Monday, 27 November 2017

NaNoWriMo Day 26 - one very tight squeeze

NaNoWriMo is all about challenging oneself to push oneself to the limits.

Granted, when one gets to a certain point in her career, she finds that cranking out 50K in a month becomes easy. An author's progress comes when she gets a regular schedule, system, pattern that works for her, and she cranks out the wordage.  Many's the time a multi-book contracted author has to meet a publisher's deadline. That's when they eschew television, a normal social life and everything else expendable--even sleep if necessary--to meet that contracted deadline. After all, that's what they're being paid for.

While NaNoWriMo's imposed deadline of 50K/30dy isn't as dire as a publishers, one still has to apply the discipline to meet that goal.

There's a good chance I might not make it.

I didn't stick to my schedule. I didn't give writing the priority I should. Lots of other things happened that got in the way of writing (granted, school is one of them, and until writing brings in enough money to pay tuition, school gets priority). I played silly little games on my phone. I read Facebook. I watched some TV. I mowed the lawn and did the dishes and played with a cat. I even applied for a Rare Opportunity Job. Much of this I could have shoved to the side in favour of wordage.

The other day I sat down and did some simple math. I could still win NaNo, but it will require some marathoning. The numbers I need are daunting, but doable. I've done those kinds of numbers before.

So, can I make it?


I don't know. But I'm gonna try.

Her Grace hasn't failed a NaNo in ever so long. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

NaNoWriMo Day 13 - A little behind

I will openly admit I'm a little behind my wordcount. This is because Life Happened, as it does.

Being end of year (EoY), I've got one final exam and three assignments I need to finish this week, one child has EoY exams, and the other has EoY performances, etc. And Thanksgiving.  Plus, we got a new foster cat we've nicknamed Hissy Pissy until his attitude improves.

I didn't get a lick of writing done on the weekend, and only a little study.  Still, I'm a professional. I'll catch up -and- get my assignments done.

Other things, such as housework, will most likely fall by the wayside. Don't tell His Grace. He thinks I'm keeping the house clean.

Her Grace is also mostly over her infected throat so she can get back to narration as well. Oh, and singing, as rehearsals for Christmas have started.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

NaNoWriMo Day 4 - Disappointment

So I'm writing along and I needed the name of a neighbourhood. No problem. After all, I did some serious research last week and came up with the best info for worldbuilding ever.

I go look through my notes and... nothing. What? Where did all my hard work go? Why do I only have half the info I thought I did?

Because several days ago my computer fell asleep and never woke up. I had to do a hard reboot, and it appears I forgot to hit save before the computer fell asleep. I lost eight hours of research time.

Fortunately, I remembered my search terms and Google remembered which pages I'd visited, so I was able to recreate most of my research in half the time it originally took.

Still, most annoying, as those several hours recreating my work could have been better spent creating new wordage. Also annoying are those few factlets that would have been perfect, if only I could remember what they were.

Her Grace wants you to know that 19th Century clockmakers all clustered around Clerkenwell.

Friday, 3 November 2017

NaNoWriMo Day 1 - Epiphany

Welcome to NaNoWriMo, that month of insanity where millions of authors all over the world attempt to create 50K of a novel. (If you're one of them, feel free to buddy up, though I will be mostly working and not so much socialising. I've got goals.)

This is my 15+ year of doing this.

Before I started this year, I vowed to myself I would play with voice. I'm not happy with my voice and want to enrich it. Put some thought into what kind of imagery I wanted, read a few really good flash fiction with voice and did the whole imagine pre-writing idealism to get in mind what I wanted.

Attended an official NaNo Write In on Wednesday night. Sat down and, with the goal of voiciness in mind, cranked out 3K words. Cranking out wordage is a doddle for me. But when I got home and re-read my stuff, I saw my usual dull voice had drifted back in, despite my best efforts. Drat. I'd rushed things.

Spent Thursday morning on a NoNo for NaNo: editing.

The thing with NaNoWriMo is that once you push into pure wordage, habit takes over. For those who don't have a writing habit, it's pushes your boundaries. But for me, with more than a million words under my belt as an author, sheer speed doesn't challenge me.  Currently voice is a challenge for me, and to play with that, one must slow down.

So I went back and edited. I examined each sentence to see what it did right, and what it did wrong. I analysed my word choices and structure. I recast several until they sang instead of sat there.

However, when I was done, I was much happier with my words. Subsequent wordage for the month will go forward not so much with a focus on quantity but quality. If it means I must slow down, then I shall slow down.

Oh, I'll be able to get my 50K in, no problem. Not my first rodeo.

First Lesson Learned: Focus on your true goal. You don't get a Grade 8 piano player stumbling over a B Major grand scale. It flows under their fingers. But only if you make the thumbs fall where they need to.

To aid in this, my reading for the month is "Daniel Deronda" by George Eliot. Talk about voice!

November is a busy month for me, with the end of the semester (applying for Hubble time!), ladyships' end-of-year concerts and Thanksgiving as well as NaNoWriMo. While I've been doing my best to read more indie authors, I'm finding they don't quite have the voice I'm looking for. I'll be putting them aside for the month for tried-and-true Classic literature.

Second Lesson Learned: the Classics are classic for a reason. Yes, many a high school student finds them boring and dull and difficult to read, but if you move your focus from the tedious plot and the depressing characters and look at the pure beauty of how words are being used, that is where the classic-ness is to be found.

Her Grace is also pushing herself by hoping to reach 80K instead of the recommended 50K.