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Post NaNo Wrap-Up

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I know, I know, NaNo ended eleven days ago, and I am just NOW getting around to this post. I've been busy, I apologize.

Every year I blog about something I learned during NaNo. Sadly, I didn't really learn anything ground breaking about how to improve my writing process this year.

Hopefully with each word I write my skill continues to improve, but writing-wise, NaNo went rather predictably. Sitting down everyday gets the work done. Not getting on the computer leads to a slump, which, if I can just force my butt in the chair, I can get over after a few hundred words. I knew all of that before November started (though that doesn't mean I didn't have to remind myself of it.) I probably could have worked faster, but over all, I'm happy with what I accomplished.

So what was the big gain? What did I walk away from NaNo with this year? You know, besides having half a manuscript finished in a month...

Well, I learned a lot about balancing responsibilities. I might have bit…

NaNo Day 30: WINNER!!

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I hosted the final write-in last night at a local IHOP. This was a write-in with the potential of turning into an all nighter so those of us still trying to finish could make it. We lovingly titled it the "Oh Crap we're running out of time, write-in for slackers" (Okay, maybe that's just what I called it.) I crossed the 50k mark at 12:13 am on Day 30, so I'm done and officially a winner!!! (Now just to finish the book--which will probably be double my current word count, though my first draft goal will be a little lower)

Progress bar:
50,084 / 50,000
(100.2%)

*Happy dance*
I hope everyone out there is doing well. I haven't posted much recently, so in the next few days I'll probably post a couple observations from this past month as well as my NaNoWrimo wrap up. Check back for updates.

Have a good weekend!

Yet another Widget

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Well, my other widget appears to be broken...so I found another one.
This one isn't quite as visually appealing, but it has really cool statistics on it.



Have a great day everyone!

HALFWAY!!

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Okay, time to take a short break from writing to dance around the living room because it's day 12 and I just hit the HALFWAY mark in the NaNoWriMo Challenge. *Dances*

Current Word Count:
25,081 / 50,000
(50.2%)

Okay, dancing over. Time to tuck back into writing, but I had to share first.
Happy Monday everyone. Hope it's going well for you!

New Widget!

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Not much of a post today, I just wanted to display the shiny new widget I found today. So, without further ado, let me unveil it:



Tada!

Happy Friday everyone. Keep pounding out those words.

Chapter 5: In Which the Writer Has No Idea What is Happening

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When I was writing my plot outline, there were a couple places I knew I wanted to insert a subplot to get me from one point to another. Unfortunately, while plotting I didn't have any idea what that subplot would be, so I noted the chapter, put in a couple points of stuff that needed to happen before the next scene I knew and left myself the note "something happens here--not sure what. Subplot?" I actually have two chapters in a row where I did this. I guess I thought that by the time I got to the end of the outline I'd know what would go there. Instead I forgot all about it.

Skip ahead a week to last night. It's NaNo day 7, and for the most part I've been making pretty good progress. I'm expanding and fleshing things out following the outline, a couple surprises here or there as my characters develop on the page, but so far this story has stuck very close to the outline, more so than anything else I've written. So, I'm trucking along, making most …

NaNo Day 4 (a little late)

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Yes, it is technically Day 5 morningish, but I didn't get a chance to post when I finished writing last night.

After my disappointing writing day three, I'm thrilled with my progress on day four. I got a little bit of writing done when I first woke up, a good deal down at the write-in I hosted, and then more before bed, totaling in at around 3.7k for the day--which isn't bad for me.

I'm also very pleased with how my events are going this year--I have a really great bunch of active Wrimos, a couple returning from last year and several who are NaNoing for the first time this year. We've had great attendance at the first three events. (Plotting Bash, Kick-Off, and the first Write-In) Everyone is focused but fun, and I feel more confident and have more ideas for what to do this year than I did last. Yesterday, during the write-in, we had a couple word-wars lasting fifteen minutes each. Word-wars are timed challenges where everyone tries to get as many words on paper as …

NaNo Day 3

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Wrapping up Day three of NaNo, and it was a busy busy day. This was the last official meeting of the year for CRW, my RWA Chapter. Next month there will only be a Christmas party, so today, in addition to the two workshop formate we usually have every month, we also had a special breakfast workshop and a book signing afterwards. Since the meeting is in Charlotte, a little over an hour drive from where I am, that meant leaving very very early to make it on time. I also spent some time at the book signing to support our published authors. It was lots of fun, but I came home late and exhausted, so this was my first bad writing day.

