Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last day to make it or break it

It's 7:35pm and I am posing the following to myself: can I get nearly to the end of my story before midnight?

We'll see.

Wish me luck.



So NaNoWriMo just finished for me here in San Francisco [and the rest of the west coast] and I finished with 90,120 words [because I forced myself to write about 10k in 8 hours].

Last year I finished with 60,957 words, so huge progress. But once again, I didn't finish and I still have a lot of work to do. My story will probably take another 40k, which I plan to complete before December 19th.

So onto NaNoFiMo!

P.S. I plan to post a few choice excerpts in the next week if anyone is interested--after a bit of editing. I'll let you know when that happens.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

And she's off.

Dear Jeebus I finally made it!

At 78,257 Olivia has finally made her decision to run off with her father's last invention [okay so technically I didn't write the memory part yet, so it'll be a few more words into the story once that's added]. The "decision scene" turned out far more touching that I could have imagined--oh my little characters how I've become so fond of you. I sincerely hope that I will not have to kill any of the good ones--perhaps some injury instead.

So that means we've gotten past character building and mysteries into full blown adventure and such. And that means that I have stepped into the territory of the completely unknown. Which sucks because I only have two days left of NaNo to figure most of that out.

Oh I know I won't finish my story on Sunday [at least another 40k to write], but I'm gonna try to get as far into that half as I can.

Wish me luck.

Friday, November 28, 2008


So despite the arrival of the boyfriend for holiday festivities, I have kept steady with my writing. In fact I've been waking up early just so I can get some writing done while he sleeps. Makes me feel less guilty that way.

As of this very moment I am at 70,822. But my story is still very far from being finished. I think I failed to realize how long this story has to be to tell all of it--phew!

Let's just say that my protagonist needs to be running away from her guardians with a valuable object for the latter half of the novel and she's still there. On the bright side I'm only a few scene away from her officially running off. So perhaps I will hit "action" territory before NaNo ends.

Still nervous though, because once she leaves for "action" land...I haven't a clue what it's really gonna be like.

Well back to work!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't call it a comeback...I've been here for years!

So things are moving along in my little noveldom. I've finally broken 60k and intend to reach 75k before Billy's arrival on Wednesday night. There are so many things left to write it isn't even funny. Olivia is on the brink of running off and starting the major climax of the story. So as the days of NaNo draw to a close, I wonder to myself why oh why did it take so long to get to this point?

For one, my inner critic is really hard to shut up. Sometimes she's helpful and creates some great paragraphs and narrative. Then I have to remind myself that this is Nano. My critical friend can shine after this is all over when I'm editing. But sometimes, I just can't force myself forward.

Secondly, self-doubt is always looking over my shoulder. And I begin to worry. Is my story interesting? Would someone want to read it? Are the characters flat? Are they realistic? I haven't a clue because I spend nearly all my waking [and sometimes sleeping] moments with them. My dear boyfriend has been unfortunately subjected to temporary beta as I've been writing--just so my ego can get enough boost to continue writing.

Of the two, doubt is far more dangerous than my critic. Because doubt may be silent, but it acts like a poison and it slows you down. So I need to say goodbye to my poisonous friend and realize that half of what is being written by myself and others will be complete drivel until it gets the editing it deserves. The point is to get it out. And I will.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Green bar goodness

Me: Hooray I won the NaNo! I rock... :: does a little dance ::

Inner Critic: Yeah yeah...big celebration. But is your novel anywhere near done?

Me: No...but I got 50k

Inner Critic: And you still probably have to write 50k more

Me: I better get to it I suppose.


So yeah as of midnight, I wrote 50,808. Woot!

I'm still writing at the moment, hoping to break 52k before I go to bed. It's been sluggish because I don't know the scene as well as I had hoped. But on the bright side I am so close to my halfway point I can taste it.

Sunday--let's kick some ass and break 60k.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes your NaNo characters hijack your brain...

Often while in the midst of NaNo or working on any story, I have moments when I allow my characters to get too close and occasionally take over. My walk to work turns from thinking about my life to thinking about the characters, things they might say or bits of narration.

Then the hijacking begins.

I have a sudden urge to speak as Olivia and respond as Artemus or one of the Orvilles. I devise witty bits of narration for scenes I have yet to write. When they win, I have no choice but to say their words out loud or mouth them. And even when I fight, the facial expressions they might express in the scene playing out in my head, will appear on my own face.

This can be rather problematic, because people might think you're crazy. But this is also the sign that something is finally clicking. And nothing clicked more than when I stopped on my walk home, pulled out my notebook and proceeded to write over 1,000 words for a scene that just popped up in my mind. And it didn't stop there. Twice more, I stopped on the street, found a piece of paper and had to write down that bit of dialogue or prose before I could continue on my way.

But in the end it paid off because I have reached 42K. So hooray!

Unfortunately, my story is far from ending, so I know I need to work really hard these next 10 days to reach 100k or at least 80k before NaNoWriMo ends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh my...things are steaming up.

So a couple of things.

