Sunday, November 29, 2009


Yes, I won NaNoWriMo. As of yesterday, actually. Final count: 50,114 words.

These are characters I've been noveling about, off and on, since 2005 and I think I've written about as much about them as I'm ever going to need to. I've enjoyed playing with them in my little self-indulgent way and I'll probably go back and reread the results now and again for fun. I doubt I'll be inflicting the results on anybody else, though.

Having gotten all of that out of me has had a surprising effect--I'm now contemplating no less than three different ideas for other novels. And I think I may well go ahead and get started now instead of waiting for November.

So you may be seeing a little more activity here as I sort out the possibilities.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Day Five

Just crossed the 17,000 word threshold (17,015 to be precise) and I've still got an afternoon ahead of me. (I suspect a lot of novels will be written this month by my fellow Victims Of The Economy.)

For those of you reading who haven't cracked 10,000 yet and are feeling worried, despair not--first off, what I'm writing is so pointless and aimless I'm not even trying to get much of a plot out of it and secondly, if I can crank out 17,000 words in five days, well, so can you and you still have twenty-five days left to work with.

Permit me to offer a bit of advice for those who may be reading who are new to NaNo, which occurred to me as I was driving back from from running a few errands (and doing some obligatory writing-in-a-coffeehouse while I was out in the world with my laptop.) I live along the length of a very busy road (technically a highway) that crosses Interstate 285. As I was making my way home, I found that the traffic to get onto 285 was stacked up so badly as to slow my progress to a stop-and-start crawl. I knew that once I made it past the interstate, the going would be much smoother and it was only a short distance from where I was to my doorstep.

I refused to put myself through it, though. Instead, I ducked into a shopping center, went out the back way and took a winding series of much less crowded streets to get to my destination. It probably took about as much time as it would have if I'd sat through the logjam of traffic on the straight route. But I didn't care. I was moving, I was getting somewhere and that feels a hell of a lot better than waiting for traffic to inch its way forward. (Plus, the view was much nicer, now that the leaves are starting to turn here.)

In NaNo, you must do the same. If you find your characters need to get from A to B and the way how just isn't coming to you, send them over the long way round. Just keep moving. Throw in another character, have a sudden catastrophe happen, or even write down every little detail of the journey while your subconscious continues to gnaw on what exactly is going to happen once they arrive (which is probably what's stopping you from just getting your characters there.) But don't let the traffic jam get in your way. Just keep writing and you'll find your way there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Day One

I started just after midnight. Skipped the headliner at the EARL just so I could get home, fire up the laptop and get started. I even wrote some preliminary lines in my catbook as I waited at stop lights all the way home. Got a few hundred words in, went to bed, took advantage of the extra hour of sleep and then got up and wrote some more in between my usual Sunday business.

I'm at 2500 words already and I could call it a day easily, but this thing has already become an addiction--just a few more lines, a few more words, one more scene and then I'll quit. Really.

The compulsive quality is probably helped by the sheet of graph paper I'm using to visually track my word count, so I nudge myself to just a few more words to fill in just one more square and the next thing you know I've hashed out a paragraph.

It's . . . pretty crap, but I'm still enjoying writing it, and at least one or two good lines manage to slip through as I progress.

And I think I'm going to try and get just one more sentence in . . .