Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo’

(writing/personal) Sunday updates

Today is the first day of October. This year has seemed to fly by, and yet it’s been the longest year of my life. I’m told that grief is like that.


Today is also the 10th day in a row that I’ve written on Advent. I’ve got an accountability buddy, and it’s really working. And taking a note from one of my favorite authors, I’ve loaded Word on my phone, and I’ve been writing on that. It’s surprisingly easy, and soothing. I actually wrote my words yesterday while I was seated at a bonfire, listening to bards tell stories, sing songs, and recite poetry. I even gave a poetic recital, of one of my favorite poems that I haven’t read in a long time: Siege Perilous, by EA Robinson.


This year’s Advent is off to a rocky start. I’ve already scrapped one outline. But it WILL be written. And this year, there’s going to be an actual calendar with it (as long as I get everything to Kiaya soon). Keep a look out for the information here soon.


I’m working my way through a lot of conflicting feelings. I need to write. I need to mope (to be perfectly honest). And I’m tired. I’m bone-tired, because of everything that’s going on. But I’ve survived this long, and I plan on surviving a lot longer. And yes, I’m doing NaNo again this year.


(nano) And Advent #5 is DONE



With a day to spare, I validated Advent #5 (which really needs a title) at 50,081 words. And it’s done! So starting December 1, come back here to see what Schrodinger, Molly, Drew, and the rest of the Carter’s Cove crew are up to for THIS December!


However, this is only one goal. After I take tomorrow off, I get back to work on Resonant Frequencies. My self-imposed deadline for that is January 1, and I’ve got to get my butt in gear.

(writing/personal) Nano on the horizon!

Maple leaves in Autumn.

I can’t believe it’s nearly November. This year has flown by. You know what else I can’t believe?

I’m going to try and write two novels in November. Yes, I’m probably insane. But, well, what are goals for if not to inspire us, right?

I’ve started going to the studio first thing in the morning (6:30 am is an EVIL, EVIL time) and writing before work. I have a blessed studio mate who makes sure I’m fed and not bumping into walls, and so far, it seems to be working. I’ve got the first outline for Nano done (the Advent story, which is going to be awesome, you guys), and this week, I’m working on the second one (for Resonant Frequencies). I’ve got the edits back for Winter’s Secrets as well, and although I won’t make a December 1 deadline for getting that published, I do promise you it will be coming. I just want it to be perfect, and it’s not yet.

I’m hoping this helps combat some of the SAD that I know is coming. As the days get shorter, and the air gets crisp and cold, I can feel it creeping in at the edges of my mind, sinking icy fingers into my heart and turning everything pale and cold. I don’t like feeling that way, and in the past, writing has helped me stave it off. I’m hoping to repeat that success. Wish me luck.

(weekly update) It’s Sunday again – a day of rest, right? No.

Well, in a way it is. I’m in my favorite sweat pants and my DKP teeshirt, and I have no intention of changing. I’m going to move at a pace that still gets things done, but doesn’t wear me out. I’m getting my next Remicade treatment on Wednesday, and I’m still nurturing a cold (which needs to get the fuck out, because they won’t give me my meds if I have a cold), so it’s going to be a slow, steady mosey all day. And I can do a lot of it sitting down.


In writing news, I have the edits back from the lovely Sue Baiman for Winter’s Secret, so I can get working on those this week. Yay, this book is getting closer to being real! I also need to get cracking on the last of my beta read for Ripley Patton and get those back to her (omg, you guys, this book is SOOOOO good and she is amazing and you should go buy Ghost Hand now so you can start catching up). And of course, NaNoWriMo is coming, and I need to get moving on the outline for Advent #5.


In non-writing news, I’m holding on to an 18-lb weight loss in two months, and looking forward to doing more. I’ve gotten rid of my YMCA membership and started a membership at my work’s gym. No excuses! Also, Herbalife is awesome.


Well, the laundry isn’t going to fold itself, sadly. Time to get moving!

(writing) NaNo is coming!

It’s getting colder. I have my first cold of the fall (joy. It didn’t even wait for September 23 to come in, and it’s really overstaying its welcome. But I digress.) and the leaves are changing. And you all know what that means:

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

I’m on the site as captain_hobbes, if you want to add me. I’m going to do the next Advent story (imaginatively titled “Advent #5, Pavel takes us traveling”) and so I’ll be working on both my playlist (which will be on Spotify) and my outline for the next month. I’m determined to have everything ready to go for November 1. Despite everything, I’m going to win NaNo this year.

