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elphaba2
Oh Christ, my novel is mad at me. I've killed off three of the four main characters and am floundering at about 6,000 words. Luckilly I've got three plane rides in the next three days, one of them for 5 hours, so maybe I can just bust my business and get some words written, reconstruct this silly plot and go go go. Maybe I'll send my main girl to Cambodia. I'd like to see her in Cambodia.

The impending threat of laptop-shutdown has as yet been a pretty good motivator. Viva la airplane boredom!
Mata
I don't think that you're supposed to worry too much about structure in this game, just the word count. Keep going! Introduce some new characters, kill them off, then have your lead think that she's jinxed! biggrin.gif
Daria
My computer shut itself down and even though I had saved (at least I thought I had), the saved copy is nowhere to be seen.
So, 8 days into November, almost a third through the month, and I have less than 2000 words.

I'm also thinking that I shouldn't be writing this story. It feels too ... self indulgent and I kind of don't want anyone to read it. But at the same time I do.


Bah.
Phyllis
After a few days of catching up, I'm now at about 11,000 words. Woo!

I might actually win this thing if I can keep up with the daily word count goals I set for the rest of the month. ohmy.gif

And then it'll probably take until next NaNoWriMo to edit it into anything I'd be even remotely comfortable having anyone else read. dry.gif
Mata
Nice one Cand!

I did 1300 words today. I only noticed I was over my daily target of 1000 when I'd gone way over it. I'm making sure I don't splurge so I give my brain time to work out what's going to be happening the next time I write, and it keeps it fun too.
voices_in_my_head
I'm currently about 4000 words behind where I should be! However, I've got a story going that I'm relitively happy with so it's worth the extra time and thought it takes to get the words down right.

Plus, I wrote a bit extra today too, so all I need to get back on track is to write about 400 more words a day. smile.gif

Edit: I've decided to share a little bit of the story that I'm really proud of. Just so you know, the main character's name is Hope.

QUOTE
And so, after my many conclusions about myself, about the human race, and about god, I decided that I should wait on killing myself. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was just being selfish and a stupid teenager like adults are always talking about and I’d get over it in a matter of weeks or months. Maybe there was a god there the whole time, just testing me to see if I was worthy of moving on. So even in the beginning of my little life story, my imagination kept me alive.

It kept me alive long enough to give me myself back for a little while.
It kept me alive long enough to give me hope.
Mata
Oo, yep, that's good!
Mata
Bugger. Nothing today because I was in London all day, and now I'm too drunk to trust myself to write, but I'll go back on the 1000-per-day plan tomorrow smile.gif
Mata
Whee! I've done 2500 this weekend, and...

I've broken the 20,000 word barrier! Woohoo!

I'm now on 21040, to be exact.
elphaba2
Though it pains me to say this because I hate you so much, nice job.


(arrrggggh why is Cambodia so surprisingly hard to write about?)
Mata
Cambodia? Er... Crikey. I've never been there and would be hard pushed to make anything sound convincing about the place. My book is set in a city in England. I'm even avoiding say which city it is, just to skip out on having to be vaguely accurate about anything!
elphaba2
Well, at least the research is interesting. I just found an article about a woman from Seattle who couldn't handle her son, couldn't get him to behave at all--so she leaves him in Cambodia.
Mata
Hahaha! Ace! Now that's my kind of parenting!

I struggled a bit today, but I finally got to my 1000 words. I'm building to a big scene where I shift gears for a couple of chapters, and it's proving very challenging to set all the pieces in place to mislead my main character about what is really going on.

On the plus side, I've finally worked out a major piece of the backstory that has been bugging me. It's probably the most crucial event in the life of the main protagonist and I just hadn't been able to work out what it was. Tonight it finally fell into place when I realised that what I really needed was a nemesis to represent that opposing forces. Ka-ching! It's eventually arrived. With this in place I feel really good about what's going to happen in the rest of the book. Yay!

