Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week since I posted anything here. This new job alone would be enough to kill me, but NaNoWriMo is making it damn near impossible to keep up. Well, without further ado:

NaNoWriMo, Day 21 - 35957

1885 words. That's almost exactly at the goal for words per day, if you write 1/30th of 50000 words, every single day. If that even makes sense. It's nice to at least hit that goal, even if I don't write quite as much as I'd like.

I was reading the NaNoWriMo book, which I apparently already owned, and there was a part that mentioned how for many of those participating in this third week, this is the most you've ever written in one story. And that's a strange thing to admit to myself. I have never written so much about one group of characters, about one situation.

And it's interesting to think how little time this took. I mean, I spend a lot of time writing, no doubt. That was part of the point of this challenge. But spread this over two months, over four, over half a year. Over a year. How many years have I spent thinking about things, and never spending half an hour every so often just putting them to action? How many novels would I have under my belt if I did?

In any case, I will soon enough have a fully written novel. Good enough to publish? Only time will tell.

Time, or a second novel. The one I start next. It's going to be historical fiction. More word on that when the research is done for it.

NaNoWriMo, Day 22 - 38215

2288 words. And let me just say outright they they were excruciating to get out there. I just was not in the zone tonight, and what's more, I hit a point in the story where people were talking abut so many things that had happened before, that I found myself confusing myself about all sorts of things. I have taken very few notes during this little experiment, and I wrote nothing down preceding it, as far as characters and plot go.

And now I can see why it's done. My next time, I will have much more written down beforehand, I think, at least to try it out.

As I said before, I don't know that my novel will be finished at 50000 words. It may be closer to 70000. But things are starting to draw closed, and that means having to figure out why I did things 25,000 words ago, and remembering characters I haven't thought about in a week or more. It's getting hectic.

But I'm getting there.

NaNoWriMo, Day 23 - 38215

It's interesting. Today at work, I had a series of ideas that basically tied the novel up, completely. Every single dead end, every single "I caused this to happen, but don't know why," every single loose thread that I have wondered about or typed a whole chapter out without quite knowing how I was going to tie it up, I figured out.

It sounds like I experienced some grand epiphany, but in fact, we literally had no work to do, so I was just standing there day dreaming.

But when I got home, I had 0 effort to write. So I didn't.

Maybe I've 'written myself out,' by thinking so much about this all, tonight.

But with this knowledge in hand, there is a good chance that within the next few days, I'm going to blaze through a few thousand words.

NaNoWriMo, Day 24 - 39172

A lot of stuff happening, and it is far too late, and I am far too tired, to write any more than that paltry 957 words I've written. But on the plus side, I am getting a bill collector off my back. By paying the bill, that is.

On the novel writing front, at work, during the lulls, I find myself thinking over the ideas I have to come, and revising them slightly, but also finding faults in the fledgling novel that I just happen to remember or realize. "This character doesn't really say anything at all in this chapter, does he?" It is working because of how fresh in my mind practically every scene is. Since I just wrote them, I am able to remember a lot of the events within them.

And I'm also thinking of extra (non-essential) scenes as well. Part of doing this NaNoWriMo thing is just typing, but part of it is trying to actually complete a novel. So what you end up doing, a lot of the time, is getting the bare essentials down. Now, it turns out that I get on these kicks where I insert something kind of major into an earlier chapter I've written, so I end up not just having barebones, but a more fully fleshed out narrative. But it still happens a little, and at work, I keep coming up with these side stories I think sound cool.

I just need the oppurtunity to write them.

NaNoWriMo, Day 25 - 39172

Wrote nothing. Very tired.

These last few days (and the next one or two as well) have been very difficult to write during. Things will pick up after those days. They'll have to, because the month is almost over. But then, so is my novel. At least, the 50000 word goal is.

Dunno if I will write tonight after work or not. I doubt it, because I will be working even later than usual. Only time will tell, I suppose.

NaNoWriMo, Day 26 - 40593

Quite a ways from 50000, and with only 4 days left (I'm operating on a different schedule, because of the fact that I began writing after work, and so I write into a new day...) Even if I were to fail, though, I'd be happy with the great stretch of writing I got done during this month. I can't say I didn't think it was possible, but it's still interesting to think how it took a challenge like this to finally get myself around to doing it.

