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Lucian Poll
10-06-2012, 10:07 PM
With NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon I thought Iíd do a quick straw Poll (forgive me) of the CD forum to see if anyone was going to take part this year.

If so, and youíd like a writing buddy for some moral support, you can find me on the NaNoWriMo site via the following link:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/lucian-poll

Iím really looking forward to NaNoWriMo as Iíve had this novel idea, in both senses, burning a hole through my brain for the last two and a half months. Itíll be a relief to finally get some flesh on them bones, so to speak.

So... any takers?

C.W. LaSart
10-07-2012, 03:51 AM
Sorry, I don't Nano. ;)

ozmosis7
10-07-2012, 06:36 AM
Not even, Nano Nano?

Lucian Poll
10-07-2012, 05:36 PM
Shazbot! Aah, Mork & Mindy, thank you for having the (ahem) balls to have a character called Arnold Wanker. :D A wonderful example of how not everything translates well overseas. Another example is the Toyota MR2, which had to be renamed in France...

Off-topic briefly: Hi, C.W., are there any plans for releasing your work on the Apple bookstore? Hi, Oz, I've just bought your Tales omnibus. I'll dip into those before hitting the hay.

Anyhoo, back on topic, for anyone here who fanices a spot of NaNoWriMo, you won't be alone. Do drop by.

ozmosis7
10-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Why thank you, Lucian! I hope you enjoy the stories. And glad you got the joke. :P

C.W. LaSart
10-07-2012, 09:14 PM
I'm not sure, Lucian. I will ask the publisher though ;)

Xiabei
10-08-2012, 09:37 PM
I've always thought it sounded interesting, but I doubt I can hit 50,000 words. The longest thing I've written is only just over 1,000. But I suppose I can give it a shot, as long as it doesn't have to make sense.

RJK1981
10-10-2012, 07:04 PM
I guess I am considering it, though I don't know if I will really do it or get to that word count. I more need to just get back to writing as I have a story I am in the middle of and haven't worked on in a while.

RichardThomas
10-10-2012, 07:58 PM
i haven't done Nano officially, but i did once write 40,000 words in five days. the whole second half of Disintegration. crazy. my fingers were bruised and my arms totally hurt. could work out for you, best of luck. a great purge can be kind of cool.

RJK1981
10-15-2012, 10:35 PM
Decided to go ahead and sign up for it.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/rjk1981

Lucian Poll
10-15-2012, 11:31 PM
Hi RJK1981, welcome aboard! Thanks for the buddy invite too. Cordially accepted and the very best of luck with your novel.

If it helps you any, here is how I'm hoping to tackle it. I'll be treating NaNo purely as a means of getting the first draft done. One chapter a day. Each chapter at least 1700 words long (around three to four pages of single-spaced lines) with any extra words a bonus. There won't be much in the way of frilly prose, I'll just get the story down in more or less the form I want. On that basis I'll hit the 50,000 words by 30th Nov and then I'll use the following month(s) to smarten it up into a second draft, safe in the knowledge the hard part (getting to "The End") has already been done.

I managed to get my plot outline down a couple of months ago, but now I'm going through it a second time, more thoroughly, trying to pick out scenes that don't quite follow and detecting as many plot holes as I can find. (Blood has negligible nutritional value for humans, eh? Okay, that scene's out.) There's absolutely nothing to prevent you from making notes now regarding how the rest of your story should pan out.

Seriously, I hope you make a good fist of it. (And me too!)

***

Hi Xaibei, are you still tempted to give it a shot? Hope so. And don't worry about it having to make sense. It didn't stop James Joyce when he wrote Finnegan's Wake!

***

Hi Richard, 40,000 words in five days? Hot damn! Was it a deadline or did the muse strike hard?

***

Right, that's me heading back to the plot outline! She's a hard taskmaster this novel.

RJK1981
10-15-2012, 11:45 PM
I'm still not sure what to do about chapters. I've never done chapters because since I've never written a novel length piece. Gotta decide whether to use chapters at all or not, and if I do use chapters I have to decide whether to do it during November or when I am in the editting phase later. I know novels can be done without chapters (Cormac McCarthy's The Road has no chapters), but not having chapters seems more suited for short stories, novelettes, or novellas.

I will also have to fight the urge to edit my stuff as I go since that would slow me down quite a bit.

Lucian Poll
10-16-2012, 01:01 AM
I wrote a novel-length story ages ago and I'll freely admit my chapter structure was all over the place. (Don't worry, the novel hasn't escaped my drawer since!) For example, I spent ages trying to shoehorn a complete day's events into each chapter, thinking that would be a neat way of slicing the story up into manageable chunks. Of course, some days were more eventful than others, and I ended up with some chapters going on for ages and others that I felt I ought to pad out to compensate. Ultimately I'd gotten myself into a bugger's muddle and the finished story was an uneven read, to put it politely.

If you are writing the novel for the sense of achievement in getting it done, then don't get hung up about chapters. Just focus on getting that story out of your head and onto paper, and don't stop 'til you type "The End". If you're tempted to offer the finished novel around agents and publishers then I would give chapters some thought, at least in the back of your mind, as many of them will ask for the first x chapters and a synopsis. Same goes if you fancy the self-publishing route (which is where my novel will end up) as readers, love 'em or hate 'em, often like getting to the end of a chapter and putting the book down for the night.

But as you say, when you get to the editing stage and you're shaping up a second draft you may begin to find natural breakpoints spaced quite nicely throughout your story.

As far as The Road was concerned I thought the nature of the novel, being essentially a snapshot of survival against all the odds on a road to who-knows-where, suited a chapter-less structure, but then McCarthy was smart in breaking the novel down into very short scenes to encourage the reader to keep going, but which also gave the reader lots of easy places to park the story for the night. I haven't read any other of his novels, not even No Country For Old Men, to my shame, so I don't know if he uses this structure as his calling card. I know he has a massive aversion to speechmarks and apostrophes, though!

As for the editing-as-you-go approach, I'm going to have to fight that urge too. It's only natural, really. But we must stand firm against temptation! Get that story down quick and rough and tidy it up later!

Easier said than done, I know, but I hope some of this helps!

Xiabei
10-16-2012, 01:32 AM
Hey Lucian, good point on Joyce! I did sign up but haven't had time yet to really get into the details.

