Friday, 27 November 2009

Dana Is My New Best Friend

I've been longing to get an Alphasmart for months. For the last few weeks, I've been watching Ebay like a hawk, and generally losing out at the last minute to sniper bidders. This week, however, I got lucky, and won myself a lovely Alphasmart Dana.

It's already proven invaluable, as my new part time job involves an hour on the bus each way, and I also have an hour once I arrive before I actually start work. So the day after it arrived, I managed 1800 words before I started work. It was a great start to the day!

It was particularly good since I've lost a bit of my lead over the last couple of weeks - I've managed to stay ahead of the minimum NaNoWriMo word count, but there were a few days where I got very few if any words. I'm at 48K now, so overall I'm still pleased with my progress, but life did get a little annoying for a while.

I finally managed to get to a NaNoWriMo meet this week as well, which was great - it's so rare that I get to spend any time physically in the company of other writers that it was a real treat. (All my online writer friends are truly fabulous and I honestly don't think I'd have got nearly this far with my writing without the wonderful community at Will Write For Wine, but there's a special kind of energy that comes from actually being in the same room.) Even better, the group is planning to continue meeting after NaNo finishes, so I may finally have found a writing group.

I also had a rejection this week on my short story, but it was a personal one and said that there was some nice writing in there, so it was actually quite uplifting.

The WIP itself seems to be going okay - I think it would have benefited from a little more planning, but since the idea came together about three days before the start of November there wasn't much time for that. It will need some pretty heavy editing I think, but the story seems pretty strong.

Tomorrow, I have a three hour car journey, and a date with Dana. So if I don't hit 50K tonight, I very much hope to do so tomorrow.

So, that's my fortnight covered. What about yours?

Current word count:

48105 / 50000 words. 96% done!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Note to Self: Write This Scene

The writing continues to go well on my NaNo book, despite a couple of stumbling blocks this week. For the first time I'm finding it useful to leave little notes to myself about scenes and passages I need to add in later, which is allowing me to keep going even when I feel I can't quite write the next scene yet. For example, one of the scenes I need is where my MCs are brought up to date on the battle they're going to have to join, but since I haven't quite figured out the details yet I thought I'd leave it for now. So I wrote a few lines in square brackets about the things I need to cover, and just doing that helped me get a better feel for the scene. Usually, when I get to a scene I don't feel ready to write, I go off and do something different and hope the words come next time I sit down at the laptop.

I'm finding my notebook really useful for keeping track of things, especially names of some of the less important characters. There's one name though that I keep forgetting to put in, and since I can't be bothered to scroll up to check what I actually called her I've given her a new name, which will likely become permanent since by the time I get round to checking I'll have used the new one more than the old. Ah well, such is life.

I was aiming to hit 30K by Friday, and I just managed it, scraping in at around 22:30 that night. It feels pretty good to be ahead of the game - minimum word count for yesterday would have been 22K.

My goal for this week is 43K. It would have been 45K, but since I've just got an additional job over the Christmas period I've decided not to push it quite that much. However, if all goes to plan, I'll be getting an Alphasmart this week, which will make the one hour commute perfect writing time.

Current word count:

33367 / 50000 words. 67% done!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Off and Running for NaNoWriMo, with Collage!

My goal for this week was to hit 10K. I did it - and this morning I hit 15K, which means I'm three days ahead of the minimum word count and averaging 2.5K a day. This is great, especially as I'm unlikely to be writing much this weekend so needed that extra buffer really.

For next week, my goal is 30K. That means I really need to keep this momentum going after the weekend. Minimum word count by next Friday (according to official NaNoWriMo recommendations, that is) is 21,671, so if I meet my goal I'll be well ahead.

The last two years I've found hitting 1667 words a day a bit of a struggle, but this year I'm finding it much easier. I think the key is that I've been writing so much more this year. I'm lucky in that I do tend to write quite quickly - inevitably this means there will be that much more editing to do, but that's okay. I'm just hoping this streak continues, because I'm loving every minute.

Last week I mentioned my collage and soundtrack. I've been listening to the soundtrack regularly, although only when I'm about to write - usually in the morning while I'm having breakfast. I've also put a version of my collage into my project notebook, which is fantastic - each place and person has a page in the book with pictures, where I can jot down anything I need to remember. This is already proving invaluable as I try to keep track of everything going on. Anyway, the fabulous Pamela Cayne asked to see my collage. The structure surprised me, as the last collage I did was more just a collection of images. This one has a timeline running through it of all the places involved in the story - starting top left, running to bottom right - pictures for all the key characters, and images for some of the themes as well. It's different, but I like it. Here it is - click on the image to see a larger version.

Current word count:

15394 / 50000 words. 31% done!