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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Hatrack Groups » Nanowrimo 2009 (Page 5)

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Author Topic: Nanowrimo 2009
Unwritten
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quote:
I broke 25,000 words. Woohoo!
But I really don't want to see the repair bill.

Congratulations! I made it too! 25,025 words, and now I'm taking a break. I've got to regroup. The story is still exciting but the writing is not even meeting my purposely low standards.

I'm still waiting for the moment when it all comes together and I can see where I'm going. As of this moment, I have one more scene where I know what I'm going to do. I also know how it ends but there's a HUGE chasm yawning between here and there.

Do I have the courage to step off that cliff?

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 14, 2009).]


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SavantIdiot
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I broke 25,000 words. Woohoo!
But I really don't want to see the repair bill.
------------------
I don't care who you are; that's funny!

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genevive42
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Okay, now I have a picture of a battlefield covered with broken words. There's a solitary figure in the middle of it, the writer, and she is looking down at a pile of forsaken words and letters in her hands. Her only thought, "My God, what happened here?"

Okay, enough for melodrama.

Unwritten, you talked about how you've discovered the nature of the first draft being a learning experience. I've just recently come to understand that myself. A few months ago I started to get it and realize that the novel I had written and so lovingly nurtured for years needed a lot of work. I still believe in that story but I am going to approach it from a completely new standpoint and do a lot more world building that I hadn't realized I needed. But now I am working on my NaNo story and I am starting fresh with the new approach I've discovered. I don't know which one I'm going to start editing first come January.

I do like the idea that NaNo presents. I'm thinking that it would be a good way to approach any new novel concept to test it out. That way, if it doesn't work then not too much time has been lost. If one month is too short, maybe make it six or eight weeks, but keep a tight schedule to get the benefits of speed writing. Next time I start a new piece, I'm going to try this. Of course, there's always next year's NaNo.

On another note. I thought I had a short section that was going to be easy to write. I should've known better. There are two scenes that are needed that just revealed themselves to me. If I don't write them, I will not like this section so I might as well write them now. They're going to be fun, character oriented scenes though. I'm just anxious to finish this section because in the next one I get to put a couple of the characters through hell.


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SavantIdiot
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Unwritten & Genevieve; me too. I actually sent of the novel I sweated over for the last year to an editor because it wasn't meshing together well enough. The PROBLEM for me is just what unwritten said (or was it someone else?) is that when I write that slowly I lose the thread I had at the beginning. This thing I have written for NaNo I think holds together better and isn't losing itself in itself. Well, I plan on stopping it aroung 50k, too, so it is half as big as the other.

So I, too, am going to start the other one over and write it quickly so it stays fresher in my head. This one is turning out way better than I expected.

I am roaring past 42K now. I suspect I will hit 50K in the next few days. I am amazed at myself.


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ArmadonRK
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Passed 13k quite easily tonight, and if I keep a similar pace the rest of the month, I can get this done easily.

I did stumble a bit tonight, falling into an old habit, which is framing dialogue cinematically. This is probably the one truly great flaw in the way I write. I often get so absorbed in the conversation, I forget everything else and just write enormous blocks of text in quotation marks.

Fortunately, when I realized my mistake, I was able to go back and make some changes, remembering that one segment of chapter 11 of OSC's Characters and Viewpoint that has improved my writing more than anything else ever has: the three pages titled Attitude.

So I owe Mr. Card a thank you, for reminding me there's more to a conversation than just the words being spoken.

And for helping me pad my word count.

[This message has been edited by ArmadonRK (edited November 15, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by ArmadonRK (edited November 15, 2009).]


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LAJD
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I"VE FOUND IT... THE SECRET TO UNLOCKING MID MONTH NANO SLUMP...

THE SLUMP-O-MATIC.....

OK, I'll stop yelling at you now..... Actually, I found this really bizzarre picture and in a fit of Nano-induced procrastination I did a blog entry about this. It's truly amazing how much I got done this weekend just by procrastinating around Nano.....too funny.

http://www.leslieadow.com/?p=25


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Owasm
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I enjoyed your blog entry, Leslie.

I haven't hit a slump yet, but I just wrote a very boring episode that will definitely be changed in the next draft. It just about put me to sleep. The MC is going to have to get more out of it.

I'm up to eighty-one thousand seven hundred words. The trick is write and NEVER LOOK BACK. If you do, just as Leslie said, you lose time.

I'm still on track to finish this puppy this month. I'm flying back to Wash DC for Thanksgiving and hope I can use my laptop on the flight. That's nine hours (battery willing) of writing.

