Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Battle plan for the last two days:

1. Fill in the missing parts on my outline.
2. Write like crazy and see if I can still make 100k.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Only 3 days left!!!

NaNoWriMo is nearing its end. I had hoped to post more in the past week, but I decided it was much more important to focus on my writing.
As a result, I wrote 10,000 words in one day!!! That was fun. And exhausting.

Up until now, my experimental method of outlining has proved to be incredibly helpful. But I wimped out on the last part of it, and it's not as detailed as I would like it to be. As I've been used to for the entire month. I'm finding that I'm having to make new decisions after all about how certain things are going to fit into the plot, and how they're going to happen. It's really slowing me down.

I now sit at 80,000 and am hoping to reach 100,000 still before midnight on Wednesday. Meaning I will have to write 6,667 words each day. I think I can do it, but even still, wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Hi all,

I got Thanksgivinged into nothing but a bump on a couch this past weekend. Part of my family had Thanksgiving early, and my writing time was taken up with preparing some food to bring, the party itself, and recovering from eating so much afterwards.

I've been sluggish and slow. But now that my cat has enjoyed all the cuddles he could get falling asleep on my lap while I sat on the couch, I'm ready to get back at writing, and posting, and hopefully there's enough left in the month to get a significant number of words written.

(He's stuffed.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Terrible Tuesday and Word-War Wednesday

Sorry for missing the post yesterday. Since I hit 50k, I was a little burnt out for writing and took a day to recover. I wrote absolutely nothing yesterday.

Time to get back at it! And what better way to do that than to have a word war?

For this week, let's see how many words we can write in ten minutes again, but with a twist.

Do five sessions of ten minute sprints, then average your word counts. This isn't just a word sprint. It's a challenge to see how well we can write over time. It seems easy enough to crank out words in ten minute intervals. But to do that consistently is another matter.

Have fun!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Method Mondays

I reached 50,000 words!!!!!!!

Thanks to a write-in hosted by my friend Inspie_Girl, I was able to write 4,609 words today, bringing me just 100 words over the top of NaNoWriMo's traditional goal.

I've never hit 50k this early, and other years it's been a struggle to barely get enough words. So why is this year different?


As I've mentioned before, I've been using a combination of the Snowflake method and the Phase Drafting method. I was a little scared that putting so much time into an experimental outlining method without testing it first was risky. What if November came and I started writing, only to realize that my outline wasn't helping me get what I wanted?

But it has paid off. It is SO EASY to write using these methods and here's why I think it works: It separates the decision making process from the actual writing process.

I know not everyone writes using outlines and honestly, sometimes outlining is a pain. But outlining so far in advance this year has made it wonderful.

Good luck in your continued writing adventures! I'm off to write the next 50k! (But not tonight, of course.)

(To be confirmed by the NaNoWriMo word count bots on November 25)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Surplus Sunday

It's quarter to 8 and I've already reached my word goal for the day, and I don't feel like writing anything more.
My husband and I put up our first ever Christmas tree together yesterday and it looks soooo joyful and Christmasy that I'm getting distracted thinking about Christmas.

My husband also bought me a chocolate orange yesterday, just because. (Awwww. :)
To keep myself motivated, I'm going to eat one slice of chocolate orange for every 1,000 words I write. (Also sharing one with the husband, of course!)

I'm going to eat a starter slice first though, just to let my taste buds know what I'm missing as I write.

Ready, set, BURST!

*kitteh is curious about chocolate orange*

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Folly Friday and Something Saturday

Well, yesterday I took a break from writing. I was a little burned out. Sorry about not posting.

But today I was able to recoup my word count. Now I just have to get today's 3,333 words out of the way and I'll be good to go until tomorrow.

We'll see you then once I have more time and don't forget to post! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thicken Thursdays

Time to thicken up those plots again!

Last week I added an ottendorf cypher to mine, and I only just got around to writing about it yesterday. I'd say it added about 800 words to my novel (not to mention all the words it will create in the future) and probably %10 intrigue to my plot. I already have a labyrinth, a headless horseman, mountain goats, a dragon, an argyria-stricken cult group, and seven mystical islands. How possibly could I cram anything more in?