So I wrote 1421 words, which isn't enough, even, to close the chapter I've been working on for so long, inserted in between two other chapters. It's looking to become my longest chapter. I dunno how I feel about that. I may break it up, I may not. But it's clear, whatever the case may be, that this is not going to end at 50000 words.

I go to bed now, not because I'm tired, not because I can think of nothing more to write. But because the Cluttered Mess: Even Messier, a giant writer's salon/artist of all kinds showcase/runway fashion show starring some of the jewelry creations of my girlfriend/party is happening tonight. And if I don't get some rest, I will not be ready to perform there.

So I'm off.

NaNoWriMo, Day 27 - 40593

I wrote nothing last night. Far too tired. And with so few days left, and so many words to write, you'd think I'd be on my A game.

Sometimes, I think, your A game is just dragging yourself through the day.

Which is not to say that the past few days weren't awesome in their own right. But some of us have to drag ourselves even through those days. That's how tired we are.

Decorated the Christmas tree at my parents', and Regan had her first show; her jewelry decorated the runway models at my friend Sam's party. She did awesome, and even sold a couple things. But as much fun as we were having, we had to leave after the show to get some sleep.

A point on writing, while I'm thinking on it:

I don't think it will ever matter how long I have been writing for. I think I will always have days where I question my ability to write anything at all. And those days directly opposite this feeling where everything I write feels as if it belongs emblazoned across the sky. It doesn't matter that I tell myself every day that neither of these feelings is true. It happens nevertheless, in cycles unending.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo, 17, 18, 19, and 20

NaNoWriMo, Day 17 - 28413

I got very little sleep last night. I was staring at the screen for 5 minutes, in a kind of haze, trying to decide if I was going to write tonight, because I really feel like I ought to.

But that haze.

It decided for me.

Tomorrow I'm working overtime (10 more hours, so this is going to be a 50 hour paycheck. Wooo!), but I think with the extra rest I get tonight, I should be good to go.

NaNoWriMo, Day 18 - 31008

2595 words! I worked 10 hours today (on what is supposed to be my day off) and what's more, it was by far the most exhausting job that there is to do at Amazon. Library picking, which involves 10 horrible hours of walking. Additionally, the fastest way to do it involves keeping a few numbers in your head at all times, which means it's very hard to daydream about your novel. I'm sure everyone has that problem.

But I got home, cooked some salisbury steak TV dinner things, made some corn, wrote my poem, and got to writing my novel. And 2595 words. That's not bad. Especially considering I wrote 800 and was ready to go to bed, and then shamed myself into going on since I skipped yesterday.

I went back again and inserted a chapter. It was an attempt at fixing the flow of the novel. Not the flow of the mood, which is one thing I try to think about, but the flow of the narrative itself: I needed something not so action-packed to take place between action scenes. But I turned that moment, which started off as a brilliant single shot idea at work ("What if they meet this new character I just thought up in my head?") ended up fleshing out a character which, also at work, I had begun to fear hadn't had enough direct impact to the story.

I'm gonna end with something that I've learned from this whole experience, about the way I personally need to write a novel. I have taken a class on novel writing, and read some books, and I've seen a lot of different suggestions, which makes sense, since everyone writes differently. But one of those suggestions is to make an outline, or figure out what your characters are all about; where they're from, what they'd do in given situations.

I always felt as if this was very constricting. A part of me wants the absolute freedom to do what I please. Which is not to say that in Chapter 1, my main character is cripplingly (is that a word?) shy, and in chapter 2 they're swinging from a chandelier at a strip club. Instead, I want to have a general idea of a character in my head, and situation, in my head, and see where it takes me as I write.

But in practice, that can easily become a nightmare, especially given the more characters you have. So in the future, I think what I need to do is have a fairly good idea of a number of 'core' characters. Not necessarily the main characters, but characters which I know are important to the story at some point (okay, so maybe that is a main character, but I just mean to say not main in the sense that they will be the focus of the novel).

