It would be nice to reach 20k before Monday but I've got papers to grade and errands to run and then my sister leaves town so we'll see. Still, I feel good about my tally at the end of week #1:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,878 / 50,000

For the second week in a row, I attended the Write In for the South Bay NaNo Writers. Once again, it was held at the Panera Bread & Bakery (where I've now become addicted to broccoli cheddar soup). I remembered to bring my ear buds because the music Panera plays is awful. I love jazz but this wanna-be-cool jazzy crap they play in doctor's offices or in elevators should be taken in small doses. Ha, that reminds me of the time I once used the term "jazzy" around a New York jazz composer. He told me that real musicians don't recognize this as a word, thus it doesn't exist. In other words, don't ever use the word "jazzy" when talking with jazz musicians. It'll only insult them.

Why am I writing this post again? Oh yeah--I started out talking about the write-in. I had a great time. There were four of us and we all talked from time to time but for the most part, I wrote from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The first time I looked at my word count, I noticed I had 667 words. After silently cursing out my laptop, I kept going and swore not to examine the number of words in the bottom left hand corner of Word 2007. But of course, I couldn't keep that promise. This time, I had more than 2k words. I lovingly stroked the side of my monitor. "You're a genius," I told it.

Finally, I realized that it was going on 4 p.m. and my stomach was grumbling again. I decided to pack it up and head home, but not before checking my word count for the final time. I was so surprised when I saw that my word count reached over 4k. I did all of that in about three hours? Last Saturday, I was able to write nearly 2k with the group and this time, I wrote nearly 4k. I never realized how productive meeting up JUST to write can be. You're surrounded by people pounding away on the keyboards so this energy somehow transfers to you. You're in the zone because everyone else is focused. You don't get distracted at all! I'm hoping to keep writing with people after NaNo's over because I can notice the difference in my concentration.

Writing at home often has too many distractions. Writing meetings give me the perfect balance of focus, creativity, and socializing. Also, they're the sort of thing you can do with people you don't know. I'm going to another write-in in Long Beach this Tuesday, which I've never been to but the only requirement is that I write so I'll fit in just fine. Seriously, best idea ever! You don't have to deal with the bullshit of talking about writing because everyone's just DOING it.
scififanatic: (Do it with style)
( Nov. 7th, 2008 11:53 pm)
I'm feelin' it.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,432 / 50,000
scififanatic: (Novel is sleeping)
( Nov. 6th, 2008 11:32 pm)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,621 / 50,000
scififanatic: (Words flow)
( Nov. 6th, 2008 12:55 am)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8,859 / 50,000

Holy cow, I'm still on track! Of course, it's a brand new day now (if I hadn't taken such a long nap, I would have been able to log the words before midnight).

Still, it feels good to watch the novel grow in unexpected, interesting ways. I'll go to sleep and get back to it tomorrow.

Thanks for the encouragement from [ profile] duchessofquirk and [ profile] fiction_theory because I probably would have blown this night off if they hadn't said, Yes you can! :o)
scififanatic: (First drafts are shit)
( Nov. 4th, 2008 12:03 am)
I got in another 1844 words today. I'm a little scared by what I wrote. Of the 1844 additional words, maybe 500 of those have some potential; one scene will likely get cut and then another scene has me intrigued. There's so much more I can mine below the surface of that soil.

It's difficult to resist the urge to revise. That's why I love these two quotes by Ernest Hemingway:

"The first draft of anything is shit."
"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."

Honestly, I have no time for perfection if I'm going to get this done in a month. I can let the obsessive part of my personality deal with the details later. I'm taking a page out of [ profile] fiction_theory's book and making notes and writing out details for the places in the story I want to revise.

This year, I've decided I'm only taking a week between the draft and the revising stage. I think I made the mistake last year of losing the perspective and head space needed to stick with a manuscript.

Thus, "I go on and on and on and Saks get back while my dollahs stack!"
scififanatic: (Bill & Sam)
( Nov. 2nd, 2008 05:40 pm)
It really helped to get out of the house and write at the library. Afterwards, I headed to Starbucks and ended up getting free coffee! I'm a little wired now. I don't know if it's the coffee or if I'm just excited to see my boys Bill and Sam get into trouble. Only 15 minutes now!
scififanatic: (Tara and Lafayette)
( Nov. 2nd, 2008 02:01 pm)
I really should be writing but football (or basketball) is difficult to resist. *Sigh* Okay, I'm making a deal with myself--I can watch the current Giants/Cowboys game through halftime and then I'll head to the library and write until 5:45 p.m., which will have me home in time for True Blood.