I've seen some of my buddies on track and some haven't started. Keep those fingers pounding the keys!

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited November 16, 2009).]


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ScardeyDog
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I had a pretty bad weekend writing-wise. We were up visiting my parents so my wordcount is still at 21K. This week is also going to be rough - we're going back Thursday night, and I doubt I will get any writing next weekend either.
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LAJD
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yep, clearly leslie had too much coffee tonight...LOL!!!!

going to bed now.....


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genevive42
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Leslie, the Slump-O-Matic rocks!

I have to say though that I haven't hit a true slump. There have been a few slow patches but nothing that made me not want to write.

I have spent the last three Sundays at Starbucks with my netbook for an obnoxious number of hours. But it keeps me from getting distracted. I bought the netbook specifically for NaNo and have to say it was well worth it.

Today I wrote about 4600 words. I am absolutely loving the section I am on and can't wait to get back to it. Lots of great character stuff.

I just topped 30,000 words.

Keep going y'all.


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Unwritten
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I spent the weekend reading Catching Fire instead of writing. My husband was less than pleased that I thought I could read AND write this month. I was saving it for my reward on December 1, but I made the mistake of opening it. Oh, it's good stuff.

Midway through, she wrote a sentence that pretty much sums up the whole first 25,000 words of my Nano book. "We run and lift things and stretch our muscles." Man, I want to edit. I'm even thinking of changing to first person right here in the middle--which would be ironic considering the first time I did Nanowrimo I made the mistake of starting in first and changing to third mid-way through. I swore I'd never write in first again, but my book is screaming for it.

On the other hand, the thought of writing in present tense makes me shiver like I just heard fingernails scraping down the chalkboard. It worked in Catching Fire though. I never even noticed it.

The month is half way done my friends. This is where things get exciting. Good luck!


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Rhaythe
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Stupid chest cold. Lost two days to writing. Luckily I'm pretty far ahead, so no real worries, but it's broken my stride.

Eh well.


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Kitti
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@ Rhaythe - I know the feeling. I'm finally starting to emerge from the grips of swine flu and really annoyed that I've basically had to let my nano project sit for over a week. Grrr. Stupid diseases. They have no respect for authorial deadlines :-)
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darklight
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Right now my back is killing me. I've been sat on this chair far too long today, long enough to write 5,000 words exactly!

It's been good/bad day. Writing good/everything else bad, including a vow never to shop at my usual supermarket again. If they won't give me the £72 in vouchers that they own me from august (which I was relying on for Christmas) then I'm not giving them any more of my money. End of story.

Total words for november thus far: 39,000.

Kitti and Rhaythe, hope you're both feeling better soon.

[This message has been edited by darklight (edited November 16, 2009).]


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Rhaythe
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Thanks, Darklight. Hang in there, Kitti!

PS: 41k broken! 9k to go! Though, I'm only about 65% done with the story, so I wonder if I'll actually finish it by the 30th.


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LAJD
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Oh, Raythe! that is great. congrats.

I've been slow for a few days gathering research and thoughts but I'm doing better now. Logged about 1500 words so far today and plan to do more.
Leslie


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sjsampson
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50k
*does a happy dance*

I am learning so much this nano:

There are definitely key things that have been added to my story that wouldn't be there if I didn't feel pressured to write. For example, I had a scene where I needed something to happen, but I didn't know how to go about it. The first time I tried to write the scene it badly derailed and went in a direction that made me very unhappy. I tried again with the same result. It wasn't until we had a "word war" (equivalent of the sprints mentioned earlier by LAJD) at the write-in I attended that the scene managed to come out in a way that made sense for my character.

I LIKE my story. (It seems like a weird thing to learn, but I think it is important if you are going to spend a lot of time on something...)

I need to work on setting up my scenes better. It's nano, so I suppose these things are to be expected, but I will get through part of a scene and realize I forgot to mention an important detail that was needed at the moment. I end up adding things like "And he was wearing boots."


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Unwritten
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Congratulations sjsampson! That's awesome.

Well I broke down and edited just a smidgen tonight. Should I ever mention writing in first person again, someone just please knock me on the head.

I'm at 26,705 words and right when everyone else is starting to think about word wars and sprints I'm thinking about slowing down, because I'm not quite sure how to get from here to there now.

Do I want her to stay in the Capitol and use her mother's connections to do some spying?

Does she believe all the horrible things people are saying about Chris/Brandon?

Is the final stage of her journey going to be a major part of this book? It was originally going to be, but I'm just about journeyed out.

Which of the characters she has met are going to stick with her? and why?