For me, having just a vague idea of where the novel is going is great, and freeing, and fun. But having that same sense of freedom for every character can become a little overwhelming. I feel like I have discovered who certain characters are in chapter 16, and that when I go back over the book from start to finish, I will endlessly be inserting that 'character' into their earlier appearances.

But perhaps that's as natural as anything else.

NaNoWriMo, Day 19 - 31789

I typed a modest 781 words. I had to make the decision to pull the plug and go to sleep after I found myself dragging parts onto different nerf guns on nerf's flash website. I could not possibly have been less productive.

But I worked 11 hours last night, and a total so far of 41 hours. After tomorrow's shift, that will be 52 hours in a week. It doesn't sap my creativity. Just my energy. haha.

I want to officially note, by the way, that I am no closer today than I was at the start of having even a working title for my novel. It's currently saved as "A Shift 6," which just happens to be the first two words of the novel, followed by the number six, which is how many times I've saved it as a new file just in case something horrible happens to it.

This part of the book is so boring to write, but I've got to pull through. It can't be all explosions and chase scenes. Trust me. I have read that novel excerpt in college. It was not enjoyable.

NaNoWriMo, Day 20 - 34072

I just got done working my 52nd hour of standing or walking on concrete at my job. My legs hurt, but surprisingly less than they did that first week. And needless to say, I was not feeling like writing when I got home, despite all my day dreaming about it at work. I had forgotten to take my stuff to work (do poetry things on my lunch break so I don't have to do them when I get home) so I still have to do those things before I sleep, so I will try to make this short.

But I wrote 2283 words, which is much less than it felt like. I had some fun with my characters in a chapter that hopefully relieves some of the intense pressure of the preceding chapters.

At work, I was thinking about my story, and I'm not certain it will end in 50000 words. Which, of course, is not a requirement of NaNoWriMo, but something that I would have liked to have some amount of closure in. I'll keep writing 'til it's done, though.

During my day dreaming, I envisioned almost all the events that I want to take place before the ending. It's strange being so far along that I know almost everything that will happen. There are things I need to figure out how I'm going to tie them up, but all in all, I think I know how I want it to end.

Which would leave me with the giant task of revision, fact checking (I just make crap up, currently. No city names or anything of that nature), and thinking up a title. Blah.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 13, 14, 15 and 16

NaNoWriMo, Day 13 - 22610

Work was a little rough today. Not physically, but mentally, because it was my first night outside of my training group. I'm more or less an official regular employee, in that nobody much cares anymore about helping me along. And I had to sort at one of the worst stations, because I was too stupid to grab a good one early.

Which means I didn't spend too much time thinking about where my novel was going. I did spend a little though.

And as is always the case, when I got home to get to it, I didn't write any of that. Instead, I inserted 923 lines into the second chapter, in a moment of clarity that simultaneously makes that chapter a hell of a lot more interesting (if you go back and read my first couple of days of blogging, I was worried that those chapters were boring) and also characterized two characters I was worried I had not characterized enough.

PLUS, all this builds up the current chapter, the one I ended up not writing, so that it doesn't seem to come out of no where, and therefore, have no emotional connection with the reader at all.

This is one of the best parts of prose writing. Poetry, for me at least, is often all about finding the perfect sentences, and sounds. It's about ideas too, definitely, but a lot of the time I spend is purely about the language itself. It's what I love most about writing.

But prose has be focus on something else. I can spend all night working on the language of my novel. And I'm sure I will, over many weeks of revision. But there's something like a puzzle at play as well. Trying to figure out what is it, structurally, that elicits emotion. The timing, chapter breaks, knowing just how much information to give at any given time.

Lord knows if I am tapping that spring at all or not. But I'm definitely glad I'm trying to. That I'm thinking about it.

NaNoWriMo, Day 14 - 25237

I hit the halfway mark! This is the first real marker for my success at finishing a novel, because I could never be certain, before now, if I had ever written as much as I've already written. But I've never gotten as far as halfway, that is for sure. (Note: The internet was messing up last night when I was trying to post this, and so I just went to bed. Hahaha)

It's strange to think that I may have a finished work, some day. The novel doesn't quite feel half finished, though, so it may go on to be more than 50000 words long. We'll see.

