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11th October 2010

5:36pm: NaNo or NoNo?
I still haven't decided whether I want to attempt NaNo. I'd hate to give up on it, after such a rewarding winning streak (minus last year's disastrous failure), but at the same time it feels more like an obligation than something fun. And the whole point of NaNo is for it to be fun.

I have a vague idea, inspired by a thread in NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul entitled "Your Novel's TV Tropes!" It, of course, contained a link to the dreaded site and I got sucked in. I then concluded that it would be fun to sort of do it backwards--instead of looking for Tropes in my novel, I would surf through random pages on TVTropes and make a novel out of them. A bit later, I stumbled across the Tropes of Legend page, which is the most oft-referenced tropes on the whole site. I thought it would be fun (and outright silly) to cram all of these into one terribly cliche, over-the-top story.

But, I still have no solid ideas and I'm just not as enthusiastic as I could be. Most of my waking hours are spent creating a religion, language system, etc. for my other, non-NaNo project. Maybe I'll be a NaNo rebel and try to get a 50k-word outline or encyclopedia or something.

*sigh* I not good at decisions.
Current Mood: indecisive

3rd October 2010

5:42pm: I LIVE
Omg I forgot about this poor little journal. ;__; Time for an update. Even though there's not much to be said, unfortunately.

So, I have this epic novel that I've been slaving over for a few years now. I've written multiple drafts and have tweaked the plot several times as my ideas evolved. I gave up on NaNoWriMo (twice) last year because I wanted to focus on this story instead. Wellll, turns out I gave up on SS, too. I decided I was sick of working and re-working it, the premise was bland and uninspired, the plot was non-existent, and I really just needed something new and fresh.

My new novel idea keeps all the same characters (what can I say, I love them too much), but shuffles their roles around a little bit (and may introduce new ones). Plus, there's an entirely new premise and plot. What those are, I'm not sure yet. I've been jotting down ideas and trying to make it all come together.

I would love to work on this for NaNoWriMo, because I'm getting excited about it and it's like a breath of fresh air after trying to redo the same stale plot over and over again for the past 4-1/2 years or so. However, NaNo is 27 days away, and I just don't think I could develop the story enough in that amount of time. I need to really take my time with this one--I need to look at all the little details of the backstory and plot, I need to make sure I have the entire story planned out before even starting the first book, I'll probably need to do research...and so on. I really do not want to rush the development of this story, because I've done that in the past with less-than-ideal results.

So, that leads me to the question of what to do for NaNoWriMo. At this point, I'm not even sure I want to participate. There's a part of me that really, really wants to. Last year was a wash, but it can also be a fluke if I dust myself off and give it another go. On the other hand, do I want to put my "epic" story thing on hold for a month so I can write a little self-contained piece (which might actually do me some good, since I would try to focus on something simple and relatively lighthearted)? Idkkkk I can't seem to make this decision.

And yes, it's still early. But I want to make sure I have plenty of time to plot everything out. I have learned from past experiences that I need a looooot of planning in order to ensure that I will see this through to its completion. Aces was so much fun, and such a huge success, because I was already up and running by early October, and I had character profiles, spreadsheets of scenes, plot summaries, everything to get me uber-excited about the upcoming project.

There's also the question of time. I would probably aim for 50,000 words, just so it's a bit less stressful. I have a 16-hour/wk internship, plus 6 hours/wk of class. Not too bad, but I'll most likely be busting out a shitton of words on the weekends. Would I be able to do enough, though, to get NaNo done? Not sure. I'm usually exhausted when I get back from my internship, and I'll probably have assignments for my classes.

Maybe I'll sleep on it for a couple of nights and try to clear my mind a bit. Maybe I'll just let it happen--if an awesome idea latches onto my brains and I can't get it out, then I'll attack it during NaNo. If nothing has inspired me by late October, I'll pass on NaNoWriMo this year and devote time to my pet project. If, by whatever holy grace, I feel confident enough in my epic!novel project that I'm ready to start writing by November, I might try to get 50,000 words of that written during that month. We'll see.
Current Mood: frustrated

22nd November 2009

3:12pm: Lucky Friday the Thirteenth
Well, haven't updated for some time. But there's a reason for that. Last Friday (11/13), I decided that I was officially giving up on NaNo. So, for the first time, I won't win. But, I'm not too torn up about it. I had told myself long before NaNo started that I needed to focus more on writing a story I was proud of than on reaching the word count. It wasn't about winning or losing this year, but about having a sense of pride in what I wrote. My first attempted novel (Let Sleeping Gods Lie) didn't interest me at all, most likely due to a lack of planning and character development. My re-write of Aces was a last-minute backup plan, so again, I didn't have a lot of planning and hadn't taken the time to mentally prepare myself for writing that story. I was able to get a little bit done, but I realized that I just didn't have the motivation to keep the story going.