This time I'm going to thicken my plot by adding something not quite so fantastical. My main character is going to become one of the villains...without even knowing it. Well, she knows it, but doesn't.
She basically dresses up and passes herself off as the secondary villain character to escape impending doom. But what she doesn't realize is that she's not just playing dress up. People actually take her seriously and carry out her orders. Without meaning to, she kind of throws her fellow servants under the bus while at the same time strengthening and saving her enemies.

I like this twist because my main character has spent her entire life opposing this villain, only to become her. Not only will this thicken the plot, but I needed a way to make my main character simmer down from her revengeful and prideful ways. Becoming the villain kind of makes her start to realize that perhaps revenge is not the best way to deal with her mother's death.

Anyways, I could continue and probably end up spilling my entire plot here if I don't stop. (Before November, my outline was 50k words already so trust me, you don't want to hear the entire plot right now.)

So I challenge you today, if you're writing, to add something in to your story that you didn't plan on having there this morning. It can be a huge plot twist, or it can be a side thing that's small and out of the story again within a few paragraphs. Throwing yourself surprises is one way to keep your story fresh and new.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Word War Wednesdays

Ok, everyone. I'm at a coffee shop and ready to write!

Tonight, I'm going to see how many words I can write in ten minutes. If I feel up to it, I'll try it more than once and attempt to beat my own time.

Good luck, all! Go! Build your wordy worlds!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trip Tuesday

Sorry, guys. I wasn't able to do location writing at all today.

But I can tell you where I would like to have been writing. This place:

No idea where it is, but isn't it gorgeous?

Word count: 26,848. I'm at the 25k mark! Yay!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Method Monday - four simple words

Hi all.

I'll be quick, but wanted to post about a neat little trick I discovered for boosting word count AND keeping your plot on track.

I was writing according to my outline, when suddenly things took an unplanned turn. I began writing a completely different scene that wasn't in the outline and realized if I was going to continue with it, I would end up down a large rabbit trail that would threaten the continuity of my plot.
So I added these 4 simple words and it fixed everything:
"But that's another story."

It enabled me to keep the couple paragraphs of words I had written, therefore upping my word count, and I was able to get back to my original plans for the story. Plus, it leaves that "other story" wide open for an extra short story I can write later on the side, or incorporate some other time. It adds background to the story, gives the appearance of depth, and shows the reader that there's more to the story than is being told.

Anyways, hope that helps! Got any methods about writing or reaching 50k you'd like to share?

(Edit: Word count at the end of Monday is 23,451. I'm on track for 100k!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Surplus Sunday

It's 4:07 pm. I have until 5:40 when I have to leave for a church event.
Time to write!

My goal: write a surplus of words, as many as I can. It doesn't matter if a reach a certain goal or meet a certain deadline. I'm already way ahead on my word count so anything I write today will be surplus to tide me over in case I have (will have) lean days.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could go to a surplus store and buy people's extra words? Well, maybe you can't actually buy other people's words, but perusing a surplus store of random things could help to boost your word count by giving you extra inspiration for writing.

I went to one the other day and only had 6 minutes before they closed to pick stuff out. I found a gas mask, a bunch of random electronic parts, and some plastic gears. I didn't buy any of them, but that gas mask is still stuck in my mind. I'm always a softie for biohazard stories, and while I know I'm NOT going to include a biohazard in my story (I've already got a dragon, mind-control, and a subterranean labyrinth), it has sparked my creativity. The fear that a mass break-out of a biohazard causes is similar to the effect I was looking for.

So go out and write those surplus words! Or find them in random objects at a thrift store. Either way works.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sanctuary Saturday


Yesterday was a long writing sprint for me. For some reason the 7,000 words I wrote on Nov. 2 didn't seem quite as long as the 5,000 words I wrote yesterday. I think that's because I'm getting into the part of the plot that I really care about. You know how writer's often give advice to other writers about taking the first 2 or 3 chapters they right and deleting them completely? I think I might have to do that when I start making my revisions after November. Because the story really starts to pick up in chapter five.

