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NaNo Prep
The NaNo Task
My Nano Writing Life
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Moving Along Down the NaNo Highway
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: AOL Southern Gospel Radio
Topic: The NaNo Task

NaNo WIP: "The Salt Lake Concert"

Word Count Total: 16,454

With company here, the Write-A-Thon didn't happen. I'm not complaining; it was a very good visit. However, the goal is slipping fast into the sunset. I got some words written yesterday.

One of the most important things about NaNoWriMo is flexibility. Especially if you are seriously attempting this event, you must know your plan well enough to provide flexibility within it. We haven't even hit the middle part where the doldrums hit--yet. There is yet no need to apply the "petal to the metal" for the last week's push to the win.

Many, and especially those doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, fail at such points as this. You cannot let the roadbumps stop your success. Even with a good roadmap, we sometimes have to travel down some unimproved highway. NaNors must learn to adapt, retrench, and proceed. Speed is only relevant when it is not zero.

The most basic plan says to create 1,667 new words for your novel each and every day. Why? There are primarily two reasons for this. First, at that pace, you will make 50,000 words by November 30th. Of course, that is an average. 

The second and most valuable reason, however is that writers write--every day!  My own personal writing goal is to create a minimum of 2,500 new words every day. That's not just words written in reviews, letters, etc., but newly created words designed to be profitable.  Some days, I'm very lucky to create 100 such words. Some days, it goes well and I reach a higher mark. The secret is the number of days you have to average into the total. 

That is why consistency pays off in the long run. It is a gained skill, a habit of craft. For beginners it could be 100, 250, or even 500 words per day that matter, because those goals are achievable. It doesn't matter nearly so much how many new words are created every day. It matters that new words are created every day.

Sometimes, things happen at the speed of life. In order to be successful in NaNo (or in life), flexibility must be your first weapon. Make your writing plan so well that flexibility is included in it.   

Posted by Budroe at 9:52 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 10:14 AM CST
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Wednesday, 4 November 2009
A Long Day Just Keeps Getting Longer
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: "When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels" Merle Haggard
Topic: The NaNo Task

NaNo WIP: "The Salt Lake Concert"
Word Count Today: 1,278
Word Count Total: 12,537

I have had to go "out of order" on this book for a bit. There are several holes in the plot that will only become seamless when additional patches that I am makig now will be carefully stitched into the canvas of the final draft. It happens quite often. Sometimes, there's a need to "fill in the future". The trick is knowing how, and more importantly when to do this sugery. Plot doctoring, you say? Well, of course it is!

Several chapters are happening now, but will only appear later. Sometimes, I see the action or dialogue so clearly, as if dictated to me by my muse. I have learned that my muse does NOT appreciate a second opportunity to tell me something for the first time.

I urge you not to try this at home! I am a professional, and I am completely used to working without a net. If I have fallen before, at least it has not been  the terminal event for me. Now, as to my characters...well that is an entirely different matter.

The trick is to graft later--correctly. Think of it as having to reattach a hand or a foot. Even though you know the anatomy and the procedures, you still must succeed one (and only one) stitch at a time. In this case, I must make certain I have tied off the right arteries and veins, in the appropriate order at the correct time.

Almost half the book is now "booked" out of sequence. Yes, that's a very dangerous reality, Virginia. It is a process I seldom use. It is very stressful, because dropping just one stitch can lead to literal and literary disaster.

Plot lines get lost (or dropped), characters suddenly appear from nowhere or go somewhere unknown to me in the space of a page. Arcs become stones in the pool of happy writing.

Careful documentation is necessary for this gambit to work effectively, and  plot notes and writing journals are indispensible to the author at these times. I don't like it but, in November,  running along without a net is sometimes just mandatory.

There are other developments, but those are things of life. They will wait for a bit, or I will write about them in another place. That's a part of NaNo. It's still a part of the writing life that most authors would dare  not talk about.

It's just you and I, so no one's going to know we even HAD this conversation, right? Right? 

Posted by Budroe at 11:12 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 4 November 2009 11:43 PM CST
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Monday, 2 November 2009
The Second Day Is The Worst!
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" Buddy Jewell
Topic: The NaNo Task

NaNo 2009 WIP: "The Salt Lake Concert"
Word Count: 2,912

I probably wrote 25,000 words yesterday. Of those, 2,912 were the Prologue and Chapter 1 of the WIP.