The main reason I gave up writing was because SS keeps calling to me. I'm starting to plan the backstory and create a detailed outline that will give me the foundation to turn this into the epic story I always dreamed it would be. I realized that SS appealed to me so much more than AW did and I was more excited to start planning the SS overhaul than to continue with a stale, half-baked rewrite. I could have pushed through to the end of the month, forcing myself to write a couple thousand words on AW every day, and waited until December to work on SS; but it would have been a hollow victory, because I would have been stringing words together just to cross the finish line, and I would be left with a product that felt forced and empty rather than lovingly crafted. The latter is what I want to start striving for in my writing.

That said, I haven't gotten all that far with the SS planning. I had to deal with schoolwork for the past couple of weeks, which included a massive term paper. So now, I'm definitely excited to buckle down and start getting somewhere.

So, anyway, NaNo is a no-go. I'll see how I feel next year. But SS is now my pet project, and the kind of story I'm planning can't be written in 30 days, so I might just take time off from NaNo altogether. It was fun at first, and a good way to get in the habit of writing every day, but now I think I want to take my writing a little more seriously. Then again, if I can come up with a good 50,000-word stand-alone project (which was my original plan this year), maybe I'll participate again.
Current Mood: disappointed

8th November 2009

4:53pm: So, it's day 8 of NaNo and I'm roughly 7,000 words behind. ;____; I just can't seem to find the motivation to work at a steady pace. I was hoping to get a lot done this weekend, but Friday was full of stats work, a trip to Target, and FFAF on ONTD. On Friday I wrote an embarrassing 70 words. 70 words. Blegh. Saturday was shaping up to be a good opportunity to bust out some words, but I had more stats, some research for my Psychopathology class, then an unexpected bowling outing. Lots of fun, but I barely broke 7,000 (if I was keeping up a good pace, I would have had roughly 11,670).

I've only written 640 words so far today, and I don't know what my problem is. Usually I'm happy to use NaNo as a distraction from schoolwork or plain old boredom, but this year I'm having so much trouble getting into it. I purposely lowered my goal this year so that I could spend more time piecing together a meaningful story rather than just rushing to get words down on the page, but my writing still feels forced and artificial. I keep thinking that once I get past all of this character intro stuff, it will get a lot more fun and the words will come more easily.

Anyway, I'm definitely not giving up. If I don't make my goal, so be it. Even if I don't finish Aces Wild before the month is out, at least I'll have something to work with if I decide to come back to it at a later date.

Anyway, I should get another 1400 words written, in between preparing a PowerPoint presentation and doing some research for the 20-40 page paper due next week. Yay, my life.
Current Mood: bored

3rd November 2009

9:05am: Nvm
So, NaNo is officially underway! It kind of snuck up on me, because I kept losing track of time. I was at a friend's Halloween party when ~midnight~ struck and NaNo officially began. She's doing NaNo as well, so we got our writing utensils ready while our friends counted down and we both started right at the stroke of midnight. We each got in about one sentence before we decided to table our novels and return to party-zone.

I wrote a couple of paragraphs the next morning, but I felt really uninspired and had no idea where I was going to go with any of it. I ended up with only 360 words the first day.

The next day, I managed to churn out about 1600 words (which was about half of what I should have had by that point in the month), but I was really just going through the motions and pulling crap out of the air. I eventually confirmed what I had been suspecting since mid-October: I just didn't have any passion for this story, didn't care about the characters, didn't even want to keep writing.

Now, I have two choices: I can re-write the first Aces book, which was last year's NaNo project, or I can go the NaNo Rebel route and write a 50,000-word outline of my Second Shroud series. It's technically "cheating," but at this point I don't want to churn out a bunch of crap and just leave it to fester. I want to make NaNo work for me. And if that means I have to subvert the rules in order to do something I'm really excited about, so be it.

For now, I'm going to try my hand at Aces. That way I won't feel guilty about it, and I will have a nice shiny second draft by the end of the month so I can focus on SS over winter break. I don't really have a plot for Aces, but at least I have characters I care about and a concept that I'm excited to explore. I just have to bust my ass for a couple of days to make up for the 3334 words I've already lost. But, that's what weekends are for, right?

