Monday, November 29, 2010

Cue The Cheesy Inspirational Music, Y'All!


Let’s go with Chariots of Fire. One of my favorites. Here’s the down low:
We hit 50,000 words at 2:03 a.m., November 28, 2010. The 50,000th word was: last.
Here’s how I feel: think the airplane scene in Miss Congeniality where Grace mimics the Miss America winner with fake tears and a stupid expression. “Look, she’s gonna cry again. Oh, if I only had a brain.”
What have I carried away with me this year? What important lessons have I drafted from this experience?
*crickets chirping* Um, be persistent?
Okay, here’s the real deal. I didn’t feel the horrible pressure like I did last year at 20k. I thought that mountain was a toughy. This year I zoomed through 20k, through 30k and found myself stuck at 40k. At one point last week I actually considered losing on purpose. Throwing the race, if you will. I thought, hell, I’ve got 42,000 words here, why do I need to finish it in November? I’ve been all over the place this month. Some days I was up a lot of words, some days I was down a lot. Thursday, I stood in front of the mirror and said, nah, I’m done. Who cares if I don’t reach 50,000 words? So what if I don’t get to put a winner badge on my blog?
Black Friday: I’m not crazy enough to get up early in the morning. Wait, get up, I didn’t go to bed until 3 a.m. I was reading, what can I say? We went to the in-law’s for belated Turkey Day (I ate deer), and when we got home, I picked up the netbook. And I wrote. I plunged ahead even though I was stuck at 42 something and firmly believing I’d never get out of it. It went off and on. The count slowly crawled from the muddy pit of I-can’t-do-this to the slightly more triumphant there’s-only-five-thousand-more-to-go. I faced the treacherous bad guy and his snarky cohort threatening the ship and everyone on it. Until I had to go to bed or risk my eyeballs falling out.
Saturday afternoon lent me the strength to tack on the ending I’d previously written, get the good guys out of terrible danger, although there was an explosion, and set things in motion for the final story in the trilogy.
Which leaves us with a second unedited manuscript and 16 pages of a new one. But *sobbing into elbow* I miss my characters. Oh, sure, I brought the hero from the third story into this one and I got to set him up as the guy he is, but I want my sky pirate! I feel so eager to write now that I’ve finished the first draft. Yet I smell burn-out.
Herein lies my decision-y thing. Do I give it a break for the next month or do I forge ahead and finish off the trio? Do I give it a break for the next month and settle in for January? Hmm. I’m really feeling this third hero and van Buren makes a guest appearance…. Eh, it’s give it a few days, at least. Let the glow of finishing wear off before we go whole hog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Times Fuh-lies


We’re more than halfway through the month? You’re joking, right? Where did the time go?
I stay pretty busy with the cataloging stuff. When Friday rolls around, I look at my little office and go, crap, what did I do all week?! There’s still too much stuff to do!
I’m finally over that blasted cold, though I have the lingering cough and some phlegm that won’t leave me be. This has made NaNo interesting this year because there were days when I absolutely didn’t feel like writing anything. Today I’m ahead a hundred words. I think I can squeeze in a few more before it’s over. For some reason I assumed this would be a cake walk. Wrong.
While cake walk is too–forgive the pun–sweet of a description, it’s not been all that bad. I’m discovering lots of things that save my plot. I introduced the male character who stars in the third novel without meaning to, but it’s okay, he fits in nicely. And it doesn’t leave that “conveniant” oh-they-met-on-the-airship-but-the-writer-didn’t-want-to-write-a-forward-so-the-reader-just-gets-to-assume-it’s-true taste in your mouth. You know what I mean. The part where they just automatically know each other for conveniance. Which is how it started, because I have started the third one. I’m not vey far along in it. I’m considering doing Jano, a local writer’s group’s version of NaNo. D’you realize (of course you don’t) that with SPW being 50000 words and TCS (that’s The Charlatain’s Sweetheart) being considered at 50000 words, I have to go back and puff THL up as well. It’s, what’s that counter over there say? Twenty-five or twenty-eight? You can see I didn’t mean to write a trilogy.
Eleven days left of NaNo, I’m far, far behind where I was last year, but I still have faith. If it was as short of THL, it’d be done. But it’s not. I still have time. I’m doing this.
Happy Birthday, Daddy. I miss you and love you. I imagine you and some of the guys you knew from work are having on hell of a cook out today.
Robert Cox
11/19/53-11/15/03

