Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:28 am
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
I've started a NaNoWriMo novel. I'm sure the well educated readers of LiveJournal all know what the National Novel Writing Month is, so I don't need to explain.

If you're taking part, the link to my user page is
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
In just over twenty minutes time I will embark on this year's novel effort. I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to write about, and I'm looking forward to getting started on it. I have a definite beginning, bits of a middle, and some things that definitely have to happen at the end. I also have a pretty good idea of my back story and a reasonably clear picture of my universe in my head. I really think this has potential to become a real novel some day, though I don't expect this month to give me anything more than a first draft.

I just have to resist the urge to write a zombie novel! Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to watch the first part of Dead Set earlier...
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
A couple of days to the start of NaNoWriMo 2008 and I'm feeling a little nervous. I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to write about. I even have a sort of a plot. What I really need is an ending. I've never managed to finish anything unless I know how it's supposed to end, but I haven't been able to figure it out for this one.

Still, I've got a couple of days to think of one. And maybe flesh out some of the outline.

I think the basic idea is a blinder, if I do say so myself, so I hope I can make it work.

Only fifty thousand words to go!
lostcarpark: (Lego Spaceman)
Well, my new web server is up and running. It gives more space, bandwidth and (if it makes any difference) processing power than the old one, for a fair bit less money (at least once I've moved my sites and don't have to pay the old webhost any more). More importantly, it's running a virtual server that means my space is totally segregated. This means that I no longer have to run scripts in a reduced functionality mode to make sure that users can't hack each others' spaces. And it also means I have the privilege to install whatever software I want to.

Because I get a whole virtual server to myself, there was a bit more setting up, so while the server is up and running, I haven't got as far as putting any content on it. I now have to move all of my websites onto the new server so I can stop paying for the old hosting. The simpler ones should be easy enough, but quite a few have databases that will require a little more planning to move over.

Hopefully soon I'll be showing off some new stuff that will make you all go "ooh" and "aah".

Unfortunately, this has had some impact on my novel writing, and I haven't got as much as I'd have hoped. I'll just have to write faster. Still, I quite like some of what I've written. I think a couple of my characters do bear slightly too close a resemblance to some real people. Might have to disguise that in the next draft.

5923 words so far

A bit of a nightmare day at work. One of our overnight processes sent some wrong values to our Polish subsidiary, which they were up in arms about. I spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out why, and by the time we'd figured out we couldn't do any more without getting the DB guys (who'd gone home) to retrieve a different set of data for us to work from, it was after 7pm. I realised I had less than ten minutes to get to the only train in the next hour, so I ran all the way to the station, only to discover it was running five minutes late.

As I had a few minutes to spare, I decided I fancied some chocolate from a vending machine on the platform. It didn't even acknowledge my €2 as it swallowed it giving me nothing in return, despite a sticker on the front saying "guaranteed delivery or your money back", and more detailed instructions saying that the machine would always deliver product or return your money. Well, that's a lie, and they clearly have little confidence in their claim as they don't provide a contact number. My disagreement with the vending machine turned somewhat violent, but my efforts to gain any satisfaction from it yielded nothing but a cut finger.

Mark my words, that machine hasn't heard the last of me. It may have won this round, but the war has only begun. In the words of Arthur Dent, we'll see who rusts first.

In other news, it looks like AVG are stopping the free version of their excellent antivirus software. This is bad news, and it looks like there will be a lot of people running unprotected computers. I would have thought with Microsoft bundling Windows Defender and Malicious Software Removal Tool, which offers some level of protection out of the box, it would be a bad time to discontinue the free version.


Nov. 5th, 2006 02:31 am
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
Gosh, four days into the National Novel Writing Month, and I'm just about keeping my head above in terms of word count.

If I could keep from getting distracted, it would help a lot. I spent a lot of this evening working on a web system which might eventually become profitable, but in the shorter term should make it a lot easier to manage all (or at least most) of my web sites. Early days yet, but initial results look promising.

The first chapter (I hope) is nearly finished. I'm still plan to stay up and write a bit more and maybe get the chapter finished. I think this chapter was one of the more difficult ones for me to write, as there's a lot of personal stuff in there, and not much of the SF stuff that will dominate the later chapters. Hopefully once I get past this, it should get a bit easier to write, and hopefully I can catch up a bit.

Exit at 4619 words
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
A while ago I posted asking for ideas, I promised to somehow incorporate every idea, no matter how outragous, somewhere into the novel. Unfortunately I didn't get many responses. So I'm going to try again, but this time be a little more specific...

If you are reading this, and can spare just a couple of minutes, please reply with the following:

1. The first fictional character name that pops into your head. Preferably something that's not copyright.

2. That character's most heartfelt desire. It could be something they want to have, something they want to do, or something they want to be. If you can think of it, a few words on why that's important to them would be great too.