So, time to start from scratch. At least this happened relatively early in the month. I'm not too worried.
Current Mood: optimistic

16th October 2009

10:55pm: Wut wut
I'm definitely feeling better about my novel. Things have been filtering in bit by bit, and I'm trying to let this unfold naturally. I write down any ideas that pop into my head, but I'm not necessarily going to plan out the entire plot or force my characters to do anything. I want it to be very--organic, in a way.

I definitely have a title: Let Sleeping Gods Lie. Maybe I shouldn't say "definitely," since it may very well change, but I have a good feeling about this one and I think it suits the story well.

I also have a better idea of my MC. His name at the mo' is Zenther, but his nickname is Zen. That doesn't make any sense to me, but again, this is what popped into my head, so I'm just going with it. Zenther is completely made-up, and only time will tell if it ends up being really rad or if I realize just how stupid it sounds. I don't know all that much about Zen as a person, though I did track down a stock photo of a dude who looks almost exactly like him. The image that is forming in my head about Zen is that he's kind of a loser, but he's really fun. He has a job that's lame but just unusual enough to be kind of fun (what that job is, I don't know yet). He has some strange compulsions, like ringing his own doorbell before entering his house, touching inanimate objects as he walks by (fences, racks of clothing in stores, trees, walls, windows), eating oranges whole (rind and all), and checking vending machines for spare change. He has also replaced his addiction to cigarettes with an addiction to lollipops. I still have to discover his favorite flavor.

Anyway, this is all useless stuff that no one cares about. Maybe Zen will become a bit more talkative over the next few days. And hopefully he'll tell me a little bit more about his childhood imaginary friend, though I think part of the fun of this story will be constructing the IF's identity as I go along.

Also, as I was walking to my car after class, I had another "EUREKA" moment and the major turning point of the story flashed before my eyes. I wrote it down as soon as I got home, and it looks like this is really going to work. This whole story thing. And I'm not even planning it. It's so strange, just letting a novel plan itself like this. We'll see what comes of it in November.

Welp, now I'm off to either watch a movie or go to bed. Yay 11:00 on a Friday night. XD
Current Mood: excited

14th October 2009

12:48pm: EUREKA!
Okay, so I'm not quite out of the dark yet. Nothing is cemented in stone and there's still a lot of planning to be done, but I'm getting there. I do have a premise. I came across this in the Adopt-a-Plot thread and I couldn't get it out of my head, even when I decided it wouldn't work. The user Nifty_Bananas offered this plot bunny up for adoption: "The autobiography of an imaginary friend." That was all, but it just would not leave me alone. I thought maybe I would file it away for a short story, but I can't get excited about any other plots the way I am about this one. I'm playing around with plot ideas, so hopefully this blurb of a premise can turn into a full-fledged plot.

The biggest thing right now is characters. There are only two at this point (the main character and the imaginary friend), so it can't be that hard to figure them out. But I don't even have genders, ages, names, any of that. I'm sure they'll pop out of nowhere. My characters tend to do that.

I also need a title. I know most people say that you should title your book after it's written, but I never work like that. I have some ideas that could work, and maybe as I start to flesh out the story, one of them will stand out. Hopefully I can pick something before NaNo starts.

Gah, I should really take care of some errands. But hopefully later tonight will involve more Eureka moments and NaNo madness~!
Current Mood: relieved

13th October 2009

1:22pm: Still nothing
I'm still floundering around for plot ideas. This is starting to become a problem. We're almost halfway through October, and I still have absolutely no idea what I want to write. I need to leave a nice "buffer" at the end of the month so I'll have enough time to get geared up and mad excited about my novel.

I'm trying to make my way through an article on comparative value arguments and victim impact evidence, which hopefully will trigger some sort of revelation (it's a whole lot more interesting than it sounds, I promise). I haven't gotten very far yet, but maybe tonight I'll just sit down and read through the whole thing in one straight shot.

Something else that is preventing me from getting excited is my lack of a computer. My laptop, Yggdrasil (bless his heart) has decided that now would be the perfect time not to work. At all. He doesn't even want to turn on. I plan on calling Dell tomorrow...hopefully they can help me, because NaNo without a laptop is bad news bears. There's always the campus library, but that involves a ten-minute commute each way, and it's not available for late-night or early-morning sprints. Fortunately, my goal is only 50,000 this year, so I may not need all that much time at a computer.

