There is this challenge that starts every November 1st. They call it… NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. The deal is you are supposed to write a novel no less than 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. All years prior I considered this brass ring beyond my reach – unachievable. Yet, year after year, hundreds of other writers completed the challenge. I questioned their sanity. Now I question mine.
On the 24th day of NaNo I crossed the 50,000 word line. For my winning submission I get neat little badges to put on my web site. (There’s one right over there —>)
And I get a certificate, suitable for framing.
Click for full size
Now the real work begins.
It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.~ C. J. Cherryh
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
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
Words today: 1,916
Total Words: 48,128
Short blog today. There was this allergy assault and I’m in a Benadryl induced slowdown.
More tomorrow… writing, not Benadryl.
Look for my short story Sailing the Paper Seas to run tomorrow at Every Day Fiction.
I write to escape … to escape poverty. ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs
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.)
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
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.
“A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction.” ~ William Faulkner
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
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
Words today: —– (took a mental health day)
Total Words: 40,001
It was bound to happen. Writing at such a frantic pace, I moved past my creative ability and took a look at how crappy I was writing, ripped a bunch out, criticized the effort, and have decided to take a break, lest I suffer the swift onset of stark, raving madness.
Honestly, it was a good thing. Creatively, it just wasn’t there today. I’d try to write and every word, every dialog tag, and narrative just felt wrong. I know, it goes against the mission of NaNoWriMo which is to just write in spite of how bad you think it is, but since I have a pretty solid plan for the novel once it’s finished, better not get it so far out of whack if I don’t have to.
Anyway – still happy with what I’ve done and have figured out a few other things that will help plot issues to be faced down the road. The plan is coming together in spite of the creative speed bump today.
I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard
Words today: 1,997
Total Words: 40,001
Today has been an assortment of extremes. I woke to the maniacal din of barking hounds, no doubt upset that I was sleeping and they weren’t. The clock let me know I would get very little writing done before having to leave for an appointment at the V.A. Subsequently, I got no writing this morning. I kept an eye on the temperature gauge, because I certainly didn’t want to freeze my patootie off, thereby arriving at the V.A. with a medical issue that would make the upcoming colonoscopy unnecessary.
The temperature gauge cooperated. It was 55° when Pearl rolled away from the house (If you don’t know who Pearl is, click HERE. Her picture is on the top of the page.) I had a nice chilly ride to Ok. City. Pearl runs so much better in the cold, but I digress. The reason I was headed to the VA was for a hearing test. The diagnosis is tinnitus coupled with minor hearing loss in the higher frequencies. He told me this is common with older veterans whose jobs in the military had them around weapons a lot. I was a small arms repairman.
Then a ride back here to try to get in word count to hit 40K. It was a stretch and a mad dash, but here I am. That puts me 10K away for beating the WriMo with 13 days to do it.
I think I am going to make it.
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. ~ Tom Clancy