I’m still working on Resonant Frequencies as well, but I don’t know if I’ll finish it before NaNo. If I don’t, I’m not worried – I’ll come back to it in December.

I’m also still battling depression. It gets worse in the winter, and it’s not being helped by circumstances here in my life right now. But I’m hoping to get through it. After all, my average so far is 100% for making it through.

Hopefully, I’ll have some more blog posts for you guys as well. The website needs an overhaul and I want to get some more stuff out. But all in good time. Right now, you can also catch me blogging Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Dark Knight Paranormal’s blog, the TAPS affiliate that I’m a part of.

(advent) Upcoming goodies!

I’m sorry, folks.  I’ve been neglecting the blog this month, because I’m knee-deep in the Advent story for next month, and it’s NaNo, and yeah, that’s not an excuse, but there it is.  However, I have some goodies coming up, and I wanted to let you know!


First, I’ll be on Mitchell Plested’s Get Published  on Sunday, November 24, talking all things serial stories and Carter’s Cove.  So listen!  No spoilers.  I promise.


Secondly, Schrodinger has both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed that you can follow him on. He’s going to have some fun goodies, and he’s sending Christmas cards again this year!  Want to get a Christmas card from Schrodinger?  Leave him a private message on Facebook, or send him a message on Twitter, and he and Molly will send you a Christmas card!


Thirdly, the first day of this year’s Advent story is November 30th!!! Yes, it’s a prologue!  So don’t forget!

(writing/process) Thoughts as we head towards NaNo

So, I’m working on my outline for the third Advent story for NaNoWriMo, since that’s that project that’s next on my list (and the story needs to be written), and I’m thinking about my writing process.  And since we’re coming up to NaNo, I thought I would share my thoughts on process with you all.


I”m not a panster.  Not even remotely close.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  I have pantsed several flash fiction pieces.  But anything more than 1000 words and I need an outline.  Yes, even for short stories.  (For those who are not familiar with the term, a “pantser” is someone who writes without an outline, or with a very minimal one.  They are also called “discovery writers.”)  I have found that unless it’s a very short flash/vignette, my stories tend to wander and peter out, or walk straight into a corner and sit.  I need a map, and I’m not ashamed of that.


I also need the right atmosphere when I write.  I prefer music, although I can write with the TV on, as long as it’s not something that I need to follow closely.  If I leave the TV on, it’s on baseball, or paranormal reality shows, or science shows.  If it’s music, I prefer Christmas carols, believe it or not, even for non-Advent stories.  I can’t explain why.  And there must be a candle lit.


My prewriting takes me about a month, all told, and it’s pretty extensive.  Because of the amount of prewriting I do, I’ve fallen in love with Scrivener, and its ability to organize a large amount of files.  I have character sketches, plot summaries, outlines and random worldbuilding notes that I consider prewriting.  This is generally how I approach a new story:

1. I start with a general plot summary.  This is almost freewriting – it’s anything and everything that pops into my head about the story.  I tend to start with a character and a situation, and worldbuild around that.  By the time I finish the plot summary, I’ve felt my way through the story and the plot.

2. Then I make a list of characters and, if it’s a complicated world, places too.

3. Next comes the actual story outline.  This is when I go “This happens, then this happens, then this happens.”  It’s the beginning of the details.

4. Now I do a detailed outline.  In the case of Advent, I take each day and write up what is going to happen on that day.  In the case of novellas and novels, I do a detailed chapter outline.

Depending on how well I’m feeling the characters, I’ll do character sheets in between the second and third step.  I’m starting to incorporate a style sheet at that point too, so I can keep track of everyone (I tend to have a “cast of characters” problem).


And that’s what I do.  By the time I’ve finished all this, I’ve got a good enough handle on the story that I can put my head down and plow through.  This doesn’t mean I don’t run into issues – my outlines all tend to change during the first draft, but that’s okay.  The stories tend to be stronger because of it.


What’s your process like?

(writing) An update, only a little late

This week has not been good to most of my life, I’ll be honest.  I’m in the last week before my Remicade treatment, the weather is playing havoc with my allergies, and it seems like every one around me is sick at work.  The upshot?  A migraine.  Yeah, a migraine.


But despite that, I’m here, at the computer.  My words are nonfiction tonight (yep, I count blog posts as words, because dammit, I had to show up), but they are words, and this will be my 145th day in a row of writing.  Which is pretty damn cool.  Not sure what I’m going to do when I hit 150.  Maybe color my hair?  Something cool.