I can't wait until I've got this written and edited so I can start showing people and saying a bit more what it's about. It's a post-cyberpunk story, involving the usual mix of butch men, sexy strong women, corporations, etc, but I don't want to say any more than that. Last time I was writing a book and got to around this stage I made the mistake of explaining what it was about to someone. I realised soon that this had somehow taken a lot of the fun out of it for me. I'm not sure why - maybe it was too set in stone after I'd told someone else, or perhaps I'd somehow spoilt my own sense of fun in the discovery of what happens next. Whatever the reason, I'm keeping my cards close to my chest until this is done!
elphaba2
Sensible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

MADE UP CAMBODIAN SHRINE

QUOTE
The shrine is painted red and gold, beautiful in the fog with the wood looking frayed with time and the wind. Flags looking frayed but resilient, catching the dim sunlight coming through the fog. The archway seems almost defiant against the rock and the brush, the upper part of it sweeping cleanly through the thin air and red against the gray sky. I hear Paul's backpack thump to the ground, then the matching thumps as everyone follows suit. I feel like I should take off my red wool hat, like a salute, but then Sok Pha leads us on into the archway, under the high wood ceiling, vaulted with the wind whistling through the chinks. It feels like a long tunnel, almost, and I'm drifting like it's a lifeboat, staring like there's a light at the end. The stone floor looks like smooth slate, like it was pried off the mountain and placed carefully on the floor. In a way, I want us to wander along this tunnel forever.
Mata
Very nice indeed.

I'm a couple of hundred words away from 25k, but I decided that it was the right time to stop for the day, so tomorrow I smash through that lovely big round number. It's so close!

EDIT: I've done it! 25916 words. My novel is more than 25% complete! Yay!
Mata
Today I've got up to 36,111 words. This means that I've broken through the one-third mark. Chapter seven is complete. Thirteen left to go!

How are other people getting on? Is anyone going to make their NaNoWriMo target this year?
Daria
I have decided not to continue. Infact, I decided that a long while ago.
Phyllis
Urf. 10,000 words, one day. I am up to about 32,500 now.

It is more a stream of consciousness than a novel by this point. I am pulling an all-nighter in an attempt to get more done. I am not allowed anything fun until I hit 40,000.

Mrf. I should get back to it. I am so gonna win this. Yes. I AM.
voices_in_my_head
I might make it despite having taken off a day or two towards the begining of the month. I've been majorily tempted to just give up on some days but...I just make myself write, I'm making my inner editor shut up.

So I'm around 38,000 right about now. I should break 40,000 tommorow!
Mata
Go team Cand and Voices! Especially Voices: 40,000 words is brilliant! Right, I should stop dawdling and go and write my bit for the day.

It's going to feel a bit lonely when you guys are finished at the end of the month. It's been nice knowing that other people are writing every day too. I'm currently scheduled to finish the first draft of my novel on Feb 2nd. I've allowed myself five days in there where I don't expect to write - Christmas is in the middle, after all, and I do have interviews and suchlike to attend as well.

I usually write around 1,200-1,300 per day, so I may even get done a little bit early. I wonder how accurately I will hit the 100,000 mark? So far the story is going pretty precisely to the plan I laid out for it. The locations have changed totally, but the core of it is the same and right on target, which suggests I might be very close to the 100k when I'm done.

The next milestone for me is 40k, which I'll probably hit at the end of Wednesday, then it's the slog through to 50.
Phyllis
I'm at 35,500 now. Hoping to hit 40,000 before I go to bed tonight.

This weekend I have felt like I am back in university. As per usual for me I've waited to do most of the work until a few days before the deadline. rolleyes.gif You would think I would have learned my lesson with the sleep deprivation I went through while finishing my senior project, but that is sadly not the case. Unlike the essays I wrote in uni, however, no one would give this novel a passing grade. Seriously, just...no. I will reach the 50,000 mark, but I am completely hating the second half of the book so far. If my characters were real I think they would be kicking my ass right about now.

I intend to restart the whole book in December, so I won't be completely finished for quite some time. It needs some serious editing and rewriting before I can show it to anyone. Or even talk about it. Do not ask me what the book is about on December 1st. I will probably curl up into a ball and start whimpering. Ask me next December. I may have gotten over the post-traumatic stress from my insane writing marathon by then. unsure.gif

On the plus side, this weekend has left my internal editor firmly bound and gagged. I've been able to just write like crazy for hours on end without worrying if any of it is good. I'm getting the ideas out, so I guess it doesn't matter for now if they're total crap. It's just a rough draft, so I can weed out the horrible stuff later. At this point I am thinking that my internal editor might even be dead. I guess we will find out in December!
Mata
I've just added a new 1353 words, which I'm rather happy with. It was all a bit internal-thinky, but I'd not said much about the thought processes of that character for a couple of chapters so it made sense to give him a bit of time to think.

