These Laurels Are Soft And All But…


Crown and laurel

So, apparently I ~won~ NaNo a few days ago.

Awesome.

These laurels are soft and all, but there are still many words yet to be written.

Thus, I forge onward towards a new goal: a complete first draft by Thanksgiving.

My touchpoints & story pacing are on-track to land right around the 80k mark (give or take). I’ve slowed down the drafting a bit, taken pause to go back and weave in threads that are essential as the climax nears. Yes, it’s a first draft, but for me, it’s crucial to have the key elements woven in so they can all converge in one beautifully embroidered moment on the first go ’round.

There’ll be snipping and trimming, undoing seams and sewing them back together later. But I want this tapestry—at least from afar—to be thick, and warm, and loverly at the end of this initial stage. More than a wordcount goal, this is how I will measure my own ~win~.

And I hope you have your own, private measuring stick, too. Maybe it’s to write every day, or average 500 words per day over the course of the month, or to revise the sheol out of an existing novel. Whatever it is, strive for it as hard as you possibly can.

Your laurels will feel just as soft for you as mine do for me.

SIDENOTE: The first ink of my Phreak Show sleeve gets hammered in today. I’m more than just a little thrilled about that.

Advertisements

NaNoWriMo – One Thing I’m NOT Doing


NaNo-2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

So, for this blog post, this is me using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate without any editing. So far so good. But if this goes like everyone in my other experiments than these words within a completely jumbled and out of whack.

See. Just like that.

I’m considering whether or not I should use Dragon Fernanda Reimann [TRANSLATION: for NaNoWriMo]. So far it’s not looking too promising. I’ll look another complete sentence that was written correctly. And that should be “oh” not I’ll. So frustrating.

Something is coming more of a pain in the bot or a headache that it is going to be helpful. See? That line doesn’t even make any sense. If I enunciate like I’m in speech therapy, then it will type perfectly like this sentence. But oh my gosh I can’t talk like that for an entire novel. [But see their, entitled the previous sentence correctly. But not this one. And it misspelled their. Again.]

So even though I might be fun to try and use Dragon, I believe the editing would be a nightmare. I don’t think it’s really do work Fernanda Reimann.

NaNoWriMo Month-Long Updatable Update


As part of my #NaNoPrep, I’m hacking in this roughshod post before the clock strikes midnight. Since my main focus over the next 30 days is to knock out the first draft of Phreak Show, I don’t want to waste words anywhere else. [Well, Twitter is–of course–an exception.] And a month of non-blogging is equal to child abandonment in 36 countries.

So, here is the skeleton. If all goes well, I’ll distract myself with an update once per day–slipping it between changing out my coffee IV bag & maybe a birdbath. [Because a month of poor hygiene is punishable by a public hosing in 28 states. Plus the District of Columbia.]

<— The widget over there should track my word count and % progress towards my goal of 60k. So, I’ll probably post each day’s total, perhaps an excerpt sentence, hopefully some epiphanies, and probably some whining–which is to say: venting leading towards more productive creativity…

Let the 30 days & nights of literary abandon begin.

Day 1 – Kicked off NaNo 2012 with a midnight write-in with the local Wrimos at a Steak & Shake. Churned out 632 words in the word war waged during the first half hour. Via three more sessions today, I ended up with 6,332 words added to Phreak Show. Breaking the 5,000 mark earned me a celebratory pack of Rolos. And, like a good boy, I made sure to back-up the file in all the places.

Day 2 – Words added: 2,795. Around 1 a.m. I had to comfort a friend with relationship issues. Friend duties completed, I whipped out a few unexpected paragraphs, then finally crawled into bed. A few more sessions throughout the day. Leaving #PhreakShow on pause at this upcoming scene: Tera is entering a unisex shower where she will encounter Shim the Gender Enigma. [Spoiler Alert! Shim is feeling frisky…]

Day 3 – Started the day with some early writing fueled by mucho coffee . Traveled 30 minutes east for a write-in [and more java] at an independent bookstore. Apparently, Chapter 6 decided to be hot & steamy & full of sexies. “So, are you ready to check out my crotch? Turn your guess into a known fact?” Ahem. 3,528 phreaktastic words added.

Day 4 – A little morning writing gave way to putting the final touches on a few new furniture pieces. Then, more writing. Enmeshed within today’s 3319 words is a bit more unfolding of the first page hook. Emotional? Yes. Today’s section also contains the official ‘1st Plot Point’ of the 4-Part Story Structure–right on schedule. Chapter 7 ends [as all chapters should] with an absolute, no-doubt-about-it, must-stay-up-even-later-to-read page-turner…

Day 5 – I was able to churn out a quick bit of writing before the day’s madness began. After a ton–as in, a marathon session–of cleaning, Micah and I hosted our first writing and art salon of the season. We had a dozen folks come in and out through the evening. [It’s after midnight right now & 5 us are still creating.] The artists seemed to have made more progress than the writers. We’ll get ’em next week. 3,161 words for the day. 19,028 for November. Total wordcount for Phreak Show: 24,868.