I'm a bad Wrimo. It's only the second day and already I'm having trouble managing my time. It shouldn't be difficult once I get started though. I purposely stopped near the beginning of my next scene so I wouldn't waste time today.

FUMBLE!!!! gotta go!
scififanatic: (Ready. Set. Write. NaNo.)
( Oct. 31st, 2008 11:56 pm)
To all those participating in NaNoWriMo--best wishes! Even if you aren't participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I wish all the writers on my friends list many great writing nights. We've all got respective projects/deadlines. Can you believe there are only two more months left in 2008?! Let's all make November COUNT! Woo-hoo!

I will be joining the South Bay residents of L.A. Write-In at Panera Bread & Bakery at the Carson Mall after work tomorrow, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Bread, books, and writing make a great combination!
scififanatic: (Tori's Eyes)
( Oct. 29th, 2008 08:48 pm)
No, I'm not talking about the political kind. Indeed, another reason I'm throwing myself into NaNo is to keep my mind busy during this year's election.

Right now, I'm struggling with trying to figure out my story's beginning. Over the last couple of months, I've worked and re-worked an outline to this new novel. In addition to outlining, I've written character bios, character letters (as in conversations between people in the story), time lines, and summaries, none of which will actually be used in the novel. Going through that process has me in a place where I feel very close to my MC and to her lover as well.

The beginning is troubling me because I know so much of their history, it's difficult to know just how far back I should go. Typically, readers want to start where the story begins. Sometimes, this implies action. Sometimes, this implies confusion. For me, I think knowing the ending of my story (and I do know the ending right now, though it could always change), makes me very reflective. I'm not sure how that's going to work but I'll just have to wait and see what comes out of me on the first day.

Besides troubling myself with the beginning of my novel, I've been thinking a lot about my main character's special ability. This is my first fantasy story. Actually, that's not true. I've written a couple of short stories a few years ago, one about a dragon and a young boy; another fantasy short story I wrote was about a robot whose father is a priest; and a few other short stories I won't mention because they're so trite and silly (but still fun to write). This will be my first time diving into an urban fantasy novel. Eventually, I'd like to publish all forms of speculative fiction: sci-fi, horror, fantasy, etc. I'm using NaNo as an excuse to experiment with styles.

Being new to fantasy, I'm always curious about the rules and expectations. I got this message from one fellow Wrimo, which was extra helpful! )

I'm grateful to my NaNo buddy for telling me this because I've got two more days to ponder what I think is one of the most important questions of my novel. It all comes down to illusions, creating belief in my characters and their actions and dispelling reality.

I'm hoping if I go to sleep with these questions bouncing around in my head, maybe I'll wake up with an answer. Right now, I'm thinking if I can't decide, I may end up writing three different versions of the novel next month. [ profile] fiction_theory, you're not alone!
scififanatic: (Nano peace love)
( Oct. 28th, 2008 09:42 pm)
I love [ profile] fiction_theory's post. There's something about the last few days of waiting for your wedding day. In NaNo, the moment you start that novel on November 1st, it feels a little like saying, "I do."

There's no time for cold feet. Losing a day suddenly becomes a 3,334 word mountain to climb the next day. When things start getting rough and that honeymoon period is over in the second week, there's no time for backing out! If you ask for an annulment, you'll be stuck without a mate on a deserted island.

Furthermore, don't even think about breaking up with your novel in the third week. The fees for the divorce are too high, at a whopping 35,007 words to complete before moving on to the next 14,993 in the last week.

This is the beauty of NaNo. For one month, you've got a partner, a lover, a ball & chain, a challenge. There are no rules. Throw everything you know (or think you know) out of the window. Let the process be your teacher, let the act of writing even when you don't feel like writing be your inspiration. I guarantee you'll stretch yourself and in the end, you might create something that sells; and even if you don't, you'll have the experience of a month that will certainly last a lifetime.
scififanatic: (Color blocks)
( Oct. 22nd, 2008 11:20 am)
I went back and forth about it until I finally decided a couple of weeks ago that I would go for it. NaNoWriMo that is. National Novel Writing Month.

