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!

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?


Writing Recovery

After being away from my writing for over a week (because I was sick) I find I am having a hard time getting back to it. My rhythm is off, the words will not come and to make matters complete, I am still not completely recovered. The headaches, body-aches and a lack of energy continue. At least the fever and throwing up part seem to gone.

Music helps, gets me moving sometimes. The outline helps, lets me keep an eye on the ball. Rereading what I’ve written helps, letting me remember where I am.

Yesterday I think I only managed a 100 words. Physically, I just can’t write for more than an hour or two right now. By the end of the day, I am tired and my head spins like a top (like I was sick!). Hard to focus through the spinning. All I want to do is sleep. That’s probably part of the problem. But I also know if I stay away from it too long, I’ll stop entirely (that’s happened before – too long a break and I never go back.)

I have no idea what to do.

work in progress · Writing

Finding My Zone

Yesterday, I finished writing and went to bed. But instead of sleeping, I was writing in my head. It was like there was an imaginary computer in my head. It is after midnight, I am tired, I want to sleep, but my head keeps turning out prose.

I can’t remember the last time that happened. I think I must be hitting my zone. For various reasons, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t turn on the computer again and start writing again. Had to wait until this morning to type it all out.

The story is never far from my mind these days. I am getting closer and closer to the scene I really want to write. The characters are not fighting me and the story is moving in the direction I want.

It’s still slow though. If it keeps on like this, hopefully soon I’ll be able to catch to where I am supposed to be in my word count.

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.


Throwing Away Half a Scene

I threw away half a scene yesterday.

It was an unexpected scene, one involving cops, that I’d thought would appear later. In my outline, the cops show up on the second day. But it makes sense for them to show up now – don’t cops show up after an explosion?

I was writing on and on and on and getting no where. I knew what I wanted to write, but that wasn’t what was showing up on my screen. I wanted something crispy, but instead I got two people arguing and getting no where. Finally, I realized that I needed to throw away the last 300 words. I replaced them with about 150 words. It was better. Faster, with the crispness I was looking for.

Why couldn’t I have realized that before I’d finished the damn thing? It felt like wasted effort.





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.