I didn't make my 2k goal for the day, but I think I'm still on track for the actual NaNo goal, so that is good. I'm hosting a write-in tomorrow at the Library, so hopefully I will be able to make up for some of the slack.

Well, here is the current progress:
5032 / 50,000
(10.6%)

I hope everyone else had a more productive writing day than I did. (weeke…

NaNo Day 1

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Wrapping up the first day of NaNo with just over 2.5k.

I'm pretty happy with it. My daily goal for this novel is 2k, so I exceeded it a little today. I'm really excited about the story so far.

Over all, a very good first day!! ^_^

Progress Meter:
2585 / 50,000
(5.14%)

Good night everyone!

The first twenty minutes

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Just a short post here.

The clock hit 12:01 on November 1st about twenty minutes ago initiating the beginning of NaNoWriMo, so I pulled up a brand new word document and wrote the first couple paragraphs of my new novel.

Being a 'responsible adult' (yeah right) I now have to turn in so I can get up for work in the morning, but waiting for NaNo to start is a thrill much like children anticipating Christmas morning.

So here is my very first word count for this NaNo season. It's not much, but it was only a few minutes of writing, and its something.
318 / 50,000
(0.4%)

Goodnight everyone, and good luck to those of you burning to midnight-oil to boost your first wordcount of NaNo!

Halloween!

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Happy Halloween Everyone!

Halloween has to be one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy seeing all the kids in their costumes, I love that everyone is talking about the things that go bump in the night, (I love eating candy,) and most of all, I love dressing up.

I will use about any excuse to dress up, so as this is my first Halloween at my current work place, I asked around trying to determine if the other ladies in my office would be showing up in costume. They said they would dress up "a little." You know, something they could remove quickly if needed.

That probably means witch hats or something, right?

I tried to plan accordingly. I have a trunk full of costumes, wigs, and other 'dress-up' accessories. I thought it safer not to go overboard, so I chose a costume that could be easily transformed into 'normal' clothing and showed up as a black cat. Okay, a black cat with fuchsia hair, but come one, I need to have a little fun, right?

Wouldn't you know, NO ONE …

Urban Fantasy: She and He

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I just finished reading Unshapely Things, Mark Del Franco's debut Urban Fantasy novel, and it got me thinking about the gender disparity in UF.

Mark's main character (a magic-crippled druid) is male, which among UF titles, is very rare. Off the top of my head, the only other books I can think of with male protagonists are the Nightside novels by Simon R. Green, the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and Night Life by Rob Thurman. I know there are a couple more UF novels by males currently being released, but still, there doesn't seem to be many out there.

Mostly, urban fantasy is the home to a lot of sharp-attitude(d), kick-ass female protagonists. The girls run the show in this emerging sub-genre, but there is no denying the huge popularity of the few male series out there. This being true, why aren't there more men writing UF series? Granted, there are less men reading it, and most series have a strong romance sub-plot--not exactly a guy genre. From my time in the boo…

Pre-plotting: My process before plotting the story.

The idea for my NaNo story has been percolating in the back of my mind for months. Even before I sat down and really started thinking about it, I had a rough idea of the world, my main characters, and the general plot (thank goodness about that last one, nailing down the plot is one of the hardest things for me typically.) The past few weeks I have been brainstorming with pen and paper because it lends itself to more organic organization. I might post what some of my brainstorming on paper looks like later, but, to give you a quick description, it typically includes very few paragraphs with lots of circles and squares of text linked together with lines. (Oh yeah, and doodles. I never remember drawing them, but give me a pen and doodles will end up in the margins of about any piece of paper I'm around for an extended period of time.) I'll be honest, I don't spend a lot of time going back over the mess I make while brainstorming, but it helps me to get it out there.

After a c…

NaNoWrimo: The Madness is Coming.

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Yes, it's that time again. Time to stockpile your coffee. Time to stick takeout menus on the fridge. Time to begin clearing the calender and warning family and coworkers to expect you to be in a zombie-like state when they see you, if they see you at all, during November. Time to prepare for the madness.