RJK1981
10-16-2012, 02:46 AM
I do think I will likely skip out on using chapters during the first draft and thinking about it more once that draft is completed. If I sense a natural break I will probably mark it in some way. Maybe extra lines between paragraphs or a page break or something. I also plan to download the trial of scrivener, which should be a much better tool for novel writing than Word. I don't know when I'll get it though, could get it before starting this challenge or wait until after I am done.

What I need to decide before that though is what my story will be since I have a couple ideas. Also trying to figure out if those ideas could be combined in some way.

Lucian Poll
10-16-2012, 09:34 PM
I hadn't heard of Scrivener. I might take a peek when tackling the next one as I'm trying to get to grips with GIMP and Inkscape at the moment for my cover images.

(Here's a link to an early Inkscape effort of mine: http://lucianpoll.com/2012/09/30/a-spot-of-premature-e-publication/cover-v1-01/ I won't embed it here as that would be a little vulgar of me. I quite like it, but I'm probably not up for accepting commissions just yet!)

(Also, the sneaky side of me wonders whether Scrivener would be clever enough to know it's running inside a virtual machine, as VMs are so much more disposable than physical machines!)

Xiabei
10-17-2012, 05:28 AM
I do think I will likely skip out on using chapters during the first draft and thinking about it more once that draft is completed. If I sense a natural break I will probably mark it in some way. Maybe extra lines between paragraphs or a page break or something. I also plan to download the trial of scrivener, which should be a much better tool for novel writing than Word. I don't know when I'll get it though, could get it before starting this challenge or wait until after I am done.

What I need to decide before that though is what my story will be since I have a couple ideas. Also trying to figure out if those ideas could be combined in some way.

Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" books don't have chapters, and they move along quite nicely. Of course, he also basically tells a story from start to finish and doesn't really jump around in time and place.

I'd like to someday find a decent basic write program that doesn't cost anything.

Lucian Poll
10-27-2012, 06:11 PM
A fellow Norfolk NaNo-er has recently posted a link to our Facebook group that may be of interest to those here tempted to dabble with Scrivener. They've just launched a cut-price offer tied in with this year's NaNoWriMo:

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php

With a few days left 'til the big write, are there any others here that fancy giving it a try?

RJK1981
10-28-2012, 04:02 AM
Already got my nano trial of Scrivener.

Right now I am trying to come up with a final title for story.

I know how my story will start and how I envision it ending right now, which is a good thing. Will probably write the beginning and the working end first, though when edit time comes the end may end up being something else entirely.

Lucian Poll
10-28-2012, 05:25 PM
Nice one, RJK. I'm glad to hear you're getting a good grip on your story. We'll give those 50,000 words what for!

A short story I recently finished had an ending that I only saw very late into the writing, as up until then I was determined to keep it open-ended and ambiguous. I used to think that writers who say "the story often leads the author" were talking from the wrong orifice, but when I read through what had gone before an altogether new and much more devastating ending leapt out at me. I guess it does happen!

Good luck with the big write. I'd love to hear how you get on, either here or through NaNomail.

RJK1981
10-30-2012, 11:29 AM
Yeah, I don't want to do a big outline for my story as I feel it will make me feel limited and too rigid. If I feel my novel is the end of this character's story then I will have to end up changing the ending, but not worried about that yet

TerryE
11-01-2012, 02:30 AM
Hey guys, I'm late to this party, but I also want to try again this year. The 3 times I've tried in the past, I never made it past day 6, and even then my average was too low, about 1000 words a day. I'm another one that spends too much time editing as I go, so I'm hoping to avoid that trap, too.

Xaibei, if a long structured novel isn't up your alley, maybe you could do a series of related short stories, kinda like "The Martian Chronicles".

TerryE
11-01-2012, 04:18 AM
I've finally signed up for the year and have added 3 of you as buddies. I'm "apathid" by the way. Good luck guys.

RJK1981
11-01-2012, 08:40 AM
Just remember Terry, it's only the first draft of the novel. First drafts are likely never perfect and will require many edits. I can't remember the number for sure, but Douglas Clegg goes through several drafts of his books before he feels they're ready. I will have to remember that too of course, lol. Doing well so far today, close to the daily target for words in a little over 2 hours. Would love if every day went like this, but definitely don't expect that at all.

RJK1981
11-01-2012, 11:21 AM
Here is a great blog entry that Brian Keene today.

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=12788&cpage=1#comment-65363

Lucian Poll
11-01-2012, 07:31 PM
Hi Terry, welcome aboard! RJK said it all, really. Keep plugging away at the story and get into the habit of writing. Keep that inner editor locked up for 30 days. If you need inspiration or motivation let us know here or through NaNoMail and we'll help. (I'm saying this to me too!)

RJK, I'm glad you're off to a solid start. I hope you keep the ball rolling! Nice link too!

Right, I've just gotten back from work so it's shoes off, heating on and laptop open. Let battle commence!

Good luck everyone!

TerryE
11-01-2012, 09:46 PM
I got the first paragraph done, just after midnight and before bed. The title came from an icon on the computer and then a first sentence came to me. Drifting off to sleep, I planned the next page or so. I've got no clue where it might be going, but that's okay. For some reason, I didn't want to go with anything that I've had planned, so we'll see what happens.

RJK1981
11-01-2012, 10:39 PM
Are you connected to your local region Terry? If so that might help too, though not all are very active. The Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN region page is luckily very. very active in the forums and many write-in events. I was going to post some stuff from there here with other tips, but their website seems to be having issues, though I was warned this was a possibility as Nov. 1 hit the US. It was up when I stopped writing earlier, but it was also like 2:30 in the morning, when normal people are asleep, lol. Once things settle and get back up I'll post what I was planning to. Any of you can also visit any regional page that you want to if you want to check things out there.

RJK1981
11-02-2012, 07:20 AM
Here a couple of the tips that I was going to post earlier today:

Turn those blinders on and don't look back. Because it will be awful. And you'll want to edit it. And you really shouldn't because it'll only slow you down. If you do realize there's a chapter that doesn't belong at all, don't delete it. Just highlight it or make it a different color or font or something, and decide later if it needs to be removed. But you wrote it in November, and it's part of your word count.
Oh, and have fun! If Steve Jobs shows up and gives everyone iPads, just go with it. Even if your story is set in Middle Earth or something. I can't promise it'll make sense, but it'll be something. And it could be hilarious. Don't fight with your characters. Let them do what they will do and your story will adjust itself as you go.