Day 6 – Writing. Packed the van for a show in Atlanta. Writing. Voted. Writing. Distracted by election results rolling in. Also, the insanely active buzz of Twitter. Impromptu :15 word war with some Tweeps. Checked election results. A tiny bit more writing. In the midst of all that, I somehow added 2,380 words, thus breaking through the 20k barrier. “Spanish moss dangled from the trees like stringy, gray clumps of witch’s hair.”

Day 7 – Most productive day since the kick-off. Was able to focus on writing throughout the day and landed 5,022 words. At this rate, NaNo tells me I need 983 words per day to hit 50K by the end of the month, I think I’m on my way to a “win”. The Phreak Show rolled into Savannah this morning and set up at Forysth Park. Part of it looks something like this: 

Day 8 – Added 3,633 words today which arced me over 30k. I’m halfway to my personal Nano goal. And that damn Tera made me cry today. I wrote steadily through the early hours which left me time to check Phreak Show’s pulse this evening. This included spending some time with my planning notes to make sure I’m on track, and refreshing myself with My Guide to Not Sucking: https://johnlucashargis.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/my-guide-to-not-sucking/  All is well.

Day 9 – Wowserz! Somehow I managed 5,088 words today. They came in fits and starts. Maybe, idk, 4 times, I stepped away, thinking I was done for the day. But when I sat back down and read the last few lines written, I found myself clacking away at the keyboard again. Go figure. Today, one of the exhibit tents gained a new name: Phantasmagorium. Here’s a line: “A pro wouldn’t show up to work in secondhand, old-lady-smelling pajamas.”

Day 10 – Writing traveled at a slower, more deliberate pace on Day 10. Drafted an all-important transition scene which ramped up to the next one: an experience which alters Tera’s entire perception of what is happening in the Phreak Show. The Big Twist is coming up 2 short chapters from now. Have to prime the chute. 2188 words.

Day 11 – 3,475 words and I think I’m done for the day. Maybe. The story is flowing along phantastically. Today’s scenes involving revelations regarding how ingrained the phreak images are within the teens–just, wow. I broke 40k. 20k more before Thanksgiving is looking like a goal I can definitely accomplish.

Day 12 – It’s funny how most write-ins end up more about chatting than actually writing. The writer/writer interaction provides for a much-needed break in the solo endeavor, so it’s welcome. I added 150 words during a 3.5 hour write-in last night. It didn’t boost the wordcount all that much, but it was fun. Total added: 2,881

Day 13 – Some writing in the morning, some writing in the afternoon, a duel with the NaNo Municipal Liaison for my region…all led to 4,149 words today. From here on out, I need to average 120 words per day to hit 50k by 11/30. With only 2,156 left, I’m pretty sure I ought to be able to hit that “WIN” tomorrow.

Day 14 – I’m eating a Special Dark. Because I added 2,590 words today. And because of this:

Day 15 – Took a roadtrip to Michigan and was able to hammer out a few words while in the car. 2,013 added for the day.

Day 16 – Added more words on the ride home, and then a few more late in the evening. Scored 1,902 additional words. Hoping to pick the pace back up over the weekend.

Day 17 – Another low wordcount day. [Compared to my 3500+ average.] Scraped up 1,783.

Day 18 – And…back on track with where I want to be as far as daily wordcounts. Added 4,274 on this lovely day. Also, if you check out that widget over at the top of the left-hand column on this here blog, you’ll see that I hit my 60k. Rock.on.Lucas. That was the goal I wanted to hit by next Thursday. I blazed past it, so any words I add between now and the end of the month are just extra gravy on the stuffing.

Day 19 – Zero, nil, zip, zilch words. And proud of it! Took a well-earned day away from writing to focus on some art.

Day 20 – 1,883 words added today. Left off at a great cliffhanger. Which is to say, set myself up with an excellent starting place for the next drafting session.

Day 21 – You have no idea how good these zero wordcount days feel! If I wasn’t at 60k yet, I’d be all: No! Oh no, oh no. Must right the wrong. Must write. Must meet goal. Ahhhhh! But, since I have accomplished what I set out to do, not writing a thing for a whole day comes with the greatest sense of satisfaction.

Day 22 – Churned out 1,767. Even on Thanksgiving. In the morning. Before mass quantities of turkey were inhaled.

Day 23 – Day 29 – Yeah, so no daily updates during this period. I wrote and edited a little, but at a leisurely pace. Once I rolled up and over that hump, I needed to move away from the drafting for a bit. So many other things going on right now.

Day 30 – The final day. I definitely hit my goal–and them some. Current wordcount for Phreak Show = 70,055. I need another week of focusing on other things before diving back in. The crux of the final 7 chapters is fully formed. I’m letting the characters act them out in my head so the drafting will flow out in all its gloriousness.