I'm almost finished with the second version of my outline. It has taken me nearly 2 months. I wrote one outline in September and then I let it breathe. This month, I kept going back and forth. Things didn't feel right until I rearranged my thoughts once more. Come November 1st, I'm gonna stop worrying and start writing, giving it all I've got in the process.

Really, that's what NaNo's all about. This morning, I read what Tom Robbins wrote in his pep talk from last year and this stood out for me: "Writing a novel is not so much a project as a journey, a voyage, an adventure."

Nine more days and the adventure begins!
scififanatic: (Martini)
( Nov. 29th, 2007 03:17 pm)

My last NaNoWriMo update went through day 20 and I'm now on day 29. Suffice it to say that over the last week and a half, I've been writing and focusing less time on updating the status on my journal. After 50,924 words and 235 pages (in manuscript format), I'm finished!

When I typed the last sentence this afternoon around 2PM, I felt the greatest high. It felt better than what I imagined floating on clouds must feel like. I felt changed in some way, like someone had scrambled my molecules and shaped me in a slightly different fashion. I know that sounds strange but I can't think of any other way to say it. Besides, my brain is a little toasty so excuse the hyperbole.

Of course, my novel is a GRAND mess but it's MY mess. I'm going to get back to some short stories in December and come the first day of Kwanzaa, I will start the revision process. There are a lot of problems with my story but there's a lot that I get right too. I just need to pull out those parts where the setting feels dead on, the characters are speaking words true to them, and the scenes that are most pivotal to find a way to polish it all in Version 2. I'm hoping to go very slowly with version 2.0 because editing is where the hard work starts! I'm looking forward to it. I love my story. I love it even more than when I started it.

I found the pep talk given by author Deanna Raybourn very helpful. Be quiet and be seated she said. I took today and tomorrow off from work (I've also got the weekend). I wanted to finish my novel in solitude. A few co-workers who knew I was participating in NaNo asked me yesterday how things were going and what my book was about. As I started talking, I remembered Deanna's words so I shut up. I'm not going to give a synopsis. I'm not going to post any excerpts because my novel is still a work in progress. I don't want to kill it before it has a chance to really shine.

I'm hoping a few kind people will read it from beginning to end once I'm done, sometime around late winter/early spring.

Otherwise, I'm going to keep writing. I only went 5 days during NaNo where I wrote nothing at all. Not bad! This tells me I should be able to keep writing everyday. If not 2k a day then at least half that!

For the rest of the day, I am turning off my computer and I'm going to celebrate completing the first complete draft with a glass of sparkling cider. Cheers!

Final Stats
Word Count Reached 50924
Total Hours Spent Writing 55.00
Avg Words Per Hour 926
Avg Words Per Day 1756
Avg Hours Spent Writing Per Day 1.90
Words Remaining To Goal 0
Days Remaining In November 1
Avg Time Per Writing Session 1.571428571
Here are the stats from the last 5 days:

NaNoWriMo Day 20 Stats
Back at it!

NaNoWriMo Day 19 Stats
Feeling ill and a little under the weather. Stayed home from work but slept most of the day and night.

NaNoWriMo Day 18 Stats
Decided to get out of my room and write at the local cafe. Ended up eating and not really writing.

NaNoWriMo Day 17 Stats
Nothing written on the novel but I had lots of fun closing out M&Ms Soul Food restaurant with friends!

NaNoWriMo Day 16 Stats
Too many reports due at work.

This last week has been ROUGH, as you can see. Neil Gaiman gave a good pep talk, which helped me get back on track. I was feelin' everything he was sayin':

By now you're probably ready to give up...

The glamour has faded, the magic has gone...

You don't know why you started your novel...

In short, Gaiman says every writer has this moment to overcome during the novel writing process. Welcome to the club. he says. This was an immense relief to hear. I was starting to think there was something wrong with my conviction when in fact, I had just reached the hardest part of the novel to write. The only way to get over this stumbling block was to put one, one word in front of the other.

Writers dont get to feel unique in their despair, he says and he's right. We're all busy! Every single one of us. Many are working and/or going to school. The holidays are finally here. Family and friends demand time. It's life, right?