These past four days I've written in several different places. More than I ever have before. But not once have I sat down at my actual desk to write. I find that kind of odd. It's not that I don't like my desk. In fact, my husband went out and bought me the exact desk I had labeled as my dream desk without me even telling him about it. I've also spent months getting it set up just the way I want to.

So why haven't I written there? Probably because it's messy, but also because it's tucked away in a different room where no one else visits and I would feel very isolated there. Don't get me wrong, I love the isolation for writing. But I'm hesitant to go there because it takes commitment.

If I sequester myself in that room at my desk, it means there are no other distractions, no one else to talk to. It's just me and my book. I have to be pretty committed to only writing my novel while I'm there, and as much as I love writing, that doesn't seem appealing to me right now. I'd almost rather be in a place where I can get distracted because then I can take mini breaks.
But I know the time will come when I need complete isolation, and then I'll go to my desk.

What is your writing sanctuary? How does it work for you? Why did you choose that particular spot?

It could be a regular seat at a coffee shop, a closet you've turned into an office, or the living room couch or kitchen table. I know of one person who writes in the bathtub!

Whatever it is, enjoy it and plan to use it well as we head into week two of NaNoWriMo. Good luck everyone!

Word Count: 17,854

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fast Fridays

I don't work on Fridays. So I was hoping that today I'd spend the entire time writing.

After waking up late, going to work for an hour for some last minute stuff, and getting sidetracked by an estate sale on the way to my writing spot, I'm finally here at Caribou ready to write.

I also have yet to go grocery shopping, which means I only have a few hours to pound out some words. I am going to have to write really fast.

So here goes! Every Friday I'm going to attempt to write double my daily word count. My goal is to reach 100,000 words by the end of November, which means my daily goal is 3,333. By the end of today, I need to have written 6,666 words to make double.

If anyone's joining me on this, good luck!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thicken Thursdays

Sometimes during NaNoWriMo, you end up with a plot that seems to go nowhere. Or you just don't know what's going to happen next.

Or sometimes your plot goes along just fine and it's not a challenge at all and you find yourself wondering what's so interesting about your story anyway.

Throwing a proverbial wrench into the mix can do a lot of things for a story.

I've been outlining my novel for eight months and have everything almost completely decided upon. But, in honor of Thicken Thursdays, I'm going to throw something completely new into my plot to thicken it up: an ottendorf cypher.

I was thinking of National Treasure today, and realized I really liked the code they used on the back of the declaration of independence.

What will you choose to thicken your plot? Or do you have ideas for other people that don't quite fit with your story, but you want to share anyways?

Happy writing!

Word Count: 9,413

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Word-War Wednesdays

I challenge you!

Today, let's see how many words we can each write in, say, an hour. Post your results in the comments below.

I find that word wars are great for the first couple days of NaNoWriMo. I'm usually hesitant when I first start because I haven't gotten into the flow of my novel yet. Forcing myself to pump out words and forget about worrying if they're the right ones or not helps get me in the mood to write the good ones later on.

Feel free to use Write or Die or any other method of timing your words. Good luck! (I'll post my results in the comments as well.)

It's a Word War!
Word Count: 7468

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trip Tuesday

This morning, and I mean really early this morning, I did my location writing at IHOP near Mall of America.

I joined in with several other NaNoWriMo people and we counted down to midnight, then wrote madly for a twenty minute word war. It was interesting to write in a restaurant surrounded by other people, all typing as fast as possible. It was quite the motivation sound track.

Being in a place I've never been before seemed appropriate for starting a new novel, because I had to put myself inside the main character's shoes, and every scene was new to me. I think it helped me focus on developing the opening scene.

Did you attend a write-in? Where did you start writing at midnight?

I challenge you to find at least one location this week outside of your normal writing routine, just to see what it does for your writing.

Day 1 Word Count: 4,457