NaNoWriMo: Next Steps

As we discussed what seems like years ago, the plan with this year’s NaNoWriMo was never just to get to 50k words and claim success. There’s a lot to do, and I’ve been chipping away at the total since I claimed victory. The key this time around is that NaNo have provided new tools to allow people like me to set realistic goals for completion, well past the November cut-off point.

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This tracker is great, and really very forgiving (as I’ve had to reset once due to time constraints.) It gives the Christmas period some distinct focus, when I’m normally just wandering around in PG’s gaming. I had planned to be finished by now, but then there was a ton of unavoidable RL stuff and now starting I have a month from next Monday’s a decent shout at the re-do. It also gives me time to pick through the work with a critical eye, rather than simply rushing to completion.

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These trackers will be a real boon, because there is the ability to encourage other works to completion given a standing timeline. If I can make the process work with Contractus, I’m absolutely going to do the same with other work. For that fact alone, these new trackers have the potential to become an indispensable part of my writing routine.

NaNoWriMo :: 50 K DUN

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Except… I’m not finished, not even close. I’ve provisioned two days next week to knock the last 20k or so off in a couple of sittings. I’ll make sure I commit to the Revision Camp that happens early next year. I just want to write more fiction now, not less. This entire process has revitalised my desire to tell stories, and will now serve to help me totally redefine how the Internet of Words goes forward. Mostly, I’ve enjoyed having to think again in a Universe of my own creation.

Let yesterday be remembered as the one which began the redefinition of my writing adventure. Let today be filled with the memory that I need to sleep better, and relax more too.

NaNoWriMo :: Day 20

Nanowrimo 2017

This post has taken a week to make it to this space: not because there’s been an issue with keeping to my plan (see the post coming up next) but simply because, yet again, time at the time wasn’t available. This was one of the reasons why NaNo’s failed for the last few years: I’d hit 50k and all impetus/ability to complete the work would vanish. You see, for me, this word count has always been restrictive, and I’ve been unable to pace myself to complete things once I started them.

Fortunately, a lot has changed in the last 12 months.

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So, Day 19 had me at 40k and confident for the first time I could finish when I’d said. Then, came a problem, mistake I realise that had been made back in the narrative at about the 6k mark. I was devastated, because it had effectively ruined a key section of the flow, that quickly stopped me in my tracks. I left the file open on my PC going to bed Sunday night, and had no idea how I’d fix the problem. The solution, at least in my mind, was something that NaNo suggests you don’t do: go back and correct your work. This is supposed to happen in the revision stage, but there was a realisation that if I didn’t plug the hole, all my hard work would simply leak through.

So, today ended up being about going back to the start and retracing steps. Once the issue was addressed, work recommenced at a fairly swift rate and, all things being equal, I would have hit 50k by Wednesday… were my daughter not unwell Monday night. That stopped me originally writing this post at the time, and meant I was up at 5am on Tuesday morning and on a mission… and you can probably guess what happened next. What also transpired between that point and Wednesday (where we’ll pick up the story again) was a realisation that an awful lot needs to change so I can not simply write more fiction, but do so in a far less stressful fashion.

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In this regard at least, NaNo has been an awesome experience. I got over my fear of commitment, and will finally have a work in December to revise next year. That’s a MASSIVE step forward ūüėÄ

NaNoWriMo :: Day 13

Nanowrimo 2017

Well, here’s a thing. It is all going REALLY well. I’ll grant you, some of my writing is shonky as hell at this stage, but the plot is golden. I’m confident with where everything is heading, there’s no panic over motivation or characterisation. When I write my two leads (and right now this is simply a two character affair) they sit in my head with glorious clarity. There is reassurance and comfort in familiarity. All that needs to happen now is to keep the momentum going. The only fly in the ointment is that I forgot to update my word count over the weekend and therefore won’t get my ‘updated every day for 30 days’ badge. I’m a gamer, come on, this shit matters to me.

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That gap’s gonna annoy me, you know…

However, as you can see, I’m over halfway to completion… but I doubt I’m actually halfway through the novel. Looking at where I am the final total’s gonna be around the 70k mark, and I’m being pretty economical with exposition. It just happens to be a long and complicated story, and I need to tell it complete before I can go back and consider chopping stuff out. Right now, however, according to the stats, I’ll be done with 50k around the 23rd, which still allows time to get the thing finished at my level by the end of the month. I hope to put some extra work in today and tomorrow in order to push myself to about 35k. That’s what I’d like to happen anyway.