Is this book meant to be a stand alone book or am I setting the stage for a sequel?

If someone could just spoon feed me the answers to these and many other questions I'll sleep better tonight. Thanks.


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KayTi
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Remember that what you write for Nano doesn't have to be how the story ACTUALLY goes/ends. You can write it one way in Nano, and heck, if you still need the word count, write the scene/section in another way (or have the character take a different course of action.) Make notes to yourself about what you were thinking to do - "either use this part or the part afterwards, but remember to change the guy's car color to blue." - even notes count for word count purposes, if you wrote them during nano!

I'm up to 28,0001 words as of today, which is a smidge ahead. Just a smidge.

Did some fun word sprints in the last day that helped me stay focused. Found that I could even benefit from self-imposed word sprints without a writing partner to compare notes to afterwards. Gives me something to post to facebook at the very least.

My biggest lesson learned: Next book, don't set it on a spaceship/space station. I'm finding the hallway/common areas structure entirely too limiting. All three of my Nano projects have taken place on space ships or space stations. Hmm...


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Owasm
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I've hit nearly 87,000 words tonight. I hadn't intended this to be a 5,000 word night, but the Monday Night Football game wasn't very exciting.

I've got some interesting questions to answer next session. Is the guy who he spilled his guts to really his friend? Or is his servant a spy for a rival wizard? Just thought of that. Hmmm.

It's good to see a lot of people making progress. Some have fallen by the wayside, but that's the nature of these things.

Keep your head down and write, write, write.


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genevive42
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Monday was super busy at work so I didn't get any writing done there. But then I got home, had dinner and FELL ASLEEP. I didn't realize I was that tired. Between couch sleeping time and actual having gone to bed sleeping time I slept eleven hours last night. I can't believe I did that.

I'm a little ahead so it's not too detrimental but I keep getting ahead on Sunday and then start slowly losing my word cushion over the week. And I'm having fun with this part too.

I usually hang out with my boyfriend on Tuesdays but he'll understand if I say I need to NaNo. We'll see how work goes today. Hopefully I'll have some progress by tomorrow and keep some of that cushion I worked so hard to get.


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ScardeyDog
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I had a nap after work on Monday too. Luckily not for 11 hours though, so I still got some writing in.

I'm farther behind than I would like, and this weekend isn't going to be any better, but I knew that coming in. I'm trying to just soldier through a couple thousand more words this week and have a big push at the end.

Despite this being a terrible week for writing I am really loving nano. I gave my MC an unexpected head wound last week. I also decided after writing the first 10K that my MC was claustrophobic. This week I think someone she is becoming friends with will betray her. Fun times...


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Pyre Dynasty
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I haven't exactly fallen away, I just had a terrible week. Didn't get one word out. I was sick, not with a big flu or anything that would have kept me out of work, just with a general unhealthyness that made me feel like the inside of my head was growing while the outside was shrinking. I passed 7K today. I have done as much as 10K a day in the past I just need to do it. So I still believe that I can win.
Another thing that troubled me was Diablo II, I know I said that it was a good game to play while thinking about writing, but I forgot how addicting it is and how bad it is on actual productivity.
I need a good whack in the noggin and a big sack full of bloggin.

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Unwritten
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I past 30k today. Just barely. I still feel like there's an important element missing in the story. It probably has something to do with my two dimensional minor characters. Still, this is the most complicated plot line I've ever tried to write, and just getting the bare bones onto the screen is an accomplishment by itself.

I'd like to get to 40k by Saturday. I'm still waiting for that a-ha moment, and I'm hoping I didn't waste it when the beginning of the book went so smoothly.


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Owasm
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People are tipping into 50K land. Savantidiot (ribbit) and SJSampson among others. I see darklight is close.

It's great to see folks moving from the blue bar to the green on the NaNo meter.

I hit 92,400 tonight. I've averaged a bit over 5,400 words a day. I find it's getting harder, but I've finally circled around and caught up to my outline. I figure another 30K to finish this first book of what became a series in front of my eyes during Nano. I just have to follow the scenes I've sketched out. I figured out the ending. I'm not sure it offers enough closure but, hey this is a first draft.

Keep at it we've got 13 more days to NaNo!

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited November 18, 2009).]


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genevive42
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Hit 32,411 and still going strong. If it weren't 2am I'd keep going. But I left off in the middle of something so I'll have somewhere to go in the morning. Tomorrow is my day off and I have until 2:30pm before I have to go to a dentist appointment. After that, I'm going out to have some fun.