Anyway, I don't know why I keep updating every week if I'm just going to say the same thing. NO PLOT NO IDEAS NO CHARACTERS FREAKING OUT THIS SUCKS COMPUTER'S BROKE. Blah. Like I said, tonight will be devoted to reading this article and brainstorming ideas. I have nothing urgent to do tonight, since I don't have anything scheduled until 5 tomorrow. And with no internet to distract me, maybe I'll be able to focus on novel planning.

I say this at the end of every post, but...hopefully my next post will contain some kind of inspiration/revelation/happiness.
Current Mood: frustrated

5th October 2009

12:52pm: NaNo Fever
Okay, so I don't have full-blown NaNo flu yet, but I'm starting to get more and more excited. Or, perhaps anxious is the better word. I really need to get started on planning this project. So far, all I have is a genre (literary fiction). Then again, that's how it was last year, until I was assaulted all of a sudden by some amazing ideas and incredible characters.

I don't know if I can just wait around for inspiration, though. I want to make sure that I have enough time to plan so that I don't just jump in with nothing but a handful of characters and a one-line plot summary. I need some real meat here, something that will take 30 days to fully explore.

I'm trying to get some ideas for my theme. The lovely people in the Literary Fiction genre lounge on the NaNoWriMo forums gave me some advice on how to start: They all agreed that characters were the driving force behind any lit fic novel, but one poster also encouraged me to start out with a theme. That way, my characters could be formulated in such a way that they would be reflections of that theme (this poster used Dostoevsky as an example, which ave me a better idea of how to approach this whole thing).

Anyway, in between exams and papers and stats assignments, I will devote a little mental energy to what themes I wish to examine in this novel. From there, I'll gather a cast of characters who will best exemplify those themes through their actions, histories, and personalities.

So here's hoping that my next post will include some glimmer of hope, or an all-out revelation.

Current Mood: thoughtful

21st September 2009

10:32am: It's that time again
So, it's not quite October, but I got bitten by the NaNo bug today. I'm a little worried, because I feel completely and hopelessly lost with regard to NaNo. I have no idea what to do for my project, no sense of what my goals are going to be, and the thought of navigating the forums (fora?) leaves me feeling so intimidated.

The main decision I need to make is whether to do a re-write of last year's Aces Wild or to start a completely new project. I've been over the pros and cons of each track (having a solid base to work with v. starting completely from scratch; being stuck in the same universe as last year v. having the freedom of starting a new project, which also means having three major projects going simultaneously). Last year, I loved the feeling of getting a fresh start after working on the same project for two years (not only for NaNo, but throughout the rest of the year). But again, I don't know if I can handle starting something new.

My only consolation is that it would be an open-and-close case, so to speak. If I'm doing it for NaNo, I'm going to finish it, whether I like it or not. While I've been stressing about SS and AW throughout the rest of the year, I can take this one month to focus on a single, isolated project. I can take the time I need to craft something that I will love and cherish. I can make it as long or as short as I want, just as long as I get it done.

Now, that brings me to the question of goals. I've never written less than 100,000 words for NaNo, but I'm starting to think I need to scale back. I'm sure I'd be able to find the time (especially since I won't have extracurricular activities at night or friends to bother me on the weekends), but it's more than just having the time. All of my NaNo works end up being rushed. I get them done, which is half the battle (or even more than half, given my propensity for procrastination), and they're not horrible, but I often end up completely re-writing the story because it's not what I had envisioned. So, I will most likely lower the bar to 75,000 or even all the way down to 50,000. This year, it will be about quality, not quantity.

Then again, that will depend on what project I want to do. If I decide to re-write the Aces book, I will most likely go for 75k. If I start a new project, I'll probably set the bar at 50k but it will simply serve as a bare minimum.

Clearly I have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of thinking to do. Once the forums are up and running, maybe I'll be able to find some inspiration (if I can overcome the frustration and intimidation of dealing with the October 1 forum frenzy). For now, my tentative goal will be to explore new ideas for a story, and if I find something that I want to write about, I'll use that as my NaNo project. If I don't come up with something that truly, deeply excites me, I'll re-work Aces.

Now I need to go panic and possibly do some schoolwork. D:
Current Mood: nervous

30th November 2008

2:36am: Wow
So, I actually did it. I just finished my second novel, bringing my total word count to...