How are people finding dialogue? For me it's a lot trickier to write than action or description. Even thoughts are far easier to express than people just talking. I'm not sure if I'm getting any of the voices suitably distinct yet, but I'm happy to leave that for editing because the overall story is going very well.
voices_in_my_head
Go Cand and Mata! And Christ Cand, It's a huge struggle for me to even write 2,000 words a day, much less like 5,000! You're my writing hero. tongue.gif And don't worry about the stream of consiouness thing...that's how my novel was last year, minus the plot entirely. The point is getting it all down, editing is for later, just let your muse blab on. And, you can keep you internal editor's body around, but please move it once it starts to rot, hmm? tongue.gif

Dialouge...Comes pretty easily to me, but then again I already have a tendency to write how a person would speak. Whenever I'm stuck on a new character's way of speaking, though, I find it helpful to turn on the TV and find a channel with a person speaking...and then copy their style. Have a very argumenitive character? Go to a political talk show. Funny character? Stand-up. A character that just exist souly to move the plot along...go on over to the news station.

In other news I'm a bit stuck. Description's a bit hard for me and my main character is an artist...so yeah. It's pretty hard to convey the feeling of the pieces I'm seeing my mind.
elphaba2
Oh, crimeny.

I still think I'm going to do it. I kind of have to, at this point, with all the energy I've shoved into the damn novel. But right now I'm at a little under 28,000 and there's a lot of pointless crap going on in my life with a Boy and a dumb Brain that won't work properly. Maybe I can pull 7,000 words out of my ass tonight. Likely not.

Oh well. Nice job everybody else! *shakes pom-poms*
voices_in_my_head
Wrote an extra few hundred words today and managed to pass the 40,000 mark. that leaves me five days to write about 10,000 words.

2,000 words a day? Oh dear.
Phyllis
I didn't quite get to 40,000 yesterday. sad.gif I think I was burned out from my all-night writing marathon the previous night.

Today, though. Yes, it will happen!

I am just really long-winded, Voices. wink.gif I saw an icon that someone used on livejournal a couple of weeks ago that pretty accurately describes my writing style during the last half of the novel: "So then [something interesting] happened to [name] (I will come back to this later) - NaNoWriMo 2007." Okay, maybe it is not quite THAT bad. Like you said, it is getting the basic idea down that counts.

Next year my goal is to actually stay on schedule and write a little bit every day rather than writing the bulk of it in a panic at the end of the month!

I'm not sure whether actions/descriptions or dialogue is easier for me, to be honest. When I look back through what I have written I find that I like the dialogue a lot more than the rest of it, but it seems to take longer to write (it has taken a hit in the final push for 50,000, that's for sure).
voices_in_my_head
So, my muse just...died today.

I have no idea what else to write
and I'm too close to even think of giving up.

So. I guess I'll go do that book report first?
eep....
Mata
If in doubt, make something go wrong for the character - flash flood, witness a crime, be a victim of crime, forest fire, plane crash, get a phone call saying someone has died. Poke the character to see what they do!
Pikasyuu
while I'm not doing nanowrimo, it's true - you have to be a little bit of a sadist (or just pretend you're God and write down what all you'd do) to make an interesting story. and by little bit of a sadist, I mean break out the whips and chains on the poor characters.
Mata
Oo, main character accidentally seduces a sadist - nice twist!
Pikasyuu
Hah, I liked it. And for anyone else suffering with writer's block, I have a few tricks I use to help it along some:

- Reading a good book by an author whose prose you respect
- Popping outside for cigarettes (or something less lung-hating)
- A liiiiittle bit of alcohol

That's really all I can remember for now. Good luck.
voices_in_my_head
43,510 words as of right now!

I had an inspiration to write more when I realised that I hadn't shown any of the past of my characters - most likely the rest of my 50,000 words will be explanations of character's pasts and reasons for them being exactly where they are. smile.gif

It feels good to know that I'll probably actually get this done!
Mata
Great going Voices. A few more days and you'll have done it! Keep it up!

