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Author Topic: Nano Support Group 2008
Unwritten
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Feel free to add yourself to this list if I have missed you.
  • Unwritten1971
  • wolfe_boy
  • Cheyne
  • Warbric
  • Wordmerchant
  • aspirit
  • lesliedow
  • sjsampson
  • ChristineUK
  • gobi13x
  • annepin
  • KayTi
  • Tricia V
  • nickelspring
  • kings_falcon
  • darklight/virtuosa
  • branteaton
  • blue_phoenix86
  • broda

This is a place to tell us your word count, your horror stories, your success stories, get advice, give advice...whatever you need to get you through. You can join whether or not you are already a part of the NGAS (or some combination of those letters) group. The only requirement I can think of is that you need to be insane enough to think you can write a book during the month of November. If you haven't done it before, it is so much fun!! Here is the link:

www.nanowrimo.org

When you are ready, let us know something about what you are going to be writing--genre, synopsis, or lack thereof...

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited October 29, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited October 31, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 03, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 04, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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I did Nanowrimo for the first time last year, and it was a life changing experience for me. This year I am writing the sequel to the story I wrote last year. It is a young adult fantasy (I think. My characters are a little older than the usual YA characters, but I think it still fits). It turns out that I am a late-blooming romantic, and all my stories seem to turn into love stories despite my best efforts.
Melanie

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gobi13x
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I wanted to do it last year, but I did not know about it until the last couple of days of November. I have a short story that I wrote a long time ago and I will be using the world from that story to write this one. I have always wanted to do it and now I am waiting until it starts.

[This message has been edited by gobi13x (edited October 30, 2008).]


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tempest
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this is my first year to do this and im a bit nervous. im hoping that it will be a life changing experience for me too (the good kind!).

i have a few story line ideas, but they keep changing. an outline eludes me. i really just feel sort of overwhelmed from lack of experience and technical know-how. any advice for someone who is so new to it all that they aspire to the novice level?


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sjsampson
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Make room, tempest. I'm in the same boat.

My goal is to write a fantasy that doesn't turn into a "save the world" type story. I have a tendancy to let that happen, and I wanted to try something new. Unfortunately, one of my characters decided to have a cool talent and is just begging for a colossal amount of trouble for himself. We'll see what happens.


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Cheyne
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NaNo is less than 2 days away and I am waffling on my story. I have 3 novel ideas that I have been sitting on and percolating plot lines for, and all three are begging for attention. I decide on one and the other two fill my mind. UGGH! I hope I can settle on one before the 1st. The idea that is posted on my NaNo page may be the least of them. I hope I do not keep changing gears and stories throughout November. Go Hatrackers. Thank you unwritten for including me on your buddy list.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Don't try to write the novel in the order in which you hope it will be read.

The idea is to get 50,000 words on paper (or screen), so just write.

Write the ending first, if that is what is clearest to you.

Write some of the middle.

Then write a possible beginning.

Write another possible beginning.

Write another ending.

Write something for each of the ideas you have, and, if you get ideas on how to put them together with other ideas, write that, too.

Just write.

The one thing you shouldn't do is edit.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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The editing is what you do in December (or whenever you recover from November).
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KayTi
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LOL, Kathleen. I have only just recovered enough to look at my 07 Nano. I was relieved to discover it isn't horrible! Now it has to go back on the shelf while I come up with something else to write. Hmm...my issue is I've selected a protagonist, a genre, a milieu, but it's space and thus she'll be able to go to lots of different planets...haven't decided what kind of overarching problem to have her solving or the inciting incident. This is the stuff that always hamstrings me. Argh!


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tempest
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starting at the end and flopping around the story line, that sounds very doable to me.

i was stressing a bit last night over this particular issue. i, too, have a protagonist, characters, a setting, even names, but no problem to be solved (overarching problem?) or conflicts, events...or even story line i guess.

not editing along the way will be a struggle for me, im such a perfectionist that it will nag at me the whole way. hopefully resisting the edit urge will be liberating.

im dreading the start of this and at the same time wanting it to start so bad im yanking my hair out.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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But the only way you can do this is if you allow yourself to write badly--not that you actually will write badly, but you need to let yourself not worry about it if you do.

When you catch yourself starting to edit, use one of my favorite tools (one that is often misused to bad effect):

PROCRASTINATION!

Tell yourself you'll fix it later. And have that later be after 30 November.

