Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

The Treaty

Last week my story was about a man trying to work out a treaty between the normal world and the supernatural one. The ongoing war between the humans and the monsters was a nasty business and humanity was losing. But there were some in the supernatural community that only wanted to be recognized with the same rights and privileges as the human citizens, and since they were backed by some pretty powerful creatures our hero was willing to go along with it. This theme was probably inspired by the civil rights issues that our country has been struggling with in recent months, and when it popped out onto the page I decided it was worth following. While I might be a straight, married, middle-aged white male, that doesn’t mean that I can’t support the rights of EVERYONE to have the same privileges I enjoy. I am a firm believer in non-discrimination. I voted for Obama twice and right now my car is sporting an “I’m ready for Hillary” bumper sticker.

Unfortunately, the story was actually pretty rambling and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s another case of a seed of an idea that needs time to grow and be redone in the future. Maybe I’ll work it into something else someday. At the end of the story (or scene, really) our hero is left alone with the queen of the fae, who wants to seal the deal with sex. But since he has heard stories about mortals losing their minds after sleeping with her he tries to get out of it by saying she can only have him if they get married first. He never expected her to accept.

This week’s story is supposed to be a Halloween-themed horror story. I had an idea for it yesterday, but didn’t write it down right away so most of it slipped away. I think it was something about an ordinary man being targeted by a body-stealing immortal spirit. So far my beginning has this ordinary guy (yes, the word ordinary is being overused, but it’s on purpose) meeting a very extraordinarily beautiful woman. I think she is going to be the one that initiates the process that will lead to his downfall, but I haven’t quite worked out how yet. I guess we’ll find out by the end of the week.

In other news, I hit a milestone of 150 days on my writing chain for the Magic Spreadsheet last week. I’m still going strong, but I have to say I’m getting a little tired of forcing myself to write every single day. Which is probably one of the reasons I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Another reason is that I don’t really have a project to work on. While I could continue to write my short stories and count those toward the NaNoWriMo goals, I have only been writing 400 words a day and I still remember how difficult it was over the last three years to get those 1667 words per day in for the month of November. Maybe I’ll participate next year.

That’s about it for today. If the goblins don’t get me I’ll be back again next week for another update. Have a safe and happy Halloween, and keep writing!

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I Feel Good!

I did it! I finally managed to write a story that wasn’t dark and disturbing. And the best part is that I have ideas on more of the same.

I actually finished Dirty Little Freaks #11 on Monday. Way ahead of schedule. And I didn’t have to go to the dark side to do it. It’s a little over 1200 words about a boy who goes exploring by himself and finds something wonderful. I used all first person, with no other characters, so there is no dialogue and no need to introduce himself, so I didn’t even have to come up with a name. However, I am planning to write more stories with this character, and I have decided to call him Trevor.

Trevor was out looking for the perfect tree for his tree house, and while he was exploring he became so in tune with the world that when his rope broke and he fell down, it triggered a vision that allowed him to see and manipulate matter at the atomic level. This allowed him to heal his injuries and walk away from his accident with no ill effects. But this is just the beginning. I’ve got four more stories planned that will chronicle how his powers develop over time, and those will be followed up by a novel-length adventure.

I’m calling him the Alchemist, and I am excited about this idea. I already have a rough plot drafted for the next four short stories, as well as the beginning of the novel. So now it looks like I have at least two possible ideas for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and if these short stories continue to inspire me like this I will probably have several more by the time November comes around.

I’m planning on spending the rest of this week continuing to plot out Trevor’s novel, and maybe make some refinements to the idea for his next short story. These ideas are enough to keep me going for the next four weeks, so I won’t need to worry about what to write for a long time. I’m not sure if I will write them all now, or spread them out over time. I guess that will depend on whether or not I get another idea that I can use instead.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope your writing is going well. If not, don’t worry. That’s what edits are for!

See you Sunday!

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And Now, For My Next Trick….

Going along with my theme from last week, I’m going to try to write a little bit of classic fantasy this week. Probably something with goblins in it. I’m not sure exactly what the story is, but I did have an interesting dream this morning that might be appropriate.

As for last week’s story, the best thing I can say about it is that it is finished. To be brutally honest, I think it sucks. But as we have all heard, it’s okay to suck. While the story itself is awful, it does contain within it the seeds of something better. Maybe even this year’s NaNoWriMo project, if I don’t come up with something better before November rolls around.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’ll be back on Wednesday to let you know how it is going.

Now go write!

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Another NaNoWriMo Win!

Sorry for the late post. I have been relaxing after the hectic pace of November. I haven’t done any writing in the last two days, and to be honest, it feels weird.

As you can see from my little sticker on the right, I have won another NaNoWriMo. That’s three years in a row I have managed to write 50,000 words in the month of November. This year I actually made it to 61,322 words, a personal best for me.

