Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Final Week

And with this ends National Novel Writing Month. There is still one day left in the month but I'll be busy working on the rest of the Novel Series for 2013 so I can start posting those when I come back from holidays. I need to add four. Ha.

Anyway, in keeping with tradition this is the final update for NaNo2013.
Week one, week two, and week three can be found by clicking the links.

Word count: 250,209
Goal: 250,000
Words Needed: NONE. I'm 209 over. ;)
Novels: Novel 1: Seeker (complete as of Nov. 8): Sequel to Seer. Novel 2: Face Snatcher (complete as of Nov. 17). Novel 3: Hangings: Sequel to Face Snatcher (complete as of Nov. 25) and as a padding a continuation to Lies, the novel I did for April's Camp NaNo.
Plot so far: As stated in the Week One Post: you'll have to wait and check out the rest of the novel series coming in December.

Thoughts of the week: I FREAKING DID IT! I hit the 250,000 words with a day to spare. A day. ONE DAY to spare. Normally I have a week or something after I count up all the days I didn't write. But no, there were no spare days. I couldn't afford taking a week off because of life.

But that doesn't matter. Life happened and I still got 250,000 words. I finished THREE NOVELS for crying out loud at a pace that was both fast and allowed me to deliver my normal quality of first draft. That means all three novels are editing for weird sentences, spelling, grammar, wrong words, repetitive words, useless scenes, and all that other stuff. Seeker is probably the most "edited" of the three. Face Snatcher needs something minor added to tie up a subplot that's probably not worth worrying about. Hangings has to be looked through for date changes as I made them important about half way through and didn't go back (yet) to fix them. I think that's the only thing wrong in Hangings.

Speaking of, Hangings ended climatically. James' thoughts while he was chasing the unsub down were awesome. The description was right on. And the unsub was caught so hey, it's all good. Actually, all four of them (Mia, Brown, McGregor and James) were spot on and they got to interact with each other on a more personal level. The scenes with Mia and McGregor were great, they have such good chemistry considering they just started becoming friends. Brown is just, he's awesome. As a unit they're great. They all have weaknesses (Mia can't run, James can't shoot, Brown doesn't leave his office, and McGregor is anti-social) but someone on the team can pick up the slack (Mia can shoot, James can run, McGregor will leave her office and Brown is oddly more social).

The only disappointment this week was the realization that I couldn't start Dryer (book 3 in the series) because I just wouldn't have had the time. I would have had to force myself to stop right when it started getting interesting then leave it for a week. I just can't do that. With only 5 days to write as well as packing and other preparations for a trip I'm going on to do: it couldn't be done. I knew my limit.

I know my limit. That is, I know now that anything over 250K in a month is not possible for me. Not with my life the way it is now. If I was a full-time author and didn't have to work 9AM to 5PM to, you know, live, then yeah. I could pull off more than 250K. But, seeing as I have a full time job the 250K is all that can come out especially with life being life.

Now I'm sure next year I won't have to buy any new appliances so that gives me an extra two days or so. But I could have used those two days between novels. It would have helped my brain.

I'm also sure that next year I might not have certain time constraints. Heck, I might not be in the same job and could be writing full time. I do know that as it stands right now my goal for next NaNo will be 250,000 words.

This doesn't mean I'm going to wait until then to write Dryer and the other 10 books in the series. Oh no. I'm once again doing Milwordy. I plan to write two books a month (about 140,000 to 160,000 words a month) until the entire series (13 books) is done. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen but I want to be back into fantasy and sci-fi by the summer. I do have this feeling that once I get back from my vacation that I'll start and finish Dryer. Maybe. My hands are hoping not.

Until next time: Comments, questions, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.

Friday, November 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week Three

In keeping with tradition this is my update for NaNo Week 3. Week one and week two can be found by clicking the links.

Word count: 183,323
Goal: 250,000
Words Needed: 66,677 (Haha, YES! I love that number)
Novels: Novel 1: Seeker (complete as of Nov. 8): Sequel to Seer. Novel 2: Face Snatcher (complete as of Nov. 17). Novel 3: Hangings: Sequel to Face Snatcher
Plot so far: As stated in the Week One Post: you'll have to wait and check out the rest of the novel series coming in December.

Thoughts of the week: Holy freaking crap I'm tired. I think the sheer volume of what I've written has made me bloody exhausted. Adding to the writing front I needed to go out and get a new fridge, a new TV, go to a few social events and yeah. So it's been a busy month for this event but I'm not lowering my goal and I WILL get it.