1. I reached 30k!
Not as nice as the desired 35k, but it still puts me in the lead, which is good because I have a feeling that this story will run about 80-100K and I'd like to pretty much finish by end of NaNo.

2. Olivia and Artemus are fogging up my goggles.
Yes indeed, it seems love is blossoming between the pair. I had not intended to get so romantic, but you know how characters like to do what they want. It's very clear to me that Olivia has a crush on Artemus, but I don't know if he feels the same way yet. You know how oblivious boys can be. :)

3. Excerpt of steamy goodness!
After all that writing, I figure I should share some of it. Not much editing was done, so be gentle. Anyway, here it is:

Olivia did not feel fine as she found herself alone and clinging to a bit of railing numerous miles above the ground below. In fact, all she could think about how and when she might fall out of the airship and tumble to her death.
You won't fall out. She thought to herself as she stared at her hands instead of the view below. People don't fall out of airships.
This thought would have been comforting if she did not remember that she had, in fact, fallen out of one herself. And that her falling out of an airship was the very reason she was standing on that balcony this very moment. The girl suddenly felt a knot tighten in her chest, making it incredibly hard to breathe. So she closed her eyes.
"I promise you won't fall." A voice said in her ear and she opened her eyes. Another set of hands rested upon her own, which had relaxed their death grip on the railing a bit. Her heart beat began kicking up again, but not because she was afraid to fall. Her heart was responding, as it often did, to the presence of Artemus Doyle who was standing behind her.
"Artemus." She said softly, but did not turn to look at him.
“Just look down,” he said and reluctantly the girl did as she was told. She allowed her eyes to look away from the railing to the ground below. Below the airship was something that looked like an intricate design etched into the land. The circular form rippled outward and branched out with intricate twists and turns. At the edge of the pattern was a field of green and yellow.
“Is that the city?” She asked, turning to look at Artemus.
“Yes.” He smiled, his eyes unreadable behind his goggles. “That is your father’s design. He and the Orvilles built this city as a mecca for innovation. And the city itself is its own masterpiece.”
“It’s amazing.” She said, still looking at it in awe. Her fear of falling a distant memory.
“You see that structure over there?” He asked, pointing towards something in the distance. Olivia shook her head. “One second.” The boy took one of his hands off of hers and leaned forward, moving her body with him. Surprised, Olivia straightened her arms and stopped him from leaning forward any further.
Artemus laughed and he wrapped one of his arms around her waist.
“Still scared?” He whispered in her ear. Olivia’s heart fluttered. “I promised you that nothing will happen. Just trust me, for once.”
“Okay.” Olivia swallowed hard and relaxed her arms. Artemus leaned both of them forward slightly over the railing and pointed down to something that was much closer to their view.
“See that structure?” He asked again.
“Yes.” The girl could clearly see the large domed structure. Now that they were closer, she noticed that the roof was made of a prism of glass. Everything in the intricate pattern that mad up the city seemed to spill out from there.
“That is the heart of the city. The factory your father and the Orvilles started. It was once one of the most important places in this country.”
“And now?”
“Now it’s not doing so well.” George said as he approached the pair. He glanced down where they were looking and then back at the two of them. Olivia suddenly felt very conscious of how close she and Artemus were that moment.
“Oh, really?” She said, taking a step towards George and out of Artemus’ arms. She didn’t look behind her to see how her actions had affected her companion, if at all.
“Yes...” George said with a brief glance over in Artemus’ direction. “Was I interrupting anything?”
“No.” Artemus said, his voice blank.
“Artemus was showing me the city,” Olivia said, turning back to look at Artemus, who was still looking down at the city below. She gently touched his shoulder, but didn’t get a response. So she placed her hands on the railing next to him and then turned back to address George.
“So what happened to the factory?”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Challenges, a duel if you will...

So this week started out badly. No writing on Monday and then a paltry 1K on Tuesday and Wednesday, so what is the solution to that?


Penny has pulled off the gloves, slapped my face and declared a war, which I have chosen to accept. The terms: 35k by Sunday.

This shall be a mighty war indeed.
For my army of characters have finally found lives of their own and they are willing to fight for me--to the death! Okay...maybe not the death...but perhaps to the pain [just less gruesome than what Wesley described...okay...we're talking paper cuts and finger pokings.]

It begins!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Of Steampunk gadgets and the literary dillemma

Monday I did not write anything because I was incredibly busy on le good ship internship and have a presentation to work on. So big zero on the daily word count. No worries, because I'll catch up tomorrow.

So as most of you know, I am writing a Steampunk NaNoWriMo.

That means gadgets and gizmos a plenty. Unfortunately, that can be quite the problem.
Films, videos and comic books make these things so easy to accept. We see them and well seeing is believing so we accept them. However, when it comes to the ever complicated novel, we are rendered blind.

The only way to end this horrid blindness is with descriptions. However, it can be very hard to describe something if you don't have a clue what it is [or even what it does]. This was something I intended to fix with pre-NaNo planning, but that didn't really go as planned. So I'm thrust into the world and making up thingamajigs on the fly. I know I have a vivid imagination, but I'm generally more of a engineer of "magic" than of anything remotely like engineering.

