Continuing down the #NaNoWriMo path and why I keep on chugging along #amwriting

Well, it’s day 5 of NaNo, and I find myself in an awkward moment. I sprinted this morning, have about 45 minutes to get ready for work and I finished chapter 2, so I really don’t want to sprint again even though I could.

I’ve been behind in NaNo word counts since day one…when I didn’t write. But I’m glad to say I’m almost caught up. There have been a lot of discussions on Facebook recently about who NaNo really helps and who it doesn’t, and honestly, it’s hard for me to say. I have to weigh in on the conversation, because let’s face it, I’m a talker, but I don’t know who it helps.

There are people who say they write 100k words a day and thus finish NaNo in about 12 hours. That’s impossible for me. I do write very fast, but it’s impossible. Firstly, writing is not my full-time job. I am an author, I have multiple published works, I strive to published 2-3 novels a year, but writing is NOT, I repeat, NOT my full-time job. Nor do I want it to be.

I also kind of want to preserve my wrists so they don’t end up needing surgery in a year. Hence why I slow down a bit. That said, I do still write rather fast compared to other people. What new authors or aspiring authors don’t realize is that I have experience. I know how my brain works and what methods I can use to make writing easier for me. It wasn’t always that easy, and without NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo, I wouldn’t be a published author today.

NaNo taught me discipline. It taught me how to write daily, every day, no matter what. It taught me that some days I will write 17k words and other days I’ll be lucky to get 500, but so long as there are words in that document, I’m making progress. NaNo also taught me to write as much as I can write now because there will always be loads of editing later. Again, these are my methods. Not everyone can turn off their internal editor and keep writing until they finish the book and then go back later.

I can. And that’s how I write.

There have been years where I wasn’t sure NaNo was for me. I write fast. I can finish a novel in two weeks if I really want to and my day job isn’t all that busy (read the hahahahahaha now moment in that statement). November is a busy work month for me. So is October. It involves loads of planning at my day job, so now that I’m working full-time in a field I love and adore, NaNo is a struggle. Like this post started, I’m almost finally caught up with the daily minimum count. I’m working on a novel that’s estimated to be about 90k words. That will make me be writing through December if I only stick to the minimum word count each day.

I’m also someone who love outlining. I have a shit ton of stories in my head at any given point. The more I write, the more stories just appear. It’s like the more you exercise the better at it you get so the more you want to do it and keep it up. The more I invite inspiration into my head space, the more inspiration is comfortable in joining me. So I have a shit ton of stories in my head. I need to outline. For two reasons at the very least.

  1. It means I’ll actually remember what was supposed to happen in a story and I won’t get all my plot lines mixed up. It means that my novels will have flow and meaning and plots that are main plots and back plots. It means the story will be as complete as it can be in the first round.
  2. It helps motivate me to keep writing. There isn’t an “I’m stuck” moment because it’s already laid out for me. I have the basic structure for what it’s all going to look like. The transitions aren’t there, but the big moments are. My outlines are thin, usually 1-2 sentences per scene per chapter and then I’m done. The rest I get to make up as I go.

Once I discovered the wonders of outlining, I realize just how much I could accomplish in a short period of time.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting for now. But NaNo this year is necessary to keep me on track in writing this novel. It’s necessary to help me finish something in a time of the year that’s crazy busy for me.

So NaNo away all you fun loving awesome writers!

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I keep saying it, so I should do it! #NaNoWriMo

I haven’t been around this year much at all. And there’s really no excuse except I haven’t been in the mood. I’ve wanted to be here. I certainly miss writing and miss my writing friends. But so much in life is changing right now. Last year I wrote enough to publish four novels and three short stories in one year, this year I’ve only written enough for one book and short story, which is a scary scary concept.

I use my writing money to help pay off my student loans faster, so the prospect of having no extra is daunting and sad at the same time. But that’s not the only thing. Writing is an outlet for me. It’s a stress-reliever, a place where I can go and lose myself, and since really January, I haven’t done any consistent writing. I used to get up at about 5:30 in the morning, every morning, and type away, but the typing hasn’t been happening, and starting in about June, the early morning stopped.

My motivation has just been slacking. My timing has been off. Add in to all this a new pregnancy. A new pregnancy that isn’t so new anymore. Next week, I start my third trimester. That first one knocked me off my feet in a not good way. Yes, we were trying. No, we did not think it would happen that fast. The nausea and vomiting and exhaustion was almost more than I could handle. Then I hit my second trimester. And morning sickness went away, but I had to catch up with my day job.

I’m still catching up. But it’s November, and I couldn’t resist the call to NaNoWriMo, to the one thing that got me started in actually writing and finishing novels. I had at one point debated on being an ML, and I’m glad I didn’t even contemplate the application this year. Perhaps next year. November is a busy time of the year for me. Work picks up, this year is slower because of some things, by slower I mean delayed. Most of the planning I should have already done, but I haven’t even actually started it.

