Ensign’s Log, Stardate 04.11.2012: First week of NaNoWriMo impressions are as follows –
1. Being forced to wait to November to start writing made for…an interesting insight. I found myself impatient to begin, even though I had not yet figured out many essential things that would completely derail my plot (I know this from experience) if I got to that point without figuring them out. Being forced to NOT write but to while away my remaining time only able to world-build, develop characters, or muck out plot meant that I am probably more prepared to write this story than any other story I’ve attempted previously. Also, I am not making the mistake I made writing Otherside, which was to micro-outline scenes. No, this time I am only delving into characters, fleshing them out more, seeing what makes them tick, their motives, desires, and what they might do if XYZ were to happen while leaving most scene-details untouched. Fascinating how much more confident I feel–but also how I don’t feel like I’ve taken the fun out of the discovery process. It’s great to get to know myself better. So thanks, NaNo.
2. Writing a “choose your own adventure” game à la Choice of Games makes accruing NaNo wordcount amazingly simple. Since I started writing a scene near the beginning of my game that isn’t vastly different depending on your starting variables, I essentially have been rewriting the same two scenes in different ways. This includes lots of copying and pasting and tinkering. Also, game-design itself and crafting nuts and bolts are so…invigorating. I might have to make ChoiceScript a NaNoWriMo tradition.
3. Oh my goodness, my competitive streak might do me in. Someone once said (behind my back, but which has since caught up to me) that I’m unbelievably competitive…and ignorant of that fact and that it can be amusing to watch how I blithely compete when the rest of my competitors aren’t so blithe. Well, I’m no longer as ignorant of it, (oops? or as blithe?) but man. Adding tons of people to my NaNo buddy list and watching their word meters go up and up makes me want to make MINE go up and up, too! Pace yourself, Laura. Pace yourself or you’re going to collapse like the Hare vs. that Tortoise. Thank goodness for Sundays as built-in rest & reevaluation days. (Also, I don’t understand how some writers can write all day for 7 days a week. How in the world do your wells stay filled? Don’t you know that having a life outside of writing is important? Or are you just built differently than I am…)
4. Embroidery is the best mindless creative activity known to man. (Yes, to man, not to wo-man. I heartily submit that statement for both of its meanings and ironies.)
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Lieutenant’s Log, Stardate 05.11.2012
Question for the universe. Does Guy Fawkes day take place in future-space? Hmmm.
Today is my first official non-Sunday break day. Yay, Mondays. I am so freaking exhausted. The upside is that this means I can buy one of Choice of Games’ latest games for research purposes and play it. I may still try to put in an hour later tonight, we will see how it goes. Now it’s rest time.
Still, since my goal is 20k and I’ve already done 5k+ I’ve decided that I will reward myself when I reach and exceed my goals. If I hit 20k, I will buy myself a inexpensive treat.
Lieutenant’s Log, Stardate 10.11.2012
I wore myself out last week to the point of needing to collapse totally on Tuesday and so I read in bed the whole day. Thankfully that seemed to work to get my body back into some sort of gear. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I had good me-productive days. Though I think I overshot myself again yesterday (Friday). I did a writing session of 1k in the morning, I worked on a project for some people in the afternoon, and in the evening I did some bilingual translation edits. That last bit was a mistake, but I had a bit of a self-esteem hit and I wanted to work on it to feel better about myself, so I did.
That seems to be a trend. If I feel bad, I work on something, though I’m getting to the point that, as the year draws to a close, I would really really like to have finished or accomplished one of my long list of projects. When NaNo is over I’ll have to reevaluate my projects and see if I can get one of them finished by December’s end.
My tastes are eclectic and I have a lot of projects, but now and then all it does is make me feel like a “Jack of all trades and an expert of none”. …And yet I can’t seem to make myself hyper-focused on any one thing enough to become expert, it’s too useful to have a variety of projects that I can match to how well I feel per day or time of day.
The good news is that I pretty much have 2 scene sequences finished in my game, Scene 1 and Scene 3. I’m also at 11k of my 20k personal goal, so I’m ahead!
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Commander’s Log. 14.11.2012
Ahahaha. I have reached the “this sucks and I’m a terrible writer” mid-project slump. Never fear, I will continue on, but it’s still frustrating to go back and read what I’ve written and cringe at it. Yaaaay.
The good news is that I have some more ideas for Part 2 when I get there.
Commander’s Log. 15.11.2012
I did my 1k, rested a lot, read some of a new book to try to regain myself, and I just got done playing through what’s finished of my game so far. With some fresh perspective…I’m relieved to note it’s not half bad.
Thank all that’s good in this world.
Also, now I’m amused to note I was complaining just yesterday about how horrible it is. Oh the joys of being a writer. Sometimes it’s hard to see the merit of something you’ve gone over too many times or are too close to. NOTE TO FUTURE SELF. lol
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Captain’s Log. 18.11.2012
So, Austin Beckstrom in my NaNoWriMo region decided to try his hand at a 30 Covers in 30 Days challenge for us. Very cool and nice of him! Here’s what he did for mine:
A very nice surprise waiting for me in my inbox on an otherwise very, very long day.