I wrote one of the more difficult chapters last night. And I'm not certain I actually got over the difficult part, rather than just skip over it in the interest of typing the rest of the story up, but the second draft, in this case, is the time to do the research and fix the inconsistencies. 2627 words for one chapter; not only are my chapters becoming more complex, but they're growing in length as well. I don't know what that means, exactly.

It's strange, though. The entire time I am writing this novel, I am thinking about the next. What I'll do differently, and how much better it will be. haha. That's not to say that I believe this one is a lost cause, but it's almost like working on a table, and being nearly done when you learn how to use an electric sander, or a level. This table might end up being decent, or even great. But you're already looking forward to the next to try out your new tools.

NaNoWriMo, Day 15 - 27020

1783 words, and I would have sworn it was something closer to 4000. Man it's hard to judge word counts by the time it takes to write them.

I just got done with a really fun chapter. There's one character in particular who I love to write about much more than the main characters. All the writing books suggest that if you find that this happens, consider making the 'main' characters supporting characters, and follow this much more interesting character, but I disagree entirely. There are some characters who are interesting BECAUSE you rarely see them. Gandalf was awesome in Lord of the Rings, but I honestly think that the story would have lost a lot of its magic (lol) if it had been about Gandalf, or even Strider or Legolas, instead of the incredibly average hobbits.

Likewise, the original Star Wars gave us the perfect dose of Darth Vader. Then they gave us the prequels all about Darth Vader. All Vader, all of the time. And it was a terrible idea.

Some people are best left as enigmas. Must I really be forced to see Darth Vader pod-racing as a 7 year old kid?

NaNoWriMo, Day 16 - 28413

Augh. It was a rough night, especially at work. I got home and after 3 and a half hours, I've only written 1393 words. I mean, I wasn't typing that entire time. But that's part of the problem. haha.

All things considered, I wrote much more than I might have expected, but that doesn't count for much when it's still well short of the night's goal.

Look. You can tell how strung up and unable to write I am by this entry. hahaha.

More to come tomorrow. I promise.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 10, 11, and 12

NaNoWriMo, Day 10 - 19222

I hurt my neck, somehow, right before I went into to work, so the first half of the night was pretty terrible. They time us on our sorting, and I screwed up a ton of times and was starting to get a little down, because I have no backup plan to this job, so I'm banking (sort of) on trying to get hired on instead of laid off at the end of this season. But by the end of the night, I had turned things around, and my rate was faster than many of the people who had been there for months.

I wonder sometimes, about how much effort if given to these things that mean nothing, really, to us. And about how few people at any job I have ever had, know that I write at all.

Anyway, I got home and wrote 1749 words. Sometimes when it gets real slow at work, I start daydreaming about what I will write about next in the story, and invariably, when I get home, I never write about any of it. This time, I thought about the big "Fellowship of the Ring" conversation that was about to happen in my story (that is, the moment where everything is explained. You know how Frodo and the gang just wandered/fled about for the first part of that book? And then finally he gets to the meeting and finds out what the big deal is? That moment).

But then the action part that immediately precedes that moment ended up taking 1749 words to explain, when in my head, it was like 3 sentences. And having typed it all, I don't know that I have it in me to do the next section. Tomorrow is a day off of work, and while I'll be reading poetry at the Running Word, I'm sure I'll have time to get in 2000+ words at least. I hope.

NaNoWriMo, Day 11 - 19222

I wrote nothing today. I'm just gonna be honest. It's not in me at the moment. haha.

I wrote my poem for the day, but I just need to sleep at the moment. The next chapter will be fun, so hopefully that will spin into two or three chapters.

Although that has never happened before.

NaNoWriMo, Day 12 - 21687

Wrote 2465 words tonight. I've officially broken 20000 words!

That's the plus side. The downside is that at the moment, I've got no idea where the plot is going. But that's not so bad a downside, yet, because I'm done writing for the night, and I have a chance to dream, and then work a 10 hour shift tomorrow, thinking about it.

If I am at 25000 words in 3 days, I will be exactly where I ought to be. But I hope to write enough that by that time I'm slightly ahead of the curve.

