Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vacation over :(

Well, after a week spent doing almost nothing but writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I'm heading back to work
at my day job this morning. While I'm obviously a little down about rejoining the daily grind and cleaning up whatever messes have been left for me, I did accomplish quite a bit while I was off:


But, back to the grind I go now. I'm hopeful that the write-every-single-freaking-day momentum won't be lost now that I'm going back to work.

And today's not going to suck completely. There IS a new "Walking Dead" on tonight, after all.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is it December yet? I wanna start over

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as the kids call it, is all about getting words on the page (or the computer screen). Quantity over quality is emphasized, and participants are encouraged to resist their inner editor and save any major changes for December, for after it's over. I mentioned the other day that I was going to have a hard time doing that.

My NaNo novel this year is a superhero adventure, and it contains characters and elements that have been rattling around in my head for quite some time. Initially my concept was that this book would be a series of short stories,primarily the origins of the superheroes (and villains) that were loosely connected. The later in the book, the more connected the stories would become, until the final story of the book, which would be the culmination. The final battle. The defeat of the Big Bad.

The problem is that the stories written so far are so connected to each other it just feels wrong. Even though they're connected, POVs and story lines are switching so much it feels like it's a novel being written by a schizophrenic. I would never claim to be in perfect mental health, but I'm pretty sure I'm not schizophrenic. I've come to realize how to fix things, how to turn this into a novel with a coherent story line, an actual honest-to-the-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster main character, etc, etc.

So the urge to start over, with a clear outline for the new concept of this novel that I now have, is almost overwhelming.

But I'm not gonna do it. I've got in 11,307 words so far, so I'm over 1/5 of the way to the 50,000-word goal. I've still got more of these interconnected short stories to get out, and I'm gonna do just that. Once I get through those, I'll probably change it up and start re-forming the narrative to more closely match what I now realize is the superior way, but I'm not just going to throw away what I've already done or already have planned for the next few days. Will what I've got written make it into the final version of Breaking Paragons? Probably not. If it does, it certainly won't be in the form it is now.  But I'll have lots of good back story from which to draw to help me create this superhero world.

The most important lesson one can take away from NaNoWriMo is to just write every day (or almost every day). Without consistent work on an almost daily basis, most writers will never be successful. I've learned this lesson during every NaNo that I've done, but it's quickly forgotten, or put on a back burner. Hopefully my momentum this year won't leave me once December 1st rolls around, and I'll be able to share Breaking Paragons with you sometime in 2014.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Meeting goals

So far I'm on track to finish NaNoWriMo successfully. Of course, it's only Day 3 so I'm not sure that's anything to brag about at this point. Getting back into the groove of writing every day is very important to me, and I knew NaNo could help me do that. I'm hopeful that this practice continues even after November 30th.

It's hard not to self-edit as I go. Usually I pride myself in writing pretty well the first time through, to minimize needed editing later. Of course, with something like NaNoWriMo, editing as you go is strongly discouraged. The goal is to get lots of words on paper (or screen, etc). Editing can wait until December, the advice goes.

Still. I'd rather not write a lot of crap that has to be reworked later. I mean, I know "the first draft of anything is shit," thanks to Hemingway, but that's not what I mean.  I don't want to end up with a bunch of words just for the sake of having words.

The novel I'm writing this month is probably going to be in the neighborhood of 100,000 words when finished, so I'm trying to write 50,000 words in November that at least have some hope of making it to the final product. Maybe I'll feel differently if I fall behind, but I hope not. I don't blame or criticize anyone for padding word count, as I know what it feels like when you cross that finish line with 50k at the end of the month. People can do NaNo however they want. For me, that's gonna mean at least a little editing as I go.

If I can make it through the month having written SOMETHING every single day, that'll be a huge accomplishment and is even more important to me than hitting that 50k mark. Which I'm totally gonna do.

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo, Day 1

Had a few curve balls thrown my way this morning.  I have the day off work, and I had planned on starting my NaNo novel  after the kids were in school. Well, a major storm system moved through Huntington and the surrounding areas overnight, knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses around here.  While my home only lost power for a few minutes, our internet was out until about 9am (which made me quickly figure out how to work with my Chromebook and Google Docs offline) and the Office Depot store over which I currently reign as Head Flunky (aka, Store Manager) is operating on partial power (necessitating several texts and phone calls from my managers on site).  And the kids are out of school because their schools are without power, which could have led to a noisy household had the little angels not willingly gone back to bed.

So, yours truly had a series of minor annoyances, really (nothing so major as what my managers and employees are currently experiencing, having to operate the store without power to the registers and much of the other equipment), none of which prevented me from already getting my minimum daily word count in.

I'll try to write more later.  I'd like to build up a big head start because I already know I"ll be lagging behind later in the month.  Next week's vacation can't come soon enough, either.