Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Victory

50,080 words in 30 days.

Some days were much more productive than others.  I do like the colorful calendar in the sidebar that shows my progress through the month.

Lessons Learned:
  • November is a terrible month for the NaNoWriMo contest. The only one that may be worse is December. 
  • I need to be more realistic about my writing time. A month seems like a very long time, but truly, I only had two productive weeks and one insane weekend of writing.
  • Along those lines, I need to increase my daily word count goals in the beginning of the month and assume that I will not have time to write the whole third week and maybe the fourth.
  • I need to fit in one hour of writing per weekday and not rely on the weekends to catch up.
  • I will be ready to do it again next November.
Thanks to the wonderful sponsors at the Office of Letters and Light for this challenge.  I will see them again in April for another Script Frenzy. Now I'm going to rest my fingers... until tomorrow.

PS - This post also concludes my NaBloPoMo participation for November. Anyone have any other goals they'd like me to complete? There's still a little time left in the month...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Road Block

I had an amazing day yesterday, and I got my total words written so close to my goal of 50,000. My fingers were cramping by the end of the night, but I was so happy, I didn't care.

Only 8212 words to go by midnight tomorrow night. Totally doable. Except for one thing.

The story is finished.

Talk about a major road block. I didn't think it would happen, but I told all that I had to tell in under 50,000. I actually thought I'd go way over that number by the time I filled in all of the details. So now what?

I've been thinking about it this morning, and I'm going to just keep going. I will hit that magical number and "win" NaNoWriMo this year. And this is why - I could be wrong. I could have missed some major details or some pivotal scenes that must be told. I could have completely botched the ending. It could be better in ways I can't see right now.

So rather than sit here and think, "My story rocks and I'm done," I'm going to play with it more. I'm going to start in random places and rewrite. I'm going to add backstory for other characters. And I'm going to just type - not even look at it. (And try really hard not to correct typos as I go...) I don't know where the story will go from here, but at worst, I waste 8000+ words. At best, I find a new direction that I like even better. Win-win.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still Typing

It's 10:12PM and I am on a roll. I've added over 12500 words today, and I'm still going. I'm going to be able to hit my target tonight, and I hope to be right on track tomorrow as well. I'm optimistic, enthusiastic, and ready to go.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Trying

I'm not where I want to be with my word count, but I'm still trying to reach 50,000. Tomorrow will make it or break it for me... I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Final Stretch

How did the month get away from me? I only have 5 days left to complete my novel. Based on my latest word count, that's roughly 5,000 words per day.

In my turkey coma last night, I decided to give up, admit defeat, and just finish it "when I can." But as we all know, Thanksgiving is just the starting line for the true sprint of the season - preparing for Christmas. And then there's January, back to our routines, then spring will be here, and summer goes so fast. Before I know it, it will be back to school time, then I'll be staring at the November page on the calendar again and NaNoWriMo guilt will be all around me.

So just a few minutes ago, I decided that I'm not giving up. I can do this. I will do this. Starting now... wish me luck!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stuffed

I was going to post about another song on my playlist, but I am too stuffed to think. I can barely type this post, as a matter of fact. So I'm going to lie down until I can move again.

On this day of thanks, I want to thank you for sticking with me on my writing journey. I've had a lot of fun, and I look forward to sharing many more adventures with you...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The End

Continuing with my Thanksgiving Week Playlist Posts, I have come to the third song on the playlist. I hesitated doing this one at all, because, well... This is going to be difficult to explain. I think this may be one of the first songs I've ever chosen for a playlist with this distinction:

I don't listen to the lyrics.