A little note about the craft: I have read many different takes on a ton of different points of writing. And when you read these things, they are almost invariably about novel or short story writing, which was wholly unhelpful toward what I usually write (poetry). But it was also pointless, because as with most things, learning theory without being in practice, or having practiced something extensively to base that on, is pretty pointless. I sort of remember the tips or ideas as I write, but it's mostly lost knowledge by now. But having written so much, I feel as if I can pick up one of these books and really appreciate and learn from what they have to say.

And during the time that I start revising, I'll have actual chapters and instances of mistakes to turn to.

It's pretty much the only thing I have to look forward to, that has to do with revision.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 8 and 9

NaNoWriMo, Day 8 - 16468

At first, I didn't write as much as I'd have liked to (isn't this always the case?) but tonight marks a different kind of milestone. I have officially caught up/overtaken my original manuscript. That is, after all the chapter rearrangements and rewrites, I have chronologically exceeded the latest point in the story I had ever gotten to. Tonight I deleted the last chapter of the original manuscript, and therefore while I started with about 10000 words of already written material, I have deleted or rewritten the vast majority of it. I'd say 90%, if not more.

Tonight, my net increase in word count is began as 636 words, due to the entire deleted chapter. But from here on out, there will be no deleted chapters, it's all increasing from now on. And right before bed, I typed up a storm, increasing the count to a decent 2627 words.

So a little bit about the novel itself. I've been kinda secretive about it, because unlike poems, people actually steal novels and their ideas. haha.

My novel is somewhat of a fantasy, and it's based in part around the mythology of angels. I remember when I explained this in my novel writing class, one woman told me that this was a terrible idea, because it would be offensive to certain religions. Not only do I not really care (people will be offended over just about anything, and I'm not claiming any of this is true in the first place), but I am specifically basing it on the LEGENDS that surround angels, which is what I've always been interested in. That is, their portrayal as white winged humans, as warriors and protectors as opposed to messengers. There are a few parts of the Bible with mention of angels in these ways (or that can be taken in these ways) but for the most part, a lot of what we think about when we envision angels isn't directly from the bible, but from works like Milton's Paradise Lost, or renaissance paintings, or popular myth.

So with that said, about 50%, at this point, of the novel's characters are human, and 50% angelic. I have reached a point where I think that each of the three perspectives I am telling the story from are equally engaging. Of course, it's my responsibility to ensure that this is the case for the entire novel, but I only have 30 days. I don't have time for that.

For now, I just type what strikes me, and I'll worry next year about revising it.

March, or some month, should be National Novel Revision and Editing Month.

NaNoWriMo, Day 9 - 17473

That's a 1005 words I typed tonight. And I just heard Regan's alarm go off. The light is out. Working the night shift means two things. First, that I get to write in absolute silence. I know Regan would let me write in peace; she always does. But having someone around, even when they let you write, is a distraction in itself, because if you like the person at all, you have a desire to speak with them. Honestly, I welcome the distraction most the time. But I have to write a whole lot of words to get this novel done. haha.

Second, sleep is difficult. I mean, I have never had any problem sleeping, really. But even though I am sleeping at least 8 hours, it's not very satisfying, with the kids playing outside, the sun beating in, and the knowledge that I'm wasting daylight hours sleeping.

On the plus side, tonight went pretty quickly, at work.

Can't say the same about the writing.

But my feet don't hurt very badly, so that's good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 5, 6, 7

NaNoWriMo, Day 5 - 10358

I'll make this real quick. I have to be up in like 6 hours, and therefore I am foregoing writing entirely tonight. I have the day after tomorrow off, so I will make up for it then.

I think the important thing about goals is to understand why you have them. I write a poem every day not to have more poems, but to ensure that I am consistently working on my writing skills. But I am doing NaNoWriMo not necessarily to improve my writing ability (which of course, I hope is happening), because I think spreading the novel out over a longer period of time will help with a lot of that. Instead, I am doing this to get a novel written. To have that under my belt. So that I know, in the future, when I want to write a novel, that it's possible because I've done it.

And so if I skip days, I am not upset with myself, like I would be if I skipped writing my poetry.

