Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update: Emma's Outlaw

Okay, so you know it's going to be a good morning when you slice a cinnamon-raisin bagel in half and you're greeted by a smiley face. I suppose I should've taken the photo before I pushed it down into our uneven toaster but, hey, I think you see him smiling at you.

We're just a few days from the mid-way point of NaNoWriMo so this is a good time to take stock of your progress. Or should I say my progress because according to Prairie Chick Karyn's post yesterday, y'all are doing great!

I'm working at it but it's slow going. I don't have the luxury or freedom of zipping through my wip with fingers flying as I latch onto new ideas and click them down before they're lost because I’m revising and editing.

Yesterday, PC Karyn said her wip is mostly dialogue. I say that's great! Because the story is moving forward. All the rest - the setting, the gestures, the sensory details - can all be added in later because they're the decoration to your story. It's the interaction between the characters that is hard to nail down when you're speeding along during Nano.

What I do like about the revisions I'm making to my NaNo wip is that every scene is ending up to be 200-300 words longer after revisions. Considering that I need to lengthen the ms and yet couldn't think of any 'big' scenes to throw in, this is a good way to length it unobtrusively. And I really like the way the story is going. So it's slow, but it's a quality slow if you know what I mean.

Up until Monday, I've worked on my NaNo wip every day or night. Then Tues came along and it all went to pot. I needed to write about my alter ego, Annie Oakley for Inkwell Inspirations to be posted Wed Nov 11th. I knew Annie and I knew what I wanted to write about so it was pretty much cut and dried. You think? I needed references to back up my statements so I started surfing the web. And the more I learned about Annie, the more I wanted to learn. I didn't want just an info article on her life, I wanted to know how she became the sharpshooter she was and I wanted to know the real romance behind her and Frank Butler. One thing led to another and I found an autobiography she'd written about her tour with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and her problem of obtaining quality powder while overseas. And I learned that Little Annie Oakley was a paradox. By the time I'd finished writing my post, it was almost time to actually post it. Which meant the day was over and no NaNo writing was done.

So I awoke on Wed determined to get my 'duties' done as quick as I can. First on my To Do List was to draft the Thurs Inkwell Inspirations post which will feature Inspirational author Loree Lough.

Now Loree will be our guest blogger here at the Prairie Chicks this Saturday and she’s giving away 2 of her books both at the Inkwell and here so I had to make sure I got all her details right. So there I was adding photos to her post and I remembered I was supposed to be blogging about Annie Oakley. So I scooted over there and found there were 10 comments to answer. Wow! I’d asked them about role playing in their childhood and they answered me! So I spent hours between answering comments and working on Loree’s Inky post. Oh and I snuck in a post on my own blog telling everyone to go check out my Inky Annie post.

Then neighbors stopped in for tea. Now you have to understand…the last time anyone stopped in for tea was last year because everyone knows not to bother me. And these friends who also go to our church know that too but they needed something so it was just one of those things. And anyway, I had to stop and eat some time.

After they left and I’d eaten, I got back to work and had Loree’s post up and ready by the time hubby called me in to supper. My cave is out in the renovated garage we call the rec centre these days. After supper I answered still more comments as well as starting on this post.

My blogging still isn’t over, either. I still have to write a post for my blog so everyone knows I’m blogging at Prairie Chicks today. And then I have to write the announcement post telling everyone Loree Lough will be here on Sat and she’s giving away 2 books. Then I have to draft and schedule Loree’s Sat post with pics so it’ll be ready to go early Sat morning. Hmm - those won’t take any more than a couple hours.

So maybe tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be able to get back to NaNoing. Oh, I surely hope so because the way it’s going, the little guy expects me to take him to his coin club mtg in the city on Sat and that’s a several hour chuck of time gone.

And if you’re still with me, I’ll finally give you my totals, keeping in mind I started with 25,000 words already revised:

Goal: Need 65000 to finish (to make the 90,000)

Today's word count: 0

Total Nano Words: 12914 (39,704 overall)

Nano Goal: 20% accomplished (44% overall)

Targeted Goal: 40% on Nov 12

Ouch. So I’m only at 20% for my NaNo goal and I should be at 40% at this point. It doesn’t mean I won’t make my goal, it just means I have to work a lot harder to make it. Of course, if I'd written all my blog posts in Oct I wouldn't have had to take time to do them now. But it's so much more...exciting to do them at the last minute, no?

Do you write things like blog posts, requested wips, contracted mss and articles ahead of time or do you wait for the last minute?

And if you're doing NaNo and came over for a peek but don't want to make time to comment then I completely understand. I've missed out on FaceBook, Twitter and my regular blog stops this month and I've even had an author email me. That was a surprise.


Karyn Good said...

I'm glad your revisions on Emma's Outlaw are coming along, even if it is a bit slower then you anticipated. You'll catch up! I'm happy you're excited about how the story is expanding and the qualilty of the revisions. Can't wait to read it someday!

Now I'm off to pound out some more of Kate and Seth's story.

Happy writing/revising :)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thanks Karyn, yeah, slow but sure I guess is how to look at it.

Really good to see you taking off on NaNo, too.

I love the name Seth but hubby has a problem with it. There's just some words he can't wrap his mind around and Seth is one of them. (His mom, too) For some reason, he wants to say Steth. Beats me why. But then he can't say linoleum or aluminum either. Oh and we eat breakfaff, roaft beef,and pisgetti at our house. *sigh

Silver James said...

Anita, layering like you are doing is a wonderful way to add depth to a scene, and an amazing way to add words.

NaNo? I don't think I'm even at 20% much less 50%. I'm almost resigned to *not* winning. I seem to lack motivation this year, though I'm still trying to recover energy levels from the flu attack, so that may be my excuse. LOL

I did switch to long-hand and managed 3600 words, but then I had to type them in to my word.doc. Which resulted in a few more words as I edited while I typed. I may start skipping around to scenes to see if I'll come unstuck that way.