Woohoo! 41,255 words now. I've smashed through the 40k mark, writing nearly 1,600 words today. To reach my target finish date I only need to write 935 per day, so doing this many, especially in a chapter with a lot of difficult dialogue and advancement, is really great. I'm very proud of myself!
Phyllis
Woo! I am almost finished. biggrin.gif

I'm quite impressed that I'm going to actually finish this thing. Normally with a lengthy work of fiction I get frustrated and give up halfway through. I felt like doing so this time, but sticking with it has made me realize where I want the story to go when I edit it. I'm definitely not going to keep the bulk of it, but I am pretty happy with the outcome now!

When you look at my stats page on the nano site, you can see how many days in a row I procrastinated, hah. Next year I am definitely going to stick with writing 1,667 words per day. That is a lot easier than rushing to get 5,000! And I'll hopefully end up not hating the story as much that way.
mooooooooooopo
I have been writing a game during NaNoWriMo month because I am a crazy person like that. The idea was to use NaNoWriMo as motivation for getting it finished and it seems to have worked - it's currently playable but really I need to write a level editor and some AI before the end of the month to count it as 'finished' and therefore call it a success. Like NaNoWriMo there will be considerable editing afterwards!

Even though it's not really comparable to NaNoWriMo I currently have 6,544 lines of code. If anyone is interested it's a very simple turn based wargame but with a twist to place emphasis on almost puzzle style gameplay.

I think next year I'll give writing another go - I tried a few years ago and people who read what I wrote liked it but I ended up giving up because I couldn't get the plot to work in any sensible way.
Phyllis
45,078 words now. I am on the final stretch! Which is why I am awake at 2 AM. I am finishing this thing.

How is everyone else doing? Eeeee, it is already the 30th here!
voices_in_my_head
I've still got a day, here. tongue.gif nurrr.

But I'm at 48,068 right now.

I'll finish tommorow for sure. I had this total ephiphany on how to end it, I'm in writer's heaven right now!

Go Cand!
elphaba2
Aww, you guys are awesome. Yay!

I dropped out, which is inexplicably lame considering that I was nearly at 41k, but it's necessary for my sanity and everyone else's. This way, maybe I'll get into UCLA smile.gif and the way I figured that out, it'd be a lot nicer to go there and to be accepted than to have written a novel in 30 days. I can have written a novel in 40 days, I think, and be just as proud.
Phyllis
I would go with that choice too, elphaba! And a novel in 40 days plus getting into UCLA is dang impressive. biggrin.gif

Okay, it is official. The inner editor is dead. I will be having a moment of silence for her later today. RIP, Vera.

I just spewed out 5,000 more words of utter nonsense (including one idea to incorporate when I start editing that I'm actually quite happy with). I will admit that I resorted to completely eliminating contractions. My characters said "do not," instead of "don't," etc. I was even tempted to separate "cannot" into two words (I resisted, but only just). I wrote "gah! I will do this crappy section later" and moved on when the words stopped pouring out more than once (maybe even more than five times). I found that the words came a lot easier when I based certain scenes on actual life experiences, so I went with that even though I have absolutely no plans to keep any of that stuff in there. When good old Vera was still alive, I found that I could not write more than 500 words in an hour. But with no pesky internal editor, pretty much anything that entered my brain got written down. That definitely pushed my word count up a lot faster!

Yes, Katii, I even wrote about the frog gods. No Cambodian babies, though. I managed to find enough other filler that I did not need them. tongue.gif Though I did have one of the characters explain how to remember how many days are in each month, because I explained it to Oni while I was writing. Wheee. That is exciting stuff, right there. I resisted having them talk about being hungry when I was hungry, though.

It is a far cry from resembling any sort of coherent story. Right now it is more like crazy, sleep-deprived babblings. But that is okay, because...dun duh DUN! (that was triumphant music. It is hard to convey through type)



biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif !!!!