But the story isn’t finished yet, and to tell you the truth, it’s not even close. I am trying to decide whether to keep writing, or to take a break and do some more outlining work before I start up again. It would probably be a bad idea to keep going without knowing where the story is headed, but I think I can eke out a few more days worth of writing before I will have to stop.

I’m going to keep thinking about it, and maybe I’ll do a little more writing tomorrow. But not tonight.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with another update. I hope you all had a good November, and I wish you the best in this holiday season. See you soon!

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Still Writing

As you can see by my nifty NaNoWriMo word count meter, I’m still writing. As of Wednesday evening I have over 56,000 words written for this novel. I also think I might have an idea on how I can end the book. Or at the very least a good cliffhanger.

When I was planning this story, I simply could not comprehend how the Republican party had turned so fully against common sense. It seemed that everything they were doing was an attack on the American people. And so, like any good Christian, I assumed that they had been possessed by demons. That was a basic premise of my idea.

However, after I started writing it, I found it more focused on my heroes and less on the demons. Even with all of these words written, the demons are only mentioned a few times and never actually seen. There is no proof of any kind of demonic influence, only a statement by one of the Norns (from the Norse mythology, a little like the classic Greek Fates).

Today I was working on planning a raid by the rebel forces. I decided to attack the Dane County Coliseum, and I had to decide why. What I came up with was that the wealthy people in power have converted into something like the ancient Roman Coliseum, where gladiatorial and sexual events are held on a regular basis to entertain the elite. After the recent laws regarding the Castle Doctrine and the Republican war on women, I figured that kind of perversion would be something that many of them approve of if they had the power to enact it.

The rebels want to attack for two reasons. First, to take out some of the sick idiots running the place. They expect the Governor (who I hope will be indicted soon in real life) to be there along with several other political figures. Secondly, they want to film the depravities being conducted there and broadcast them to the public, hoping to incite outrage in the people and get more of them on their side.

My idea is that when they attack they will find more than they bargained for. They will find that after the fights and orgies are over, the demons come in to “clean up” by eating any surviving prisoners. No witnesses, right?

I think that might be a good way to end this book. I would have the big reveal of the truth behind the devastation of America, and the promise of more battles to come in the next book.

The other option, of course, is to do the reveal and then just keep writing. I could just keep going until the whole story is done, then break it up into sections for publishing, like Tolkien did with the Lord of the Rings.

I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about that. In the meantime, I’m going to try to keep up my pace until Friday, the end of November. Then I’ll verify my word count on the NaNoWriMo website to become an official winner. What comes after that, I’m not sure. I’ll probably need a break, because I’m running out of my pre-planned outline, and the story has changed so much from that anyway that I should probably take at least a few days to plan out the next phase of the story.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo I hope you have either finished or are almost done. And if you didn’t join me in this month-long adventure in writing, there’s always next year!

See you again on Sunday. Good night!

PS: Now go write!

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Achievement Unlocked!

Yes, I hit the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words today. I am technically a winner.

However, that doesn’t mean I am done. Far from it. This story just keeps going on and on, which means I have to keep writing until I get to the end. Or at least until November 30.

I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that I had such a good idea of where the story was going to go when I started. Or maybe it’s because when I was planning it I was thinking that the idea was too big for just one book. Or maybe it’s just because I’m a better writer than I was for my first NaNoWriMo two years ago.

Whatever the reason, I feel that my writing has improved, and I am finding things in this story that I never planned for. Things that build it up into a stronger story. Things that make it longer than expected.

The longest story I have written so far was just over 60,000 words. At the rate this one is going it may hit 100,000. Let me give you an example.

When I wrote my last post my main concern for the following day was to get my hero out into the world and introduce him to someone who could train him. I thought it would happen right away.

I was wrong.

Instead, he got up in the middle of the night and met a young mother with a crying baby. He helped with the baby, reminisced about his own kids, and realized that the real reason he needed to be part of the rebel group was so the baby would have a future.

The next day, I wrote about what he had for breakfast, and the people who served it to him.

The day after that, I introduced him to his trainer, but then took the rest of the time traveling to a spot where they could train and getting him to see the magical world around him.

It wasn’t until today when he finally actually used the magic. At the very end of today’s scene.

That’s an awful lot of words written, and a lot of it is probably irrelevant, and will get cut in the editing. But then again, maybe not. As I said, the first scene with the baby gives him some motivation. The second scene with the breakfast introduces a secondary character that could become important if I want to introduce a little bit of romance. Or humor. The third scene was a good way to set up the way that magic works. And a big portion of today’s scene throws in some spiritual conflict, as well as a problem regarding the use of power.

So, lots of good stuff, even if it seemed to drag on when all I really wanted to do was to get to the magic training.

As I mentioned, even though I have hit the goal for November, I am going to continue to write, at the same level that I have been (daily goal of 1667 words per day). However, I’m not sure what I will do when I finish the month. I may continue to write, if the mood is right and the muse is there. If things stall out, though, I’ll probably take a break and review what I have done to see where I may have gotten off track and plan where I need to go next.

