Sunday, October 30, 2011

in which I bemoan my lack of progress.

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. Upon us(me). Looming. Imminent.


There's so much for me to do between now and November 1st it's not funny. The Painted Queen is thisclose to being a completed first draft. It's sitting at 70k right now. I thought I could wrap up everything around 75k and expand through edits, but it looks like I was wrong-o. (insert le sigh here.) I've taken to writing short snippets (~500 words) that capture the bare bones of the scenes and can be fleshed out later. As is, I've got about 14 of them to write.

Probably time to get crackin'.

Beyond that, I'm really excited to begin the new WIP, tentatively titled Hell to Pay. Like I've said before, it's been driving me crazy. I'm so excited, in fact, I've forgotten how I wanted to open the damn thing. Openings are hard for me. Like many newish writers, my stories usually begin about three chapters beyond where I start them. I'm determined to begin Hell to Pay right where it needs to--only I'm not sure where that is anymore. #fail.

I downloaded a free trial of Scrivener software, mainly because they claim to make the first draft easier (which sounds like an impossibility to me, but I'll give it a go) and offer a discount on the full version if you 'win' NaNo. To be honest though, I'm not sure I'll figure out how to use the darn thing before Nov. 1, so I'll probably just stick to good old MS Word. The concept of Scrivener sounds fabulous, and I'm sure it works for many people, but I'm not sure I have enough patience to fiddle with it when I could be writing away on my normal word processor.

Although, with the new schedule I've set up for myself, I might actually have some free time to figure out Scrivener. Because I'm only writing my thesis and working this semester, I'm really having trouble getting in a routine and many things have suffered because of it. (My jeans, for instance. They seem to have shrank from the spite.) November is my opportunity to adopt a schedule, all while writing furiously.

Basically, in the next 35 hours I need to write 8-10k, figure out Scrivener software, grocery shop, grade 200 papers, do laundry, and drive back home. Not too bad, right?

Oh. Right.

And outline the novel I'm going to write like a madwoman, because it hasn't been done yet.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

50k in 30 days. Oye.

I did it. I signed up for the insanity fun that is National Novel Writing Month--eek!

Find the site here:

For those who may not know (or don't wanna click the link), NaNoWriMo is an annual event that draws hundreds of thousands of writers, both published and aspiring. Basically, it's a writing free-for-all, with the main goal to pull words from the aether and put them to paper...erm...word processor. 50k.

In 30 days.

That's about 1,666 words/day, for those strange creatures who actually like math.

Whether you abhor numbers (*raises hand*) or not, 50k in 30 days probably seems like quite a challenge. I know that it will be for me. Try as I might, I don't write regularly, or at least not in a daily routine. I have relegated most of my writing time to the weekend, where I can spend a few continuous hours on my projects. Generally I can turn out 3.5k a week, usually in about 3 hours. Weekdays are too crazy with school and work and thesis crap.

But, that being said, I'm going to try and tackle NaNo this year. Is it crazy? Will I even have a chance to 'win'? Yes and probably a snowball's chance in hell, respectively.

Joining NaNo is helpful to me for two reasons:
1) It means I have a deadline of October 31st for my current WIP. I need deadlines. Otherwise I fiddle on the google or on AW or on crackbook or chew my nails or take naps instead of writing. Hi, I'm WT and I am a procrastinator.

2) It also means I have a distraction to keep myself from editing immediately after I type the end in mah current WIP. Letting it rest for a month will help me to be more objective when the time comes to go back and gut edit the thing. (And major edits it needs.) Plus, the idea I've got for November is one that been pestering me for months and months. One that's been trying to lure me astray. To distract me with its Shiny New Idea-ness. (All words are better with -ness endings. Face it.) I've resisted admirably up to this point. (The query that I tapped out oh so very quickly doesn't count...right? I swear it was just tiny moment of infidelity...I mean weakness.)

I want to get a down and dirty draft done for WIP2. Basically, the beginning, the pivotal scenes, and the ending. While I'm shooting for 50k in 30 days, I'm not going to be too disappointed if I fall short. Any words on paper are progress, and most of those words will get changed through editing sweeps anyway. The point is to get the words out there, period. No editing, no fretting, no second-guessing.

Write. And then write more.

I'm posting this here as a little accountability thingy. Every three days or so I'll post my progress. I have say that I'm really stoked about this story. It's got some pretty dark themes going on--much darker that in my current WIP. Should be fun.

Should any other NaNo-ers exist out there, my handle is lilchubb. Add me. We can talk or moan/groan together. It's always funner (today, a word) when there's people to commiserate with ;).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Holy crap.

If you are in a particularly weird place with your writing, or you just want to read something that will straight-up suckerpunch you, read this:


Now go write.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things I've learned

over the past few blogless weeks include

1) I stink at blogging. ...This is a bad lead-off sentence I think.

2) Writing a master's thesis also stinks.

3) Weddings 400 miles away are, well...a long way away. (I never said these were going to be riveting.)
  • (3a. Optimistic (read: one size smaller) ordering of bridesmaid's dress is a poor decision for a harried grad student. I'm still recovering from the lack of oxygen.)

4) Going for a run with a person who is required by contract to maintain a high level of physical fitness (read: a U.S. Marine) is a poor, poor idea on part of harried, fluffy grad student. Emphasis on the fluffy part. And the harried. Probably more the fluffy.

5) There is no five, because five is the number of DNA primer pairs I'm using for my thesis. And frankly, the number five stinks. I've grown to hate poor old five, and it's kind of sad really. It's not five's fault.

6) I'm all out of learned things. (This is probably bad.)

In other updates, I broke 55k in my WIP. *Wootwoot!* I'll wrap up a short first draft at around 65k, and then I plan on letting it sit for about a month whilst I forget everything and focus my attention on the idea that's been clamoring (with cymbals) in the back of my head for MONTHS. I'm so excited about the new project, but I'm determined to finish the current WIP first. Must. Finish.

Right now I'm reading GENERATION KILL by Evan Wright. Final verdict is still out (I'm only about 6-7 chapters in), but I will say I'm enjoying it thus far. I'm dying to get my hands on Lee Child's new Jack Reacher book, THE AFFAIR, as well as read a couple other books of various genres that I picked up in a bargain sale. Life would be better if I had more time to read.

Other than that, nothing much going on in my life. How're all of you?