This morning, I gave myself a harsh pep talk. This afternoon, I watched a few vids on V-dilla. This evening, I finally dealt with the hardest part, simply by writing one word at a time, tackling my slump until I could feel the words flow again because as Gaiman says, that's how novels get written.

It was ambitious to set a goal of 14K but also a little foolish. No matter. I will get there...and soon, I will be ready to toast! 9,000+ words to go. 9 days left to do it in.

I wish I were a cat because I could sure use 8 more lives!
scififanatic: (Purple blast)
( Nov. 19th, 2007 02:32 pm)
I need to write 12,113 words by midnight in order to meet my goal of an additional 14K words.

Shit.  I need a nap.
As suspected, I didn't write as much today. On the flip side, my date was a good kisser. ;o) I got 263 written while floating on endorphins.

The next 4 days? B.I.C.!
I can barely keep my head from crashing on my desk. My tired. I got only 2 hours of sleep, went to my exam and answered 125 multiple choice questions, ate lunch, came to work, cleaned the office, and by then, I felt like a wet noodle. I don't think I will have any problem sleeping tonight.

I tried writing on my dinner break and only got to 1,654. This is okday because my main goal is to write 14K by the endo f Monday Nov. 19. 12,346 left to go this week.


I hope I don't fall asleep driving home from work tnoight.

I procrastinated something awful today. I didn't start writing until around 9:00 p.m. The first 2 pages are pretty bad but I liked the development of the last 2 pages. The concluding scene feels right too so I'm finished for the night.

Today was a good day. Not so much for the writing though. After struggling through more than 2,600 words, I decided to take a break and come back to the work later. I started watching "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," which is a long movie. I'm not even on disc 2 yet but I HEART Daniel Day Lewis. He his hotter than hot in my book. I think of him and my body temperature starts to rise.

I went to Best Buy tonight and got a free mouse. I also indulged and bought myself the entire series to Sex and the City. It was on sale and with my reward points, I only paid $119 for the collector's edition. I will have plenty to watch this Thanksgiving Holiday. Yipee!

Now, it's time for bed so I can wake up early and continue writing with a clear, and relaxed mind.

I'm tired. I can feel a tingle of a sore throat. I'd like to get to 30K by the end of Monday. I definitely think that's doable because unfortunately, I'm canceling on my friend. She and I had plans to go out Monday and spend half the day shopping, catching up, etc. but that's not going to happen. I'm too tired and I'm coming up to what will be the toughest part of the novel for me. I'm terrible with plot and even though I have an outline, I'm starting to feel like I'm at the point where the story really takes a life of its own. It's scary and exciting and very draining, the way I would imagine someone's first flying lesson would be.

I spent most of the day writing and reading and taking notes for my exam next Tuesday morning. Now, I'm just anxious to get it over and done with. The 4,091 words added to my story were mostly written last night after midnight. I had a bad case of insomnia. Got maybe 4 hours of sleep and I didn't take a nap today, hoping that would make me sleep through tonight.

I listened to a podcast where Joyce Carol Oates described a writer's life as unhealthy because our minds are overstimulated and we often can't sleep because of our stories. She must have heard me tossing and turning last night. *giggle*

Well, that's it. No more writing for today. I'm going to relax with a large glass of tea in bed and a good movie.
scififanatic: (purple flower--black woman)
( Nov. 9th, 2007 05:15 pm)

Quick Stats
Word Count Reached 23881
Total Hours Spent Writing 28.50
Avg Words Per Hour 838
Avg Words Per Day 2653
Avg Hours Spent Writing Per Day 3.17
Words Remaining To Goal 26119
Days Remaining In November 21
Avg Time Per Writing Session 1.78125

Today was a so-so day for writing. I kept telling myself to keep going even when the work seemed pretty awful as a whole.

“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.” – Ray Bradbury

Of the 4 pages, about 2-3 paragraphs are really good and will likely stay with minor edits in January.

I'm making myself stop for the rest of the day. Tomorrow will be the last full day I have to do nothing but write. I'd like to write another 5K in one day but we'll see what happens. After Saturday, life will get hectic again with plans to hang out with friends (shopping!), an interview, and life back at work. I know there will be a lot for me to do at work since I've been on vacation. I'm not looking forward to that.


scififanatic: (Default)


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