Some advice on handling the crap:
When I know something I just wrote is terrible -- like, mind-meltingly, modifying my Last Will and Testament to say "Don't Forget To Delete These Files" bad -- I just add a little [this sucks fix later] note in the draft. Or [wrong place check continuity]. Or [SO MANY ADVERBS OH DEAR GOD]. It makes me feel a lot better to at least have an idea of where the edits will need to begin, and it reminds me that, no, I'm not even pretending this is flawless, so no reason to get upset about it. A silly psychological trick, but it works.

adamjames
11-02-2012, 08:03 AM
Well, I started today. A day late, but I like to write after everyone in the house is asleep. I'm on track to finish on time, well December 1st anyway. Thanks to the folks who told me about this in my short story thread.

And to be honest if this helps me to get to novella length, I'll count this as a small victory.

TerryE
11-02-2012, 08:36 PM
Good luck Adam

Lucian Poll
11-03-2012, 01:30 AM
Hi Adam. Good luck with your novel. Keep us posted how you get on.

The end of day 2 has seen a total of 3372 words hammered in (around a chapter and a half) so I'm just about on track. I'll have to put all 3372 words through at least two further drafts when NaNo is done, though! Despite writing an outline for 30 chapters it's clear my chapter-a-day plan has gone to hell. I've got a lot of holiday coming my way soon, though, so there's hope yet.

But forgive me, forum, for I have sinned. I spent way too long trying to describe my main character yesterday, which was something I really ought to have nailed by now, particularly after spending so long on the plot. I found a headshot that was a pretty good match for what I had in mind but was at a loss when it came to describing her hairstyle.

http://s2.hubimg.com/u/265233_f520.jpg

Any ideas? My inner Vidal Sassoon went the same way as the guy himself. I've currently got her as sporting a punk-rock pixie cut, but the High Priestesses of Horror here may think otherwise. :D If C. W. is lurking, then firstly: hello! and secondly: am I way off the mark?

Well, as I'm not too tired yet I think I'll make inroads into tomorrow's word count!

Keep it going everyone!

TerryE
11-03-2012, 04:35 AM
My first thought was pixie cut, but I'm no expert.

Xiabei
11-03-2012, 05:48 PM
Well, I've got about 2,000 words; life is up in the air at the moment so I don't have as much time to write as I had hoped. :(

C.W. LaSart
11-03-2012, 07:22 PM
Lucian, Hello. I think that would suffice. But, I wouldn't describe any farther. Less is more. The only time that over description is acceptable, is in romance. Let your readers decide. I rarely even give mine more than a hair color :) Maybe a ponytail. Hope that helps!

C.W. LaSart
11-03-2012, 07:27 PM
Of course, I should add that I don't see my characters. At all. It's hard to explain. I see their actions and I hear their thoughts, but they are fairly featureless in my mind. Does that make sense? I know their gender and age and sometimes hair or eye color, but they are otherwise blank to me. I just fill in enough to let the reader form their own picture. But I see actions clearly. I see them making a gesture or stepping on a cigarette. I'm odd that way.

RJK1981
11-03-2012, 08:37 PM
Well, I've got about 2,000 words; life is up in the air at the moment so I don't have as much time to write as I had hoped. :(

Don't worry about it, just do your best. If you make it to 50,000 words that is great. If you don't at you tried your best, and you'll have more word than you otherwise would. I didn't get as many words as I wanted yesterday due to being distracted and out of it for some reason, but at least I got some. I'm determined to reach the goal though, and being involved with a community like here, Facebook and the area groups on Nano is a good way to be involved in a community, even if it is only online and not at an area event

Lucian Poll
11-04-2012, 01:15 AM
Thanks for the input, guys. Punk rock pixie it is!

I think I know where you are coming from on characterisation, C. W. Use broad brush strokes and let the reader fill in the gaps. My scene had the antagonist looking over a creepy shrine he had amassed of the main character, which sounded fine in the outline, but when I came to writing it for real it felt like the bad guy would see more detail than most. I'll come back to the scene once I have a solid grip of my main character.

Xiabei, I'm happy that you've got 2000 words down because that's the start of something. Write what you can when you can while the story's still buzzing around your head, and see what you have at the end of the month. You might just surprise yourself. For me NaNo should be all about the fun of using your imagination to tell a story. If you don't get to 50,000 words, but have the lion's share of a story on paper, I'd say it's been worthwhile. Dec 1 need not spell "The End". Keep it up!

RJK1981
11-04-2012, 01:34 AM
Here is a link to a little free eBook to read online from Douglas Clegg

20 Tips for Writers (http://www.scribd.com/doc/31244122/20-Tips-for-Writers-by-Douglas-Clegg)

Sock Monkey
11-04-2012, 03:40 AM
Hello! I decided to join the NaNo party. I signed up in the middle of October and kind of hem-and-hawed about the whole thing. November is a very busy month for me, but I decided to give it a go anyways. I had a poor start, though. No writing on the 1st. I had the time, but I just blanked on what to write; nothing seemed to get my juices flowing. By the 2nd, I was in full panic mode, knowing that if I didn't start, I never would, so I ran with a with a story I had planned as a novella. About 2800 words in and I just letting whatever happens, happen. Good luck, everybody!

Sock Monkey
11-04-2012, 03:45 AM
Here is a link to a little free eBook to read online from Douglas Clegg

20 Tips for Writers (http://www.scribd.com/doc/31244122/20-Tips-for-Writers-by-Douglas-Clegg)

Best thing ever! Thanks for the pick-me-up!

Xiabei
11-04-2012, 04:30 AM
Thanks for the input, guys. Punk rock pixie it is!

I think I know where you are coming from on characterisation, C. W. Use broad brush strokes and let the reader fill in the gaps. My scene had the antagonist looking over a creepy shrine he had amassed of the main character, which sounded fine in the outline, but when I came to writing it for real it felt like the bad guy would see more detail than most. I'll come back to the scene once I have a solid grip of my main character.

Xiabei, I'm happy that you've got 2000 words down because that's the start of something. Write what you can when you can while the story's still buzzing around your head, and see what you have at the end of the month. You might just surprise yourself. For me NaNo should be all about the fun of using your imagination to tell a story. If you don't get to 50,000 words, but have the lion's share of a story on paper, I'd say it's been worthwhile. Dec 1 need not spell "The End". Keep it up!

