Sunday, November 30, 2008

So This is What It's Like in the Winner's Circle

On my fourth attempt, I have completed the challenge of NaNoWriMo. :)

At around 1am this morning I finished, with a little over the required word count of 50,000 and uploaded my story to the NaNoWriMo site for word verification. Somehow an extra 200 words were added in the process, but hey! that's fine by me. :) I'm quite pleased as you can imagine. It was very difficult to focus but focus I did and finished. Hoorah! The novel will need major reworking and revision, but I think the idea is a good one and has promise. So again I am happy with the results. :D

I really believe that part of the reason I was able to finish this year is the course How to Think Sideways that I'm taking. Without it I couldn't have pre-plotted without over plotting, and I think that helped me a great deal. I was able to plot just enough. Not over, not under, just enough structure to aid me as I struggled to get from one part to the next. And yes, it was a struggle, but it was so much easier this year than past years! :) Another reason was attending the Boston Kick Off party - fantastic motivational day. Then, of course, having writing buddies like atomicpagan kept me motivated as well. Finally, if I was stuck, I would think invisible robot fish or crime fighting tomatoes, grin like an idiot and start writing again.

I've decided that next year I won't be writing my nanonovel in my notebook. I'll just type it out. Writing then typing is not fun, especially when you're writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Some stories need to be written on paper, doodled on, scribbled over and dotted with asterisks and side bars full of conversational snippets for a later time. NaNoWriMo stories are better suited to being typed out with the first words that come to mind .. or to fingertips, as the case may be. Spill it all out on the keyboard! More efficient that way.

I've crossed NaNoWriMo 2008 off my 1001 list. Three down, 98 more to go!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NaNoWriMo Update

I like to write on paper with a nice pen. I like the way that feels, and it enables me to take notes, cross things out, make doodles in the margins as I write. So, for this year's NaNoWriMo attempt I did just that. I bought a notebook and wrote. I find I write best in the morning so I tried to do most of my writing at that time before I went to work and then finish off some more words at the end, but when I reached over 20,000 words, the realization of it all hit me like a mack truck. In order to have my word count validated and to officially "win," I would have to type it all in and upload it to the NaNoWriMo site by November 30. *headdesk*

I've since switched gears. I've started typing in the mornings what I've written so far, and I type new scenes into my laptop at night. Physically typing at night isn't foreign to me since that's when I'd usually check my email and respond to people online. I'm better at staying awake when I'm typing into the computer at 11:30pm than I am when I scribbling into my (paper) notebook. At night I have a stream of consciousness thing going on that works well for typing out a nanonovel. In two days/nights, I've typed around 7,000 new words of my story. (yay!) I'm aiming for 30,000 words before I go to sleep tonight. I know there are many who are way ahead of me (congratulations!!) and many who are behing me in word count (don't give up!!), but hitting the 30,000 mark would be such a confidence boost for me.

Luckily, I had written a series of sentences lite for the story as part of my class work in Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers course. Those little scene sentences are a godsend! I can easily stay on track and create new scenes at the same time. Taking Holly's class was a wise decision for me.

Oh! and Scrivener is working out great. Once the trial period is over, I'll have to purchase the program. I've been able to keep all my notes, sentences lite and work in one spot. And Scrivener keeps a running word count for me, and shows me a little graph/bar with my progress. How cool is that? Very cool in my book.

Friday, November 14, 2008

#71 on the List

I took a CPR class tonight. It was painless, and I learned a lot. Plus now I'm more confident about trying to help someone in distress. In high school I always felt intimidated by the whole thing and could never remember how many breaths, how many compressions, etc. This time it was good. M. was a great teacher. :)

Now I just have to get on with that nanonovel. I'm sadly behind, but I think I can still do it. I'm motivated by everyone else's progress. Great job, everyone! :D

edited to add:
#21 on the list - There's a new restaurant next to where I worked. I tried a lovely artisan sandwich there called Jardiniere. Very tasty. I also tried one of their Caprese sandwiches, but I've had a Caprese before so that didn't count.
#90 on the list - I watched "Spanglish" over the weekend with Tea Leoni, Adam Sandler, Cloris Leachman and the talented Paz Vega. Good movie. ;)