What is all this preparing for? National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is a challenge that hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world take during November. The Goal: to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th.

The forums just opened for the new year, so if you've always wanted to write a novel go sign up today! Then, if you're a plotter, it's time to start plotting. If you're a pantzer, well, I guess you can go hang out in the forums. At midnight November first, the madness will begin.

Myspace revisited

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I'm taking the plunge again and heading back into the madness that is Myspace. I've had an account for over a year, and it's been months since I checked it, but recently a lot of writers have been joining the ranks, so I thought it couldn't hurt to reinvestigate Myspace.

I've customized my page so it's not so boring, and I'm currently going out and friending the authors/people I know. If you find me before I find you, please feel free to friend me. I haven't decided if I'll mirror my blog on myspace or not. I'm terrible about mirroring to my LiveJounal account, so I can't imagine I'll be very good at remembering to mirror THREE blogs. What do those of you with myspace accounts do? Do you mirror all your posts, just the really important/informative ones, x-post none sticking to only one blog, or do you make separate posts for your different sites? (Okay that last one makes me cringe even thinking about it.)

I also haven't figured out …

Shelf Spots and New Authors

I was wondering if any other unpubbed writer, when in the bookstore, finds the spot on the shelf where your books will be one day? (or am I the only crazy one?)

As readers, do you think it's better for a book to be surrounded by big name authors in the same subgenre, or is it better to share shelf space with books not in the same subgenre?

Either way has advantages and disadvantages.

For example, when someone is searching for "Mrs Big Name's" newest book, if a new author's book is next to her on the shelf, there is a chance the reader will notice it. Or, they might only see MBN's book, and with a limited budget, will buy the author they already know.

On the other hand, floating off alone in a sea of another subgenres means the new author's spine might really stand out from those books around it. But, at the same time, readers who aren't looking for her and have never found a book in the subgenre they read on that shelf might not look there.

Kind of six…

New Projects

I've been silent for a little while. Sometimes the days just slip away.

In the interim, my computer has come home and I finished the major rewrite I've been working on. My wonderful agent really put a fire under me to finish that last one. I'd told her it was almost ready, and as she'd seen an earlier draft of the MS and happened to be on the phone with an editor who asked "What else do you have", she pitched the story. I didn't get a chance to agonize over the last few chapters, (because that is what I've been doing, agonizing over every last word--not so productive. lol) or send the chapters to my CP. So, currently I'm not opening the file because I really don't want to see if there are things I missed. It's gone, and probably on the editors desk by now. Who knows how long it will be there, so its best for my nerves to forget about it.

Now it's time to sit back and wait.

And by wait I mean start a new project. Over the last couple day…

My contest experience

At a workshop I attended last month, it was suggested that all writers should judge contests because seeing other writer's mistakes can help you avoid them.

"Oh," I thought, "that's not a bad idea."

The very next day a call for judges came across one of the loops I'm on, so I signed up and shortly received a handful of entries and a two paragraph instruction guide on how to judge them. No problem, right?

I started reading through the pages, some of the stories were great (and one I expect to see in print soon) some, not so great. I added my comments in yellow, trying to be nice but helpful, but then I finished and I had to assign a score.

Oh no. Now this was a problem.

I have no trouble being blunt and telling someone that their list of emotions is telling, not showing, but giving them a number on it--that's beyond me.

I've been struggling with the whole number thing all month. When 5 means ready to publish and 1 means major revisions suggested, wh…

Computer Update

Good news and bad news...

The good news is my computer came back over the weekend. The bad news is they didn't really fix it, so the screen was still flickering, and while the sound worked again, whatever they did broke the sound controls.

So, I took it back to them, and I am once again laptopless. (I'd like to register that officially as a word...)

It's a Monday.

I hope all of you had a good weekend.

100 posts!

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Wow, I logged on and realized my next (this) post is my 100th blog post!

It took me long enough to hit that mark--I'll be celebrating my blogging 1year anniversary next month. So, in honor of the occasion and the over all slow rate I seem to be accomplishing most things this week, have a picture of a Galapagos Turtle.


(In case you're interested, I took this photo last month at Riverbanks Zoo in SC.)