Anyway, the reason I have to be up so early is that I will be reading a poem on Accents, 88.1 FM, Lexington Kentucky (

I'm stoked! So 0 words written today. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo, Day 6 - 11403

I woke up after only 5 hours of sleep and drove to UK, braved the ridiculous parking and fought my own inability at finding my way around and miraculously found myself at the radio station just in time to read my poem. The recording is not up quite yet, but it may be up by the time you guys read this (

I drove immediately back home, tried to check mail and whatnot, and took a nap, then went to work. Let me tell you. Two days in a row of 10 hours of standing on my feet is killing my legs. I get home and I'm not tired in the way you need to be to sleep, just unable to walk around and get anything to eat, get dressed. Anything.

Anyway, I had what felt at the time like a burst of inspiration at work, and got home and it was mostly gone. I did write 1045 words, which I inserted into an old chapter to introduce a new character. But no new chapters, and I'm still well below where I need to be. But now I really am the kind of tired that you need to be to sleep, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. 11403 words is not so shabby.

NaNoWriMo, Day 6 - 13841

The thing about days off is that when that have been preceded by especially busy days, you want more than ever just to rest, and not to finish all the things you either chose to or had to put off. So I didn't do much of anything productive until very very late in the night.

But I wrote 2438 words when I finally got to it, one of the longest chapters I've yet written, and one of the more fun ones as well, I think.

Some things I've learned about my writing, as it pertains to novels:

I thrive on the unknown, on organic writing. I can't write with an outline, because nothing ever ends up happening that way when I sit down to write.

Conversely (and this is what I'm only just now learning) a part of me needs to create a few, or perhaps many, characters beforehand. They don't need, at first, to be fully fleshed out, but I need them to exist before I put them into situations. I love dialogue, and situations that arise from conflicting emotions and viewpoints, but those don't come about very easily when I haven't decided on any characters beforehand. It can happen, but what seems to happen instead is I try to think of ways to get what I think must happen to happen that way with the people I already have, and that just doesn't always work out.

See yesterday's entry, where I had to go back and insert a character in an already finished chapter. And that risks messing up much more than the chapter itself. I had to rewrite huge sections of that chapter, and parts of any chapter that followed it as well. That's a lot of wasted time.

Anyway, tomorrow I hope to write even more. On the 15th I need to be at 25000 or more, and I'm not nearly as close to that as I'd like to be.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 3 and 4

NaNoWriMo, Day 4 - 10358

In case any of you are wondering about my days being slightly off, I work third shift, and write after I get off of work, so my days are slightly longer than they should be.

Today was my day off, the day I promised myself I'd do some catching up on my novel, since I wrote less than a hundred words yesterday. And I wasted the whole day, as it pertains to writing (except for the part where I attending a poetry reading of Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, from her new book "The Air Around the Butterfly.").

And while I have been incredibly tired all day, I made the decision to stay up as if I am working, in order to try to keep my sleep schedule consistent, even if it's consistently sucky. So at around 4 in the morning, I began typing, and it was incredibly slow going for a while, until I got to a new chapter, which exploded forth in a burst of (what I hope is) creativity. The issue here, for me, is that my main character's chapters are much harder for me to keep interesting, his being a regular person, while the chapters about angels are fun for me to write because I have no frame of reference, really, to have to be loyal to, and because, as angels, they are by their very nature sort of interesting creatures to think about. If this wasn't NaNoWriMo, I would probably think this over for weeks or months without writing anything at all, but instead, I just keep churning on.

3143 words typed tonight. And I could probably go on, but I'm pretty tired, and I hit the end of a chapter, which seems as good a point as any to leave off. And I'm officially back to the point I started, though with a story that, however imperfect, is much more clearly directed then it ever was before.

Work tomorrow, then more typing. Augh.

NaNoWriMo, Day 5 - 10358

I'll make this real quick. I have to be up in like 6 hours, and therefore I am foregoing writing entirely tonight. I have the day after tomorrow off, so I will make up for it then.

I think the important thing about goals is to understand why you have them. I write a poem every day not to have more poems, but to ensure that I am consistently working on my writing skills. But I am doing NaNoWriMo not necessarily to improve my writing ability (which of course, I hope is happening), because I think spreading the novel out over a longer period of time will help with a lot of that. Instead, I am doing this to get a novel written. To have that under my belt. So that I know, in the future, when I want to write a novel, that it's possible because I've done it.

