Category Archives: Accomplishments

NaNoWriMo Chronicles: A Look Back (The Final Post!)

50,269 words.

82 pages.

28 chapters.

4.5 pages of outline completed.

1 bottle of Aleve (for the arthritis in my hands), 1 brace to combat carpal tunnel, and 2 magnetic therapy bracelets.

7 bags of coffee.

Countless frustrated hissy fits and spiteful ‘I should be writing but fuck words’ naps.

Above is a numerical summary of my NaNoWriMo 2013 experience, an impressive listing if I do say so myself.  (And I do.  My blog and all that.)  But NaNoWriMo isn’t about the numbers, is it?  NaNoWriMo is about the words.

So how did the writing go?

The writing went well enough to win but the words came with much more difficulty than I’d anticipated.  2011 was a breeze:  the words came like an avalanche, I won the month, and I went on to complete the novel, which just so happens to be Book 1 to this year’s Book 2.  2012:  my only trouble came from running out of story and having to pad it with a couple thousand words to meet 50,000, which I did without any problem.  But this year?  This year was hard.

I was cocky.  I was naïve.  I thought, “Hey, since this is a sequel, this ought to flow smoothly from the beginning!  After all, I’m just picking up where I left off.  All of this is outlined and I know the character better than I know myself, so this is gonna be easy!”  And lo, the writing gods did heartily laugh before making me regret said thought.

This was a sequel; I spent the past couple years consistently writing this character, so his voice is still very much second nature to me.  And yet getting started proved painful, I just couldn’t find any sort of flow.  Three false starts before I finally found a shallow groove, and the first 30,000 words felt like pulling teeth—my own teeth, no anesthetic.  Timelines just wouldn’t come together; the character voice was shaky.  So what happened?

My poor little brain took quite a while to figure out the problem, and when it did I wept, for the problem wasn’t something I could wave a red pen at and fix.  I’d reached the writer’s equivalent of a boss level.  What escaped my understanding at first was that meshing the second book with the first proved much more difficult than I thought, while adding in the need to do all the prep work and setup for the third added complexity, ravaging my brain and ultimately requiring extensive editing while writing—a big no, no during NaNoWriMo.  But what choice did I have?

None.  I had no choice.  So I tore at my hair, rent my garments, and threw myself back into the fray.

And standing here at the finish line, I wave a banner of 50,269 words.  They’re not good words nor are they coherent after the 40,000 mark, but they’re words and they’re mine.  I’ve got a long way to go on the novel itself:  my outline is 9 pages long and I only made it through 4.5 of those pages during November.  I’ve got a damn fine start on what will one day, after lots of editing, be a damn fine story.

That, my friends, is what National Novel Writing Month is all about.  Until next year!  (Or at least the Camp NaNoWriMo sessions!)

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NaNoWriMo Chronicles: The End of Days

November 30th:  it may not be the apocalypse but it’s certainly the end of days.

The last day of the month, the day all WriMos dream of, strive toward, and alternately fear and love.  If we’ve done it right (or even done it badly but miraculously managed to get out the necessary words despite that), we hold 50,000 words in our hands at midnight on this, the last night.  Some victors can hold a sheaf of papers above their heads and cry, “Lo!  I have a completed novel!”  Other winners can point proudly to their words and say, “I’ve got a pretty damn good start, with my 50,000!”  And still others triumphed word-wise and then quietly burned the results, too bad to even contemplate continuing that hot mess of a story.  This time I am a member of the second group:  50,269 words but the novel is only about a third of the way completed.

Without exception, however, we all verify our word count and then, upon seeing that beautiful purple winner’s bar, promptly collapse into a pile of whimpering, tears, exhaustion, and aching fingers.

I have a wrap-up post planned, an overall look at the NaNoWriMo experience, so I won’t gush here.  Here I shall just post my victory pages from my Chronicles notebook, because a girl needs to brag without any need for coherence.

Consider yourselves warned:  much of this is merely me squeeing in ecstasy at having finally crossed the finish line.  Less a pat on the back, more of me bragging and waving my metaphorical dick around because I’m a writing bad ass.

theend1

Because damn it, the official NaNoWriMo winner badges don’t tell me I’m awesome enough! More dancing! More bad ass-ery! More victory arms! AND MORE DANCING!

theend2

A slightly more coherent declaration of my win, also explaining the benefits of writing a few hundred extra words before midnight. And see what I did with the dashes there? Ha ha, I crack myself up.

And now a mini Q&A session to finish this off:

Did I write 50,000 words and thus ‘win’ NaNoWriMo?  Yes.

Is the novel actually finished?  No.

Do I still have a lot of work to do?  Hell Yes.


Bragging Rights

Having finally compiled a list of my major writing projects, I’ve posted it to the Writing Projects page.  In the future I won’t post updates like these here in the blog, but this first time, just because I’m a little in love with seeing all my hard work laid out so nicely, I’m giving the list its own post.  (And no, this is certainly not a comprehensive list of everything I’ve ever written and/or completed.  These are my babies, my pride and joy, the stories that have potential and that I proudly claim as mine.)

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Just a list of my writing projects:  completed, in progress, and in planning.  I feel good seeing a list of my accomplishments alongside fresh goals, a visual representation of all those hours, days, weeks, months, and years that I’ve spent wrestling with words.

And yeah, I’ll admit this is also about the bragging rights.  None of these works are published, but they’re mine.  They’re proof that I committed myself and succeeded.  My passion produced results.

Haven Series (Urban Fantasy)

            Novels

                        The O’Shaughnessy Reputation (Trilogy)

                                                1)  You’re Gonna Go Far, KidCompleted—In Edits

                                                2)  Put on Your War PaintIn Progress

                                                3)  Kiss the RingPlanning Stage

Donovan Boys (Mainstream)

            Novels

                        Boy, You’re Not Quite Right—Completed—Pending Edits

                                                or, The Donovan Boys’ Epic Tale

            Novellas

                        Don’t Touch the Pumpkin Pie or I Will End You—Completed

                                                or, A Donovan Family Holiday as Narrated by Bailey

                        Casey Runs Like Hell—Awaiting Completion

                                                or, The Youngest Leaves Home and Breaks Ma’s Heart

            Novelettes

                        Frankie Continues the Donovan Reign—Completed

                                                or, Frankie’s High School Orientation

                        Sean Becomes a Dad, Learns About Karma the Hard Way—Awaiting Completion

                                                or, Mama Donovan Finally Gets a Baby Girl in the Family

Stand Alone Works

            Novels

                        The Story of How They Met (Mainstream)—Completed—Pending Edits

                                                A Pre-Love Story

                        Charm of the Pavement (Urban Fantasy)—In Planning

                                                or, The Avenging Angel Will Not Come Wearing a Halo

                        The Merry Tale of the Christmas Wench (Mainstream)—Completed—Retired

                                                or, The Jolly Walk of Shame


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