Saturday, November 13, 2010

Halfway There and Two Days Early!

It's been an odd week. Week Two is normally Hell Week for most nanoers. It's the point where the story's shiny newness has begun to wear off and the characters stop cooperating. It's also the point where people who didn't plan often find out that they don't really have a story in any meaningful sense.

Tuesday I had my first short day. I came in 350 words short. Strangely enough, it was followed by a record word count day on Wednesday and even more on Thursday. Then Friday I had another short day. That however was something of an accident. I was only about 100 words short and I had forgotten that earlier in the day I had penned a snatch of dialog that takes place near the climax of the story and so wrote in the back of my notebook. Had I remembered to add it, I would have (just barely) made quota that day.

My cast of character's is exploding! I have two and a half main characters and the two (full) main characters are each surrounded by more than a dozen supporting characters too many of which are developing personalities and expressing opinions unworthy of background characters. The character that I thought would be the main character's nemesis sort of redeemed himself. At least he's slight more sympathetic than he was. And a new character has arisen to make the MC's life miserable. Unfortunately my MC has just been yanked out of that situation into a better/worse one. Who knows if either of the earlier potential nemesis will reenter his life later.

I have enjoyed discovering unexpected facets of my main characters though. That sort of things always makes writing fun and really helps with the word count.

Having spent all day writing. I'm going to go stand up now (if my legs will still support me) and then go play some DDO to unstress my brain.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNoWriMo -- Week 1

This weeks went surprisingly well despite the usual attacks of doubt and a disappointing lack of involvement in the nano community. I haven't attended a single write-in function yet (I at least went to the last 3 kickoff parties--this year they didn't have one) and have barely made an appearance on the forums. As a result, I don't really feel like I'm in NaNoWriMode right now.

The only thing that's saved me so far is that (until now) the story is pretty well-tread ground (in my head.) I've had a good feel for what's going on up to this point, though that will change as soon as I bump up against the edge of my outline.

I still get surprised by my characters, though. For example, my main character (the mage who accidentally defeats a giant and gets recruited in a mercenary warrior guild) was supposed to acquire a minor nemesis from within the guild. In fact when they see that he's not the usual big and strong type, many of the older students will take great delight in beating up the "giant killer" in practice. As I'm setting this up, I introduce a character that I thought would be his friend. Another new recruit that can at least sympathize with the MC while they go through this brutal training, only he's turning out to be quite the jerk. The MC has just met his romantic interest and this guy is making all kinds of rude suggestions as to why he shouldn't be interested in her.

I think he's found his nemesis, only it wasn't who I thought it was.

Anyway, if I can keep my motivation up, I should be Ok, but things will definitely get tougher over the next couple of weeks. The only good thing is that I'll have some time off coming up, hopefully I can use that to put some more numbers on the board (I do expect things to slow down a bit).

Unfortunately, you won't be able to follow my day-to-day progress that well on this site. The old widget, the one that showed the daily totals, no longer works and the new one only gives a running total. I don't know why that is. It's a little disappointing, but I've got other things to worry about right now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Commit or be Committed

I want to thank everyone on facebook who posted their comments on which story I should write. I like all three and hope to write each of them eventually, but I think I've chosen my poison—so to speak.

I had all but decided on the Hell gate story which a majority of you seemed to prefer, and had even done some pre-writing, but eventually decided against it. Those characters just weren't ready to be written yet. I ended up going instead with story #3. Digging through my notes, I'd already written two short stories pulled from this story idea (though I had swapped the characters around and changed their names) so it seems my subconscious just felt there was more meat there to work it. (Yeah I know it probably means I'm committing myself to another 100k work. Yes I should be committed.)

I've tweaked my synopsis and even worked up some cover art for the curious. You can see them both at my writer's profile page on the nano site at: just click on the Novel Info tab.

Wish me luck. The roller-coaster is nearly at the top of the first hill. The anticipation is already killing me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Preparing for NaNo 2010

I need help. NaNoWriMo 2010 is right around the corner and I need help deciding what I'm going to write.

I know I haven't posted on this blog much (and yes ddo going free to play is part of the reason and yes I'm afraid/excited about Lord of the Rings Online goes F2P--who doesn't want to go running around the shire, or the mines of Moria, or Helmsdeep, or Minas Tirith, or...) but I have been working on the writing...some. I've even received my proof copy of The Ascent from NaNo '09 which I'll post picture of here in a bit.

But back to my problem. After writing two 100K+ novels and not having any time to edit them, I thought I'd write a YA novel in the 50-65K range. (I'm trying to buy time here.) I've got three rough ideas to choose between and I'm putting it up for a vote. (I realize most of the replies will be on facebook, but you can also reply on this blog.) I'm working on more detailed synopses, but until then, these are the thumbnail sketches:

Story#1 Good girl must do bad things to rescue family after zombie apocalypse.

Story#2 Boy must take over his eccentric family's vocation guarding one of the seven Hell-gates to save cursed girlfriend.

Story#3 Rejected apprentice discovers plot to infiltrate mages' guild and develops knew form of combat to stop half-dragon shapeshifters.

I refer to #1 as The Breakfast Club meets Dawn of the Dead. It would probably be the easiest to write.

#2 I sometimes refer to as the Adams Family story. Much more character driven and harder to get right but could be very fun. It was originally intended to be a horror romance (horror more like Poe and Lovecraft than modern slashers and romance more like P.G. Wodehouse than common bodice rippers.)

#3 is a pretty straight-forward fantasy story. The thumbnail synopsis doesn't really do it justice since a lot of it involves the main characters trying to track down a mysterious group assassinating mages. This one would probably require more work to plot out than the others.

So which is it--or do you have a better idea? I'm open to suggestions, but I've got to decide in the next four weeks and start marking out scenes as soon as possible.