NaNoWriMo Day 13: Novel Love

Wordcount: 30,060
Chapters Completed: one scene short of five
Awesome Content: 100%
Mood of Author: gushing sonnets

Hey everybody! Apologies for not getting around to replying to your comments on the last post. Your sympathies and encouragements were greatly appreciated. πŸ™‚ And I do have a good excuse for not blogging for the last few days:

I’ve been writing on that new novel, and am totally rocking it. Today, in fact, I passed the 30k mark! Wahoo!! Which means, wordcount wise, I’m almost at the same point as I was with that other novel (shudder) this time last week. Weird.

At any rate, I’m really digging this novel, though that’s not to say I haven’t produced some pretty horrific prose over the last five days, ’cause I have, and it’s not to say this thing won’t need the usual amount of editing, ’cause it will. But I like this novel, nay, I submit that I love it. This thing is making me feel downright giddy!

The whole sans outline thing is working out pretty well. This story has literally been in my head (in one form or another) for ten years, and I feel like all the characters are old friends. And it’s just so dang FUN! I mean I’ve got love triangles (two different ones), blackmail, espionage, secret identities, epic misunderstandings, betrayal, war, escapes, death… pretty much everything awesome, as a matter of fact. πŸ™‚ And I have six different viewpoint characters, so I’m not stuck with one voice like in that other (shudder) not-novel.

Anyways. It’s late. I must away ere break of day to seek the long forgotten gold and so on.

Clearly having too much fun with my novel,
Joanna

NaNoWriMo Day 9: Let’s Start Over Again

Wordcount: 5,556
Sanity: 3%
Mood: bemused

So this morning I was all set to buckle down, write 11k, and pass that glorious 50k mark a good twenty-one days early.

Instead, I wrote 2,000 words, and realized how much I loathed my novel. We’re talking extreme hatred, here.

And so I started over on a completely new novel.

I know, I know. Shocking turn of events, right? I feel like The Last Garden could, possibly, maybe, one day in the distant future be wrangled into something resembling a book. But this is not that time.

NaNoWriMo Day 5

Word Count: 35,132
Chapters Completed: 5.1/16
Worlds Visited: 2
Sanity Level: 65%
Mood: pensive

So it’s 10:48 on the morning of November 6th, and I’ve yet to write any words (well, besides these ones). I’m at the very beginning of Chapter 6, and although the story is rolling along nicely (more or less), I’m still struggling to find this novel’s voice. Voice is never something I struggle with (plot, yes. pacing, yes. voice? no), so it’s a little frustrating. I don’t know if it’s because my main character wasn’t fully formed in my mind when I started writing, or if the idea needed some more time to percolate or what.

And then yesterday, whilst driving to piano lessons, I had a completely crazy idea: what if I were to narrate the story from the point of view of my main character’s dead sister?

I thought about it, and thought about it (I’m still thinking about it), and I could be completely and totally wrong, but this shift in narration might be the spark I’ve been missing for the last 35,132 words. I can hear her voice in my head, and last night I scribbled out a possible new beginning that just felt incredibly right.

Not exactly sure where this leaves me. I’m definitely not, at this point, going back to rewrite everything, but I’m thinking about shifting the narrative style right where I’m at (smack dab in the middle of a scene at the beginning of Chapter Six), see what that does for me, and rewrite accordingly after NaNo is over.

And that is probably WAY more information than anybody needed about the strange inner workings of my brain during noveling.

Need to get dressed now,
Joanna
aka
Who-Wouldn’t-Want-a-Dead-Child-for-a-Narrator Smith

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Word Count: 30,046
Chapters Completed: 4
Worlds Visited: 1
Sanity Level: 65%
Overall Quality of Prose: poor

So it’s the end of Day Four. I’m sitting in Borders (which, incidentally has just recently implemented free Wi-Fi), having just hit my 30k (woot!) and am thoroughly exhausted and all worded out for the evening! Yesterday the words just sort of poured freely from my fingertips. Today I had to bribe/force/threaten them out of there.

I weep for the overall quality of my prose.

I weep for the flatness of my main character.

I weep for the reality of one’s flawless ideas staring back in all their blatant black and white imperfections from one’s computer screen.

But I still made it to 30k.

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

As a sidenote, I keep meaning to link to my NaNoWriMo profile, where you can keep track of my progress and read the deplorable excerpts I post from time to time. So there you go.

Off to watch Stargate,

Joanna
aka
Penner of Pepostrously Perilous Prose

NaNoWriMo Day 3

Current Word Count: 21,111
Sanity Level: 85%
Chapters Completed: 2.9/16
Character Deaths: three. 1 young child (before the story started), 1 old man (he had a full life! promise!), 1 mermaid (poor thing didn’t have a chance) 😦

I should be noveling, as I’m headed for 25k today (yes, I am insane), but my brain was demanding a break, so I thought I’d blog instead.

Currently at the tail end of Chapter Three of The Last Garden, and getting excited because in another half chapter the story’s really gonna get going! I’ve come to the conclusion that although I’ve been penning some truly atrocious prose, I’m having a hard time finding the novel’s voice, and I’m a little afraid my poor, adorably bespectacled main character is rather uninteresting, I think the actual story is worth telling, and with a lot (a heck of a lot!) of future editing/rewriting/revising, it might come to resemble something akin to a real book someday. Well, maybe. πŸ™‚

I have also learned that I am woefully unquallified to write historical fiction. I fear I’ve been inadvertently altering Victorian history in the greater London area. But oh well. I’ll do all that research I ought to have done earlier… later. πŸ™‚

Happy Writing!

Joanna, aka Murderer of Mermaids in Vaguely Historical Victorian London

And We’re Off!