So this is definitely going to be a struggle. I'll probably resort to just making up random names and just vaguely mentioning the power source or if any levers need to be pulled. I can always go back and fix it.

And to flex my steamy inventing muscles, I will probably begin a "random inventions" list in the Excerptlopedia. Maybe I'll use some of them or it'll just be for fun.

If you can think of anything...and I mean anything, please feel free to share.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Finally caught up!

Huzzah! After silencing my inner critic and some early morning, lunch and evening writing, I am finally back on track.

Writing is going well. The dialogue is still a little shaky, but characters are beginning to develop. The tech side is a little iffy too but that's something I can always go back and edit properly.

Another excerpt. Hopefully this will not disappoint:
A little side note. In this scene, Olivia is disguised as Edwin Jones.

Millicent Doyle's tour was nothing if not thorough and she made sure to usher "Edwin" to every room, nook and cranny. Whether it was to meet yet another crew member or to see some facet of the massive airship's inner workings, Millie made sure that the boy was introduced to everyone who crossed their path. At the moment, the woman had cornered an unfortunate engineer and the elaborate routine of introductions was about to happen for the fifteenth time today.
"Edwin Jones, this is Marshall Patterson. Marshall Patterson, this is Edwin Jones." Millicent said as she quickly pointed between the two men and watched eagerly until the two being introduced finally shook hands. Olivia tried her best to keep up the "firm handshake" that had impressed Mrs. Doyle, but her hand was getting tired by the time she had reached Mr. Patterson.
"Marshall is one of our crewman..." Millicent continued, completely ignoring the nervous look on the crewman's face. She had cornered him on their way to the engine room as he was probably rushing off to somewhere important. But as she had mentioned to "Edwin", the first time he suggested that it was not necessary be introduced to everyone, that manners were what made their country such a dignified place.
"Nice to meet you." Olivia said as she gave the other young man an apathetic look. The sooner the introductions were over, the sooner he would be released from his civic duty of cordiality.

That's all for now. I've earned some early rest.

Back on track, but still have some catching up to do...

So as of tonight I have 5,037 words [although most of those words are from the older plots--but hey I still wrote it for NaNo].

Nevertheless, I am back on track and trying my best to catch up and then get ahead. It didn't help that I've been sick today and so I decided to take it easy instead of making myself worse with stress.

Anyway, at least half of my plot is in my head. As for writing it, we shall see how it goes. I've started to put words on paper, but it's been a little slow and clunky [reminds herself that it's just a draft...die inner critic, die].

So as a little taste, here are the new opening lines:

As Olivia watched the play come to its conclusion, she could not avoid the sneaking suspicion that somehow this story was based on her life, albeit less comical. It is not strange to associate oneself with the characters in a play, but most would have picked the dashing hero or the scheming villains over the hapless victim that was now clinging on for dear life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm still here.

I am currently reworking my plot as we speak and I'm very excited about how it is going.

As for actual writing, I am still incredibly behind. Unfortunately, due to stressing myself out over my predicament and spending a chunk of today focused on elections--I probably won't write any more tonight.

Besides, I need to have a clearer plot line/character ideas before I try to ramble off 4,000+ words or so. I mean, I can write it, but will it be worth it?

So I'm off to plan before bed.

Plots fall apart...[or why character goals are important]

On the third day of NaNo, I wrote absolutely nothing.

Yep, nothing.

Fear not, I am not quitting NaNo, I just ran into a major issue that needed to be tackled before I could write anything else. That major problem being that my MC/Protagonist did not have her own goal. Sure she took on the goals of others as they came, but nothing was driving her. And as any good writer/writing book will tell you, the MC needs a goal or what's the point?

So I spent most of today trying to figure it all out and I have decided this:
My MC/Protagonist's father has gone missing and she has to find him/save him.

This opens a can of worms, so I still have a bit of replotting to do. Some characters can be salvaged, but a lot of them will probably be recast or dumped.

I've got a catching up to do.
Hope I don't have anything to do at work tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

So Steamboy was very useful for inspiration. If you are interested in Steampunk or just an enjoyable movie in general, I would definitely look into it.

Most of today was spent planning...but it was super helpful. I figured out about a quarter of my plot and smoothed out my villain. Also, I created a helpful little playlist for myself to aid me as I write.

I started writing at 8pm and it's going, wouldn't say it was great, but it is coming along.

So I plan to start a few new posts in the Excerptlopedia.

1. Excerpts [anything from chapters to great paragraphs]
2. Favorites [lines, mottos, character quotes, etc]

Check em out when you can.

Today's challenge between myself and Penny was that we were to reach 4,000 by day end. I do not think I will win this one Penny, but we'll see.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Planning Saturday

So planning is going okay...sort of. I think I need to talk to someone or just take a little break.

Lots of revelations and discoveries, but some may be complicating my plot.
I'm gonna watch Steamboy for inspiration and to keep from any possible self-sabotage.

I need support or drop me an IM.


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