Thursday, November 29, 2012

Week Four and the End of National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month

It’s the last day of November and therefore the last day of my unofficial National Novel Writing Month. At the start of the month I planned to add 50,000 words to a manuscript I had been working on. Well I got to the 50,000 words yesterday. Yay me. So that is two years in a row that I have written 50,000 words in November.

I had a little scare on Monday when I could not find chapters 77 and 78. After a frantic search through the novel’s folder and back-up folder, I realised that I had not written them yet. While searching I divided the chapter files into folders of ten to make it easier to see what files I had. I found that two chapters were missing from my hard drive, but fortunately were on the back-up memory stick.

During the month I completed the daily target of 1667 words on every day. I know my word tally will drop off from today, but I hope not to the extent it did last year. At least 500 words a day would be nice, that is until I start the humungous task of editing the manuscript.

The manuscript is currently 155,800 suspense, action and emotionally packed words. I still have ten to twenty thousand words to write of the novel before it reaches its natural conclusion.

Running Against Time

Readers of this blog would know that I spent a far bit of time this year critiquing/editing a non-fiction manuscript about a guy running up Mount Fuji. After editing it I know why marathon runners look so pained: it is because their sweaty shirts are rubbing their nipples raw and everyone around them is passing wind.

I very much enjoyed Chris Pavey’s inspiring story from McDonalds addict to marathon runner. His story is one of dedication and pain from so many injuries. He also raised a lot of money for charity and dedicated his run up Mt Fuji to the memory of Christina, his wife’s sister who tragically died in an accident.

I never thought I would find a book on running so engrossing. I don’t run myself. The last time I tried I could hardly walk for days. (I prefer the low impact of swimming).

So as Molly Meldrum used to say: do yourself a favour and check out Chris Pavey’s book on Amazon.  

New Article Submitted to Divine

I submitted a new article to Divine last week. It is about all the things people like to clutter up footpaths with: signs, dining tables and chairs, cars, overhanging gardens etc. These obstacles make the footpath hard to navigate for people with vision and mobility disabilities. Hopefully the article will be up in the next couple of weeks.  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week Three of National Novel Writing Month.

I started this week 18 days into my unofficial National Novel Writing Month with 19004 words to write to reach my 50,000 word total. This is how I went:

Day 19: I realised the chapter I was 600 words into was in the wrong person, so I broke the NaNo rule of no editing and went back and changed it to first person. While doing that I had a brain fade and thought I had failed to explain a plot element so I started to explain it and then realised I had already done that earlier in the novel. I eventually got everything sorted out and I wrote 1797 new words.

Day 20: A very good day of writing where lots of elements of the story were dealt with in quick succession. I wrote 1776 words for the day.

Day 21: Amazingly, after spending much of the day researching and writing a new article for Divine, and then transcribing all my loose notes for the novel into its outline, I managed to reach my daily word target and wrote 1674 words.

Day 22: I fooled around with the outline. I have plot points going up to chapter seventy-eight, six chapters ahead. I felt there was a chance I would finish the novel before I reached my NaNo target. I had to do a little medical research as I wrote. I wrote 1731 words for the day.

Day 23: I wrote 1784 words for the day.

Day 24: I was nearly in tears as I wrote an emotionally charged scene. Wrote 1735 words for the day.

Day 25: I started writing late, telling myself I was ahead of schedule so it did not matter if I failed to reach my daily target, but I did anyway. I wrote 1701 words.

So I finished this week of NaNo with 43,144 words written which is 1469 words ahead of schedule. At the same time last year I had written 41,359 words.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week Two of National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

I am three-fifths of the way through my unofficial National Novel Writing Month. This is how I went:

Day 12: I had a lot of fun creating an alien. Originally it was going to be a variation of an X-File grey, but by changing the POV character when it first appears, it became something much more original and aesthetically interesting.  I wrote 1719 words for the day.

Day 13: The words came express delivery. When I walked to town and back in the morning I spent most of the walk with notepad and pen in hand scribbling notes. When I got home I wrote a scene that involved a quick-fire, multi-layered conversation between a doctor, pilot, linguist, yobo and three aliens. I wrote 1778 words for the day.

Day 14: Many interruptions today, but I eventually wrote 1693 words.

Day 15: I wrote 1678 words to reach 25,911 words at the halfway point of the month.

Day 16: When I got back from my swim I spent the next hour writing notes. I outlined a better way to get to the end of the novel. I then wrote 1685 words for the day.

Day 17: A real struggle. My writing stalled as I tried to think of solutions to a plot problem. I ended up rejecting an easy solution and taking the harder one which will make the rest of the plot more complex. When I eventually started writing I thought I had no hope of making the daily target, but I did, writing 1679 words.

Day 18: More scribbled notes before I started. I now have a really good idea of how the novel will finish. Now I just have to sort out my pile of notes. I wrote 1721 words for the day.

It was a real struggle this week, but I got there. Three-fifths of the way through the month I have written 30,996 words which is just over three-fifths of the required words. This time last year I had written 33,561.

I am currently writing chapter seventy of the novel and I have written 136,700 words of it. I estimate that I have about 20,000 words to go.

New Article on Divine

In other news, I had a new article go up on DiVine this week. The article is about how to describe and refer to people with disabilities.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week One of National Novel Writing Month.

The First Full Week of NaNo

I have just finished my first full week of my unofficial attempt at National Novel Writing Month. It has been a tiring week and my neck is sore. The week began with day five of the challenge.

Day 5: The plot of the story deviated from my outline, but it is still going in the right direction. I wrote 1692 words for the day.

Day 6: I wrote 1775 words and just passed the 10,000 word mark, so I was one-fifth of the way through the month with just over one-fifth of the words written.

Day 7: I wrote the crucial scene, the scene that shows my main character has changed. 1827 words for the day.

Day 8: Writing seemed easy today. It’s great to write a chapter length scene of 1697 words when I am trying to write 1667 words a day.

Day 9: One of my characters decided to get themselves killed three chapters early, why do outcasts always do the unexpected? I wrote 1747 words.

Day 10: Had to do a bit of medical research while writing the chapter. I was feeling as exhausted as my characters as they battle for survival. I wrote exactly 1667 words for the day.

Day 11: Sore neck, tired, but I persisted and wrote 1705 words.

All up I wrote 12,110 (I have changed this number as it was wrong - I told you I was tired) words for the week. After eleven days I have written 19,043 words, at the same time last year I had written 20027 words. I am currently only 706 words ahead of schedule, so I can’t afford a bad day. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Start of National Novel Writing Month.

My Unofficial NaNoWriMo

I am four days into my unofficial attempt at National Novel Writing Month. To achieve the 50,000 words in a month I need to average 1667 words a day. I began the challenge with 105,713 words of the novel written and I was 833 words into chapter fifty-three.  

Day one:  A good solid start. Did bits of research as I went using the web. I finished chapter fifty-three and got halfway through chapter fifty-four. I updated the outline of coming chapters up to chapter sixty. Wrote 1726 words.

Day two:  I love days were I have to constantly stop what I am doing to scribble down notes for my writing. I had to pull the notebook out on my way back from the pool, and while eating breakfast and then lunch. My mind was on the job and I wrote 1809 words.

Day three: Started late so I struggled to get the words done. And then I had a bit of a plot quandary which had been stopping to think for a while. I ended up writing 1671 words.

Day four: I finished chapter fifty-six and was about halfway through chapter fifty-seven when I stopped on my 1667th word. Again I was doing lots of bits of research on the web as I went.
So I have written 6933 words in the first four days. It feels more of a struggle this year than last year, but at the same time last year I had written 6817 words. My novel has grown to 112,648 words.