But I’m writing. This morning I woke up about 6 and started typing about 6:45. I’ve done about 2400 words in that short span. I started something new, something that came to me on one of my many long drives. I have a two stories outlined already, yet I chose to write one where I have no freakin’ clue where the story is going. For some reason, I like it. I’ll probably send a good amount of time this week outlining the novel itself, but for now, it’s all in my head.

Writing is relaxation. Without it, I’m not sure I could survive as well. My spouse keeps yelling at me to write, and it hasn’t been happening. Well, today I proudly sent that text, “I’m writing” and got a very enthusiastic “Yay!” back.

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For now, I’ll leave you with this. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Don’t ever make your dreams work for you.

The real thing… #ROW80

Good morning all! It’s early, and it’s Sunday, and it’s daylight savings over here in the US and oh my is it earlier than I wanted it to be. I have some great news! I started writing a new novel last week based on something I would never ever write or really want to write, and it’s going swimmingly well. That means I changed what my NaNoWriMo novel is. I was going to write the third and hopefully final in my cop series, but it just wasn’t happening and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m definitely feeling this novel I’m writing now.

If anyone is interested, or involved with NaNoWriMo and needs some good writing motivation, I run a virtual write-ins group on Facebook. Basically we have sprints going almost around the clock because we have people around the world. Some are late night writers, some are early morning writers, some are middle of the day writers. The goal is for sprinting to add to word count and for motivation/encouragement.

The link is right here if anyone wants to join up. I’ll add you to the group.

Now…for ROW80, the real thing… since I’m actually working on something now my word counts are a lot better. But I know for a fact I won’t be writing today because I have a 12 hour word day ahead of me. Blah. So I doubled up on my goal yesterday to make up for today.

1. Write 1667 words a day.

Wednesday: 980
Thursday: 5146
Friday: 3049
Saturday: 6613

If I keep this up…I could finish the novel in a week and a half! Which isn’t the goal, but it’s nice to think about.

2. keep up with all blog posts ROW80, WIPpet, Open When and add in 1 extra post a week

I managed all posts except Open When, which I totally spaced out on doing yesterday because of NaNo and work stuff and house stuff. Anyway, I’ll write it up and post it tomorrow.

3. Edit at least one chapter a week on something.

Did 4 chapters of a copy-edit I have. I’m going by pages instead of chapter numbers on this one. so 50 pages yesterday (it’s not THAT many, the font is at 16 and everything is double spaced). Goal is 50 pages a day (Sunday excluded) until I finish this half of it. I have 3 copy-edits this month and NaNo…I might be insane.

4. crochet one round of border a week

I did not do this, yet again. Someone please kick my ass so I’ll get it done this week. I really need to send this gift off.

WIPpet Wednesday and NaNoWriMo update! November 6, 2013

Howdy!

I have goodies for you! We have a WIPpet excerpt from Fallen from Grace (the one I have been doing), and we have a NaNoWriMo update!! Because the update is quicker, we’ll start with that (don’t ask me why I’m typing in the plural…I have no clue why).

I was off to a slow start with NaNoWriMo due to work obligations, but my boyfriend is amazingly awesome. Both on Monday and Tuesday he came with me to two write-ins (the ones I host) and sat there patiently while I typed away. I managed to get up to 19842 words total! That means I’m about one day ahead of where I want to be. My goal for NaNoWriMo is 90,000 words! That’s right, 90,000 or somewhere close to when this novel should be completed. That means I have to average 3,000 words a day. It’s insane. I know.

So I’m at just about 20k words, and I’ve completed three chapters and prologue in that. The chapter titles are awesome, though I still thing the titles for For by Grace might be a bit better. I’m definitely struggling with this piece. It’s the first time I’ve done a series with an overarching story arc that expands ALL of the novels. Meaning, I have to make sure everything is explained and so and so forth.

Anyway…onto WIPpet. If you don’t know what WIPpet is, I’ll tell you. It’s an awesome little thing that a bunch of us do, where you post an excerpt from your current WIP (Work In Progress) that somehow relates to the date. If you don’t have a current WIP, then you can start a brand new one. Once you do that amazingness, you go here and link up with everyone’s WIPpets. THEN you go and read everyone’s (or as many as you can) and comment with some good stuff. We’re all comment WHORES, so make it good. =P

Today I have for you an excerpt from Fallen from Grace, which is the sequel to For by Grace AND my current NaNoWriMo novel. Here we go… My crazy math for today is this. 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 6 x 0 = 0 + 6 + 2 = 8 for a total of eight paragraphs from chapter two, which is aptly titled “Fight Club”

“Get out of the room!” she called to all the kids in there except the ones fighting.

Pulling out her pepper spray, Grace started to shake it as she tried to step in between the two boys. The other kids started to file out quickly, and Grace took the only chance she could get. She lifted the tab on the top of the spray can and depressed the button. A stream of white liquid squirted out and in the general direction of the boy’s faces.

