cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 30th, 2006 08:58 am)
Nanowrimo has proven to be good in some ways. Some folks who thought about serious writing discovered it wasn't for them, either because they didn't enjoy the writing process or they found out that they didn't care for putting characters through hell to make an interesting story. It got a lot of words down for some of us, although it remains to be seen how much of it we'll keep.

Nano also proved to be bad in new and exciting ways. 50,000 words is too much for someone with little diligent writing experience, especially for anyone with a job and/or family. Most people can't write 50,000 words in a month without a good outline, period. If you've got a good outline before you start, you already have a lot of words in your head. So it really isn't writing 50,000 words in a month. I'm not a great writer, but I can't write without editing. I got to 50,000 (in less than 30 days, but they weren't consecutive days) with editing and could not have otherwise. Masq got to 50,000 within the month and I know she was doing some editing. The premise that you should write Nano without editing is horse manure. That's not how people who write a lot write! The 50,000 word goal forces you to work within a deadline which sounds good. But, it makes you work at writing when you're tired of writing and that's a perfect recipe for burnout and writer's block.

I really think Nano is a bad thing because it discourages more than it encourages. It teaches bad habits that can really make you hate writing. Setting a more realistic goal of 10,000 or 20,000 well-edited words in a month would be far more within most people's reach and would be a lot more useful writing experience.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 28th, 2006 06:32 pm)
Play the fight song, because I'm beyond 50,000!

Well not for November. But certainly in a reasonable time. I'm happy. Now I hope it won't take years to finish the rest!

For today 996 - For November 40,547 (total 50,141) and that's enough for awhile. ;o)
I was watching Heroes last night and enjoying it, but wishing for more than that. Masq was unhappy about getting fewer hits at ATPo. Imagine how different it would be if Heroes deserved her meticulous analysis? Spoilers )

Not-nano is coming to a happy end hopefully today. The best part of yesterday's work was going over the things I did when the going was the toughest and seeing that it wasn't the total crap it seemed to be when I was trying to put it down into the computer file.

For yesterday 1125 - For November 39,551 (total 49,145)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 17th, 2006 06:19 am)
Well, I've accomplished something more than those 40,000 words in about three weeks. I finished the first part of the book. The question now is how to make the rest of it click so it's not all anticlimax. The focus is shifting. The action is changing from mass action to personal. I expect the going to become slower.

For Yesterday 1677 - For November 30801 (total 40,415)

ETA Is anyone else sad that in the new James Bond flick Casino Royale that the game has been changed from baccarat to Texas Hold-em' Poker? Granted the poker game probably does take more skill than baccarat. Baccarat is mostly luck and card counting. But Texas Hold-em' does seem to be a shift from the sophisticated past of Bond to trying to appeal to the Billy Bob set.
After feeling so dead on Tuesday, I did much better on Wednesday. I'm into a passage I've been wanting to write for many years. I think the first part worked out very well. The last part seemed very confusing as I was writing it. I think I need to sit down this morning and instead of writing, redesign the place where the action takes place, describe it into the story a few pages back from where I am, adjust what I've already written and then go on writing. I doubt I'll get much advanced in the word count today

Bones was well written but looked horribly badly thought out, logistically questionable and structurally unsatisfying unless all you care about is a long winded way to keep Jack and Angela a possibility. Showed a lot of signs of a script that was too long, that got cut in some unfortunate places to save the rest.

For Yesterday 3058 - For November 29,124 (total 38,738)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 15th, 2006 08:34 am)
I went to bed early and slept late this morning. I had a lot of weird dreams during the night that kept waking me up. But for once I had no trouble getting right back to sleep.

I did fine yesterday evening in the writing department even though I quit early. I do feel like the quality of what I'm writing is suffering. I'm may quit when I have 50,000 total or before. It may be better to let this one sit than to find it irreparable later.

For Yesterday 2599 - For November 26,066 (Total 35,680)
Argh, I haven't slept well the last few nights and it caught up with me yesterday. I wrote reasonably fluidly in the morning, but couldn't accomplish anything in the evening. In between I had errands to run. I felt so tired, I didn't feel like driving, but it was necessary. As soon as I'm done here I think I'll crawl back into bed and sleep most of the day, so I won't come down with something.

