Fall Leaves, Luis Llerena

NaNoWriMo: Week Three

Day fifteen

Word count: 2,144

Today I started the second POV in my dual POV novel. I’m a little nervous about being this far in before the POV switches, but it makes sense. Once I got to this point, it was natural to switch over, and thankfully I found Penelope’s voice just as easy as Artie’s. I’m worried, however, that they sound too similar. Hopefully this is something I can fix in my revisions.

I am doing something different with my POVs, too. With Artie, his narration is in present tense because it’s his present. With Penelope’s, forty years earlier, her narration is past tense. It’s not easy jumping from present to past and back again, but I really like this choice I’ve made. Hopefully it works too.

Day sixteen

Word count: 1,464

Everything about this is bad.

That’s the point I’m at today. The writing is bad. The story is bad. The word count is bad. I don’t want to do this. Why did I decide to do this? I want to give up. The revision necessary to make this even just good is already overwhelming me and I’m nowhere near that point. Ugh.
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Window Wet, Rowan Heuvel

NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Day eight

Word count: 1,289

I knew I wasn’t going to make it very far today because I had tickets to the Steelers game, which took up the entire day and exhausted me. I wrote before the game at my parents’ house, but it was a struggle. At least I managed over 1,000 words, which has become my goal any day that I feel like I can’t quite make it to the actual target goal.

Day nine

Word count: 2,490

I had a day off today, a flex day from a Saturday I had to work last month. Though I had the day scheduled a while ago, I ended up having to take care of my car. I was hit a few weeks back and today I had to drop the car off and get a rental car. This was first thing in the morning. For some reason, I was so exhausted afterwards that I spent most of my writing time alternating between nearly falling asleep and writing. However, I still busted through and got more words than usual written. Not quite the doubling of my word count that I wanted, but enough.

Day ten

Word count: 3,490

Well. I have no idea how this happened, but I went on a writing spree. The words just came out and out and it was wonderful. Of course, it helped that I had the worst after work evening ever when my rental car wouldn’t start and I had to wait over 2 hours for the tow truck then had to go all the way to the airport to get a new rental and then the parkway was closed 5 minutes before I got onto it and I had to go home the long way around … well, I wrote a lot during that time period. So that was good.
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Stormy Ocean, Hanna Bergblau

NaNoWriMo: Week One

Pre-game

I had all but decided on doing a Regency romance novel for NaNoWriMo this year. I flipped through my writing notebook for the notes I knew I had about the romance novel idea when I came across a one-line novel idea that struck me as really awesome and super fun. Honestly, I don’t really remember coming up with it in the first place. But once I saw it, I couldn’t get it out of my head, which told me that I probably should focus on it this month and see what happens.

I’m not a planner. Usually when I start a novel, I wing it. I just keep going. If I outline, I find myself stuck more often, as though I’m telling myself subconsciously that I have to follow the outline and can’t stray from it. That’s not true. Of course I don’t have to follow an outline exactly, but try and tell my brain that. But because I couldn’t start writing until November 1, I found myself sketching out some characters and chapter and scene summaries in the days leading up to the day I could start writing.

I feel good about having some things sketched out. My “outline” only goes up to about chapter 6, so after that I’m on my own. But I have a good handle on my characters and everything. Also, in planning, I wrote about half of a query letter. Putting the cart before the horse? Perhaps, but at least it’s a somewhat solid book summary to work with.

Another thing I did, which I’ve never done before, is create a cover for my book. The NaNo website suggests that participants are 60% more likely to finish if they have a cover. I don’t know about that, but I was feeling like doing some design work, I have a new favorite font I wanted to play with, and I found photos I really like, so I created a cover. It really doesn’t actually match up with the novel perfectly, but when do covers ever do that? Anyway, you can see it and follow my progress outside of these updates at my NaNo profile.
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Colored Pencils by Martin Vorel

Making time to revise

My writing group is going to read and respond to the final 70 pages of my WIP by the beginning of August. The problem? I needed to revise things in those last 70 pages — quickly!

Revising for me is a two-step process. First, I print out the chapters or scenes I want to work on and use different colored pens to mark everything up. (I talk more about my process in the “I should be editing” post.) Second, I take all those changes and type them up, transferring them onto the computer. I like this way of revisions. It works for me. I need the visual and the two-step process to make sure my revisions work times two.

But it all takes up a lot of time. And I don’t have a lot of that.

I have a 9 to 5 job (that I love, don’t get me wrong) and in the evenings I tend to be distracted very easily. Pirates baseball, Food Network, Netflix, my online communities, cooking, reading, and then of course sleeping, all seem to take priority in the evenings.
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Road by Marcin Milewski

A (finally) completed draft

This weekend, I finally kicked myself into gear and wrote the last missing scene in my work-in-progress — a very necessary somewhat-climactic scene that I was avoiding. I have no good excuses for the avoidance, honestly. Just that I knew it was an important scene, that it was necessary, and that it needed to be written. I’d already written the concluding chapter, which comes after this scene, but this one took months to write. I don’t know what clicked or changed, but Sunday morning I sat on my bed, still in my pajamas, and knocked out the 2,000 word scene.

But I still have a long road ahead of me.

Even though the draft wasn’t complete, I’ve already gone through and done massive editing on the entire novel. A lot changed. A lot still needs to be changed. Yes, I have an ending (have had the ending for a while; this one came easily whereas others in the past have been more difficult to discover), and I’ve finally written this missing scene, but that doesn’t mean everything fits together. It’s complete, yes, but it’s not finished.

So what’s next?
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