Grace held her breath, waiting for the onslaught of pepper spray to hit her as well. The boys stopped fighting and rolled away from each other. Grace grabbed one of them and dragged him out of the room by the back of his shirt. He was clutching at his face in a vain attempted to get the OC spray off of him. Grace ignored him and went into the small confined room for the other one.

She pulled him out kicking and screaming and rammed him against the opposite wall of the other one. She holstered her OC can and stared at them, still waiting for the OC mist to catch up with her and affect herself. Since both of the kids had stopped fighting, Grace let out a breath.

“What the hell was that?”

“OC,” she answered. “And your name is?”

“Danny,” the blond one answered.

Grace smirked and set her hands on her hips. Danny clung to his face, trying to wipe the spray from his eyes. It would only make it worse for him in the long run, but Grace wasn’t about to inform him of that. The punishment of touching his dick after touching his face that had been covered in OC would be enough to warrant her silence and to keep him from attempting to fight in the locker room again.

 

There you have it. And thanks to the awesome and amazing K. L. Schwengel for hosting this each and every week (even when she’s traveling).

WIPpet Wednesday!! October 30, 2013

I love Halloween. I love Pumpkins. I absolutely love pumpkins more than Halloween. Recently my boyfriend and I adopted a little girl husky. I say little, but she’s almost 50lbs, so she’s not that little (sorry for those who don’t use our weight system, but I’m way too lazy this morning to convert it for you). We named her Roslin after Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica! She’s a total sweetheart, calmest dog ever, so well trained, and just over a year old. She was found on the streets as a stray. Go figure.

So beyond that amazing sidenote. Still struggling. Will push through. Hating work right now. =P Awesome. Now, onto the WIPpet.

If you would like to join in! Please do! Write a post with your current WIP (Work In Progress) that somehow correlates with the date. Feel free to get really creative with the math. Since I’m in the process of not writing *cough* I chose to yet again write for ten minutes and post what I had. This is a direct continuation of last week and the week before. So if you want, go look those up! Once you write your post, then go link it up with the rest of them here. Make sure to read and comment on as many posts as you can. We’re all attention and “review” whores, so it makes us feel fantabulous when you do it.

Grace just got smashed into the car by the punk, remember? Well…here’s some more of Grace’s really horrible and not good day. (I title these chapters, so I really do need to come up with some good titles. Feel free to give suggestions!)

Grace popped four ibuprofen as soon as she sat back in her cruiser, glowering the entire time. If this was any indication about her day, then it was not going to be a good one. She rubbed her leg where the punk had kicked her and winced. Four months prior she’d broken her leg in an attempt on her life. A bad guy in a stolen cruiser had run her off the road, spinning her vehicle five times before she rolled to a stop.

Shaking her head, Grace stared at Toulouse’s car. The punk was nestled in the back seat and the punk’s mama was being arm wrestled down the road toward her. Apparently in her lapse of judgment, leaving the scene meant she would have to take the woman down to the jail. Growling low and in the back of her throat, Grace got out of her cruiser and unlocked the backseat.

“Any way I can get out of this?” she asked Toulouse.

“Nope.”

Rolling her eyes, Grace helped shove the woman in the back seat. After a brief pause and Toulouse leaving, Grace leaned over the open door and spoke to the large whale-like woman.

“Ma’am. I want you to listen closely. I’m taking you down to the jail.”

“Oh no you ain’t.”

“I’m taking you down to the jail and arresting you for domestic assault. Any other questions and the corrections officers will answer them.”

Before the woman could speak again, Grace slammed the door shut and spun on her heel, ignoring the spark of pain in her leg. If she could give off the perception of being strong, then she was strong. She was just about to turn to Toulouse to ask him a question when a Ford F150 turned the corner and gunned its engine.

Stepping back, Grace glared as it started to come closer and passed their vehicles without even slowing down. She scoffed and turned to follow the trucks progress. It made it to the end of the block, not stopping at the stop sign and speeding away. The two other officers that had arrived jumped into their cruisers and missed it.

Grace’s eyes widened as she watched the six-year-old black boy dodge out into the street without looking. Her heart thudded hard in her chest and the back of her head, and she tripped over her boot as she took the first step forward. Grabbing for her radio against her shoulder, Grace depressed the button and called for paramedics.

The truck didn’t stop. Grace started forward, running as fast as she could down the street. The two cruisers took off after the suspect and were completely out of sight by the time Grace made it to the gasping boy. She pressed her hands against his cheeks and stared at him fully in the face.

“I got you, kid,” she whispered and started to analyze his injuries.

Broken leg for sure. His thigh was pressed at an awkward angle, jutting out from his body toward the sidewalk he had just run from. Blood leaked slowly from his nose and quickly from a cut on the side of his head. His arm was broken; Grace felt the break when she ran her fingers along his oily skin.

“You’re going to be okay,” she muttered.

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