And so if I skip days, I am not upset with myself, like I would be if I skipped writing my poetry.

Anyway, the reason I have to be up so early is that I will be reading a poem on Accents, 88.1 FM, Lexington Kentucky (

I'm stoked! So 0 words written today. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Days 1 and 2

It is day three, but I haven't written anything yet, and I'd like to share what I have so far. I was sharing this on Facebook, and didn't even realize that I should be posting them onto here as well, since I have so little time to do both. I've started my job at Amazon. It's a little rough already, even though the first day all we did was watch videos and demonstrate competence with machinery so simple that everyone felt stupid using it. That's not to say there were some tremendous failures from some of the people, but I think that goes without saying.

I'm still writing my poetry every single day and reading as well, so yeah, I don't have a lot of time right now.

Anyway, I think I'm going to post every day's journal, if I write one, but post them in twos or threes. So without further ado, Days 1 and 2 of my NaNoWriPo (ad)venture:

Day 1:

I've decided to take this challenge on, partially because of the enthusiasm Bianca has for it, and partially because I am apparently down for every free writing challenge known to man.

It's a little different for me, though. I am starting a new job (in 12 hours, or so, actually) and will be continuing to write my poem a day, something which I started during National Poetry Month in April, and haven't missed a day of yet. So it's going to be a little Hellish. Which is apparently how I like writing.

But what makes this even more different is that I actually have about 10000 words already typed up from a novel idea I had during college, which I wrote for Novel Writing I. So because I had always intended on finishing it (it's technically fantasy, for those of you wondering, and it's more fun than literary, which sort of bothers me), and because I already see the difficulty of finishing this with my other obligations, I'm going at this with a bit of a head start.

Except that it doesn't feel that way. I spent the last few hours re-reading over the first 5 or 6 chapters, and heavily rewriting one of them, heavily editing/deleting another, and moving around the order of two of them. So at the end of the day, my word count actually went down a little.

In any case, I now have 9350 words toward my 50000 word goal. Until I start writing material that I have not written in some form before, my word count may stay steady, or may even drop. But hopefully at the end of this month, I will have a considerable portion of a novel done. I am setting the goal at the traditional word limit, and not at a finished manuscript. Because who knows how far that will get me into the actual story?

Day 2:

Before I get into the actual writing portion of this note, let me just explain my first day of work real quick.

Anyone who knows me knows how terrible I am about getting lost. It happens a lot. A whole lot. Even with directions, even to places I have driven a million times before. So I intended on leaving very early for my first day, and just sit in the parking lot with a book on the off chance that I find it easily.

Well, this is a third-shift job, so I took a nap before my shift, and ended up over-sleeping some. Which meant I left late, and surprise-surprise, I can not find the place. I have 10 minutes to find it, and I'm driving up and down this road when I come up with the ingenious idea of following the next car that comes, because it's 7 at night; how many cars could be driving down this road?

Well, long story short, I get lost, and I'm frantically texting my girlfriend to ask her to ask her sister (who worked at Amazon last year) for directions. My text message inbox is full, the road is pitch black and winding, I'm trying to type things, and I'm also pulling out my GPS to try to type in an address, all the while wondering if I should just quit my job. The first day. I end up calling (the number was in my phone's memory) and finding out the road I had was wrong, so I entered that into the GPS and make it to the job about 15 minutes late. Turns out that the line to sign in is so long, that no one could ever have guessed I was late.

So I got home, and wrote. I am at 10,410 words. Which means I wrote 1060, which is well short of my goal of 1600 to 1700 words a day. But I'm counting it as a success. Some days are like this.

As for the writing itself, I realized yesterday that I have not a single female character. So I guess I am Tolkien-ing it up. I'll fix this, I'm sure, but it's interesting writing your first novel, and finding the natural things you do which suck.

Oh. I have re-written large portions of the original 10000 words I had written, which means that events have gone in different directions, which means later chapters can't happen the way they've happened. So I look forward to tomorrow, when I will likely cut 3-4000 words from my manuscript.

Isn't the point of this month to GAIN a word count? haha