If it will help, you can put something like FIX THIS LATER in the text whenever this happens. The more you do it, the easier it will become to procrastinate the editing, and the less you will have to insert FIX THIS LATER into your writing.


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tempest
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well, procrastination is one of my talents.

in the past i have just put in a "?" to tell me to check on it later so as not to lose the flow of my thoughts, so i will be using the 'fix this later' suggestion.
thanks for the help - i really appreciate it.

tempest


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annepin
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Dudes, Nanowrimo was created for this very purpose, to help people get over their fears and doubts and just write! So first of all, don't worry. You are not alone.

This will be my third time. Each time, whether doing Nano or any other writing project, I panic and think the same thoughts. I have no idea what's going to happen. I barely know who's involved. But I'm beginning to trust in myself, and know that that's okay. It's okay if you don't know what your story is, what your plot is, or even who your characters are. You can figure this out as you go along. New ideas will come to you. Characters will develop their personalities organically. Trust your instincts, and see what happens. It's an exhilirating way to write. Though it doesn't work for everybody, think it's worth giving a try, once. You might surprise yourself with what you come up with.


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Wolfe_boy
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I'll second or third what's been said so far. I'm headed into my fourth try at NaNoWriMo. And I'm not one of the bleary-eyed folks who espouse ultimate wordcount over any quality in your writing, but I can say that, in times of doubt, you must rely on the fact that you are a writer, damnit. All writers have good stuff and bad stuff from time to time, but what separates a writer from everyone else is that his bad stuff isn't really that bad, and he can recover to continue writing well in a page or two or ten. Have faith that your bad stuff isn't that bad, it's fixable at a later date, and you'll recover.

Also, persistence is the key to victory. Write every day. Don't fail to get you 1,667 words done. If you happen to miss a day, catch-up. Having to rely on 10,000 word days in the final moments of November is a sure way to fail. A good suggestion - get 1,667 done tonight, after midnight, before going to bed. Then, get another 1,667 done tomorrow. Bam - you're already one day ahead. Stay that way or extend your lead, if you have the opportunity.

And, in the pits of despair, when you've written your cardboard-characters-of-litte-or-no-redeeming-quality into the darkest of corners and can't think your way out, wave your author's wand and have them escape without seeing it. Do as Kathleen said - don't necessarily write in sequence. Or, in utter emergencies (like I had with my western novel last year) it's not an unforseen occurence to have an asteroid strike the planet your characters are on, wiping out all of civilization. Meanwhile in an alternate universe, a second story continues....

Jayson Merryfield


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InarticulateBabbler
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HERE'S WISHING YOU ALL LUCK!!!! Go get 'em, Hatrackers!
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aspirit
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Jayson, I love that idea of an alternate universe, allowing you to try new ideas without backtracking. Fortunately, I don't expect I'll need that technique in November. Most are my characters are supposed to die.

I worried about neglecting Odal's Story for an entire month, so I chose a NaNoWriMo project that may help me in my current WIP. Odal's family has lived on Earth for at least eight generations, and that gives me plenty of material. I intend to write the history of Odal's family, which influences but does not appear in Odal's Story. I feel so clever.


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LAJD
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Wow. Thanks for all great suggestions to get through nano. I like the idea about getting ahead by writing 1667 words tonight at midnight and being able to then be one day ahead. Now if I can only stay up till midnight!

I really like the idea about not necessarily writing in order. I have an outline now but different parts of my outline are written at different levels. So I don't really have anything consistent from beginning to end, but I do have lots of scenes outlined. So I think the approach I'm going to take is to write a lot of scenes and then maybe in my off Nano time, assuming I have any, organize them into some coherent flow.

To add entertainment to the month, the nasty pinched nerve in my neck is acting up. So I cant type very much and write using a dictation program, this should be interesting. LOL

Has anyone else noticed that the nano site is very very slow!

Ah, well I think I will go now and ice my arm.

Leslie


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aspirit
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Last night, I figured out a way to add notes (in place of edits) into my story without distorting the word count.

---Start Example: Halloween Special---

Joe Bob Bones [!1FillerName] lay [!2CheckGrammar] half-buried in the grass [!3MayNeedMoreSceneSetting]. He'd been half-buried for nearly a decade already, according to his aging once-lover, Susan Heart. Even as his body decayed, his thoughts and ability to talk remained. Did the Wizard Harry know what he was doing when he killed Joe Bob's body? Joe Bob didn't know, and he had stopped caring long ago.