Thank you. Yeah, this is my first go, and it would probably do me good to think about the words and not the numbers. :-)

Xiabei
11-04-2012, 04:32 AM
Of course, I should add that I don't see my characters. At all. It's hard to explain. I see their actions and I hear their thoughts, but they are fairly featureless in my mind. Does that make sense? I know their gender and age and sometimes hair or eye color, but they are otherwise blank to me. I just fill in enough to let the reader form their own picture. But I see actions clearly. I see them making a gesture or stepping on a cigarette. I'm odd that way.

Personally I love that approach. I tend to be the same way. Although sometimes, if doing a parody, I go to the opposite extreme and describe things to the point of ridiculousness.

Lucian Poll
11-04-2012, 02:06 PM
Hi Sock Monkey. I'm glad you've taken the plunge. Enjoy it and good luck! Let us know how you get on.

I've posted an excerpt from chapter 2 of my novel on my NaNoWriMo profile if anyone would like a shufti. Given it's a first draft I'm quite pleased with this bit, but would welcome feedback, good or bad. (FYI, Mike is Dawn's fiancee and Gil is one of the office IT guys.)

Here's the link:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/lucian-poll/novels/title-withheld-184410

I'd be interested to see excerpts from fellow NaNo-ers so drop a link here if you decide to put one up.

I'd better get back to the story. I'm still owing 1000 words for today.

Xiabei
11-04-2012, 04:49 PM
I'm a little confused. Are we not posting everything on the site as we go? The only place I see to enter anything is "Novel Excerpt." I guess I was under the impression that it was a place to enter the whole thing as it's written, but is that not the case?

Lucian Poll
11-04-2012, 05:05 PM
I'm a little confused. Are we not posting everything on the site as we go? The only place I see to enter anything is "Novel Excerpt." I guess I was under the impression that it was a place to enter the whole thing as it's written, but is that not the case?

I think for the time being it's an honour system, in that you update your word count at the top of the page and the website will take your word for it. Towards the end of the month, around the 25th I believe, you'll need to provide a manuscript to prove your word count. There was a group NaNo mail that went out towards the end of October that mentioned it briefly. If you didn't receive it let me know and I'll copy and paste it here.

Nice to see the word count creep up, Xiabei. Keep it up! :)

RJK1981
11-04-2012, 05:11 PM
Best thing ever! Thanks for the pick-me-up!

You're welcome. I read it and loved it. Decided I had to share it

RJK1981
11-04-2012, 05:14 PM
I'm a little confused. Are we not posting everything on the site as we go? The only place I see to enter anything is "Novel Excerpt." I guess I was under the impression that it was a place to enter the whole thing as it's written, but is that not the case?

You type it up in a text program (Word, notepad, or something like Scrivener which I find much better than stuff like Word. And Like Lucian said, you just update the word count in the box at the top of the page

Xiabei
11-04-2012, 05:34 PM
Ok, thanks; just wanted to make sure I understood what I was doing. :o

TerryE
11-05-2012, 05:47 AM
Busy weekend for me, the words aren't adding up, but the ideas are. Got another 2 pages done just now, and I know were the next section/chapter will start, that will help for tomorrow. I'm still not sure where it's going to go, but I've got a couple little mysteries seeded that could become important.

Welcome Sock Monkey, add us as writing buddies.

Lucian Poll
11-06-2012, 12:57 AM
Nice to hear the creative juices are flowing, Terry. I'm keeping up with the word count (just), but I'm now two chapters behind my plan so will probably finish the story after Nov 30. That said, I'm pretty chuffed with how the story is shaping up, but chapter 1 needs some serious work. I'll have to wait until I have a psycho day to get into the mood! ;)

Keep it up, guys. I hope you're doing well.

TerryE
11-07-2012, 04:29 AM
Boy, it's hard to keep that editor turned off, especially since I keep switching tenses. A rookie mistake, and it's making me nuts. But I've been good about adding (fix tense) every couple pages and leaving most of it alone. Time is at a premium, so the words aren't adding up like they should, but at least I'm still at it.

RJK1981
11-07-2012, 10:19 AM
I know the feeling Terry, I have been doing good for the most on turning off my brains edit switch, but it is hard and I have found myself editting a few times. Most of thoe edits are adding words though, so that isn't such a bad thing

TerryE
11-07-2012, 03:47 PM
And now here's the snag without having plotted beforehand. I started with a meeting between 2 young characters, and something isn't quite right. Now I'm coming up with several explanations, and they all have their good and bad points. I'll have to trust the kids to tell me the right things. That decision could be a couple chapters away, so I'm not going to sweat it just now.

RJK1981
11-07-2012, 07:45 PM
If nothing else write out all the ideas you have, get your word count up and decide later when you come to the editting phase.

I still haven't encountered an important character yet, though that will likely happen soon. I do have the main female character telling the male main character that should talk to this unmet 3rd party. Pretty sure the guy's name will be Pete, which will make him Uncle Pete, and that he believes in aliens and that they have visited the planet, though the female, Sarah, only mentioned that so the male, Jason, won't be so scared to talk to a stranger about some stuff going on. He would have been afraid of getting sent to the nuthouse otherwise, though he is being unreasonable about that since his issues aren't harming himself or anyone else (or are they? ;)). I still need to decide if the Jason, who is ultimately the main character will just be good or if he'll be good and bad, possibly at the same, so to speak. Complicated, I know, but oh well, lol.

TerryE
11-07-2012, 09:17 PM
I don't think I can write all the ideas within the story. It's going to be a huge plot point. The girl is from a backwoods family. It's hard to imagine a whole clan living "off the grid" in this day and age, especially within miles of the nearest town. I got the idea that maybe they are living in different time periods, but can interact with each other. And then there's the possiblility that they are ghosts. Or maybe some kind of magic sustains them without interacting with the rest of the people in town. No matter which way I go, I've created a mystery, and I have to solve it, well before the end.

C.W. LaSart
11-07-2012, 10:15 PM
Or they could live underground! MOLE PEOPLE FOR THE WIN!

Lucian Poll
11-08-2012, 12:35 AM
Mole people! Classic! Or how about a family of shape-shifters, Terry? Get a little paranoia going in the townspeople? You can then have the creatures living in both the woods and in the town, if that appeals.