I'm finding that a fairly steady approach is working for me. I certainly have days where I get more done but that's mostly due to time available. Once I hit 30,000 the pressure diminished and I've just really gotten into my characters. There have been some small revelations, but surprisingly no major u-turns. But this is probably an 80,000 word novel so there's still a lot to be discovered.

Keep writing! We're going to make it. Yes, I mean all of us.


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genevive42
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Kitti, you started out sprinting. Are you still with us?
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darklight
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Ok, I've completely lost it. I've just had one of those headdesk momemts. I couldn't remember who had written Nineteen Eighty-Four. Seriously, I couldn't. In fact, I couldn't even remember that it was called Nineteen Eighty-Four. I just had Big Brother in my head--as my character was about to reference it--and my mind was blank. I had to use google!

Doing NaNo is not good for the brain.

43,000 words and still going, I think.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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It's stress-related, darklight. Even the best minds can only focus that deeply on a few things at a time.
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Kitti
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I'm sorta back, limping along but alive. Today's the first day in a week that I haven't been spiking a fever and have been able to put any real time into looking at a computer screen. Fingers crossed this means I'm actually on the mend....
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Rhaythe
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Ugh... so I lost this weekend to a chest cold, and I just lost the last two days to a double ear-infection. Wow. This has not been my week. Still stuck firmly at 41k, but I hope to change that tonight.

Hang in there Kitti. I'm in the mucky mire with you.

Oh, and I still say Owasm is a writing freak.

[This message has been edited by Rhaythe (edited November 18, 2009).]


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ScardeyDog
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Just passed 25K and it feels good.

Enough writing for tonight, I can no longer spell.


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Owasm
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I have a headache tonight. I could write for another hour or two, but I fear the first brush of burnout might exhibit itself.

What a marathon. 97.4K. Tomorrow I will certainly hit 100K. The story's got another 20K left in it before I bleed into the next volume. I will quit when I get the ending right and start on some edits over Thanksgiving weekend.

I'm glad to see the steady progress our group is making. Lots of time to get it done.


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KayTi
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I'm almost to 33k. I've been doing writing sprints on FB the last few nights and it's really helped keep my motivation up. I've been sprinting with someone who's not doing Nano, but you guys are welcome to join the ruckus. I'll smoke you, I do that.

Meanwhile, one of the things I enjoy about writing is that I get to stick in all kinds of little things that are important to me. Like I just inserted a baby sling into the storyline.

Hope everyone else is through the boggy middle, starting to think about ramping up to the second act climax and/or the major climax...


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Unwritten
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Yikes. I have never had writer's block as bad as I have it today. This is my last huge block of time to write without losing sleep for the whole month of November but I can't think of anything to say. Maybe I'll just go exercise. And when I come back, maybe I'll write some backstory. That might be more useful than trying to slog my way forward when I'm pretty sure I'm headed in the wrong direction.

Or maybe I'll break down and go as insane as some of the people on the Nanowrimo forums who try to make their story as weird as possible. No. I don't think I'll do that. It seems like the waste of a perfectly good month.

How do you cope with writer's block?


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darklight
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Unwritten, I've had that happen to me a couple of times this month. On both occasions, I've had my MC take a walk. First time he ended up at a diner, where he had an interesting conversation with an old friend. The second time, he met some people and from them, he got some information that will later tie in with the information he already has, and what he will soon discover, and be what drives him to find a solution to the problem.

I always find too that taking a shower helps. I always have good ideas in the shower, where I have no chance of writing them down. A couple of times I've had to say to one or other of my kids while rushing down stairs: Don't talk to me, I need to write down what's in my head before I forget it.

I've not written anything today, because right now, I need to figure out how to get him from where he is, to where he needs to go--his father's ship. There's something on there that he needs to help him bring about the solution, but he doesn't know it's there until he goes there, but unless he has a reason to go there, he won't find it. See what I mean? Since he's about to help someone who's in trouble, he might use it as a hiding place, but I think I need a better reason.

Anyhow, for your block, maybe just have you characters have a quiet moment, chill out or something, it usually works for me. I've also gone through the 'push through the block' approach, but I end up just wandering aimlessly for two or three hundred words and end up thinking, what was that all about?

Good luck with getting through this.


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Unwritten
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2751 words is all I have to show for my whole day of writing. That brings me up to 34355 words. I ended up making a cast of characters at the beginning and describing each character--which gave me almost a thousand words. :-)

I think that I'm trying to fit too much into 50,000 words. A lot of my world development has taken place as I'm writing, and so a lot of it is only in my head. So, for at least the next day or two, instead of trying to finish the story, I'm going to go backwards and fill in some of the holes, and see where I am at the end of that. I won't cut anything out, I'll just add.