I was happy to finish Face Snatcher. It ended well and left a bit of a cliff hanger for Hangings. Some people read my last lines and the excerpts I have on the NaNo board and liked them. It was encouraging.

Discouraging is the fact that if I want to hit 200K by tonight at midnight I have to write about 17,000 words. That's not happening in 4.5 hours. Even at my top speeds I can't do that. It's been a bad week as I took Monday night off from sheer tiredness. I couldn't catch up the rest of the nights (only getting 7K when I needed 9K or something) and the daily online word counter I've been using since January 1 is giving a 503 error every time I try to log in. Luckily it didn't keep track of monthly totals so I've still got my overall total if I add the monthly totals I've been keeping track of.

Encouraging: The throw-away character that was introduced in Face Snatcher is an important minor in Hangings which is awesome because I had a feeling that minor character would be someone's favorite. Kind of like Matt from Death Note. He had one or two scenes and he's one of the more popular characters. This was what David (the throw-away character) would become so I made him important. I'm sure he doesn't like it because I'm being mean to him but at least he gets spotlight unlike the many throw-away police officers and forensic people.

Like Face Snatcher, Hangings has a lot of plot going on in few words. It's just over 24,000 and so much has happened. I'm sure that it'll end like it's prequel: fewer things happening but everything being wrapped up in a climatic final chase. The ending for Face Snatcher was a bit anti-climatic (in my mind) as the unsub did cooperate and let himself be taken in. I'm not sure if Hangings unsub will do the same as the only thing I know for sure is that they'll catch the guy. Said guy's motivation for killing these poor people has changed twice all ready so yeah.

Hangings is the least planned of the series but as I found out in Face Snatcher my characters will do as they darn well please, including changing the plot enough so the conversations I did write prior to NaNo didn't actually work as the characterization changed.

With all that said, until next time: Comments, questions, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week Two

As I write these words week two of NaNoWriMo is ending, well for me. It officially ends Sunday at midnight but I'm a weird one when it comes to counting things. The explanation (and other fun stuff) for that is in the Week One post.

Keeping up with my tradition of updating weekly during NaNo, here we go:

Word Count: 133,317
Goal: 250,000
Words Needed: 116,683 (I'm over half-done. YAY!)
Novels: Novel 1: Seeker (complete as of Nov. 8): Sequel to Seer. Novel 2: Face Snatcher which is the first book in a 13 book crime fiction series. Yeah, 13, cuz again: I have a weird thing for numbers.
Plot so far: As stated in the Week One Post: you'll have to wait and check out the rest of the novel series coming in December.

Thoughts of the week: I was ecstatic when I finished Seeker. Seriously, I put to rest characters that have been in my head just about my entire writing career and have been with me through three restarts. It was a bitter-sweet ending: good that it was over but I'll miss Dawn, Ice and the crew.

Then I started Face Snatcher and wrote about 21,000 words on it on Nov 9. I also realized how freaking detailed crime fiction is. After the first Saturday on it, I took the Sunday off (for me) and wrote 7K. I also made a folder within my "Detective Series" folder for Face Snatcher and all subsequent novels. That's right: each novel in the series has its own folder.

Why? Well. I have a list of: victims, witnesses, the story itself, and other important points in that folder. I can guarantee that each story will need it's own victim and witness list so I can do these things right. Adding to that in the main folder I've got the plot for all 13 novels as well as another list of all the police and other detectives I've mentioned.

This week was Hell. Again. I got so discouraged when I realized how freaking much there was to remember when writing crime fiction until Mia, my FMC in the series gave an idea: make a list. So now for each chapter I'm starting it with a list of things for my characters to do and checking things off on the way. It helped that I had plotted the MC's being new to big cases so they're over-whelmed and needed a list of things to check on. We're going to get better together. Ha.

My hands still hurt. My wrists are in pain. I've slowed down my pace so I can produce a draft that's better than a first draft (which is what I normally aim for anyway), so I need more time to write while producing a few hundred less words. That doesn't mean I'm not writing huge amounts. If I'm not researching something mundane (IE: getting distracted and needed to check on something when I don't have to) I can still get 2,000 words an hour. My lowest word count was 1,400 in an hour. Highest was over 3,000. Anyway, let's move on.
The good news is that I'm about a day ahead of where I should be. The better news is that I don't think I'm too busy this weekend so I'm going to finish Face Snatcher by Sunday at 10PM. Why Sunday at 10PM? Well by then I can watch The Walking Dead and that's one thing I'm allowing myself as a reward for writing during the week.

