Friday, November 15, 2019

NaNoWriMo Update: THE END

That's an actual screenshot of what I wrote today. No, I didn't finish the 50K word NaNoWriMo goal, but I did finish writing the last scene of the novel I planned out for it. My estimates were right on: I came in just under 30K.

So I just wrote my second novel... but it is shorter than a short story-turned-novella that I wrote a few years ago. Kind of feels anti-climatic, but it is close to the right range for middle grade, and I have a lot to add to it. I tend to write in dialogue and character thoughts, so I need to paint the settings and character descriptions.

I also tend to convey all emotion with the lowering and raising of the eyebrows, or shrugging, or nodding. So as well as going back to weave in the ideas I came up with as I was writing, I need to express the character's emotions more elaborately.

To get the arbitrary number of words that NaNoWriMo has deemed a novel, I am now writing character descriptions and setting descriptions. I've found it useful in the past to do this and then weave them into the actual text. I listed out and have more than ten of each of the two categories, which some simple math shows will result in 20K words.

I also got my first 4K day in a week. That's a relief because I started to feel like it was a fluke that I did it the first week.  Nice to go into the busy weekend on a positive note.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NaNoWriMo Update: Week 1

It's my first year attempting National Novel Writing Month, which is defined as writing 50K words in a month. Going into it last week, I was completely uncertain if I'd be able to pull it off. And I'm still far from certain, but after 9 days I have 21,780 words in my document. That's ahead of the scheduled 1,667 per day, but I'm trying to finish before Nov 25 (I'm guessing that whoever scheduled this thing in November wasn't responsible for school-aged children who have the full week off nor was planning to host a Thanksgiving dinner!)

It has been a new experience for me to sit down by 10am and tap out 4K words before school pickup. I've had a few days where I didn't get focused enough and so had to carry on in the evenings, but overall I've been shocked by how fast I can write when I'm trying: I can generate 500 words in 20 minute sprints,  although the pace decreases to about 1K/hour overall, given breaks and such.

My biggest problem is looking to be that the novel is coming in close to my estimate of 30K words, which is acceptable for middle grade, especially considering I'll need to weave in setting descriptions and emotional explanations, but that will be much slower. So my current plan is to try to generate the balance to "win" NaNoWriMo by writing pure setting, character description and backstory. It could be a waste of time in order to reach the rather arbitrary goal, but I have found it useful in the past to write these pure descriptions and then pick the best sentences to weave in.

So, so far so good. Apparently, I can do it for nine days anyway, at least if I have a novel planned out.  Happy writing, everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Inkberry, Crime Fiction, Indie Publishing

On Sat Nov 16, my day-job colleague and undercover-writer B.J. Smith will be at the lovely Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO for a talk, reading and book signing. I've found his books to be very well written and clever reads.  Check it out!