I’ll check in again on Wednesday. Keep your word count up! Now go write!

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Where Am I?

Even though I’m still writing above the daily word count every day, and my total right now is 43,268 words, I’m starting to run out of steam. I think my main problem is that my story has drifted away from my outline, and I no longer have a clear idea of where I am going.

For example, take today’s exercise. Yesterday my hero was shown around the rebel camp. Today, I decided they would be discussing the things the resistance group was doing, and how George could be involved. But that meant that I had to figure out how these plucky fighters were dealing with the big, bad, government (run by demons).

And I drew a blank.

Seriously, if you were told you needed to physically fight back against corporate America, what would you do? It’s almost impossible to have any effect on them, other than bombing their factories, because despite what Citizens United said, corporations AREN’T people. They have no real presence to attack. Just physical locations, where all you are doing is disrupting their cash flow. And if you aren’t careful, you could hurt some actual people who work there.

So my hero had to step in and tell them that they were doing it wrong, and then he had to try to help them figure out how to do it right. But like I said, I drew a blank. I don’t really know how they would need to proceed, so in the end all I did was toss ideas out there to see if anything struck a chord.

The last thing I wrote was that my hero was tired and they put him to bed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write something about a dream he had that might help him figure out how to use his new magical abilities. Or maybe I’ll do something else. I need to get some more action in this thing. It’s really dragging out and I don’t think I’ll have it finished before the end of November. It will be well over 50,000 words, but it won’t be done.

And I really want it to be done. I’ve got movies to watch and books to read and a house to clean, and those things are really hard to do when I am so focused on writing this tripe.

Anyway, that’s enough for tonight. I’ll check in again on Sunday to let you know if I have found my way out of the mess I have gotten myself into. See you then!

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Eureka!

I’m really starting to think that I found a good way to get my writing done. This NaNoWriMo has been smooth sailing for me so far, and I have to chalk it up to the prep work that I did beforehand, as well as the way I have handled my daily writing goal. I have written 37,575 words so far, and I am really thinking that I’ll be able to keep up that pace for the rest of the month.

What I did in October was write a summary outline. Kind of like a synopsis of the highlights that I wanted to cover in the story. It was several pages long, but the important part was that it was the basic outline of the story. Then, just before November, I separated that outline into 33 scenes. When I saw that number I was thrilled. I figured that if I could write one scene per day, and try to hit the word count for each scene, then I could easily get through the month.

And that’s what I did.

It didn’t work out quite as simply as I planned, however. There have been several scenes that have been skipped, while other scenes have been expanded into new territory. My story jumped ahead of my outline shortly after the first week, which meant I needed to rethink how I was going to get into the later scenes. But then, there were other ideas and areas that opened up to me from those changes which could make for a more powerful story. I guess we’ll see how that works out once I’m finished.

How is your NaNoWriMo going? Are you keeping up with your word count? Are you finding it easier or harder than expected? Have you found any new tricks to help you in the future? I would love to hear any comments you would like to share.

I’ll be back on Wednesday for another update. Now go write!

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Quick update

This is going to be extremely short, because it’s late and I’m tired. Been doing a lot of writing, you know.

NaNoWriMo word count: 29,244. That’s a lot of words. Definitely more than half, and we haven’t even hit the halfway point yet.

That’s it for today. See you on Sunday.

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NaNo Update

Just a quick update, because I have lots of work to do, and the day isn’t getting any longer.

I hit 23,000 words on my NaNoWriMo project today. Writing a scene every day is working out pretty well for me. It lets me stay focused on one thing at a time, and with my outline summary I already know roughly what I am going to be writing every day.

Today’s scene, however, took a significant curve sideways. It was supposed to be about a simple day at the office for our hero, followed by a little shopping and a chance meeting with our favorite Valkyrie. But George wasn’t happy with that plan and decided he was going to quit his job and join the rebel forces.

This is a significant change, as he wasn’t supposed to hook up with the rebels until a lot farther along in the story. There are several scenes now that are going to have to be skipped or seriously altered in order to fit this in. But I think it works, and I’m going to keep going with it. At least I’m still ahead of schedule.

On a personal note, despite the efforts of the pest control, we are still seeing bedbugs in my apartment. Mostly on our couch, and if I could afford to do it I would get rid of the old thing and just get a new one. But my life isn’t like that, and I’m going to be stretching my pennies in order to get through until my next paycheck on Thursday. And to top it all off, we’re still unpacking. There seem to be more boxes now than when we started. That shouldn’t be possible, but the fact of the matter is that we now have boxes stacked in places where there weren’t boxes before, and most of the places where they were in the past are still full.

Organization and applied stacking science. That’s the trick. One of these days I’ll get everything where it needs to be: in the trash.

I hope your November is going smoothly, and I’ll check in again on Wednesday. Go write.

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