---End Example---

All I need to do is track the note number I'm on, so when I check my word count, I can subtract that number. The "[!" gives me a combination I can easily search on after November 30.

[This message has been edited by aspirit (edited October 31, 2008).]


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branteaton
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I'm in. I've signed up for NaNo as a recovering "one day" novelist. I'm using the same name on NanoWriMo, and am user 419881.

My progress page is http://www.nanowrimo.org/NanowrimoUtils/ProgressReport/419881

I'm in the SLC area, so I'll be at the kick-off event tomorrow. Will I see any of you there?


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darklight
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Last year I wrote a YA science fiction novel that Iím in the process of finding an agent for. This year, itís YA fantasy, something I hope will be a bit more marketable. I like my NaNo experience to be useful too, which it has in the sense that I already have one good novel, and its helped me to learn to write neat, concise novels, because we donít have the time or the word count to waffle on (I realise we can go over 50,000 but I like the write a complete story in that time and go over the required word count by only a couple thousand words.) I wish I could sometimes take this lesson to the stories I write outside of NaNo.

My NaNo month writing plan:

Iíve managed to save up some holiday, so am off work for sixteen days, at work for fourteen. On my off days, I plan to write at least 2000 words each day, which will leave me only a little over 1000 words to write on the days I am at work.

On work days, I plan to get up early, try to write a few hundred words before I leave for work.

When I get home, Iím going to write, instead of play games.

I plan to stay up tonight and get something down after midnight, which wonít be difficult since its Halloween and I HAVE to watch a horror movie with my daughter, which will undoubtedly give me nightmares and I wonít sleep anyhow.

I also plan to neglect my two teenagers(a little), the housework, and maybe food occasionally.

This year will be harder for me, as the last twice I have done this I wasnít working. I won both and donít want to fail this year. Also, I know Iím going to have a couple of days in there somewhere where I probably wonít get much done.

1,667 words look like a huge task when youíre sat there at the computer with none written for that day, which I why I think of it like this: Itís sixteen blocks of one hundred words, and it doesnít seem so daunting. So, one hundred words, I can do that in two or three minutes, say for example, if Iím watching a TV show, I can do that during the commercial break. Watch one one hour show, youíve got almost five hundred words there. You may even find youíve suddenly got a block of three or four hundred words and youíre missing your TV show.

Another suggestion is to take frequent breaks, take a walk around the garden, have a snack, do a little bit of house work. Youíll find suddenly youíve got a spark of inspiration and have to rush back to the computer, then youíll write another three or four hundred words, maybe more. By now, youíve probably got 1000 words.

Those of you who can write at work, do so in your lunch break, and youíve got another few hundred and youíre almost at your target. Once you hit the twelve to thirteen hundred mark, the end is in sight and it becomes easy. If youíre on a roll, you might even go over the daily target.

Of course, another idea might be to not take it all as seriously as I do! I love NaNo, and very soon am going to take that one sentence Iíve had in my head now for over a week and turn it into a novel, though right now, after the first scene I have planned, I donít know where Iím headed yet.

Most of all, enjoy it! Iím looking forward to hearing everyoneís stories of their NaNo progress. Good luck all!

[This message has been edited by darklight (edited October 31, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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Thank you for all the great advice. Last year I did Nano with my fifth grade daughter. I homeschooled her last year, and thought Nano would be a great English activity for her. For those of you who like things spelled out simply, the PDF file you can download at the young writer's part of the site is incredible. It's over 50 pages of questions to help you get your story fleshed out.

The thing that was most helpful to me was OSC's book about writing SF/F. I would read a page or 2 out of that book and then just daydream about my world and my characters, and it sparked so many ideas that 50,000 words hardly seemed to be a challenge. On the down side, I'm not sure my body ever recovered from how little sleep I got last year. I don't think I can do it again.

If you get too hard up for an idea, there's always the nano shovel...

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited October 31, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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STRAP ON YOUR SEATBELTS!
HERE WE GO!
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!

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Wolfe_boy
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An hour and a half of frenzied writing and chatting in the EdmoWrimo chatroom. 1,715 words. Some good. Most spelled correctly. Still no idea where the story is going, and about 1,500 words are filler, but I tend to flail pretty hard on the first day until inspiration strikes. That's what editing is for, right?