Wow, this writing thing is getting tricky now, and not helped at all by a rubbish week at work. I thought a hellilsh day would help fuel my bad-guy chapters but nope. Never mind. I've got a long break coming up so will hopefully knuckle down for some quality writing time. And watch Skyfall, obviously. In the meantime I'll scrape through the daily word quota.

And I found a goof in my NaNo excerpt. My MC is going to need superhuman ears to hear the 'sickening wet slap' as a blood-soaked and very dead colleague is thrown onto a polished concrete floor when all of the fire alarms are going off around her. If that's any indication of what's to come when I tackle the second draft then I may need to invest in some terraforming equipment to plug some of my plot holes. :rolleyes:

TerryE
11-08-2012, 02:26 AM
Sorry, mole people is out for this one. I've already established at least one house. Besides, that so "Descent". But maybe for something else. Hmm...

Lucian, the shape-shifters are in another tale. I'm not working on that one, because I want it to be all out comedy along the lines of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. And I need a lot more time to craft that.

In the first appearance I was thinking of them as normal enough, but then I realized nobody in town knows them, there are no power lines and no cars can get down the road. And of course my main character is falling in first love. It'll come to me. I'm counting on my muse.

RJK1981
11-08-2012, 04:41 AM
Well, you could always do what my main character did to try and remember something. Grab a pen or pencil and a notebook, close your eyes and start writing. Just hope you don't write what he found when we looked at it together with the female main character, lol ;):eek:

TerryE
11-13-2012, 05:06 AM
Day 12. The halfway point is approaching quickly. Lucien & RJK, you guys are doing good. I've been doing decently, but I still let myself get too distracted when I'm trying to write. The habits are getting better, and that part is going well. This is the first time in many years that I've been writing on a consistent basis.

As for the story, it's moving along even though I'm still not sure where it's going. I started with a title (which came from an icon - a downward arrow, hence "Goin' Down"). Then a sentence came to me about a fork in the road outside a town in the fictional county I've developed over the years. This sentence had nothing to do with the title. But the fork in the road got me to thinking about penny walks, so my main character was on one. If you've never heard of a penny walk, it's taking a walk, and whenever you come to an intersection you flip a coin to decide which way to go next. And considering they way I started with no plot, it is one of the most apt metaphors one could ever devise for this journey for me.

You don't have to chase themes, the subconscious does it for you. And now that I think about it, that elusive girl must be the story itself.

On a related note: I don't know about your areas, but here in Maryland we have 2 dares going. Both involve words to find a way to build into the novel. Well one is a number, and the other is a set of words. The number and one of the words was easy. (Turned it into an address). But there is another word which may just become the cornerstone of my whole plot. Very interesting.

Lucian Poll
11-13-2012, 12:57 PM
Thanks, Terry. It sounds like you are enjoying your writing, which is excellent news. I love the idea of the penny walk too.

I'm also finding it tricky keeping the distractions under control. I don't have music playing in the background, for example, which sucks as I love music. If it has lyrics, though, I start singing along instead of writing, and if it doesn't have lyrics then I start conducting like a pretentious fool. The TV remains off lest I switch on a games console and destroy all creativity for a week. My TBR pile constantly calls to me, but I'll relent only when my fingers can type no more and my eyes have shrunk in their sockets. Gotta keep writing!!!

There are no dares going on in our region, nor can I see any in the horror genre forum on the NaNo site, which surprises me. I recall lurking the forum left over from last year and found some very bizarre dares, one involving a man-eating lettuce. I'd be doing well to weave that into my story!

I don't know about my fellow WriMos here but the recent CD announcement re: eBook submissions has given me a renewed energy to knuckle down with my novel. Time for another couple-thousand words, I reckon.

Keep it going everyone.

TerryE
11-13-2012, 03:05 PM
I love that the ebooks are open for submissions also, but I'm nowhere near ready to submit a novel. I hope some of the regular visitors in the writer's forum have something ready, though.

I am hoping my new habits help get a story or 2 ready for magazine submission.

Randy D. Rubin
11-13-2012, 03:14 PM
I just put one of my novelettes in. I'm so excited. I hope they like it. Its called, "The Beast with the Black Hood". I have three more novelettes ready. I'm not sure if they take multiple subs though.

TerryE
11-13-2012, 03:31 PM
Good luck, Randy!!! You were one of the people I was thinking about.

Randy D. Rubin
11-13-2012, 03:41 PM
Thanks Terry! I have my fingers an toes crossed. This would be a dream come true for me, I'll tell you!

RJK1981
11-13-2012, 06:24 PM
Sounds pretty interesting Terry. We havea very active region, with daily threads for people to post their progress and little story notes, as well as milestone threads for every 5,000 words that get named by the first person to that number. We already have at least 2 people over 50,000 words already here!

My story will take over 50,000 words for sure.I'm at 20,000 words and I haven't quite come to a very important piece that will propel the plot in a way that will potentially make the main character think he has definitely gone crazy. One question I still need to answer for myself is if the main character is the good guy or both the good guy and the bad guy (this this is where I am leaning right now). To make things even more complicated, I am wondering if my main character will see or meet himself or not.

I don't know yet how many settings will be described. Most of the story will occur in the main character's house. The overall setting of this story is his home, though there will be some places away from home.

TerryE
11-13-2012, 09:36 PM
I'm at 8000 words, and not much has actually happened yet. I've got a couple good characters going. I've already worked in my ghost (or at least laid the foundation). I've had the main character's second interaction with the mystery girl. (I was conflicted about that scene. I wanted them to meet again, but didn't want all of his questions answered, and I made that work. Yeah, Ter!) I think this is headed to novel length, but will settle for what it needs to be. Since it's not plotted, it could come in shorter. If I don't meet my word count and still have time at the end of the month (doubtful at the rate I'm going, but I'm still hopeful), a related story will be started to keep things going.

Lucian Poll
11-13-2012, 11:10 PM
Nice stuff, guys. It sounds like you've both got good support in your local area. I'll be heading to my first write-in tomorrow to check in with my fellow local WriMos.

