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)
[livejournal.com profile] jamesb's Mum was in London for the weekend, and she kindly brought back my Psion. It's good to have it back again. I started writing something on the train. I'm not sure if it's going anywhere, but I got over 500 words written, so at least I can be doing something more productive than watching Lost on my train journeys.

Have also located leather case, which will hopefully protect it from befalling any nasty accidents.

In other news, I have my final Junior Achievement class tomorrow. Ispent this evening writing out certificates to give them at the end of tomorrow's class. I don't have to do very much for this class, as it's the teams presenting their work to the class. For some reason that makes me more nervous than the classes where I had a lot to do.

I'll report on how it goes tomorrow!
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?


Aug. 21st, 2005 10:09 pm
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
I've been reading Accelerando, by Charles Stross, and it's brilliant. However, he's stolen several of my ideas. Admittedly, they were ones I hadn't written yet, but that doesn't make the theft any less painful, does it?

I've said this a few times - hats off to Charlie for giving the book away as a free eBook. And equal praise to his publisher for having the vision to let him do it. He reckons that most people won't want to go through the pain of reading on a small screen. I have bought the book, but I've mostly been reading it on my Psion because the hardback is rather heavy to carry to the train. One of the things I really like about eBooks is that you can load up a few, and you don't have to worry when you're getting close to the end of one and carry a second book just in case.

My own writing efforts hit a bit of an impass, but I've gone through another restructuring, and I'm happier with the shorter, snappier chapters with less viewpoint changes. Now I need to get my writing rate up a bit, pump some volume out, and stop agonising over every word. Yes I do.

That and keeping myself from writing in the present tense and sounding like Stross.
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
I'm sure this writing lark is supposed to be easier. It's probably my own fault for not having a detailed plan when I started. Sometimes, though, it's hard to come up with a detailed plan until you know how the characters pan out, and things don't always work out as you expect.

I wrote the first draft of a short story, and it had some ideas I like, but the overall story was rather dull and failed to engage. I'm not going into detail, but it was largely about a single chracter on a journey, and it didn't have enough opportunities for her to engage others. I thought adding a second character for her to sound off might help, and it did, but while the original character improved, the new character come off rather one dimensional, only there to support the main one.

In the meantime, Ive had a bunch of new ideas, and come up with a stronger end for the story. I've decided to seperate the second character, to give the two very different reasons for being there. I'm also going to change the antogonist a bit to make him more relatable. He does some irrational things, so I want to try to show that in his mind they are both rational and reasonable.

I was about to set this story aside, to work on another idea I've had for a while, but suddenly I''m excited about it again.

It's a good feeling.

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