Jayson Merryfield


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Unwritten
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Just over 1000 words, and they all came hard. I'm hoping I'll find my groove before the day is over.
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gobi13x
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I have a question about the site. I was wondering if anyone knew why it is not letting me use the word counting validator. It is just a grayed out box that I can do nothing with.
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tempest
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confession time......
ok, my name is tempest and im computer illiterate (almost). my question is how do i count my words, then how do i enter it on the nano site? we have vista so im using microsoft works.

i wrote a bit last night, mostly getting acquainted with characters. they're some interesting people. now, what to do with them.......

its such a relief to be able to finally sit down and just write.


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gobi13x
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If you go to the Edit Novel Info(found under My Nano Wrimo) there is a word count validator that your suppose to put your work into. I have not been able to get the validator to work, but maybe someone can let us know how to get it to work.
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darklight
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Gobi, I can't get it to work either. I don't think that part of it is working yet, and niether is the total word count thingy on the NaNo front page, because it's still saying the total word count it zero.

I just put my word count to date in the box above the validator, that bit works.


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Wolfe_boy
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Under "My NaNoWriMo" you can go to "Edit My Novel" and it will have a space where you can type in your wordcount. I put mine in last night, but the NaNo site is finally slowing down - it's actually been alright this year. So, it might take a day for you to get access. That grey box at the top of the screen is supposed to come online sometime this weekend, but given the server crunch they're experiencing, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Jayson Merryfield


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tempest
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ok ill try that, but back to my first q: how do i know how many words i've written? surely theres a program to count as i type, please dont tell me i have to count them all my self!!
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aspirit
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tempest, what word processor are you using? Examples of word processors are Microsoft Word, Open Office, and Lotus Word Pro.
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Unwritten
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I'm pretty computer illiterate myself, but I just go to tools and and there is an option that says "word count" and it counts them all for me.
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tempest
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aspirit, im using microsoft works on vista.

unwritten, that did it!!! **she shouts while happy dancing**
i knew there had to be some simple thing to do, im just not clever enough to figure it out on my own.

thanks so much guys!! i have almost 1600 words. this day is looking good

thanks again!!


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gobi13x
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Ok, if it is grayed out others also then I will not think about it. I was just making sure it was just not something I did. I am making good progress. I know that I have to get ahead of the curve to start, because later in the month it is going to get progressive harder for me to make it.
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Unwritten
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Oh yeah, this is how I gained so much weight last year. I'd forgotten. Check e-mail, grab a candybar, check hatrack, grab a candybar, grab another one so I can get some real work done on Nano. Who put this contest so close to Halloween anyway?
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darklight
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I was just wondering if its just me or if some of you feel the same. Now I've started writing for NaNo and got off to a good start, I'm in a really good mood!

I don't think I've been this happy in months.

I love working under pressure.


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Unwritten
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I spent the last week feeling like I was going to burst into tears whenever anyone asked me to do anything, I was so stressed at the thought of adding this to my life, but as soon as I started writing I felt like I had finally come home. It's cozy.

2,557 words today! I won't have time to work on it tomorrow, so it's nice to feel like I'm caught up anyway.
Melanie

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 02, 2008).]


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LAJD
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WooHoo moved my total from 2033 yesterday to 4093 today! Still managing to make the dictation work-and it is getting easier. This will really increase my chances of making it to 50K.

I also have decided to post a day's synopsis on Twitter http://twitter.com/lesliedow
Each day with my word count.

Anyone else on Twitter?
Leslie


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gobi13x
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My story is going quite well for now. I am far ahead of where I thought I was going to be, but that is good. I have a betting pool riding on when I will finish. I guess I have to finish to see who wins.
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sjsampson
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I had a wedding to go to Friday night, and I spent all day Saturday hanging out with friends from college I hadn't seen in two years. I played catch up today and made it to 3338 words.
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KayTi
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Darklight, I'm with you. Something about this...it's pretty awesome. I'm actually really ticked off with my work right now because there's actual *work* to be done (I thought we were in a lull, but turns out "we"- and when I say we I mean the other people I'm working with - were just in a lull waiting for feedback from some other people so that "we" - and when I say we I mean me - could make some more changes. For the umptey thousandth time. On a weekend no less!! Argh!)

Work is going to severely eat into my writing time. I'm also a bit worried about that Halloween candy. May have to pitch it after all...