There. I said it. And as much as it goes against every fiber of my 80s-and-90s-mix-tape-making-soul, it's the truth. More than that, I don't really even understand the lyrics.
I see you in the evening
Sitting on your throne
And praying* with the fireball,
And posted it up against the wall
* Some people think it's "praying," some say "playing." I say, What's the difference? It still doesn't make any sense. Not that lyrics need to make sense. But that's a whole different post...
Really? What is that? I have no idea. But it doesn't matter because the song has a strange way of making me jump into whatever scene I need to write. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Save the Hero

On Beyoncé's album I Am... Sacha Fierce, hiding at the #11 spot, was a song that I heard many times, but didn't pay attention to until I really listened to the lyrics.

Linked with the idea of Lucie as a superhero that I presented yesterday, Save the Hero is a haunting song that shows the darker side of that type of power. It didn't make me think of Lucie right away, but now I can't stop thinking of her when I hear it.
Who's there to save the hero
When she's left all alone
And she's crying out for help.
Who's there to save the hero
Who's there to save the girl…
After she saves the world
After hearing those words, I could see Lucie in the middle of her struggle, searching for someone to stand with her. It's a powerful moment for her when she realizes that she is alone and needs to follow through even though she's not sure what to do. And every time the song comes up on my playlist, I remember that I haven't written that scene in the novel yet. I've gotten to the point of the story when it happens, but I haven't done it yet. So for now, that scene is still perfect in my mind, swirling and confusing and painful and lonely. But it's such a defining moment for Lucie, and it made me realize what a strong character she becomes on her journey. I just hope I can do it justice when I put it on the page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sound of Superman

Writing is always on my mind these days. When I'm not writing, I think about what I need to do the next chance I get with my laptop. When I am writing, I disappear for as long as I can into the world I created. But busy days, especially the days right before Thanksgiving, mean that I can't just sit there and wait for inspiration to strike. I need to make the most of any typing time I find. That's when my playlist makes it happen.

When I was working on the screenplay for Between Souls, I had a long, mixed-up playlist that worked for me. I talked about it back in July (Music as Muse) and explained some of my choices. But I found that I couldn't write the novel version of the story with the same songs. Even though it's the same world, the way I see it is very different now, and the other songs weren't taking me to the new place fast enough. So I searched for something different to take me where I needed to go.

In October, I talked about the first few songs on the new list from 30 Seconds to Mars and Florence and the Machine. The next one to make the list was from one of my all-time favorites - Paramore.

I first heard their version of My Hero on Pandora, and I loved it. A little searching in iTunes and I found it on the Sound of Superman album. Originally by the Foo Fighters, Paramore took an acoustic approach to the song that made me think of Lucie. She is young, she is confused, and she suddenly finds out that she needs to, well, save the world. She is a hero, albeit a reluctant one, and this song helps me remember to describe that part of her the best I can. Like any superhero, she needs to have someone tell her story.

PS -In the interest of finishing what I started with NaBloPoMo, I'm going to spend the last days of November posting about my playlist. That should get me through to December 1st without too much trouble.
PPS - I did not come close to 14K yesterday for NaNoWriMo. Closer to 3K. But 3K is better than No K...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Super Short 11/21 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Time

342 email messages later, she cried.
(Super Short Story Explanation)

I think this is my last Super Short Story for the month. I am not as inspired to write them for this upcoming week, although the Thanksgiving theme could be a good one. Rather than forcing awful ones on you, I'll wait to see if inspiration strikes and only include a great one sometime this week. But I am going to keep blogging every day to complete NaBloPoMo.  More on my thoughts about posting every day once this month is over...

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 0
I am up to 1131 for this morning, but I need to do about 14K to get to the recommended 35K point today. That seems like a lot, even for a speedy typist like me. But, today may be the best day for a goal like that. Here's to 35K!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super Short 11/15 and #NaNoWriMo

New week - new Super Short Story theme. Let's try six-word stories about TIME.

