Tag Archives: Fiction

Idol’s idols

“I was going to write like James Branch Cabell, which would have taken a lot of doing. Before that, I was going to write like Rafael Sabatini, and like Talbot Munday, and like Rider Haggard, and even, God help us, like Edgar Rice Burroughs. …  Eventually I decided to write like H. Beam Piper, only a little better. I am still trying.”

H. Beam Piper, The double:bill Symposium interview

NaNoWriMo 2009 "Won"

It’s done, one day ahead of schedule – I “won” NaNoWriMo 2009.

NaNoWriMo 2009 Winner

This year, it was particularly hard. Not only do I have a new job which kept me quite occupied, I also did not have any furniture at home, having just moved into a new apartment. Like last year, I encountered mental resistance to the project after some time, and just like last year I asked myself, “why the hell am I doing this?”

I am doing this, of course, to teach myself to be “creative” to a schedule. I did a better job of this than last year. I wrote on fewer days of the month than last year, and got much more done on those days. And while I did not complete the story yet, I am quite close.

What made all the difference is that I followed one of the lessons learned from last year: This time I created an outline ahead of time. Some adjustments were necessary, as I moved the story form one of my worlds to another, but these were relatively minor. I did not complete the story yet, but I am very close; another 2-3 days will get me there so unlike last year, I will get to “The End”. It’s still a crappy story, so unless I edit it into something fairly nice I won’t be posting it. 😉

I am not sure whether I will do NaNoWriMo 2010, but unless some other big project interferes, I probably will. I’ll try to take some days off of work next year, though: If I have an outline and write every day, I should be able to easily complete a story in the 30 days.

To blog or not to blog fiction…

First off, a happy 2009 to all of you. I hope that you all had fun celebrating the advent of the new year, and that it will be a successful year for you.

I have worked on outlining that serialized fiction set in Arnâron I talked about last month, and I think I am fairly happy with the outline. It’s not gonna be the next bestseller, but for my purposes – advancing the world Arnâron – it will suffice. However, there’s one thing I have been mulling over that you guys might be able to give me an opinion on:

If and when I write these episodes, and if I and my “guinea pig” (I think the more correct term is “beta reader”) then think they are not totally terrible, what do I do with them?

Intuitively, I thought that I should just put them on the blog, but this is not really a fiction blog. Besides that would give them a sort of finality and I couldn’t go back and fix broken things. On the other hand, I do not really want to bury them in my document repository. Critique, feedback, and open development are Good Things. So what should I do with them?

Decisions, decisions!

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #25 – We have a Winner

When I logged in to the NaNoWriMo website today to update my wordcount (only by a little, the evening is still young), I was greeted with a big logo:

I had expected to submit my story once more, to trigger winning manually, but that was not necessary.

So I won. I managed to write more than 50,000 words in under a month. Yay!

If you followed my NaNoWriMo diary, you know that my novel is still unfinished. I fully intend to complete it, but I think there is little point in posting about my updated word count for another five days. I’ll keep you guys posted on the progress, and on the eventual rewrite, but I think daily updates are no longer necessary.

Thank you for following my journey this month!

_Update: Do check out the NaNoWriMo Post-mortem._

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #24

Word count: 55041 (+929 from day 23). (53397 after compensating for the OpenOffice word count bug.)

Today I failed.

I wrote a mere 929 words today, way below the NaNoWriMo “quota” of 1667 words. I know, I know – not only are 1667 words an average per day, I am also at 53397 words according to NaNoWriMo’s word counter. I can afford to slack off a little. I still wrote 929 words, which is, well, a whole lot better than the zero words I was tempted to write today. The energy and motivation was just not there, and again I feel it shows in the (lack of) quality of my writing.

Wordcount as of 2008-11-24

The temptation to just stop is quite big at the moment. I really do want to complete the story, though. I keep telling myself that the NaNoWriMo “victory” means nothing if I don’t make it to “The End”.

From the plot perspective, I got the first step of the resolution in place now. Today’s 900 words were the foundation of part of the climactic action, so it was progress and not just increased word count.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #23

Word count: 54112 (+1757 from day 22). (52523 after compensating for the OpenOffice word count bug.)

Not much to talk about today. I had to force myself to actually write, and I think the quality of today’s section shows it. Never mind, that we can fix later. I really, really need to get this thing done in a kind of tour de force, I think, because it’s a real chore now and I want to work on other things again.

NaNoWriMo is over in a week, so an end is in sight. I think I will not do the rewrite / editing in December. I will not touch the story in at least a month. But first I need to get it done.

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #22

Word count: 52355 (+1998 from day 21). (50781 after compensating for the OpenOffice word count bug.)

Good news everyone: I officially made the NaNoWriMo goal today. (Yesterday, as I have done lately I write this posting the next morning, on the 23rd.) The NaNoWriMo website gives me a corrected word count of 50781. Of course I am not nearly done with the story, and so this does not really feel like a victory, but rather like a major milestone.

I am still glad I made it, of course.

I had some trouble last night because the way I approached the resolution to my plot turned out to be impossible. It was fairly easy to change it, however. Nevertheless it required me to backtrack through a lot of what I had written over the past days, and correct it to match the new version of events. That took up way too much time, and I probably introduced inconsistencies.

Time to remember my mantra: December is for editing and rewriting.

I have started to use the “correct” word count on my NaNoWriMo profile page, so you’ll actually see a drop in the word count there. I am now tracking both counts in my own statistics, and I added it as an extra graph in the chart:

Wordcount as of 2008-11-22

NaNoWriMo 2008, Day #21

Word count: 50357 (+1896 from day 20). (But the word-count is slightly bugged.)

So there we go, including the Openoffice bug, I reache 50,000 words. It’s not quite the great achievement, because I know I am roughly two to three thousand words below it. But this weekend shall be my victory weekend. In fact, I will try my best to push ahead, because I am really, really tired of writing this thing.

Not much to say about the whole thing. My protagonists are on their way to the grand finale, but of course there’s still much ahead of them.

Wordcount as of 2008-11-21

I am glad I am doing NaNoWriMo, but I will also be glad when it is over.