*drum roll...*

151,258 words

Whew. It's kind of surreal, knowing that it's all over. I just spent thirty days pumping out two novels, and I actually managed to achieve my personal goal of 150k. I'm not really able to enjoy it fully, because:

1) It's 2:30 in the morning and I need SLEEP.
2) The last few scenes were really, really rushed, so I know they'll suck balls when I have to read them again and then (gulp) edit them.
3) THE FREAKIN NANO SITE ISN'T LETTING ME VALIDATE MY FREAKIN NOVEL. Whenever I paste in my manuscript, the site locks up. WTF?!?! I was all excited about getting a purple bar, because Chris was bragging about how the word count validator is up and running, and then what happens? THE INTERNET DIES WHEN I TRY TO WIN. Urrgghh. I tried pasting it in in parts, because maybe the whole manuscript was too much to handle at once. I tried saving it in plain text and doing that, because I thought maybe wacky formatting would cause it to hiccup. But no. It still didn't work, and my month of hard work will fail to be recognized by the NaNo site. SUUUCKAGE. *deep breath* I'll just try again tomorrow.

But anyway. I need sleep. And I'm kind of excited to have my life back. Because, as exciting as it was to do NaNo this year and actually manage to achieve my goal, I really did not have a life. And I lost a lot of sleep over it. Of course, I don't know how I'm going to fill up all of the hours I will now have. Well, there's always editing (eeeek). Actually, I'll probably toss AW in the back seat for a while so I can get back to Second Shroud. Oh, SS, how I have missed you. *sniff*

BUT NOW FOR SLEEEEEEEEEEPP. Ugh. And then HOPEFULLY the freakin' site will let me freakin' win. PLEASE~~~


EDIT! Okay, so I got the word validator to work. I just had to paste my novel in in super-small chunks and wait for the site to catch up with me. So now I'm all officially winnered *points to icon* and I can finally SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
Current Mood: exhausted

25th November 2008

12:40am: Noo~
So things haven't been going so well. I'm still ahead of schedule, as far as I can tell, but just barely. I don't know what's going on, but I've just been ridiculously unmotivated. I have become obsessed with ohnotheydidnt for absolutely no reason, and I check it every ten minutes or so because it is so strangely addicting. It's really a problem. But I can't stop. I've only made my word count two days in the past week, and THAT'S NOT GOOD. Plus, my story is severely lacking in plot again, so I'll have to flail around coming up with plot points at the last minute.

*sigh* And my room is a disgusting freakin mess. There are dishes that should have been washed days ago and all kinds of crap that needs to be put away. I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK. I love NaNo, I really do, but I'm too stubborn to give up now and it's starting to impact all areas of my life.

Plus, I'm just not as excited about this story as I was when I first started. It's not really turning out the way I wanted and the characters are starting to abandon me. :[ Guess I've been working them too hard. Tomorrow afternoon, after class is over and chores are done and dishes are washed and packing is started, I am going to devote a couple of hours to my story. And I will block the internets so I cannot be sucked into ONTD.

Oh well. I am determined to win, and I have a week to write 19,000 words. That's less than 3000 words a day. I CAN DO DIS.
Current Mood: depressed

16th November 2008

11:56pm: 100k = yay
So today I passed 100k. Whoo! As of now my total word count is around 102k. It makes me happy, but I was hoping to do more this weekend. I kept getting sucked into various LJ communities and of course the great black hole of procrastination that is YouTube. I managed to get 5k each day, but my weekends are usually far more productive.

Oh well. I don't think this week will be too bad, so maybe I'll be able to get some good word count days during the week. We'll see.

I just need to finish up this scene and then head to bed. I keep forgetting that I have, like, class and life and stuff tomorrow. Ugh.
Current Mood: blah

15th November 2008

12:58am: Whups
So, I'm not really flyin' like I was with my last novel. Aces High just doesn't seem to be doing it for me. I mean, I'm excited to be working on it, but I find that I'm making good use of that buffer I built up (i.e., I'm letting myself fall behind on daily word counts). So, I'm still ahead of where I need to be, but I really don't want to keep up this dreadful pace. Of course, I do have good reasons (mostly).

11/11: Almost made it to 5000. I don't really know what happened. I guess I was just unmotivated.
11/13: Had a lot of work and classes, literally wasn't free until 6pm, but I'd been feeling tired, nauseous, and headachey all day, so all I could bust out was a mere 1660 words. But believe me, I was surprised I even got that.
11/14: And then there's today. See, I was busy all morning and all afternoon, so I didn't get much novel time until around 10:30pm. And I was all ready to bust out 4,000 words in a couple of hours, but then my friend Steph was talking to the guys who live next door to me and, well...turns out they have Rock Band. And so....I ended up playing Rock Band for about two and a half hours instead of doing anything remotely related to my novel. I only have about 2000 words for today, but IT WAS SO WORTH IT.