I’m almost done with Into Thin Air; I rewrote the ending to the last chapter last night, and now all I need to do is the epilogue.  Then it goes out to beta readers, and I start work on the next project.  Nope, not taking any time off.  Let’s be honest – I don’t want to break my streak.  And NaNo is fast approaching.


Something to keep your eyes open for – if you are heading to CapClave in October, I’ll be there!  Right now, I’m on 4 panels on Saturday and Sunday, but I’ll be around on Friday if anyone wants to meet up.  My schedule now is:

4 pm Saturday – Quoth the Raven

Panelists: Val Griswold-FordJames MaxeyTee MorrisJames Morrow (M), Steven H. Wilson
Forbidden Planet shows some strong similarities to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Honor Harrington’s historical borrowings are easy to spot. But what if your influences and references are not as well known? How do you connect it for readers? Should you spell it out or hope someone catches your subtle references? What authors do this well?


5 pm Saturday – The Evolution of Fantasy

Panelists: Scott H. AndrewsVal Griswold-FordKathryn Morrow (M), Michelle D. SonnierLawrence Watt-Evans
Dark fantasy, Urban fantasy, and Tolkien fantasy are just a few examples of modern genre writing. Trends and tastes change over time. A Song of Ice and Fire brought gritty fantasy to the forefront. Is the reading public ready to move on? And to what?


12 pm Sunday – Magic’s Price

Panelists: Iver CooperVal Griswold-FordMichelle D. Sonnier (M), Jim StrattonAllen Wold
How do magic users tap mystical powers, and since there are no free lunches what is the price? What authors create the most interesting magical systems? What do authors do when the magic user becomes too powerful?


1 pm Sunday – Devourer of Books

Panelists: Judi FlemingVal Griswold-FordRahul KanakiaLeona Wisoker (M)
The speed reader gets to the end faster and as a reader they can outread every author they follow. They need new books, or old books to explore. Where do they get and keep their choices? General discussion of being a fast reader.


(writing) Not only an update, but musings

I’m still writing.  As of today, I’ll have written for 138 days in a row.  I haven’t missed a day, not even through Harper’s Retreat, or the ick that I was sick with, or anything else.  I still wrote, even if it was only 250 words


I still wrote.  I showed up to the page.


I was thinking about this last night – showing up, I mean.  I stayed late at work, because I was at the end of the first Inspector Lynley mystery (yes, I’m addicted to British murder mysteries.  No, I have no idea [MOM] why.) and I had to read to the end.  By the time I was done, it was 8:45 pm.


I had fully intended to go to the gym to swim, but the gym was a good 10 minutes away, and the pool was only open until 9:30 pm.  Was it really worth it?  I almost didn’t go.


But then I realized that I needed to show up.  I’d made that commitment, and I wasn’t going to just blow it off, the way I had before.  So I went to the gym.  By the time I got changed and made it into the pool, I only had about 10 minutes to swim.


I swam for that full ten minutes, folks.  I showed up to the page, because even though I only had ten minutes, it was more than I would have done if I’d gone home.


That’s why now, when people tell me “I have no time to write,” what I realize they’re saying is “I don’t have time to write 1000 words, or four chapters, or whatever.”  250 words takes me about 15 minutes.  Everyone has 15 minutes, 20 minutes.  So what if you only get 100 words, or 50 words.  It’s more words than you had before, right?


Okay, enough lecturing.  On to the updates.


I’m still working on Into Thin Air – I’m in the final chapter (not counting the epilogue).  This chapter is the one that needs the most work, because I wussed out the ending, to be perfectly honest, and my crit group called me on it.  I am still planning on having this done by the end of September, and then I can start working on the third Advent story.  That’s my Nano project.


Also, I’m going to be doing two events in October!  I’ll be in Gardner, Mass on October 2nd, at the library, doing a NaNo Prep lecture at 7 pm.  And the weekend of October 10th, I’ll be at CapClave in DC.  I can’t wait!

Starting the marathon…

This weekend, with the exception of Sunday, when I have Curia and then my Dad’s birthday, all I am doing is writing.  I’m up to 12k on NaNo, but I’m so far behind, and I have to catch up!

I’m having issues this year, because I’m writing without an outline.  I know where I want to go, sort of, but I also want the story to grow the way the other one did.  It’s an odd sort of way to write, but hey, it worked the last time!

More tomorrow.  I promise.