word count · work in progress · Writing

End of NaNo

NaNo ended a few days ago.

I, sad to say, failed NaNo. Not that I am surprised. No, successfully completing NaNo would have surprised me. It’s not just that I am a slow writer (though I am. Very very slow.) It’s just been that kind of month.

But I still managed to write 22000 words. Most of that was in the first week. 10000 words in the first week, yeah, and if I’d managed to continue at that rate, I would have 40000 words by the end of November. For a number of reasons, that didn’t happen.

But 22000 is still well above my monthly average and I am not really displeased with that number. It’s just that now I realize if things are going well, if I push myself, sometimes I can manage 2000 words in a day. Even when things are not going well, I can write a couple hundred and before I thought 300 was my average.

That’s pretty amazing. See, before, the best I did was a 1000 words a day. Even that was rare. So it’s pretty amazing to realize I can do more and the words that come out aren’t half bad.

I am hoping I can finish the WiP sometime this year. At the very least before winter ends.

General · reading · word count · work in progress · Writing

NaNWriMo Update and Kindle ARC issue

I am really behind on my NaNo word-count. It’s currently 10418 and as of yesterday, I should have reached 21666 words. So, yeah. Realllllly behind.

The NaNo stats thing tells me I am averaging 744 words a day and I need to write 2329 words everyday if I am going to finish on time.

Part of that is because I spent a couple of days unable to get to a computer at all. So 0 words for a couple days the first week and the last couple days weren’t much better. I wrote about 600-700 words before I had to stop.

Still the site thinks I am averaging 744 a day. Probably my two or three really good days are throwing it off. And by good I mean I managed to write 2000+ words. I am still writing more than I usually manage. I mean, more than 10000 words in two weeks!  For me, that’s fantastic.

So . . . kindle ARC issue. Yesterday I went on netGalley and asked for an ARC of The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells. I got it immediately and I clicked the button to send it to my kindle.

Normally I download netGalley ARCs to my computer, but I don’t have my own computer on hand. I am using someone else’s and I really

A Picture of a eBook

didn’t want to go to the trouble of  downloading/installing/authenticating the Adobe Digital Editions software on it. It’s too much trouble.

So I sent it my kindle.

First, the book took forever to arrive.

Second, the formatting sucks. Only a few paragraphs are indented properly. Most paragraphs are not and that is just really really annoying. Also, sometimes it has page numbers and odd symbols (a box with a question mark inside).

Really! It’s so hard to read. I’ll probably have to wait until I have my own computer here to read it. Sucks.

I was going to use reading the ARC as a reward for finishing my word-count. Now I can’t.

I am never sending netGalley ARCs to the kindle again. Never never never!

flash friday · General · word count · Writing

Friday Flash: A Girl and her Horse(s)

This is the image prompt (by zemotion on deviantart) I used for today’s Friday flash. It is a 100 words. Last Friday, someone called this a drabble and before that, I wasn’t aware it had another name. 😮

I had a lot of trouble with this. Rewrote it three times so it makes sense and is 100 words. Not sure I succeeded with the make sense part.

I slowed Sheena’s headlong rush, coming to my senses at last. She couldn’t run like this, not on a night this blustery. The wind was icy enough to cool even my anger. I bit my lip.
I’d said so many hurtful things. “I hate you.” “You cost me my dreams.”

It wasn’t true. Even if we had arrived on time, nothing would’ve changed. It wasn’t mom’s fault. Wasn’t anyone’s fault that my Penny didn’t make the jump and I barely got off before she broke a leg.

I rubbed my eyes. I needed to go back and make things right.

fantasy · General · Short Story · word count · work in progress · Writing

Write 1, Sub 1 Challenge: first story

Today I am starting the first story for the Write 1, Sub 1 challenge. The photo prompt is by CupcakeKiller on deviantART. I wrote 165 words on it today and I think this first part is done.

I have some idea of where I am going with it, just need to consider the end in more detail. A romance would be too obvious, and I am not going there.

I really like the girl’s name: Laash. I found this Indian name that means dance, Laasya, and I realized if I replaced the y with an h, it looks almost like lash. Like how dance lashes her into action. I liked the idea of it.

Laash danced, sand flying beneath her feet. The ocean pounded the beach and she followed its beat. She twirled, spun and twisted.

Be as graceful as the sea wolves, her instructor said. Their grace and beauty is flawless.   

This dance needed to be perfect. She had the lead in tomorrow’s drama. She couldn’t practice in the dance hall; the other girls chattered too much. The prince would be there! Everyone would be there. If she was good enough, maybe the prince would give her an assignation. All her dreams would come true.

Laash stopped, bent over, panting. Small waves washed over her feet and cooled her over-heated body.

