that it's going to be perfect. And then Elena, my main character, told me that this won't be the end for her. She has so much more to experience and learn, there's no way she's going away after one novel. How cool is that, that she's already starting to talk to me after only 4 chapters? She didn't say it directly, but the idea was definitely there in my mind. So a paranormal series has begun. Yay!

And now I can't wait to write some more, so I'm off. It's a beautiful Sunday here in St. Louis. You'd never know it's Nov. 2. It feels more like April. I'm going to take my laptop out on the deck and enjoy this weather while I'm writing.