Is it nap time yet?

Anonymous said...

Just stopped to say Hi. I am glad your Emma's Outlaw is coming along. I would love to read it, it sounds interesting. Blessings.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Silver, one of the reasons I don't sign up at the official NaNo site is because if you don't complete your goal of a book by the end of November, then you didn't win.

I totally disagree with that theory.

Everyone who enters NaNo and gets one word down is a winner because they've tried.

So don't tell me you're 'almost resigned to not winning' because thats hogwash. You've already gone farther than many others have.

I think you're just tired and need to get your strength back. And I can understand not wanting to work when you're sick because I've been there myself.

Why not let yourself off the hook, take a few days off to renew your strength then come back with fingers blazing.

Because if you don't, in a couple weeks how will you look back at this time?

I know authors with contracts who've written:
- in the hospital bed after giving birth
- in the waiting room while her mother was in intensive care
- in considerable pain with both hands broke

My next Thursday post, will be along the lines of this one. I'm aiming to be back on tract by that time. How about you?

Sorry if I sound harsh but I carry a mean whip during NaNo.

And if you disagree with me, please come back and tell me so... oh that reminds me... I owe you an email... you should see what I did with that NaNo Tracking Chart you sent me...

Anita Mae Draper said...

April, thanks for stopping by and for expressing interest in Emma's Outlaw. Trust me, I'm trying to get it done as fast as I can. :)

Silver James said...

Yay! Glad the chart sparked some ideas for you and that you customized it!

I totally agree. I have friends who set personal goals of 10K words and I celebrate each step of the journey with them, whether they make it or not. I laugh about winning NaNo, because the prize is an icon or a .pdf certificate, and bragging rights. However, last year, and maybe this year, winners can get a free published book. As my publisher would be a little upset if I took advantage of that, it's the least of my worries.

The problem this year is...I'm not sure. I had high hopes for this project and at the moment, I'm not feeling very inspired. I have hopes that will change as I power through, as I always do. Stubborn? Me? Darn right!

I finished NaNo one year while dealing with my mother's death, the death of my best friend's father and subsequent trip to California to close that estate. Granted, that book is still waiting to be cleaned up and finished (it got truly ugly there at the end) but I got my 51K words done.

Thanks for cracking the whip. Prods are always appreciated. :D

Janet said...

Slow and steady wins the race - and makes for much better scenery while you're getting there :)

Sounds like Emma's Outlaw is coming along nicely - and there are always going to be days when you don't get done what you had hoped and envisioned. But sometimes that's an inspiration unto itself.

As far as posting or doing things at the last moment - well, as you can tell from my Oct. 23rd post, I just love deadlines. And the closer to the line, the deadlier the timeframe, the better I perform. Still have to look at tomorrow's post - something will come to me, it's not midnight yet :)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Silver, please forgive me but I can't remember... this is the 2nd book in a series, right? I remember the 2 titles are similar.

We always say here that if you've lost interest or have writer's block, then something's wrong with your story.

Is there any chance of giving your story new direction? Or do you have an editor which has given direction for it to go a certain way?

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Janet, I know, I know.

The funny thing is, I do want to get things done ahead of time but I think what holds me back is that I end up tweaking until the deadline. So if I start something a week ahead of time, I'll be tweaking it all week long! Because I keep thinking I can make it better.

Loree Lough said...

To answer Anita's question (about writing on/before deadline or waiting until the last minute), I tend to be one of those who's SLIGHTLY ahead of the curve...

Few things bug me more than having a deadline hanging over my head. Even an imaginary one.

But to be perfectly honest? If there's money involved (especially if the check has a dollar sign, a decimal point AND a comma!), I do my best to get stuff in about a week early.

As for writing when it's tough? I know one gal who met her deadline after losing her son to a rare illness. Got her mind off the heartache, and she dedicated the book the her boy. Whew.

Silver James said...

No. This project is something totally new and completely off the wall (and a bit out of my comfort zone). I'm writing in a time period and a subgenre I'm not completely comfortable with, which is a great deal of the problem.

This is also the first year I've approached NaNo as a "test"--ie. a-month-long attempt at something I wouldn't try normally. While I'm frustrated by my lack of creativity, I'll survive. :D

I'm cracking up over my spam word: baskers. I don't know why it's hit me as silly, but it has and now I'm giggling. ;)

Jana Richards said...

Hi Anita,
I'm a person who responds to deadlines. I seem to need them to get motivated. The deadline of having a blog to write every week really does it for me. And I really like being ahead of the curve when it comes to the blogs. I start hyperventilating if I'm not at least a week or two ahead. I'm working on stuff for late November/December right now. I'm also working on stuff for the blog tour I'm setting up to promote my novella coming out in January. So it's all blogs, all the time right now. Busy, busy, busy. Unfortunately I haven't done any real writing for a while. Sigh. Wish I was doing NaNo.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Loree, it's so encouraging to see an author talk about a check with a dollar sign, a decimal point AND a comma!

I just posted your coming event announcement and told everyone about the 70+ books you've authored.

Can't wait for you to come and impart some of your knowledge with us. :)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Okay Silver, I see where you're coming from now. If you're out of your comfort zone with this project then yeah, that could clog you down.

But if 'it's a test' and if you don't give it your best, then you'll always wonder.

Keep telling us how you're doing Silver. We'll help you get through it one way or another.

I kinda like the word 'baskers', too. :)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Jana, I know exactly what you mean. I'm doing blogs too and wishing I was doing NaNo. Ha!

But get your plots in order, Jana because BIAW is only 2 months away. Yay!