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wicked Week Two


Ugh. Week two of NaNo hasn’t been so kind to me. In fact, it’s been downright vicious. It’s supposed to be, that’s what all those pep talks tell you. Week two, the writing stops being fun, you have serious doubts about the story and you think either a) there’s a better time to write this story or b) what’s it going to hurt if I chuck this? Okay, true, true and true.
I don’t hate SPW. I love van Buren, but Sophie sure has been giving me some grief. Oh, I want to toss her off the deck of the airship four levels up myself. Somehow van Buren is much more patient with her than I. No matter what she does, he remains diligent in his belief that she’s going to stop acting like a spoiled brat and become his elegant, civilized wife.
Last night I got my reward for believing him. Twenty-two thousand words, ninety pages, instead of van Buren flying into a rage at her or stalking off to kill his arch enemy, they give in to their passion and truly become man and wife. Wow. Okay, when I wrote THL (formerly The Rainbow Serpent, right?) I fully intended to have some sex in it. Man and woman, alone in the Australian wilderness, bound to happen. It didn’t. Oh, Romy used her feminine wiles, and near the end they come close, but they put the urge aside in order to discover the serpent’s lair. So, with that in mind, I chose to skip sex in SPW. That’s going to hurt my word count a bit. But since I have no idea why I’m writing a trilogy at all, I guess it doesn’t matter (right now) if there’s sex.
Week two has been difficult. On Friday last week I got this irritation in my throat. It turned into a bad sore throat. Which turned into aching facial pain and fatigue. Must… keep… writing… sleep… is… evil…. All I wanted to do was sleep. Aching facial pain turned into a fountain of runny nose. I did my best Sunday and Monday to meet my word count. I called in sick to work Monday and went to the doctor. I don’t go to the doctor. Unless I think I’m dead or dying. You can see my determination to get better here. Sore throat disappeared, fatigue, runny nose and headache did not. I was far enough ahead that falling behind a bit didn’t hurt me. It’s catching up now. Today: write-in. This week has been something of waste. I feel all rightish when I get up. By noon I’m ready to crawl back into bed. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve coughed, I’d be rich. I’d still feel like hell, but I’d have lots of money. Do I feel like attending a write-in? No. Do I need to get ahead in my word count. Yes. Am I contagious? No. Good news for someone, anyway.
Am I going to win NaNo this year? Duh. Sickness be damned. We have the second novel in a trilogy to finish! So I managed THL in a week and a half. Well, that was in April when I felt really, really good. This one, it can have a month because I feel really, really crappy. Thank God for the write-ins. Last year attending one really got me over the 20k word bump. It’s happening again this year. I just know it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bursting Out of the Starting Gate


Day 2: NaNoWriMo
Currently standing at 3,501. Okay, that’s not entirely true. There may have been–in fact, there is–an additional 5,000 some words written prior to November 1st. Just to get a feel for the characters. Some people go splunking without head gear. Me, not so much. Okay, probably no one goes splunking without head gear. But they do enter tiger cages without being wrapped in layer after layer of protective padding. Not me. I have to have some practice, get a feel for the characters. I’m an honest soul–most of the time–and I’m not counting those pre-NaNo words.
So. Woke up Saturday with that nagging (ha!) feeling in my left wrist again. You know the one. It felt like a derranged clown with a paring knife was slicing the tendon between my thumb and radial bone into julienne-style bits. I thought, wow, what a great start that will be for Nano. Fortunately it faded by Sunday. The way appeared clear. Whew.
Then… Monday happened. November 1st. The big day. One thousand six hundred sixty-seven words or bust. I’d mostly shoved aside my thrill of hitting the word count every five minutes over the summer. That little habit is back, in The Shining here’s Johnny-style. Two days into this and I’m getting super good at hitting word count almost every 100 words. What a talent. Today I thought about doing Write or Die. It was too horrifying to think about more than a couple of seconds.
I need it to be the weekend already so I can really pound out some wordage. Husband is deer hunting for two weeks starting, um, like the 12th or something. Unlimited Nano time! Huzzah! I’m feeling pretty good, I’m ahead of the game right now.
I keep freaking out about that word counter and I have to keep reminding myself the characters will come through. They will give me a story. Stop freaking about the words and tell a story. Easier said than done. They are great characters though. Bless them.
Remember to breathe. Twenty-eight days to go, 46,000 words. Piece. Of. Cake.