Meanwhile, I'm just past 2200 words. Remarkable given that I have very little clue where I'm going. I need a mystery for my story, though. Some kind of puzzle/problem for the MC (age 11/12) to solve... Her father is a starship captain - big spaceship, as big as one of those huge cruiseliners (and then some.) Gotta work on that...


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tempest
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im in a really good mood too. this is going much better than i expected. i don't know what kind of quality i'm turning out, but (for me) im doing well on quantity. i haven't been able to get onto the nano site to update my wordcount but i'm up to 3618, and could've put out more but family calls...or rather yells.
my story line has changed several times and i've eliminated 5 of my 6 original characters (they will be of use in future ventures).
i find myself almost obsessed with the story and the possibilities. i was trying to finish reading a book and found my mind wandering to my story several times.
so far, this is a much cooler experience than i expected.

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darklight
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My first day back in the real world (a work day) didn't exactly go to plan. With 8,000 words under my belt over the weekend, and very pleased with my progress, today has been a disaster. I set the alarm for six, to get up and write until about seven fifteen. And the alarm didn't go off. No, I hadn't slept through it for an hour which I have done in the past, it simply didn't go off. I set it last night, turned it on. It was still turned on this morning but I guess it decided to have a day off.

So, I woke up at a quarter past seven, did the usual morning stuff, wrote about 150 words and had to call the council because my duaghters taxi firm was no longer taking her to college and I needed to know who was. They told me, I took my son to college, got home thinking I'd have some time to write. On the off chance, I called a friend of my daughter who is on the same taxi as the one she was supposed to be on, to be sure she was being picked up. The driver had no idea he was picking her up.

Back on to the council I went, told them. They said they'd get in touch with him and get back to me. By now, I have to go to work in seven minutes. Eventually they got that sorted and off I went, with no more words on the page.

I'm home now, and ready to write. If only I wasn't going to the supermarket with my daughter soon. That usually takes a couple of hours. I'll get a bit in now, and maybe get back to it around seven thirty.

Hope it's going well for everyone.


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bluephoenix
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Just saw the NaNo post in the discussion area, and so here I am; 'tis my first NaNo year this year! I am behind on my word count, it must be said, but I'm really pleased with how it's going so far.

Hope everyone's doing well!

Can I get added to the list at the top? My NaNo username is blue_phoenix86 .

What's it about... good question . I decided to start 'blind', and not plan a single thing. It's hard, but I'm enjoying it. There's an excerpt on my profile if you're curious.

I spent like an hour today just clicking on usernames, just to see what their sysopses / excerpts were like. It's really interesting to see what so many different people are coming up with.


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Unwritten
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Welcome bluepheonix!

I wonder what my synopsis says. It's hard to know since I can't seem to get on to the website. I keep losing patience and thinking I'll try again later. If I have a synopsis it must be from last year.

Keep me posted on how it goes starting out without planning anything. Maybe I'll try that next year. It sounds exciting--opening up your mind to the thrill of the unknown...

darklight--you are already past 8000 words?? Wow! Today has been a disaster for me too. Last year I offered to be PTA president at my school since no one else would volunteer. My only catch was that I would not plan the huge craft fair in November because November is my Nanowrimo month. I wanted nothing to do with it. Guess who is in charge? The only upside is that it is on Saturday, at which time my life should settle into normal chaos again. Still, I don't want to get behind on my word count, so I'm in their pushing. I'll announce my word count tonight, at which point I hope it won't be quite so abysmal.
Melanie


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branteaton
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Wow! The Nano site is remarkably slow and inaccurate! The word count widget at the top of the screen is disabled, pages take _forever_ to load, and the reports vacillate between outdated and just plain wrong.

{/grumbles}


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bluephoenix
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It is a bit of a pain at the moment, yeah, but they have a stupid amount of traffic in the first few days. And I wondered about the word count updater at the top, too - they say it's still being tested, and should be activated in the next few days.

Poor NaNo severs .


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darklight
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I think I need a break!

I just wrote the word 'discussion' instead of the word 'successor'. I have no idea where that came from.


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Unwritten
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Was that on your 15,000th word, or your 16,000th? I think you've earned a break darklight.

Well, I'm a bit behind where I want to be, but I'm plugging along at 3754 words. I just finished chapter 1, and tomorrow I'll plunge into chapter 2.
Happy writing!
Melanie

[This message has been edited by Unwritten (edited November 03, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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I finally managed to get to my page on Nanowrimo. I officially have a synopsis. I can't wait til the site is going faster so I can look you all up and read what you've posted.
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