So, this weekend. I'm going to be busting my ass to get caught up. Well, "caught up." I guess my goal is to get to 100,000 by the end of the weekend. We'll see how that works out. I mean, I'm already at 91,000ish, so...9,000 in two days. I can do that, right? Hmmmm. I can only hope.

But no more novel for now. I'm BUSHED. *collapses into bed*
Current Mood: tired

10th November 2008

10:37pm: Book I: complete
So, I finished Aces Wild mere seconds ago. I finally brought the story to a good closing point, and I JUST MADE IT past the 75k mark. The final word count is 75,786.

It's so weird to think that the first book is over. I wrote a lot of the scenes out of order (at some point I'll have to figure out what kind of order I want to put them in....hrmmm), and they're all kind of disconnected, so it doesn't feel like I really have a coherent story, but when I print everything out and finally put it together and read it from start to finish (heee~), then hopefully I'll be feeling better about it.

I'll probably call it a night for now. That way, I have have a bit of space between the two books so I can start mentally preparing for the next 75,000 words (OH GOD).

So yeah, this is going a whole lot better than I expected. I'm done with the first book four whole days ahead of schedule. Pretty sweet, man. I just hope I don't get stymied halfway through the second book and give up. That would SUUUCK.

Okay, now off to do a bit of homework, and then BEDTIME.
Current Mood: satisfied

8th November 2008

12:56am: 50k = yay
I just passed 50k! Yay! *dances* So at this point, I'm about three days ahead of schedule. We'll see how long that will last. Here's a hint: NOT THAT LONG.

I hope this weekend will be as fruitful as last weekend was. I'm really, really worried about the fact that my plot has run completely out of steam. But I know I have a couple of good scenes coming up, so I'll just try to milk them for all they're worth and make the characters talk. A lot.

So yeah. A third of the way done. About two-thirds of the way through my first book. Cah-raziness! But I am incredibly tired, so I must go to sleeeeeep. It's kind of scary now NaNo actually is affecting my ability to sleep. I guess it's nothing new, but I always forget that "November is for writing, December is for sleeping" is a true, true axiom indeed.

Peace out!
Current Mood: accomplished

5th November 2008

12:23am: Just a quick post to say that I am about halfway done with Aces Wild, meaning I'm about a quarter of the way to my total goal. My word counts have been getting increasingly lower with each passing day, but that's because weekdays suck (especially Tuesdays and Thursdays), and I spent several precious hours working on a stupid psych paper that's due on Thursday. So, starting Friday afternoon, I should pumping out the novelage once again. If my plot decides to show up, that is. Blast. I don't have enough scenes to stretch another 37,500 words. But that's okay! A lack of plot has not stopped me in the past!

Man, am I tired. I haven't lost too much sleep due to NaNo yet, but it is a bit past my bedtime, so off I go to dreamland~
Current Mood: tired

3rd November 2008

4:14pm: My life, it comes full circle
Time for a slightly off-topic post (only slightly, though).

Today I met with my faculty advisor to discuss classes for next semester. My friend and I have a running joke about her attraction to him, and she's always joking about how I should oh-so-casually ask for personal information, such as his home phone number, his hobbies, his girlfriend (Oh? You're single? Well I have this friend...) and so on. I had noticed last year that he had a small sign outside his door that said NaNoWriMo 2006, and I was all excited, but I never found a way to bring it up without being awkward. Last night, my friend suggested that I wear my NaNoWriMo shirt to my appointment, just in case it sparked a conversation, and then I could oh-so-casually segue into other things (this was all a huge joke, by the way, but I figured it couldn't hurt to wear my shirt).

The appointment goes by uneventfully, and we part ways. Then, when I get back to my room, I discover that he has sent me an e-mail with the subject line "NaNoWriMo." He asked if that was a NaNoWriMo shirt he'd seen me wearing. I respond that, indeed, it was, and say a little bit about how it's my fourth year, I'm looking forward to it, yadda yadda. Just making conversation.

THEN. I get another e-mail back that starts with the words "My friend in Oakland started NaNoWriMo." And I pretty much have a heart attack and die. My advisor is friends with Chris Baty? THE Chris Baty, the man who has served as an inspiration for generations of aspiring one-month novelists? My advisor goes on to say that he was one of the participants that first year - one of ten or so people who did NaNo with Chris all the way back in 1999. By now I'm lying on the floor, clutching my chest and gasping for breath. HOLY CRAP I FEEL LIKE I'M TALKING TO A CELEBRITY. THIS IS A PIECE OF HISTORY RIGHT HERE. In my response, I mention that I saw Chris talk at MIT a couple of years ago, and my advisor replies that he actually drove Chris up to MIT for that talk.