Writing commenced with a bang this weekend in Dallas! Thanks to the 10k scribed in the company of five other crazy novelists, three adorable cats, and lots and lots of sugar, my grand total thus far for Day 2 of National Novel Writing Month comes to 13,441 words.

Back to my mermaid in the Thames,

Joanna, aka Mighty Writer of Words and Hugger of Cuddly Cats

Quick Note and a Warning!

Hey everybody! Just thought I’d jot off a quick post to say:

1) I’m off to Texas this weekend to kick off NaNoWriMo in epic style with people I met on the internet (don’t worry. They’re cool. :-))

2) Two days till noveling season!! Posts will be sporadic, brief, and filled with word counts.

Consider yourselves warned.

Who’s Been Outlining? This Gal!!

So I’ve actually been outlining, and I’m getting super excited about my novel. Go figure. πŸ™‚

I gave up wrestling with my ending (for now) and have started Step Eight of the Snowflake Method, which is the one, the only, the invaluable List O’ Scenes. This is absolutely the most useful step of the Snowflake, in my opinion, as it’s where you get to take grand sweeping statements (like, for instance, “They fall in love”) and figure out specific scenes that put your beautifully vague ideas into a format you can actually use. This saves SUCH a lot of headache time during the actual writing of the first draft. I love knowing exactly what’s coming next so I can just focus on the scene I’m writing and not worry about it.

Of course sometimes your characters/plot/storyline/whatever decide to do their own thing regardless of the outline, but it generally turns out all right anyway. I often have a hard time getting my characters to talk about what they’re supposed to (I have no idea why, but if I leave two characters alone for an extended period of time they tend to wind up discussing Deep Philosophical Truths), but eventually I force them to behave. Well, usually.

But anyways. Where was I?

Oh yeah, Step Eight. I’m currently in the middle of outlining scenes for Chapter Six of The Last Garden. It’s all about mermaids, and evil Worms, so basically it’s gonna rock. πŸ˜‰

I have sixteen-ish chapters planned, which leads me to this Very Exciting Hope:

I really think I can write the entire novel during NaNoWriMo. It’s a pretty straightforward storyline (well, as straightforward as you can get when your plot revolves around ten different worlds), and only follows a few characters. Last year I had multiple storylines, six main-ish characters, and lots of (badly written) political drama. The year before it took me the entirety of November and 100,000 words just to get my two main characters into the same universe so they could meet each other.

So it’s really looking good.

I think.

Successfully puting off outlining to write this blog,

Joanna
also known as
Guardian of the Doors between Worlds

NaNo is Coming! NaNo is Coming!

It’s October, and you know what that means? Less than a month till National Novel Writing Month begins! The site‘s been relaunched. It’s all fresh and shiny and waiting to inspire thousands of crazy people all over the world to write a novel in a mere thirty days. Feel the power. Eeeeeeee!!

So to celebrate, I thought I’d give a low-down of my NaNoWriMo experiences thus far:

2005
My first NaNo. Ah, the memories! Wasn’t sure at all if I could a) write a novel in a month, or b) write a novel in first person that was a mixture of fantasy and very-badly researched historical fiction. πŸ™‚ I committed to writing 2,000 words a day to give myself a buffer zone, and when, lo and behold I hit the glorious 50,000 word mark with part of the month still left to go, I decided to see if I could buckle down and get to the actual end of the novel. I finished The Rose Queen on the 30th of November with 84,495 words. Yikes!

2006
Year two. The fear: could I really do this again? The answer: yes. I was way excited about my crazy story idea and went in armed with a detailed outline. That helped. On November 30th I had 104,009 words and the completed first draft of The Whale and the Tree. Did I mention I get a little obsessive and competitive when it comes to word count? Um, cause I do.

2007
Year three, and my first year participating in the NaNoWriMo Viddler group (which rocks). I gave up trying to deny the fact that I was going to go way over 50k, and started typing like a fiend. By the end of the month, I had 103,888 words, but only half of a novel (my main characters had only, erm, just met). It took me until the end of March to finish the monster that is The Fire in the Glass, which eventually clocked in at 209k.

2008
Year four. I kicked it off in Tucson (a drab little town a couple hours south of Phoenix. Sorry people who live there, but it’s true) with fellow writers I met through the Viddler group, and proceeded to once more lose myself in the delicious heady rush of noveling at high speed. On November 30th I had 112,253 words and another unfinished novel. I completed the first draft of The Silver Crane at the end of March with just under 193k.

2009
Year five. The goal? Actually finish the novel during November. Wish me luck with that. πŸ˜›Β 

So those are my NaNos in a nutshell. I cannot gush enough about what a fantastic experience NaNoWriMo is. I’ve met fabulous people, written a proverbial ton of words, and drunk lots of tea whilst staring out windows. What isn’t to love about that??

Off to get lunch and make me a donation and buy me a t-shirt,

Joanna

A Naming Conundrum

Okay, so I’ve a question regarding character names. Let me ‘splain.

My yet-to-be-penned 2009 NaNoWriMo novel is a sort-of sequel to two earlier novels (written in 2005 and 2007, respectively), and has a few characters who carry over. One of these is a rockin’ female named Roen, and although she isn’t the main character, she’s quite important and is present throughout most of the novel. I’m also introducing a new female character (she’s not the MC, either, but is also important) who wants to be named Wren. Question is this: Roen and Wren are really similar-sounding names. Are they too much alike? Should I call Wren something else even though the name seems to fit her? Or is it enough that the names look different on the page? What do you think?

And on a related note, I still can’t figure out my ending. ARGH!!!

And on an unrelated note, the greater Phoenix area totally got gypped in terms of a monsoon season this year. No rain for me. Just sun. Forever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever. And ever…