So what were the terrible worries keeping me awake? Um, the nature of the galaxy. The philosophy of the arguments the musicians are having at the other posting board I visit. The latter leading to how people get both defensive and petty about an amazing variety of things they do.

I don't know how much novel writing I'll get done today. Probably not much.
Yesterday 994 - For November 23,467 (Total 33081)
I was cheerfully writing along yesterday, when I noticed that the passage I was on suddenly had much more the feel of the first volume. All it took was the decision to insert a little first person narrative. The first volume was full of first person narrative. I'd decided I didn't need to do that this time. In fact I wasn't going to use it at all. But it was so much easier to have the character say what she felt in one scene that I did it that way. The next scene seemed to flow easier and was much more what I like about my first volume.

I really feel like I'd fallen in the part two syndrome. Letting the energy of the first volume try to carry over into the second. It doesn't work that way and everybody who's seen a bad part two of a good movie knows it. I don't think the story I've written so far needs to change at all, but when this writing binge is over I think can and should refocus some of the passages with this character in them. I think it will make a world of difference.

For yesterday 2288, For November-20,207 (total 29,821)
I can safely forget about the book being finished at 50,000 words or less!

ETA: Thanks to [ profile] mamculuna for your comments on "The Cadet!"
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 11th, 2006 07:41 am)
After reading [ profile] anneth's adventure of yesterday I think my new book has no drama at all!

At the moment I've got serious distractions of the fun kind working against me writing - some new software and some music I'm trying to learn to play. But didn't do too badly yesterday and the section I'm working on is interesting.

For yesterday 1872, for November 17919 (Total 27,533)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 10th, 2006 05:52 am)
I made almost no progress in advancing the word count yesterday. But I did do a lot of good, straightening out the mess I mentioned yesterday. This is why NaNo isn't appealing to me except as inspiration. Sometimes getting it right is more important than getting words down. If it isn't right you come to a screeching halt because there is nothing that you can do ahead that will fix the mistakes behind you.

For yesterday 87 words, for November 16,047 (total 25,661)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 9th, 2006 07:33 am)
I thought I was rolling again with the writing last night. But, it suddenly occurred to me the reason I had for the scene I was writing was really bad. I couldn't figure out why the two people who were talking in the scene would be where they were, would be doing what they were doing, and worst of all why they would be talking about the topic the scene was set up to reveal. It may all have to be deleted.

For 2 weeks I'm over the halfway mark. I don't feel like I'm stuck, but I've certainly not made much progress lately

For [ profile] dlgood: the new Diamondback uniforms are pretty ho hum. Worthy of what promises to be a ho hum team.

Yesterday 2091 for November 15,960 (total 25,574)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 7th, 2006 05:39 am)
I got my last political call of the day yesterday during Heroes. Fortunately, the ring came during the commericial break. It was a recording by my Senator asking for my vote. So, what commercial did I miss to take the call? The same Senator asking for my vote.

Compared to the TV ads this year the political phone calls have been a breath of fresh air. No negativity. I've had quite a few this season including two recorded calls from George W. and one from Laura.

Heroes was a set-up episode. Not much surprising. I do hope this trend toward zillions of people having special powers ends soon, though.

As promised my word count went way down yesterday. I have a monster ballot to fill out so I may be gone for a long time voting. I should buy groceries, today, too.

Yesterday 923 For November 13038 (total 22652)
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 6th, 2006 07:42 am)
I'm a tiny bit stuck in the writing department, which is good since I need a mental breather from being 'artistic an' stuff.' I write better with music in my head. Not any old music, but good movie background music. Listening to music would be a distraction while I write, but sometimes I will stop writing and listen to something for a little mood inspiration. I did that last night. Some of you know I don't care for rock. The Buffy CD is the only one I own with any on it. I have a set of two ABBA CD's as well. Don't ask why. I've never listened to the whole thing, even once. But I was duncing around last evening and got it out. There are some decent songs among the teeny-bopper disco crap. But nothing useful for mood music for this novel. I listened to the Chieftains for awhile. If you don't know who they are you are still young and innocent. They are a bit raggedy traditional Irish, compared to the way I'd play it, if I were any good. Their music got on my nerves a little last night. Some times that helps too.