HOW IN THE WORLD DOES STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPEN?! In one of his e-mails, he'd mentioned that he was talking to English professors to see if they wanted to do anything with NaNo - maybe work it into their classes or hold some sort of informal get-together of NaNo-ers or something, and then he said that "Chris would be happy to come out and motivate people." EEEEEEEEEEEEKK. So I may or may not be hanging out with Chris Baty sometime in the near future. Emphasis on the "may not," because it didn't sound like there were any concrete plans, but just the fact that I have a somewhat more direct connection to Chris Baty than I'd originally thought made my entire day/week/life.

In other news, my novel's chugging along. I hope I'm able to make 5,000 words today. Right now I'm at about 3,000. I had a few inspirations for random plot happenings earlier today, which is good seeing as I'm running out of stuff to talk about. Meep.

Current Mood: shocked
12:08am: Halfway but not
Just a quick update to say that I've passed 25,000. 25k in two days is definitely a personal best, but I know the worst is yet to come. I'm only one-sixth of the way to my final goal, which isn't all that impressive. Plus, I have a week of assignments and papers coming up. So my buffer won't protect me for much longer.

Plus, I'm starting to run out of pre-planned scenes. That means that soon I'll need to start making crap up from scratch, which is always a recipe for disaster. My characters are being amazing and adorable, but sometimes they need a little nudge to actually, you know, do stuff.

But ugh, that's another dilemma for another day. For now, I must SLEEEEEEEEEP.

*falls into bed*
Current Mood: tired

1st November 2008

10:21pm: OH HAPPY DAY
So day one is going GREAT so far. I managed to bang out 3800 words between midnight and 2 am. Then I got a couple hundred in before going to CVS to stock up on CHEAP CANDY. I got a big bag of Reese's candy and a birthday card for 48 CENTS. HUZZAH. Then, after lunch, Brittany I had a little mini "write-in" in the Watson lounge. That was super-fun, and I got about two thousand words typed out. I was feeling good, but something about the narrative just didn't feel right. It was stilted and forced and just wasn't conveying the feeling I wanted. But I figured I would go back and take care of that later.

Then, brilliance occurred. I was in the library, and I started typing up a scene with Casey. Now, Casey is neutrois, meaning that traditional gender pronouns don't apply. This has been bugging me for some time, and I decided the best solution would just be to write around the pronouns. As in, describe Casey's thoughts and actions and appearance without actually using pronouns. I practiced writing up little paragraphs, and it seemed to go okay. But when I was getting ready to start this new scene, I wasn't looking upon my novel in the most favorable light, and I just couldn't be bothered to expend the mental energy necessary to think of creative ways of avoiding gendered pronouns.

So I wrote it in the first person. And within minutes, I had over 500 words of prose. IT WAS AMAZING. Because my characters like to ramble. Then I went back and re-wrote the first narrative scene and stretched it out by 800 words or so. I'm still keeping the stuff I wrote this morning, because hey, it was all written during November, right?

As of this update I have 12,600 words. This is incredible. That's more than I've ever written in a day, and I'm not even finished yet! I'm totally staying up until 2:00 in the morning just so I can take advantage of the extra hour I get when I turn my clocks back. WHOO YES.


Eeek what am I still doing here in LJ? I should be noveling up a storm right now!!!

♥ ♥ ♥!!
Current Mood: accomplished

31st October 2008

9:26pm: *hyperventilates*
So, two and a half hours to go. That's REALLY NOT THAT MUCH TIME. I'm freaking out. I'm having flashbacks to freshman year (my first NaNo) when I couldn't sit still and I had so much energy that I just wanted to run up and down the hall and yell and make a ruckus. I also had major butterflies (a combo of nervous and excited) and I actually felt like I was going to have a heart attack, because my chest was so tight and I couldn't breathe.

Okay, so it's not that extreme right now, but I definitely have butterflies and sometimes it's hard to catch my breath. I really don't know why I'm so excited, but it probably has something to do with the fact that this is a brand new novel. New characters, new stories, new adventures. I've only known about this story for a few weeks, so there are still plenty of things left open-ended, and it's frightening and amazing all at once.