3. Something that happens to them. It could be something to do with 2, or it could be simething completly unrelated, but from their point of view it's a pretty big deal. If you have any thoughts on what this means to them or how it affects them, I'd love to hear those thoughts too.

I promise to use everything that people post in the novel. Some of them may turn into major characters while others may stay in the background. This is no reflection of the individuals, and is purely based on how they fit into the plot outline I've been working on for the last few weeks.

Oh, and for anyone unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo...
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
In a few weeks it will be November, which means novel writing time again.

I think I have a good idea for the main story, but there's going to be a lot of odd stuff going on in the background.

Give me an idea and I promise I'll squeeze it in somewhere. It doesn't matter how bizarre it is, in fact the wierder the better. Just post something that you think I should include in the novel.

Challenge me.
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
27085 words written!

Hit the half-way mark this morning!
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
22383 words written so far!

Percentage of month gone: 50%
Percentage of target words written: 45%
Percentage of plot covered: 19%

Okay, everything was going smoothly for a few days there, now the story just doesn't want to be written. I'm catching up to my target wordcount, but every word seems to be a struggle to get out. Scenes which should be a doddle are kighting back, refusing to be committed to paper. I'm working on a scene at the moment which I had an ending planned for, but that ending just seems lame and boring. Perhaps when it's written it will be okay, but I find myself desperately trying to think of something better.

Having said that, some of the stuff I have written I'm quite pleased about. I managed to get a snowboarding scene in which introduces a new main character and manages to advance the plot. That brings me up to about main characters, about half of which were only intended to be walk on parts, but they have grown beyond what I envisioned, and insisted on being given a bigger role in the story.

The story itself is changing slightly. My original plan was to set the story over a 30-day period, with a short chapter representing each day written over the 30 days of November. However, I'm now on day 4, so that's not going to work. As you can imagine, the chapters have been getting quite long. However I'm not quite as far behind as it might first appear, as I have been borrowing plot points that were originally intended for later in the novel and shovelling them all into a more compressed timeline. However, at the current rate, I'll still have a fair but of the story still to tell at the end of the month.

But as long as I hit my 50,000 words, I'm not supposed to care!
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
13002 words so far.

Wow, I've hit thirteen thousand words. Wrote nearly two and a half thousand today. I'm quite pleased about both of these facts, even though to be on schedule I really ought to have written fifteen thousand.

I haven't been this excited about a story since my first NaNoWriMo attempt in 2002. I think I have a pretty good idea of where the story is going, but it may have other ideas. It's already surprised me a few times, and the surprises have a habit of getting bigger as the month goes on. Several of the characters have already taken on a life of their own. It can be kinda worrying when you ask a character to do something, and they refuse, insisting they would never do that and they're going to do this instead.

In terms of the plot that I outlined at the beginning of the month, I've covered about half what I expected to have by now. Unless I start covering ground a lot faster, I may have to shorten the plot or I'll be writing waaay into December. Which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

My commute gives me an hour on the train each morning and evening, which has proved very valuable. On a good day I can get a little over 500 words each way. If I get a few minutes to write at lunchtime and in the evening, I've made my target for the day.

In the past the problem has usually been thinking of what to write. This story has mushroomed in my head, and I keep thinking of more and more to add to it. My biggest worry is that I'll forget it all. I've broken all the rules, working almost totally from memory, with hardly any written notes, and hardly any character development done in advance. But at the moment it doesn't seem to matter. I'm amazed how quickly the characters seem to have blossomed into distinct people, at least in my mind.

Let's just hope it doesn't all dry up and leave me stranded!


Nov. 3rd, 2005 11:10 pm
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
There seem to be a few people out there doing NaNoWriMo this year, and I'm giving it another go.

So far it's been going quite well, I had what I thought was quite a good idea, then I read an as-yet-unpublished book and it gave me a few extra ideas that I'm hoping make my original idea even better (without blatantly copying from the book, which will be out in January).

I have a good bit of it planned. I know how it's supposed to end (which is important for me). I know a whole lot of events that have to happen on the way, and I have dozens of plot points to fill in the gaps. So far, I'm ahead on words (or at least I will be by the time I finish tonight), but I'm I'm about a chapter behind where I intended to be at this point. If things remain that way, it looks good for getting my 50,000 words written (plus a little exrta, hopefully), but it may take a little longer to finish the story. This is a risk I am willing to take, as it's somewhat preferable to running out of story and being short on word count.

5007 words written so far
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
I'm planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, so a few minutes from now would be the perfect time to get an early head start, but...

We're trying to get the next issue of The Brentford Mercury out this week, and I now have almost all of the content, so it would be the perfect opportunity to get that put to bed (apart from the few buts I'm missing that can be slotted in at the last minute), but...

Today a friend gave me a copy of Age of Empires 3. I have been a huge AoE fan since version 1, so maybe I could just have a quick look and get on with the others tomorrow...

Which will I do?

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