Super Short Story Theme - Time

Three seconds earlier, the window shattered.
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday -555
I was doing some research at the library and ended up checking out three Vonnegut classics. I tried to write, but got caught up in The Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse Five. I don't believe that I'll be writing much over the next few days, but I never know. Sometimes I just can't help it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Short 11/13 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Kid Quotes

"But why can't I keep it?"
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 3,222
Big day. Fell short of 20,000 goal, but made major progress. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Short 11/12 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Kid Quotes

"I thought you said I could!"
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 2262
I love surprises, and that's a good thing. Lucie surprised me yesterday and changed the entire mood of the scene I was writing. It's an important scene, emotional and strong, but as I wrote, she took it in a different direction and it is so much better!  I love that these characters are so fully-formed that they can do things like change the mood. I also found the energy to write more after midnight and again early this morning while the kids slept, so I've already passed my total from yesterday  - up to 2292 for the day. I'd like to break 20,000 today. That's where I should be if I did the suggested 1,667 every day. Back to it -

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Super Short 11/11 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Kid Quotes

"Why can't we have breakfast dessert?"
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 0
I know it may seem awful, but I am not dismayed by another 0 total day. I had to talk through some of what I was thinking, and Chris helped make my goals so clear, I am ready to blaze through the next 30,000 words. I'm hoping for a big total in tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Super Short 11/10 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Kid Quotes

"I think dog food tastes good."
(Super Short Story Explanation)


NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 0
I am on a clutter clean-out mission and did not fit in any writing. That's ok - I'm a little stuck at this point. Trying to decide if I need to develop Lucie's best friend, Rebecca, more than I already have. I also had a great idea for a new plot point, but I'm not sure the best place for it. Cleaning = good thinking time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Super Short 11/8 and #NaNoWriMo

I had fun with my Super Short Stories last week. I had some nice emails, but no one was brave enough to post a story in the comments. I thought maybe if I made the theme a little less serious, I'd get more participation. (If you are confused, here's a link to my original post explaining the Super Short Story idea for November.) So here is the theme for this week -

Super Short Story Theme - Kid Quotes

"What's that smell?"
"Wasn't me! Hahahahahahahahah!"

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 2,068 4,320
I had a very big writing day yesterday.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Super Short 11/7 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Love

This ring belonged to my grandmother.
(Super Short Story Explanation)

Tomorrow starts a new theme for my super short stories. So exciting!

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 3,805 (I was on a roll!)
I decided to change my daily goal from 1,667 to a nice even 2,000. I hope that will allow for my slow days and short days. Plus I'm much more of an even-numbered girl.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Super Short 11/6 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Love

Think of me when you drink tea.
(Super Short Story Explanation)
(OK, one word too many, but huge bonus points if you know what movie this line came from...)

NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 1,669
I finally had a good day to get some writing done.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Super Short 11/5 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Love

Are there any messages for me?
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total from yesterday - another 0.
I had jury duty the past two days, so I have not been able to write.
But the trial is over, so I should be able to get back to normal today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Super Short 11/4 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Love

Washed and put away your laundry.
(Super Short Story Explanation)
NaNoWriMo total for yesterday - 0.
That's right.
Not a single word.
Long story, many more than 6 words. I'll be able to fill you in (and catch up) over the weekend - I hope!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Super Short 11/3 and #NaNoWriMo

Super Short Story Theme - Love

"Vampire?"
"Yes."
"I want you."
Bitten.
(Super Short Story Explanation)

NaNoWriMo total from yesterday - 155
(I know, no green square on my calendar for yesterday. I plan to catch up today.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Super Short #1

Super Short Story Theme - Love

No, you can have the rest.

Writing Challenges for November

As I warm up my fingers to start typing for NaNoWriMo,  I have something new for you. Call it procrastination if you will - I'm calling it creativity.

I was reading a few tweets about writing, and I stumbled upon a reference to Hemingway that I had heard before, but never really thought about.  After a little more digging, I found a whole blog dedicated to it: Six Word Stories. Here is how it is explained on the site: "In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway’s colleagues bet him that he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words. They paid up. Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work." So what was his story?