In other news, tonight is also the annual NaNoWriMo Night of Writing Dangerously. A friend of mine is at the event and I think that is AWESOME. Also, now we both have a hankering to go on a writing retreat next year for our yearly vacation. I haven’t been a fan of a live-in workshops in the past, though, which is what most SF&F open-to-the-public “retreat” opportunities seem to be. At least my experience with the one I attended 12 years back wasn’t very good, though I put a good face on it at the time.
But a low-key retreat where all you do is write together in a very awesome setting? That might be cool….
Captain’s Log. 21.11.2012
I now have a string of red-days. Life…completely hit the fan. And I don’t care about what anyone says about “You can write through anything.” Sometimes you can’t, and that’s okay. It really is. I mean, Monday I had to sit with my Grandpa all day because he needed my attention, no joke, every 30 seconds. No, I am not exaggerating at all. That’s just the way it was. Yesterday was its own special brand of awful, too, which I won’t go into, and so today I am paying for it. I might be able to write something later tonight, but writing this right now is like dragging a rack through my chest, so maybe not.
Later: I vowed not to return to browse Kickstarter again this year, but via Twitter Kickstarter came to me. (Oops?) In the spirit of “choose your own” novels, I just backed To Be or Not to Be: That is Your Adventure illustrated by sooo many of my favorite artists.
Captain’s Log. 23.11.2012
Just completed my first 1k of the week. Yep, it’s Friday the day after Thanksgiving. And it’s the first day in what feels like forever that I don’t feel like a gunky, worn-out dishrag.
However, the real nice news related to this project is that yesterday my sister played through what’s completed of my game so far and she liked it. What’s more, the parts I was worried about being boring she didn’t have a problem with. So that was nice.
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Admiral’s Log. 25.11.2012
So, I’ve been basically working on two projects this month: Legend of Little Fox game and embroidering my summer dress, since one is brain intensive and the other is mindless. Yesterday I finished my dress and I wore it today (Sunday) to Church, so that felt really great.
This month I’ve also handwritten 4 pages (front and back) of notes and scene snippets for my historical mystery trilogy I’ve been working on off and on. I also completed a scene in Queen of the Eight Banners. As this month draws to a close, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do or accomplish in the next two months. Even despite the events of this past week, I am going to make my goal of 20k, which makes me very happy.
Now, I have to remember that the 20k is rather inflated, since I basically write 500 new words for every 1k that goes into the game. So, essentially, I’ve written 10k this month. I’ve done this before while being ill. June of last year I wrote about 10k while writing the scenes I felt comfortable in on my novel, knowing pretty much beforehand how they were supposed to go. Still, I’ve felt constantly worn out, and I haven’t been able to work on anything else unless it was mindless, such as embroidery.
Not that embroidery is a bad thing, it’s just not something like, say, translation. Or my novella that has taken me over a year to finish.
So I guess for this log entry I want to lay down a few December guidelines.
- Try to write for 1 hr each day, 4-5 days a week. Essentially, drop the word-count goal and go back to time-spent goal. This is to make sure I don’t push myself needlessly hard on days where the scenes are difficult, and it rewards me on days when words are flowing more easily.
- Focus on Queen of the Eight Banners, that’s still this year’s top priority. I don’t want to abandon my game completely, so I’ll continue to work on it at least once a week, but Queen will get the majority of working days until I get my full rough draft done.
Also, I know it’s atypical to reward yourself for finishing 20/50k for NaNo, but I think I will still declare myself an official winner this year. It’s not every day that a participant can’t physically reach 50k in a month due to health reasons. It’s like I’m running in the special Olympics? Plus, I have a convenient way to make 50. 20k on the game + 6k planning document + 25k novella set in the same world. See? 51k. I know, it still may not be “ethical” because it doesn’t follow all the exact “rules” but I won’t do this every year. I know, I know. Rationalization.
Who knows, I may decide it’s cheating by tomorrow.
Admiral’s Log. 28.11.2012
I DID IT! I FINISHED MY 20K! I now have 20,158 words in Legend of Little Fox. That translates to
-Part One nearly completed for the Shaman option, I’m only missing 3 scenes based off of various options you could choose. (2 short, 1 longer)
-2/3 of Part One completed for the Warrior and Shepherdess options.
I think the story’s pacing is also working rather well.
Mmmmm. It feels so good to make this goal. It was really hard! I definitely need a break, though. This month has burnt me out in various ways. So I think I’ll take the remainder of the month off for any sort of writing goal. I should probably try to catch up some of my other responsibilities, anyway. 😄
Admiral’s Log. 30.11.2012
Well, I decided to go ahead and “cheat” and declare myself a NaNoWriMo winner (need 50k to do that) because I made my own 20k health-adjusted goal. Then I spent all of yesterday watching my new favorite TV series (which happens to be a k-drama). It’s a historical paranormal murder mystery. Incredibly awesome.
December will be full of writing and alpha-reading. See you then!
For the curious, monthly stats:
Hours: 21 [monthly avg: 10]
Wordcount: 20k game-words, (probably closer to 10k non-repeating) [monthly avg for 2012: 3k]
Yessiree, Bob, I be tired. Though I did manage 10k in June 2011 under similar conditions. (I knew the scenes rather well before I wrote them.)