I felt like the start was a decent one, but fell short of my goal. My record (so far) is 50,000 words in 17 days. My goal is to do the same in 16 days, which means I must "book" at least 3,125 words each of the sixteen days of the goal.

I ripped the first pages yesterday, played with my NaNoBuddies online at WDC and NaNoWriMo, wrote 5 In-Depth interviews (~4,500 words each!) and two Blog Posts here.

So far, it's 1645 on Day #2. Not a single word on the WIP. Distraction? Procrastination? Laziness?

Nope. I'm pooped. I will get at least 3,338 word "booked" today before midnight. When the clock struck "NaNo Time!" at midnight yesterday, I had no ideas, and no words. I do have confidence in my own ability to gab my way to my daily goal. Making "real" words that move the story forward? Well... Foot in mouth

This is not, believe it or don't, unexpected. Everyone has trouble in their writing process. For many NaNoers, it is week three. That is usually my most productive time--go figure. There is usually a mad dash to the end of the event during the last week. Thanksgiving and all, you see. For many, that may include Final Exams and/or family visiting and/or Holiday Shopping. None of those distractions loom on the horizon for me, except the fact that I am going to create Thanksgiving Dinner for my friend and HCA, Sara Peachey. She is coming up to spend this Holiday with me.

I considered warning her. I couldn't find the words. What are you supposed to say to the uninitiated? "Let the Turkey burn! I've only got 500 words!" Somehow, that feels neither hospitable or encouraging for future visits.

For me, it is the second day of NaNo. What you did yesterday, you must repeat. I must do better today than I did yesterday. I felt satisfied because I had over 1667 "booked". I completely forgot my personal goal. That is not a good thing. 3,125 each and every day for sixteen days. These sixteen days include Dr. appointmens, Lab Work, and at least 5 days in Tennessee! (I'm taking my PC with me! I'm dedicated, what can I say?)

Why am I going to Tennessee, you might well ask.


Such is the NaNo life.

Posted by Budroe at 4:55 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 2 November 2009 4:58 PM CST
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Thursday, 29 October 2009
NaNo 2009 Signature SNAFU's
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Southern Gospel on AOL Radio
Topic: NaNo Prep







Looks rather innocuous, doesn't it?

Actually, it is a writing signature, or "siggy" that a friend of mine over at WDC (Thanks again, Leger!) made for me. I use it at the bottom of my WDC emails, blog entries, reviews, and other insignaturenificant thingeys around the web.

Tonight(Ok, last night now!), I tried for almost three hours to get this simple siggy into my NaNo signature block. Why? Why, you ask?

I'll tell ya why. The signature block says a lot about you, that's why. It becomes, along with your avitar (small picture by your name) the identifying symbol of your presence in the NaNo world. You'd be surprised how many people have become my Nanobuddy because of my signature!

Everybody needs nanobuddies when you are doing NaNoWriMo! Word wars, coffee chats, and Forums fly like the wind during NaNo. (Are you my buddy yet? It's kybudman, y'all!) The chatrooms are full the procrastination station is brimming over, and headaches abound.

So, I just wanted to paste a little identifyier into my signature.



Why couldn't offer their users a safe, simple, signature testing page? I had to find a reasonably accessible forum post after every change--just to see how the siggy looked. FORTY TWO TIMES!!

"The devil's in the details!" Ohhh, how tuhruuueee!


Posted by Budroe at 4:26 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Hooking up, Linking Up, Gearing Up
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Coming Home: The Cathedrals
Topic: NaNo Prep

The National Novel Writing Month is, for several million writers, an annual event par excellence! This year will be my fifth year of participation.


This is one of the many nefarious animals encountered during NaNo. They are called plot bunnies, and they can mess up your very best intentions. They play around with your plot, change your words, kill your characters, or create entirely new plot lines you had no idea of using. They love to play with your words while you are taking a much-needed break from the chaos of NaNo. You may be taking a nanobreak with some freshly baked nanocookies and nanocoffee with your nanobuddies in a nanochat room. 

There are lots of "badges" particpants use to announce to the world they are a part of this activity. This year's badges look like this:

You'll see these badges around--a lot. I hope that you will send a note of encouragement to those wearing this "badge" proudly. After all, they have to deal with plot bunnies.





Posted by Budroe at 10:34 AM CDT
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