Tag Archives: Fiction

WriMo in the RearView

The annual novelist’s thrash known as NaNoWriMo is history, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Haunting Charleston is in a state of flux. During the course of the WriMo effort, I wrote myself into a bottomless plot hole from which there is no easy escape. The plot scenario was falling quicker than GM stock.

I stepped back to look at the big picture with a reader’s eye.  There are some semi-major changes that must be made which involve re-write and character changes, but the end result will be a better story. I always had a vision that sounded good, but once it was on paper it lacked sizzle. The changes are necessary and better now than to try pushing forward along a flat storyline. It’s not as bad as it sounds and I should recover from the changes in the next 3-4 days.

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener


NaNoWriMo – Day 24

Words today: 1,261
Total Words: 50,004

Finale… Finito… Terminado… or as Toe Mater might say… Got ‘er done!

I will admit to being quite rushed today just laying down word count. I couldn’t see me going another day without reaching the finish line. The last few pages are a little wordy and will be in severe need of severe edit, but the deed is done. I’m still fighting the headache and need to take my eyes off this screen for a couple of days, but as far as WriMo goes. The deed is done!

The challenge may be complete, but the book is far from finished. The goal now is 80,000 words by Dec 15.


And from there it’s at least 4 rounds of thorough edit before I ever put it in the hands of my test readers. I’m thinking that will be around mid February. I’m hoping to have this ready for the Amazon contest which is around the end of Feb.

Thank you NaNoWriMo for the push.

“Never throw up on an editor.” ~ Ellen Datlow

NaNoWriMo – Day 23

Words today: 615
Total Words: 48,743

It’s a good thing I jumped out ahead of myself early on, because the last few days have been a struggle. Today started early when I woke at 3:30 with a ferocious headache. I got some drugs in me and finally laid back down to get some much needed sleep. Unfortunately I woke up with the same headache.

I wrote what I could and finally had to give it a rest. I think it’s an eye thing. The eyes are not what they once were.

Anyway, come hell, high water, or headache, tomorrow I’m gonna stick a fork in WriMo, because I want to be done.

“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.”~ Oscar Wilde

NaNoWriMo – Day 21

Words today: —– (I did guy stuff)
Total Words: 46,212

What can I say – it got up to 75° degrees today with sunshine and light winds. I couldn’t let a late November day like that go to waste. And besides that – the last day of NASCAR season was today, so I watched the race, then went for a ride. Here’s a picture of Pearl taken last year at Meyers-Duren Harley in Tulsa. (Notice the Penguin in Leathers.)

Pearls Homecoming

Truth of the matter is I decided to make it a lazy Sunday. I can wrap up the challenge no later than Wed of this week, so I’m not concerned.

It’s back to the grindstone tomorrow.

If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers. ~ Irvin S. Cobb

NaNoWriMo – Day 20

Words today: 2,390
Total Words: 46,212

Close to end – focused on the big picture.

There’s the finish line. Right up there. It’s within reach and the I’m still pushing forward. At 92.5% of goal with 66% of the month behind me, there’s not much that will keep me from crossing the finish line a winner. The focus has shifted from where I was on November 1st with a blank screen and a fresh idea. Then it was, get down word count – 50K in 30 days. Honestly, I didn’t see how it could be done. Now I can.

So with the new perspective, I’ve shifted my vision from the WriMo challenge to the body of work being developed because of it. My goal was 80K words, thinking that in edit I would get it down to somewhere between 73K and 77K. Haunting Injustice was 65K and truthfully was not long enough to attract an agents interest. (There may have been other reasons, but why give them another ‘no’ box to check by a short word count)

So here I am looking at the story, compared to where I am and where I need to be at the end of the book, I’m going to be falling a bit short, perhaps in the 70-72K range – a long way from where I wanted to be.  So, I’ll be figuring out how to add some bulk once I see where I finish. First edit is going to be a doozy.

Soldier on!

A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction.” ~ William Faulkner

NaNoWriMo – Day 19

Words today: 1,250
Total Words: 43,822

Conventional wisdom says, ‘write what you know.’ Today has been one of those days where I have been writing about what I didn’t know. Consequently a major part of the day was taken up in research. Which brought to mind a thought about how fortunate we are to be writing at a time when research involves two clicks and a little typing in Google, as opposed to throwing on a jacket, driving to the library, and spending a day or two poking through books and taking detailed notes.

I thought about Michael Crichton. That man could research like no other and he did it at a time when you had to go to the library. He wrote The Andromeda Strain in 1969 and went to great lengths to create false documentation to support his work. To quote Spock…”Fascinating!”

Although the word count is down, the day was very productive. The muddy middle of this work will be more cohesive for my research. It’s all about making the fiction real.

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” ~ Michael Crighton

NaNoWriMo – Day 18

Words today: 2,571
Total Words: 42,574

There is an old Firesign Theater bit from the “I Think We’re All Bozos on this Bus” album (1971) that goes something like this…

(Sung to the tune of “Back in the Saddle, again”)

Back from the Shadows again !
Out where an Indian’s your friend!
Where the veg’tables are green,
And you can pee into the stream!
Yes, we’re back from the Shadows again!

Well, that’s kind of how I feel. Not that I have peed in a stream, but I am back from the shadows again. A mental health day was just what the writer ordered. Todays writing felt good and the plot adjustments worked out yesterday took care of a couple of issues.

I did somewhat run aground earlier when I went to adjust my word count meter on this blog.  (over there —>) WordPress must’ve made some slight tweak to the underpinnings of the code because after I made the changes and hit save, my widgets went awry. That sounds worse than it is. Anyway, I went to another style word count meter and everything is copasetic.

For you young people that read the opening and said to yourselves, what in hell is a Firesign Theater, do yourself a favor and check it out at here.

How Can You Be In Two Places At once When You’re Not Anywhere At All? ~ Firesign Theater