Hopefully if I stop trying to force myself to figure out the next step I'll just wake up one morning knowing what it ought to be. If not...well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.


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Unwritten
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Thank you darklight for your suggestions. I get my best ideas when I'm on a long, slow walk with no pen or paper for at least a mile.

I've currently got my main character on her own purposeful walk to...somewhere. I haven't worked out the details yet.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If you're blocked about what comes in the next chapter, skip that chapter and write a chapter that comes later on or a chapter that's almost at the end.

Write whatever you know will happen eventually, even if you don't know how to get to it from where you've already written.

Sometimes, writing what you know has to happen later will give you ideas of what has to happen in between.


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genevive42
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34,545 words

Things are going smoothly. I've been doing a pretty good job of leaving my internal editor locked in the closet. Though sometimes I get stuck when I don't know how the next section is supposed to start. I'm even getting better at dealing with that. I usually just sit and think and can come up with it but I'm also not worrying too much because there's that chance that it'll get cut on the edit anyway. I'll worry about making it right when I'm sure I'm going to keep it.

For everyone who's been sick, I hope you feel better soon. Hang in there.

Should I mention that I did some of my NaNoing at the beach today? I am loving my netbook.


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Owasm
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My first goal was, of course, getting to 50,000 words in less than ten days. My second goal was getting to 100,000 words in less than twenty. My last goal is finishing the novel.

Today (it's 10:13pm MST), I hit my second goal. I'm pretty happy about it. Everything is moving ahead. My MC is about to get the stakes raised against him as he is stripped of his leadership of a small group and swept into a revolution. I've got about 20,000 words to get him to his absolute low point and sorta kinda triumph.

I'm seeing more green bars out in Nanoland. Keep it up. This is been fun. At least until I go through the first read.


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Unwritten
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Congratulations Owasm! I remember the first time I did Nanowrimo I wrote 109,000 words by December 9th when I finally came up for air. I did a lot more editing as I went that month too. I can't even imagine doing it again. I'm just in complete amazement that what you are doing is even possible. Keep it up!
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LAJD
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Congrats Owasm! You are an inspiration to me...wallowing here at 34K words...8)

I am on mission today though, got to try to push through to 40K because I hit the road tomorrow and then it's hanging out with the 'rents and my husband's highly dysfunctional sibs next week. (my family is of course perfectly functional or if not, at least thousands of miles away).

I hope to write some but I may end up back home next sunday with pretty much the same wordcount, depends on the drama level.

So, what is everyone else's strategy for Turkey week, those of you in the States that is?

Leslie


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Owasm
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In the spirit of NaNo, I created a cover for my novel with a little extra time I had this afternoon. You can see it on my NaNo page by clicking on the Novel Info tab.

Now I can get back to my writing...

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/511822

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited November 20, 2009).]


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Emily Palmer
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I already finished my NaNo novel. But I will still cheer you on. Keep writing, people! Come on, you can do it! Yea!

By the way, I'm a spy . . . I mean, uh, sub moderator for the fantasy forum.


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Dark Warrior
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What is this fantasy forum that you speak of?
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genevive42
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Owasm you've been slacking. My cover was posted by November 1st.

(snicker, can't believe I called Owasm a slacker, mister-a-bazillion words)

[This message has been edited by genevive42 (edited November 20, 2009).]


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Owasm
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Excellent, genevive!

Update: It's 12:57 Mountain Time and I have finished my NaNo novel. It's complete at 105,000 words. I thought it would go a little longer, but the muse wanted a rip snorting, gut wrenching end.

Now I'm actually going to have to edit it. It will be interesting to see how it holds up.

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited November 21, 2009).]


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Unwritten
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Congratulations Owasm. But I suggest letting it sit for awhile before you start editing. Not that I ever took my advice, but in retrospect that first edit wasn't very useful. I was still too deeply involved to see the flaws.

Thank you all for the advice. A few tears and a couple word sprints later and I'm back in the game. I learned a few new things about my main character via trying to get her to do something out of character. I now realize this is the most virtuous character I've ever written about, and I can't wait to go back and delete those scenes. In December. But at least it got me past the worst of the writer's block.

Things are getting very quiet around here. I hope it's because you're all writing more than I am! Later, later...


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genevive42
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Nine days.

Need 15,000 words.

Piece of cake.

Although yesterday a piece of cake cracked a temporary crown while I was at work and spun me into a crazy day of dentistry, driving and no time to write. So maybe I'll change that statement.

Easy as pie.

Mmmmm, pie.


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