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I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because I know how important it is with the limited free time available before Christmas. Most importantly of all however, I need to prove to myself I can go from start to finish and make this happen, because there are so many other half finished projects I could be working on apart from this novel, and they all could potentially make me some money.¬†It has become a bit of a personal crusade now to show I’m capable of sticking with this through to the end, as that’s always the part of the process with which I fail. Saying you’ll create something is one thing, having the courage to complete the task is a different ask entirely.

Today’s going to be a lucky day. I’m going to make sure of that, and take a huge step towards a major goal.

NaNoWriMo: Day Six

Nanowrimo 2017

Firstly, apologies for the backdated nature of this post, but scheduling is becoming a bit of a lifeline, both forwards and backwards through my existence. I have, effectively, become a time traveller, which I’ve often thought would be the only means by which everything I wanted to do would get done. Amazingly, this now proves to be 100% accurate. This post should have been written on Monday, but that was the day I rewrote a ton of other stuff, scheduled a bunch of pictures and had a PT session. Instead, it’s being fitted in between more Gym time, poetry and some Instagram faffing.

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The main point of NaNoWriMo every year is to get people into the habit of writing consistently, to a deadline and to a word count. After you learn these techniques, nobody is then telling you that’s how to write everything.¬†It is the same mentality that states there¬†is more than one way to bake a cake, take a holiday, eat an apple or wear a shirt. Some things such as flying aircraft or splitting atoms require a very precise and well-documented set of directions. Writing, for a lot of people, is as much about instinct as principle.¬†Once you ‘get’ what works best for you, being told this is bollocks and you have to do it this in a different manner is… well, not optimal.

The trick, as is the case with most things in life, is knowing yourself well enough to find the place and space that works¬†for you. However, and this is vital, there are basic principles that need to be stuck to.¬†This is the same framework that I remind my daughter of when she complains that her art teacher is being unfair when insisting she sticks to the principle of proportion and perspective. Once you’ve learnt the rules, then you get¬†to break them.¬†Understanding grammar, sentence structure, what’s surplus to requirement and what fiction needs to survive all have to be understood before you start fucking about with the presentation.

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If I wanted to be more mainstream, for instance, the casual swearing would have to go, but I’ve spent so many years¬†having to put up with that restriction that frankly now I don’t give a fuck. I’m not an educational website here, this is what I am, and that includes adult language and a Restricted rating on pretty much everything I write as fiction. Once you grasp that this is simply my means of taking the rules I was taught and setting fire to them? Everything’s cool. That means that I’m here to point out that this week I’m on schedule to complete earlier than anticipated, and that I’m not prepared as yet to let too much plot into the world.

However, I will be offering some asides to the process, which includes this one. If I’m too busy writing to write about writing, it is no longer an issue to go back in time to remind you how important scheduling¬†can be, and that nobody is perfect.¬†As long as everything gets done, you don’t let anybody down and everyone is happy? Frankly, in my mind, it doesn’t matter what order stuff gets done.¬†If there are things that¬†are utterly unavoidable then you use those as your markers, and simply work around them.

That’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month.

NaNoWriMo: Day Three

Nanowrimo 2017

Today was an unexpected day with company, as my daughter was given a day off school. That gave me a chance to play some games, relax a bit into the writing and sort out some outstanding gubbins. Mostly, the major task was prepping protagonists to meet for the first time. I almost got to the start of the chapter where that happens, but fatigue has told me it is time to stop.

Word Count at present is 7283, which is maintaining the over 2k a day. I’m planning to be at 50k by the start of week four so I can do the extra I need. I’m looking at 60k for the finish line. If I can keep this up, it is totally doable, but that will depend on me being disciplined and making time every day. Assuming nothing untoward happens with the rest of my scheduling, it is totally in the bag.

I’ll spend some time tomorrow to give you a better idea of exactly what this story is all about. For now, time for some much-needed shut-eye

All Change

NaNoWriMo 2017

Okay, there’s no avoiding the inevitable. With this being the last day of October, NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow.¬†I have my official site blurb all edited and uploaded, there’s a book cover made and we are ready to roll.

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Starting tomorrow I’ll be doing some changes to this site, all in line with the proposed changes you’ll see on the Patreon. Don’t panic: if you’re a Patron, you’ll have an opportunity (starting on the 6th) to have direct input on how you’d like things to move forward.¬†There is other stuff too, but a girl has to hold some surprises. They’ll also be a reasonably regular flow of content here apart from talking about my novel, and writing about (talking about) my novel.

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I’m also encouraging people to come and cheer me on: I’ll be posting this year exclusively using the @InternetofWords account, in the vain hope it might get some new followers. Feel free to come along and join me.

This journey will be the best one yet.