Not NaNo for yesterday 2047-for November 12,115 (total 21729)

ETA Unfortunate real newspaper headline of the day: *Designer duds share spotlight*
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 5th, 2006 08:30 am)
Okay so my word count is a little padded today, because of a scene I cut from my first novel that was supposed to go in the volume I'm writing now. The scene is not much more than a 1000 words but it does look scary when added in the total.

It's that time when most people in NaNo are already realizing that it's going to be tough to get to 50,000 words this month. My grand total may look pretty good for less than two weeks. But I have to admit that my ability concentrate at this level is only good for about two weeks. I'm starting to desperately want to do other things. If I don't take a few days break soon, my mind will automatically slip into neutral and I won't get much done any way. So don't feel bad if you are behind me in word count. I have to work the way I have to, but that means flirting with burn out constantly.

As some of you know I wrote a story for [ profile] wisewoman recently. It took a long time to finish and did not end up as long as I'd wished. I'm not unhappy with the end product, but it showed me I can not write in a linear fashion on this kind of thing. Too many good ideas come after I've written quite a bit. It's too easy to make a major mistake as I did in the recent story. Because I was writing in installments I had to do some fancy footwork to make it work out instead of fixing it at the source. My current book is complex. I haven't begun all the threads much less gotten them to weave together. Chances are its going to be insanely long and unpublishable like the first one. But, I know over time I'll be glad I put the effort in.

Not-NaNo word count for yesterday 3973 for November 10,068 (total 19,682)

PS [ profile] mamculuna, I got your message. My provider seems to be having trouble with outbound email this morning. But I'll try to get it to you later today.
cactuswatcher: (post like)
( Nov. 4th, 2006 08:38 am)
Lj is back, and some of you probably didn't know it was gone. Anyway its comforting to have GJ as a back up.

I goofed around last night so didn't get much done. Perhaps I'll write this afternoon. Football games don't disturb me much.

Yesterday 1201 words -for November 6095 (total 15709)

ETA It looks like all is not well after all on LJ. Be back later.
cactuswatcher: (Friends)
( Nov. 3rd, 2006 07:00 am)
After duncing around most of the afternoon, I went into a writing trance last evening and wrote quite a bit. How much isn't important because in the end I think most of it will have to be cut.

But it did bring into focus that many of us don't have the luxury to spend a whole evening zoned out. I'm about the only one who doesn't work, and most of you have family responsibilities. I just want to say that if you are currently writing some project, don't let an arbitrary goal discourage you. Writing is work. There are always passages that are a drag to write. But don't confuse a slow passage for a project you've changed your mind about. If life gets in the way, don't force yourself too hard. None of us is Dostoevsky and none of us needs a novel done in two weeks or else! Write as much as you want to, instead of as much as you think you should.
cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Nov. 2nd, 2006 07:42 am)
Cam was not nearly as annoying as she has been.Spoilers for Bones last night )

I'm sorry, I just can't write fiction without editing. My stories get complicated quickly and I can't keep track unless I can go back and fix everything that's contradictory as I go along. Most of you know how much trouble I have with editing typos. So constantly rereading is a way to get rid of many of them. I still have trouble with words I think I've typed but aren't there. It's fairly minor as hallucinations go, but believe me it is disturbing.

NOT-nano word count in November -1924 (total 11,538)
cactuswatcher: (post like)
( Nov. 1st, 2006 07:10 am)
I had an average number of trick-or-treaters (about 20). Candy was outrageously expensive this year at my favorite store, so I didn't give out as much as I have in past years. I had about the same amount left over as usual (way too much for my waist line). I usually have a cup of hot chocolate late in the evening this time of year. I had one last night before I sampled the candy, which was a very good idea. The candy tasted good after the hot chocolate, but I wasn't interested in eating any more. The hot chocolate many have a lot of calories, but I'm sure it's less than gobbling down a big handful of candy.

As I've said other places I'm writing this month, but not officially in the nanowrimo. The working title is The Black Spider and it is a part of the series of stories I've written including the way over-long novel Midnight and Noon.

Since I'm in NOTnano I can say I started the book last week and my word count as the month starts is 9614.

ETA - I just noticed that now when I hold the cursor over my icon, a little box pops up telling me, it's me. WOW! (Please somebody take the keyboards away from the LJ 'design' people, before someone really gets hurt!)