My story, if anyone is curious, involves two office workers who are accidentally chased into an impossible maze of splintered time and space by a crazed former colleague. You know, an everyday occurrence. The maze bears a little resemblance to that in Cube (I've been told it has more in common with the sequel, but I haven't seen it), only you don't need to be an idiot savant to avoid traps. (There's no need for deadly traps in the maze when there is no food around. I think things can get suitably deadly when people are driven half-mad with hunger.) At this stage of the story I'm still throwing in elements that build a picture of the maze and the way it operates, while at the same time intriguing the reader to continue reading and also chipping away at my characters' hope that they can escape. I've just reintroduced my bad guy (who, of course, is also trapped in the maze) with a spectacularly vile passage that will probably see me ostracised from all family, friends and loved ones who read it. Go me!

I'm hoping the maze itself, once I unveil it, will be the hook with which I can reel in eager readers, and perhaps agents and publishers too. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed!

Any road, before I get too many miles ahead of myself, I've reached 23K so I'll put the novel to bed for tonight and recharge my batteries. (I've got the final book of the Concrete Grove Trilogy to devour.) I'm confident I'll get to 50K but it feels like my story could end up being 70-90K, so I am unlikely to type 'The End' on my first draft until mid-December. That's fine by me so long as I get it done and dusted by Christmas. I can then pick it up again for the second draft early in the New Year.

As ever, keep it going guys.

Oh, and good luck with the submission, Randy!

RJK1981
11-13-2012, 11:57 PM
Giving a description for my story is not easy for me yet. I don't want to reveal too much, don't want people to just read the back of the book or the DJ flaps and think they know what happens. This is what I have listed as the description on mt novel page on NaNo:

Jason has recently been having nightmares. He can't remember what has happened in them, but he thinks they have all been similar. In order to try and stop them from happening he decides to try and figure out what they have been about. If he is able to remember, will that be enough to stop them or answer why he has been having them in the first place?

Definitely doesn't give very much away about the story, that's for sure. I haven't even put in an except on the novel's page yet

TerryE
11-14-2012, 04:58 AM
I had a good session tonight. My word count is picking up slightly every day (a good sign, but still only half of what I need to finish on time). But tonight the words came easy. A single sentence led to a tale to be told another time (a short story or an episode in another novel) and a little sidebar that I really, really like. In fact, I put that whole section up as my excerpt. Check it out. Let me know what you think.

And, I already know exactly where I start tomorrow, so that helps, too.

RJK1981
11-14-2012, 09:41 AM
Awesome Terry. Just remember, it's all about the words, so write what comes to mind and worry about everything else later. I already know I will have sections that need to be changed (added on to or have things removed), and at least a couple sections I will likely cut since they don't propel the plot properly and don't really help get to know the characters. But, that's okay, I went in realizing this was a first draft that will need a lot of help down the road, lol

TerryE
11-14-2012, 02:58 PM
That's the stuff I have to fight against. I've always preferred planning everything in advance and editing as I go. It's a tough habit to break this month, but I've been doing pretty good in that respect.

Lucian Poll
11-15-2012, 11:25 PM
Just had my laptop up and die on me, which almost set me back a couple of days had it not have been for Safe Mode. It's certainly eaten a large chunk of today anyway*. That's got to be a good omen, right? Aren't laptops forever upping and dying on writers?

Congrats on reaching 10K Terry! :)

*That and finally watching Skyfall. Wow! What can I say? I'm honestly struggling to think of a better Bond movie.

RJK1981
11-16-2012, 05:13 AM
That reminds me, make sure you back up your stories every Monday, if not more often. Create a backup and then either e-mail it to yourself or upload it somewhere

Xiabei
11-16-2012, 04:25 PM
Damn, this month is going way too fast! Doesn't help when I'm obsessed with finding a job; tends to cloud over everything. So I doubt I'll make it on time, but that's ok; at least I'm doing something.

TerryE
11-16-2012, 06:09 PM
Thanks, Lucian. The past 2 nights, I've been to bed early, exhausted. Yesterday morning, I got a little done and hit that 10,000k. At this point, I don't think I'll hit 50,000 before the end of the month, but I'm going to see it out, no matter what.

I kinda miss my free time. The DVR is filling up, and netflix envelopes unopened, but this is more important right now.

Lucian Poll
11-22-2012, 01:31 AM
Hi, Xiabei. My very best wishes in landing a job. I hope you keep nibbling away at your story in the meantime. As you say, at least you are doing something. (In other news I now have a near complete collection of Black Static back issues, which I'll put up on my collectors thread when this is all over, complete with a brief index of the fiction in each issue, unless someone has already beaten me to it.)

Hi Terry. Have you gotten any further with your story? I've seen you mention that it's part of a larger universe. Have you many other companion pieces?

Has anyone else got an update they'd like to share, whatever the word count? Adamjames? Sock Monkey? I can see that RJK is doing great. :)

I've hit the 35K mark: 35,736 words to be exact. Getting this story down is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I reckoned that taking time off work would give me glorious 16 hour days to fill with gory storytelling, but I'm barely ahead of schedule. That said I have one last chapter of build-up to write before I get down to the business of kicking arse and maniacally ripping things up, so perhaps my word rate will jump from there.

Oh, and now my boiler has gone the same way as my laptop. It's a wee bit chilly in Poll Palace at the moment, and will be for the next couple of days. I'm telling you, my novel is jinxed! I can't imagine why... ;)

TerryE
11-22-2012, 02:48 AM
Way to go Lucian (and RJK, too). Apparently 5 hours of sleep every night, ain't cuttin' it. I was going pretty good, but exhausted the past week. 10 hours of work each day (and it's been a stressful couple weeks), trying to spend quality time with the family (with the little guy it is especially important), and the holidays winding up, writing time has been short. I thought I would catch up a little last weekend, but it was so busy. Then on top of that, Sunday night was out because of the football game, and I slept through most of the second half of that. I tell you, November is not the best time for this. But the story has not hit any snags, so I'll soldier on whether I make the word count or not. Although next month, I may lay it aside to finish a story that I want to finish for the CD submission.

My story takes place in my fictional county. I actually have several story ideas that share this setting. I'm not sure why I didn't dive into one of them for this month, but I'm still discovering things about this town that I never thought about before. I quite like it. And I think I said before that I made an offhand mention of an event during this novel, and it could become a whole other short story. Another time I came up with a name for a road (Work Camp Road) and that inspired another bit of history. The county has a hydroelectric dam, and hey, Work Camp Road was built as a connector to the constructions site which, come to think of it, was a works project during the Depression, and there was an influx of population before the War, and that can lead to all kinds of things to be brought to life in other stories. It's fun.

