NaNoWriMo (day 5)

Writing Goal:     1667

Words Written:  2786

% of Goal:        167%

Wow, what a roller coaster of a day.  Because it’s Saturday, I had grand plans of getting a lot of my book read and then writing a ton.  As usual, life kept me busy throughout the day.  I did sit down to start writing earlier, though, and forced out 800 words or so.  I took a break and then got back after it a couple of hours later and finally got to 1250 words.

Now, so you know, even though the NaNoWriMo goal is 1667 words for a grand total of 50,000, I’ve decided to do 2500 a day and get 75000 on the month.  I was just under 50,000 words on my book when I started, and so I figure that 75k will put me at the 125k mark which is right about where I need to be (sorry for the repeat, but in case you missed it before. . . . )  But, I digress.

That first 1250 words today was like pulling teeth.  There was nothing particularly difficult about the scene I was writing other than I just had a hard time getting it out.  It’s amazing how difficult it can be to portray naturally scenes which play out so easily in our minds.  So, at the 1250 mark I went out and rested on the couch for a few minutes talking with my wife.  I had serious thoughts of giving up for the night.  I mean, c’mon, I have a cushion built up at this point.  I’m way ahead of where I should be a couple days from now, so a short day isn’t going to kill me.  But, I made myself a promise that I’d do at least 2500 a day.  So, I forced myself to get up and head back into my office.  It was literally an effort of sheer will.

I sat down and looked at my keyboard wondering how I was going to trudge out another 1250 words.  So, I started writing, and then it happened.

I’m what you call a discovery writer.  I don’t outline.  I don’t plan.  I just write and the story unfolds itself.  So, I get as excited as the next guy when something cool happens I wasn’t planning on.  That’s what happened here.  All of a sudden this really cool thing happened which led to another and another.  Before I knew it my 1250 words had more than doubled to 2786.  I finally had to stop to do some other things and decided that was a good stopping point for the night.  What’s really great is that one of the big ideas that unfolded itself is just screaming to be written down as soon as I open my laptop tomorrow.  I imagine that little scene will take up half of my entire allotment tomorrow.  And, from there, my story goes down a path I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time.  The next couple days of writing are going to be challenging but extremely fun.  I can’t wait.

I think I said this yesterday, but I’ll say it again.  Committing to do NaNoWriMo has been one of the best things for my writing that I’ve ever done.  it has forced me to get Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard (BICHOK – as the Writing Excuses guys like to say.  You can listen to that episode HERE).  By the time this month is over, I should have my first draft extremely close to completion.  That will be, as my son and I like to say, PURE RADNESS!

Well, there’s my update!

getting the momentum rolling

Keep an eye out for some changes coming up soon.

The first round of critiques is done on the short story, and we’re all hard at work doing our first revisions based on the suggestions we received.  I got a lot of great feedback from the guys in my group which is going to make my story better.  Now I’m in the process of trying to work it all in.  In addition to going back to add some extra description or to fix some logical errors, I’ve got a couple of scenes which I need to completely rework.  One of them just needs to be rewritten to fix the flow.  The other is going to involve a fairly extensive change to the actual story line.

The whole theme of the story is sacrifice.  I thought I could write a story about it without actually having to do it, but it’s just not working.  Several of my reviewers picked up on it, and I think I’m going to have to kill one of my darlings.  I actually listened to a Writing Excuses podcast about that once, and I thought I wouldn’t have a problem with doing it (for those interested, you can listen to it here).  Evidently I do.  It’s harder than you think to kill off a character that you’ve created and invested time with.  I know them all, and even the bad guys are important to me.  So, to kill a good one is, well, tough.

As an aside, if you haven’t listened to the Writing Excuses podcast, you really should.  Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells and Mary Robinette Kowal (recent addition) are all well-established authors who give outstanding practical writing advice.  I’m guessing that if you’re a wannabe writer like me, you’ve heard of them.  But if not, give it a go.  You’ll be glad you did.  Most, if not all, of their past episodes are available to listen to on the website, and the last couple seasons are available for download directly from iTunes.

Getting back on track, I’m excited to give this a good solid revision.  I think I’ll probably add several thousand words to my story which will be welcome because it currently sits at just under 11,000 words.  I wanted to be closer to the 13,000 – 15,000 range.  The longest story of the group is in at about 18,000+ which is long, but the story was very good.

All in all, the stories which have been submitted are all great.  I am fortunate to be grouped with the writers I am because they all bring a great aspect to the group.  The anthology is going to be outstanding.  I can’t wait until we get closer to release.

I’m still trying to decide what to name the story.  I don’t have any front-runners right now.  I’m also trying to decide whether I’m going to publish it under my real name or whether I’m going to use a pseudo.  I wonder if it would be too presumptuous to use something like: “Supreme Commander,” or “Greatest Author Ever.”  I’ll have to mull that over a little more.  🙂

Check back for more updates.  I’m hoping to have some more for you soon.  I’m also hoping to have some more blog posts up on a more consistent basis.