She laughed, tiny shrieks of joy that faded into the night. Laash gripped the turquoise pendant around her throat. She didn’t know what the starfire pattern meant, but she didn’t care. It was all she had left of her mother.

If the woman knew Laash could have the prince, would her mother regret abandoning her?

word count · work in progress · Writing

Thoughts On The Perfect Short Story

I feel good. I wrote a thousand words yesterday. 400 of that was for a short story, though, so I am not 1000 words ahead in the novel in progress. 😦

The short story is odd. It is really more in the nature of exploring an idea I have for a novel. I might write the novel, I might not. I don’t know right now. But if I do, it won’t be until the current novel in progress is done. I think the idea is simple enough to express in 5000 words. It’s probably not something that will ever make it into the novel version, I am pretty sure about that.

The trouble with the short story is putting in enough details to make the world real, but not so many the story is nothing but description (the world is interesting enough that I could easily write 5000 words of sheer description!). The description needs to mean something, needs to make clear just why the whole setting is odd and move the story forward at the same time.

I think that is more difficult in a short story. I’ve read short stories where the world is crystal clear, the plot moves quickly, the story is emotional enough to tug at my heart-strings and yet the ending is just perfect. That’s what I want. It’s very, very difficult to achieve.

word count · work in progress · Writing

Behind in my Writing

January is almost over and I am waaay behind in my writing. My word count is pathetic. Maybe I’ll be like the turtle in the story and finish ahead the hare? I can only hope.

Part of it is that I am having trouble just writing. I haven’t hit the magic place where the words pour out. I know what the scenes – I have an outline! – but I am having a hard time putting them on paper. I am tempted to say the outline is curtailing my creativity, but it doesn’t feel like that right now.

Another part is that though I am writing every day, it is in fits and starts and writing is easier if I do it at the same time everyday. It’s just so hard right now to do that.

I really, really need to step up my writing speed.  I need to just write, just really focus on the characters.

word count · work in progress · Writing

Progress Bar

I have added a new progress bar to the side. I figure it help me keep track of how I am doing, week to week, and maybe inspire me, too. Going to update once a week, so I know how much of weekly goals I’ve met. It took me a while to find something not NaNoWriMo related.

I am not sure I like it – every time I update the count, I am going to have to copy and paste it. I wish there was something I could edit in the widget itself. Wish I had something prettier, too. This bar is pretty plain.

word count · work in progress · Writing

First Week of January Word Count

The first week of January is gone, but my word count is low. I was aiming for at least 300 words a day, for a total of 2100 words per week. I wrote 1535 words in the novel. So I am 565 words short of where I need to be this week.

But I have an excuse! I made an outline. So I really spent only half the week actually writing. At least I did something everyday, eh? But next week will be better!

I have to write 565 words more this upcoming week to make up for the shortfall. That means 2665 words by the end. Here’s hoping I actually manage it.

fantasy · Short Story · word count · Writing

On Introductions and Hooks

I encountered the concept of hooks maybe a year ago. Before that I thought hooks were the really catchy part in a song. In stories, the hook is the thing that makes you want to go on reading. At the time, it was a bit of revelation. At the time, I thought it sounded like a trick, but I am not sure now. I can just picture a hook digging into the reader’s belly, urging her to read for just one more chapter. Just one more chapter!

So, anyway, my first page has to do hook the reader, introduce the character and the situation. As I write fantasy, I also need to introduce the world and the magic. It is a tall order for 300 words. Since it is a short story, I figure I will keep it simple – dragons, princesses, witches, very little actual magic. I had only written 20 words before I discovered the dragon was sick, the girl was a princess and a witch. Now I am worried because I don’t like killing characters, but the second picture is of a cemetery and I am scared the dragon will die at the end.

But I don’t think the really sick dragon is the hook. I don’t know what my hook is. I wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote the first 266 words, but I am thinking about it now and I just don’t know. Is it even something I should worry about? Maybe hooks are part of the editing process, not the writing process.

General · Short Story · word count · work in progress · Writing

Bird by Bird: Plot

At the beginning of Bird by Bird, starting on page 54, there is a short section entitled Plot. In this she says not to worry about the plot, but about the characters. You should get to know the characters, their relationship, and the plot comes out of that.

Well, I know my characters. At least I know as well it is possible to know a character in less than 1000 words. I know they are adversaries. If this was a typical urban fantasy story, they would also be attracted to each other. They haven’t come to life for me,  not like in other stories I’ve written. I haven’t known my MC for long enough for that to happen and the adversary has been around for barely a paragraph. Maybe that is the problem, but it will be 2000 words at most and that isn’t long enough anyway for characters to take on a life. Not for me.

Anyway, I will just keep on writing. If it is no good, I can always press delete.