TerryE
11-23-2012, 05:08 AM
I hope the Americans here had a good Thanksgiving. We had a good day, but not much writing got done tonight. However, I did have a fairly disturbing dream this morning, and I think I now have a direction for the ending of my tale.

RJK1981
11-27-2012, 09:19 PM
November is almost over, only 4 days left, including today! Good luck, should be at 45,000 at the end of today. I started at just a little under that, so I will definitely make it to that goal and roll right on past it. Hopefully can finish this tomorrow or Thursday. Would be cool to finish it today, but don't expect to.

Will likely not get to the end of the story and will not worry about doing that right away so that I can write a short story for Cemetery Dance magazine submission. I already got a basic idea of what I will be doing and have a location for it. I have a good place to have it located based on where I was at when I was in Iraq, and even where I ended up serving my year could be used as both locations are prime locations for a spooky story! ;)

TerryE
11-27-2012, 10:14 PM
Way to go RJK. I haven't had nearly the time required to make it, but I've gotten into better habits with my writing. I definitely won't make the goal, but I'm happy with the start I got, and (like you) am only taking a break to finish a story for CD. That one is about 1/3 of the way in already and fully plotted (unlike anything I've done), so hopefully it can be done in a couple weeks.

My novel has several characters I really like, I've learned more about the setting, which has been germinating for years, and a couple sequences that I'm really proud of.

I hope you and Lucian keep rolling and hit the magic number.

Lucian Poll
11-28-2012, 11:41 AM
Thanks, Terry, I hit the big five-oh-oh-oh-oh around an hour after you posted, so I am very pleased. I didn't get to sleep until stupid o'clock because my brain was buzzing so much!

Hitting 50K also saw the completion of my novel's middle act. I've probably got around another 30K to go before typing "The End", but I'm determined to get it done before Christmas. I've got one story hump to get over, where I'll be drawing from the research I've undertaken, and then we're into the big hold-on-to-your-hats finale.

I'm glad to hear that NaNoWriMo has been worthwhile and both you and RJK have my best wishes with your respective CD submissions. The story I was going to submit is 2000 words too long so I might also take a short break to write something else. I had an idea yesterday that fits in well with a "behind closed doors" theme I've got going at the moment, so I might see where that takes me.

RJK1981
11-29-2012, 11:28 PM
Well, I will definitely hit my 50,000 word count today for sure. Only need a few hundred more words, then it is time to start on my Cemeery Dance short story.

There will be a lof editing needed with this NaNo story, and that will include a lot of trashing of stuff. I rewrote one scene in particular a few times. Not going back and changing the scene though, literally rewriting it without deleting a single word. I just oved the versions I intend to trash to a new chapter so I could keep it seperate from the rest of the story. My male and female characters kept moving in a different direction than I want them going at that early stage of their brand new relationship, lol. One thing that never changed though is that the male main character always rushes to answer the door after being woken up by pounding on his front door and always forgetting to put any clothes on (He sleeps naked, lol), and the person at the door is the female main character, who is his best friend and girlfriend as of the night before.

I still haven't completely decided on who is the bad guy. Either the male main character is both the good guy and the bad guy, or the bad guy is another character who is the female main character's 'uncle' (or even a remote possibility it is both of them), who may not actually be related to her. I am also not sure yet how the bad guy can be stopped. Sounds pretty complicated, doesn't it? It sure does to me, lol, and it is a lot of fun just thinking about the possibilities. I may end up writing two or three versions to see how it plays out with different options for the bad guy. That will all happen later since I want to start writing a short story for possible publication.

TerryE
11-30-2012, 02:51 AM
Congrats, guys. I'm hoping to hit the 1/4 mark by tomorrow. Then, like RJ, I hope to finish a short story for CD. After that I want to come back to this story, to finish it. I have way too many unfinished items.

RJ, how can you be over 170 pages into a book and not know the bad guy? Is it because of the fluid nature of dreams?

RJK1981
11-30-2012, 11:09 AM
RJ, how can you be over 170 pages into a book and not know the bad guy? Is it because of the fluid nature of dreams?

Yeah, kind of. Once I get back to writing more of this story I will be introducing a pivotal plot twist regarding his dreams and whether they are actually dreams or not.

I added some excerpts for anyone who wants to check them out. They have not beeing edited, so I wouldn't be surprised if I needed to edit them all, lol

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/rjk1981/novels/dark-dreamer

TerryE
12-01-2012, 05:00 AM
Well, I hit the 12,500 goal that I set for myself a couple days ago. Tonight was 2 short chapters, that I'm pretty happy with. I didn't get the purple number, but that's okay for this year. I lasted all month (if not every day), and I feel I'm about halfway through the story, which should end up novella length anyway. My habits are getting a little better, even if I'm still not much faster than 500 words per hour. I have to be happy with the slower daily output, because I just cannot stay up until midnight every night of the week. Whew.

I'm glad you guys did so well, and hope you see them through, and they bring you much happiness. Oh, and success, too!

Lucian Poll
12-02-2012, 09:06 PM
Hi RJK, congratulations on winning! I had a look at your excerpts. I liked the final excerpt re: the drawing of the smiling face. Nice and creepy!

Congratulations to you too, Terry, for seeing out the month and having a good chunk of story to show for it. I couldn't have done the 50K without the lengthy spell off work, and having no dependents also helped, so hats off to you!

I look forward to hearing what you guys do with your stories. Hopefully we'll all be vying for the attention of assorted agents and publishers next year!

It seems publishers have warmed to the eBook a little more of late, finally realising they can put out a larger number of titles each year than they could with print, and a damned sight quicker too. It should also mean that they can take more of a chance with an author, which can only be good for up-and-comers.

For example not only has CD cast their net for eBooks to publish but I see Random House has recently opened up an eBook imprint called Hydra for sci-fi/horror/fantasy novels and novellas:

http://atrandom.com/eoriginals

(Of course, this could also be Random House fighting back against agents who have turned themselves into eBook publishers!)

See you in the bestseller charts, guys! ;)

RJK1981
12-03-2012, 08:43 AM
Hi RJK, congratulations on winning! I had a look at your excerpts. I liked the final excerpt re: the drawing of the smiling face. Nice and creepy!