Eeeeek. I still need to finish my Russian essay so I don't have to worry about that this weekend. And then I need to find ways to distract myself so I a) don't start early by accident, or b) have a major NaNo-related breakdown because I suddenly realize that my story is complete crap and needs to be rewritten from scratch.

Current Mood: FREAKIN THE F*** OUT!!
9:29am: Um.
It's tomorrow. And by tomorrow, I mean later tonight. Fourteen hours and twenty-nine minutes. OHGOD.

And I keep forgetting it's Halloween. Blast, NaNo, you have ruined Halloween for me forever! Obviously that's not true. I just don't have any plans for Halloween this year (last year I went to an awesome dance, but I don't know if they're doing anything like that this year). I know my characters are having a Halloween party at their bar later tonight. Because they're crazy. I might stop in. And by "stop in," I mean...actually, I don't know what I mean by that.

But yeah. Fourteen hours. UNGH. I'm already getting the flutteries in my tummy. Like, when you're really excited about something but also super nervous. That's how I am right now. I'm TERRIFIED of what this month will bring, but I am so ready to write this novel I just can't wait any longer.

Today will be filled with stupidity and boringtude. Meeting with my thesis advisor, a shift I picked up at work, going to the student banker, starting homework (wait, wtf?). Yeah, I'm doing homework on a Friday. It's scary, yes, but I need to get it done before NaNo starts so that I can boost my wordcount as much as possible right off the bat. Plus, I'll need something to distract me from IMPENDING NANO DOOM.

Current Mood: nervous

29th October 2008

So it really doesn't feel like NaNo is in THREE DAYS. On the one hand, time has been crawling over the past couple weeks, and it seems like NaNo will never get here. Then, on the other hand, there was so much I told myself I would get done before NaNo, and I haven't done any of it. So, three days suddenly seems like NOT ALL THAT MUCH TIME.

And of course, my novel is still only half-planned. But, I've made my peace with that. Mostly. I think I really do need to just give into the characters and let them take over the story. I have no plot, but according to Chris Baty that is no problem and I am a-okay (still have to read more of No Plot? No Problem!, mer...).

So yeah, I've already wasted too much energy freaking out about this. I've settled for uneasy indifference. Like, "Yeah, NaNo's starting in three days...heh...heh...*twitch*...I'm cool wit dat."

Anyway, I must be off.

Current Mood: nervous

26th October 2008

1:26am: When NaNo consumes your life
So, Saturday. I had promised myself I would get somewhere on at least one of the three papers I have to write, considering all of them are due during November. I thought it would be nice to get ahead so I wouldn't have to juggle schoolwork and novel all at once.

But! Well, have you ever wondered what I look like? Because if you look up "procrastination" in the dictionary, you'll see my picture. And, last time I checked, I was credited with perfecting the art of professional procrastination. I was going to work on finding a way to get paid for it, but I kept putting it off....

ANYWAY. The moral of the story is, I haven't written a single word for any of the papers, but I spent the day making a nifty desktop background to use come November. It's suckage at its worst, because Raisin isn't very good with Corel Essentials (which is like a ghetto version of Photoshop), but it was super-fun to do.

Current Mood: artistic

23rd October 2008

11:37pm: So, because I am so stubborn as to not give up this whole "write two 75k-word novels" idea, I decided I would find a way to make it happen.

This morning, I created a lovely Excel spreadsheet in which I created a row for each day in November and proceeded to list all of the scenes I had planned for each novel. Then, I estimated the total word count I wanted each scene to be, and arranged the scenes in groups of three or four so that I ended up writing about 5000 words each day. I was all excited, because I liked the idea of having an organized chart to keep myself on task, as I usually just dive in with a very rough outline and no conception of where the plot is going. Yayy~~

WAIT HOLD UP. Only half of the chart is filled. I have enough scenes to fill roughly half of each book. If I combined everything together, I could make one nice 75k-word novel. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT I WANT. I have planned the scenes out very carefully so I know exactly what is meant to happen in each of these novels. I can't just mush em together and expect it to flow.

BUT I NEED PLOTZ. I hadn't realized that I was so desperately short on happenins. I'm afraid to keep planning, because I don't want to end up forcing anything, but at the same time I hate staring at an Excel spreadsheet with SO MANY BLANK COLUMNS OH MY GOD. I'm hoping (and almost assuming) that, once I start writing these scenes and getting them in some sort of order, the rest of the story will just fall into place around them. Lit fic is character driven, right? Well, I'm turnin' the wheel over to these little guys right away!

Characters: ... -__-()


*runs and jumps off cliff*
Current Mood: insane
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