The certificate that I got to download is so getting framed and put on my wall. My fingers kind of hurt from typing so much in such a short time! Definitely not going to employ the crazy, write anything and everything method next year. I am going to have an outline and a plan. Yes. But right now, this year, I am going to have sleep. VICTORIOUS sleep. biggrin.gif

Edit: okay, upon re-reading, this post is so incredibly verbose. NaNoWriMo has had a bad effect on me ohmy.gif
Mata
Wheee! *hugs* Well done! Anyone else got there yet?

Currently I'm on just over 42k, which is further than I expected to be by now, so that's cool. I'm also just approaching the middle point of my plot too, bang on schedule, so my planning is paying off. Yay!
Daria
Congratulations Cand! And all you other 'WriMoers out there biggrin.gif
mooooooooooopo
I got my game to a point where I consider it finished (ie. barely playable) today so I've finally finished my NaNoWriMo equivalent. biggrin.gif Bring on the editing.

Did anybody else's eating habits get shockingly unhealthy as the month of November went on?
voices_in_my_head
*Is currently drinking a 42oz soda and eating M&Ms*

Um...nope. No idea what you're talking about.
Hey, I figured today was the last day, so it was important for me to have the correct noveling fuel.

I'm so excited, I feel like such a nerd. tongue.gif


OH YEAH!
WHOOOOOO!
I've been doing the happy dance for the past ten minutes. I did it in my first try this year, with 100 words to spare.


Go me? Yeah, go me.

(And uber-yay to cand!)
Phyllis
Yay voices! happy.gif
Mata
Well done Voices! And congrats to you too Moop. I'm going to keep trundling on with mine. I'm officially a week away from hitting 50k, but I'm going to see if I can get there by the end of Friday. I had a long think about a plot problem yesterday and finally resolved it. My two main characters had to split up, that bit was easy. One was being left in a safe place, while the other went away to check something, but the one in the safe place had to get captured. My problem was to work out legitimately how to get the bad guys to work out where the safe place was. It was tricky, but I got there in the end!
mooooooooooopo
QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 2 2007, 04:44 PM) *
My two main characters had to split up, that bit was easy. One was being left in a safe place, while the other went away to check something, but the one in the safe place had to get captured. My problem was to work out legitimately how to get the bad guys to work out where the safe place was. It was tricky, but I got there in the end!

That's always tricky. I ended up giving up last time I did NaNoWriMo because I couldn't find a sensible way for some aliens to discover that fish weren't the dominant species on the planet in order to link between two parts of my story.
Mata
I can think of many ways of working out that fish aren't the dominant species. For a start, fish is a genus (I think that's the right category), and even a basic interview with most fish would be enough to prove that their job prospects as world rulers were very limited.
mooooooooooopo
It really depends on the context. I'm not sure you could expect the aliens to have done anything more than count the population of each 'genus', 'species' or whatever, from orbit then concentrate all their effort on trying to communicate. I think the best they could do towards classifying organisms they have no prior knowledge of is 'is it roughly the same shape?'.

In the novel the aliens are aquatic, which goes a long way towards them struggling to believe that creatures that live on land could be intelligent.

Also, the aliens have no concept of 'job prospects' other than not getting killed on the 'job' (they don't have a lot of these concepts). They live in a society where their every need is fulfilled by machines and the extremely dumb slave caste, which in this case makes up approximately 100% of the mission. In this case scouting out unknown planets. Of course had I fully thought it through they'd be stood there trying to talk to cockroaches but I don't think they show up when filmed from orbit.

I wasn't really looking for critique or suggestions anyway since I gave up writing it two years ago tongue.gif and we're getting a bit off topic now. I was just commiserating a bit with getting characters to overcome problems that you gave them in the first place.
voices_in_my_head
When I began writing I didn't even know how it was going to end, but it just came to me in a huge epiphany about mid-story.

I think that's the best part when you're writing: those little moments of "Oh-my-God-I-know-what-should-happen!" that make you able to write an extra thousand words that day.

I already kind of miss the writing, but my story is done, and I don't want to write anymore just in case I mess it up somehow.
Mata
I've planned a lot of my story, but I still occasionally get slight blocks on how things are supposed to happen. This is mainly because my characters have completely changed all the locations for the plot to happen in, so I'm having to restructure around them!

I guess planning in advance is how you avoid getting stuck with the aliens/fish problem! wink.gif
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