Thanks, glad you like it. That part is probably my favorite part from that whole scene and is basically the end of it and would likely be the end of a chapter. If I were to have the book published in a serial format I would likely want that to end that part of the serial and leave readers off on that for however long it is between the serial pieces. That whole scene was fun to write and is fun to imagine. How could someone write the words and draw the things he drew with closed eyes and no memory of actually doing it. Then if you think of it, that would be horrible to have happen to you. Knowing you are having these nightmares but never remembering them, and then not remembering anything between putting your pen/pencil to the paper and a knock on the door? I don't know how I would react to that!

The question is, where did that face come from? It doesn't match the writing or the detailed drawing that came before it. ;)

I can even give you what the answer to that question is right now: I don't know, lol! I have a couple ideas, but I still have to decide/discover the answer to that question. Might end up writing more than one version to see how I like my options of who the bad guy (or guys) will end up being.

I may end up going back to my NaNo story and working on that sooner than planned. I still have not successfully begun my short story for CD. I know at least part of the setting and can describe a vital building, but I can't decide how to start it and don't know very much about will happen. I was going to write this one in first person but I may have to get location and character sketches done and then shelve the story for now. Hopefully more will come to me here soon. If not, oh well.

TerryE
12-03-2012, 12:11 PM
Hey RJ, if you don't know the beginning, start in the middle and fill in the rest with backstory.

Also, guys, if you ever want any help with proofreading or critque, I'd be glad to help.

I know that part of the point of NaNo is to turn off the inner editor, but that was hard for me. It always is. It doesn't help that the laptop has a sticky keyboard and spelling errors (which drive me nuts) keep popping up. I avoided doing a complete reread and fix every time I sat down, which was a big step for me, but I still would go back if I needed to set something up, or wanted to make things fit better. At least I don't feel like the whole story will need to be fixed. There was one person on the Maryland page who said she would have to put all of the scenes in order when she was done. I don't get that at all.

Sock Monkey
12-14-2012, 04:01 PM
A late congratulations to everyone who kicked butt this year. It looks like everyone made a whole lot more progress than I did! I knew it would be a challenge taking this on in November, but I wished I'd been able to get more done. Unfortunately work took over most of my time. Well, there's always next year! :)

TerryE
12-14-2012, 10:30 PM
I know what it's like, Sock Monkey. I'm on call 24 hours a day for 2 weeks of the month, and have a small child that I love to spend time with. Staying up until midnight (my only quiet time) really took a toll by week 2. And it also didn't help that they have it during football season, too.

RJK1981
12-14-2012, 11:14 PM
I know what it's like, Sock Monkey. I'm on call 24 hours a day for 2 weeks of the month, and have a small child that I love to spend time with. Staying up until midnight (my only quiet time) really took a toll by week 2. And it also didn't help that they have it during football season, too.

Yeah, I was not going to stop watching football, that is for sure, lol. Luckily I am a night owl, so staying up past midnight is a regular deal for me, which is when I did a majority of my writing on most of the days.

Lucian Poll
12-17-2012, 08:15 PM
Thanks, Sock Monkey. I hope to see you next year.

Work certainly has a habit of wrecking creativity. The moment I returned to work my word count took a nosedive. But I'm back in the saddle again. I've written, polished and submitted my CD story, so it's about time for me to return to my NaNo novel. It's now highly unlikely I'll get the first draft finished by Christmas, which is a pain, but let's see how many words I can get down between now and then. The central premise is getting some good feedback from a broad mix of people, so I'd be a fool not to see this one through. So, with knuckles duly cracked, let's begin...

Actually, perhaps I'd better read the last couple of chapters again! ;)

Lucian Poll
02-17-2013, 03:00 PM
If you can forgive a little bit of self-congratulation, I am delighted to say that I have (finally) finished the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel! It currently weighs in at around 102,750 words, or around 360-370 paperback pages in old money, so there's a decent bit of story in there.

I'll follow the King method and leave the thing to settle for six weeks, and then pick it up at Easter for Round 2. I hope to have something together for test readings at the end of May/start of June. (And thanks for the kind offers from the CD Goodreads group. You helped me get over the line. :) )

In the meantime I'd better crack on with some artwork, and maybe start plotting this year's NaNo effort.

Randy D. Rubin
02-19-2013, 08:27 PM
Well done Lucian. Now you may have that celebratory pint or two and toast to your accomplishment. Congratulations.

Lucian Poll
02-19-2013, 08:38 PM
Thanks, Randy. Slurping as I type this! :)

TerryE
02-25-2013, 11:12 PM
Way to go, Loosh! If you need a test/proof reader, just let me know.

Lucian Poll
02-28-2013, 09:39 PM
Thanks, Terry. :) It's a massive relief to get the thing out of my head, even in its current "Dear God, did I really write that?" state!

I'll definitely put feelers out for test readers once I've put it through a second draft, likely end-May/start-June. I've also got it lined up for a professional edit. I'll put a call out via the Cemetery Dance group on Goodreads as I got a really good response when I sought opinion there a few weeks ago. Hope to see you there! :)

In the meantime I've about a million books on my TBR pile to catch up on, and this year's NaNo plot to ferment. Good times!

Randy D. Rubin
03-14-2013, 10:21 AM
Lucian Poll, I just used your name as a character in my seventh novella. You are an Inspector Detective with Scotland Yard. I told you I would, sooner or later, and you said it was all right so...

Lucian Poll
03-16-2013, 03:36 PM
Hi, Randy. I've no problem with being your DI. It sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you've given me some killer lines. :D

I have some news that may have some bearing on your novella (though I hope not). Since we last spoke I've firmed up plans for my NaNo novel, the upshot being that I'm arranging for advertising spots in a couple of magazines over the coming months, Cemetery Dance being one of them.

I hope this doesn't impact on the saleability of your novella. I can't imagine it will, but I thought it better to give you a heads-up either way.

Do keep us informed of my exploits! ;)

Randy D. Rubin
03-17-2013, 02:20 PM
There should be no problems. Best of luck to you my friend. Sell your novel to the masses, tell the rest to kiss our asses. See, you've inspired me to poetry on St. Party's day.

Lucian Poll
03-19-2013, 02:10 AM
Ha! Thanks, Randy. You too. :) Do you have a juicy blurb for your novella that you care to share?