I should mention that I did get 125,000 words on Day 13 as I had planned WITHOUT the 40K weekend of last weekend. It was a good feeling. My goal for this week it to either hit 200K or be really close. I'm also looking for a 50K weekend but I'm not sure how well that'd go. I've got stuff to do tomorrow morning which kind of has to be done. As it stands, I'll have one day to pack before going on vacation and into a social media silence. Totally not used to packing the day before so depending how this week goes, I might take a day to pack next weekend. Or get it started.

So overall: I'm feeling pretty good. I'm ahead and will only get further ahead tonight when I add anywhere from 5-7K words. I'm aiming for 200K (or close) by this time next week which will give me an nice, easy 50K in a week with writing time on a weekend. Which means I can be finished with my 250K goal by the 24th at 10PM. It's a hope.

Until next time: I found this about the quality and quantity debate. You should read it. Comments, questions, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week One

The first week of National Novel Writing month 2013 is lying at our feet: defeated. Well, almost. There's still tonight for some people and really it depends if you consider the end of week 1 a Friday or a Sunday. For me it's Friday so, yeah.

Since I needed to do more writing this month (sarcasm, btw) I've decided to keep up with the tradition of writing a weekly update on my NaNo progress for this blog. Oddly enough I just finished checking last years blog post for NaNo week 1 and I'm at (almost) the same word count as this time last year. I find that freaking hilarious and depressing at the same time. Moving on.

Word Count: 70,064
Goal: 250,000 (Yeah, I'm an 'over-achiever' but for all intents and purposes: I consider anyone who gets over 50K for the month an over-achiever. Hell, anyone who gets more than their personal goal this month even if it isn't the 50K is an over-achiever.)
Words Needed: 179,936...oh that's painful to know...
Novel: Sequel to Seer
Title: Seeker
Plot so far: The thing is almost done so stay tuned for the "Novel Series" on it coming in December sometime. There will be a lot of them, trust me. I need something to do at night when I'm not writing and December is a non-writing month.

Now onto the thoughts of this week: It's been Hell. I'm not even going to lie. I missed all but two hours of writing time on Saturday because I was helping a friend move. I could have said no but she's one of my best friends and I would have felt bad. It turns out I was actually needed even when she said there were enough people.

I did hit a 25K day on Sunday through sheer willpower I'm sure but even now I don't have much of a buffer which is unusual for me. If I was keeping right on track I should be at 66664, meaning I ONLY have less then 4K as a buffer. This means I cannot take a night off no matter what. And I kind of like have a day or two between novels so I can switch plots in my head better.

Worse yet my entire Saturday morning (tomorrow) will be taken up with running errands that have to be done. Actually, I won't be able to get onto my computer until about 2PM which leaves me with 10 hours to write and gives me a potential of 20K. I might get 30K if I can keep a 3K/hr thing going but I highly doubt it. My hands do need some kind of break.

Furthering that: I'm losing my Sunday night to a supper I have to go to. And let's not forget that in the first week of December I'm going on vacation so I'll be losing November 30th for packing and other such things. It's like everything decided to happen this month which is totally not cool.

My hands hurt. My wrists hurt and I'm miss-firing on typing this blog post. I WILL NOT give up because I refuse to lower my goal and I refuse to be defeated by it. Besides, I've got all of December to give my poor hands a rest.

On the plus side: I did a 25K day so I can catch up if I manage 40K this weekend. That'd put me at 110K when I'm supposed to be at 84K. Big buffer. I like big buffers and I cannot lie (I would totally continue this rap if I had the mind to. But it's focusing on other things). I do have to say that I thought this year was the year I completed the 50K the quickest but that title belongs to last year when I won on the 4th. Oops.

Anyway, I'm looking to start week 2 strong (which again runs from Sat morning to the next Fri night for me cuz I'm weird like that) with the 40K weekend. I hope to continue it by getting 125K by the middle of the week (the 13th) so I can keep my buffer. My big buffer that other buffers can't deny. Cuz when you see a big buffer...ha. Sorry.

Also, it should be mentioned that I'll be doing four novels this year. Seeker is the first and the others are the first three books in a crime fiction series. The series will span over 13 novels and if I manage to get all four finished by the end of NaNo I'll have written 14 books this year. I was aiming for 13 because, you know, 13 in 2013 but Seeker isn't turning out to be as long as I figured it would be. I was hoping for like 90K. It's panning out at anywhere from 76-80K if it doesn't grow a second head tonight.

With all that in my head (it hurts I tells ya) I'm going to go finish Seeker. That means killing a character (or two, not even I'm sure yet) that I've had in my head for about a decade now. It's going to hurt, especially the whole how he dies but it's got to be done.

Until next time: comments, questions, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.