Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update

Last night I had the privilege of reading an email sent from a Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan. In it he mentions that the thoughts, prayers, and support sent from home are what keep him focused and help him to do the best job possible. His timely message from overseas served to remind me, safe at home, of the importance of remembering the brave soldiers we’ve lost and the need to support our men and women currently serving on foreign soil and here at home.

I thought I would leave you today with an update on how my NaNoWriMo experience is going so far. Things have been going relatively well except for Tuesday, which produced a word count of zero due to life interfering. Okay, I’ll be honest and admit I was also plagued by an attack of laziness that I could not shake. But even with an unproductive Tuesday, my word count as of last night was 17,541 words, which works out to thirty-five percent complete. Yippee!

I knew it would be a challenge to resist editing as I went but I didn’t realize how tough if would prove to be. But I’m preserving and trying to ignore all red and green squiggly lines - most of time. I’ve reduced my obsessive word count checking down to a manageable 100 times a day. Given up the idea of chapters and am concentrating on scenes or bits of scenes. Lots and lots of dialogue is ending up on the page. Some of it good, most of it very, very bad. But all of it is saved in a file on my computer.

Working title: Unreasonable Expectations/Ties That Bind/Killer Style (Still working on a title)

Welcome to Aspen Lake, the place it all begins for Kate Logan and Seth Stone.

Kate Logan gave modeling her life but when the industry chews her up and spits her out she sets out to prove she's more than a beautiful face. She moves back to her hometown with the intent of opening her own boutique. She decides to save on costs and live above her shop. Now she’s got inventory, retail space and roof over her head but no money in the bank. Suddenly unexplainable things start to go wrong at Kate's Closet. Before she loses her designer label shirt she needs to figure out who's intent on ruining her life - or ending it. Cue Seth Stone in his best grunge attire and with his superior carpentry skills. Add his slightly psychotic and evil stepsister, throw in her cheating, publicity hound of an ex-husband and Aspen Lake just isn’t big enough for all of them.

What are you working on?


Janet said...

This story sounds wonderful. And the blurb is pretty good, too. Knowing more about it thanks to betabloggers and our chats on MSN I can tell that you are really focused and know the story you want to tell. I can't wait to read about you the evil stepsister - I love a good 'bad girl'. And congrats on the word count - are you enjoying NaNo? Would you do it again? Is it as addictive as others imply? What's the one thing about it that you really, really hate?

I've sent off a partial and am about to open up a story I haven't worked on for a while, but one I shared with an author at the conference and got some really great feedback on.

And check out my journal blog for a great quote about fresh starts - your post today inspired me to share it.

Janet said...


Prayers and hope for peace for our soldiers fighting overseas. For those that died giving us the freedom we most often take for granted, thank you.

From the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon:

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
"Lest We Forget"

Karyn Good said...

Thanks, Janet. I do feel more focused this time around which is something doing NaNo has given me. And that's what I was looking for a way to speed up the completion of that first draft, which took me forever with Common Ground. So would I do it again - absolutely. In fact, I've already decided I will. I think it's addictive because it gets those creative juices stirring and flowing, and it's not just limited to my NaNo wip but spilling over to other projects too. I don't think there's anything I hate but the not editing thing is very, very hard because it's very rough writing and leaving it like that is torture.

Loved the inspirational quote! In a small way I did that today. Yesterday was a downer because I didn't manage to write anything besides the blog post and I was cutting it close with that too. But this morning I was up at 6:00 this morning and back at it.

Good luck on the partial! I think it reads great!

Thank you for sharing the lovely words from Laurence Binyon's poem.

Let today and every day be a day to remember and give thanks.

Silver James said...

G'mornin', Chicks, from cloudy and hot Florida! Karyn, I LOVE this blurb and I'll say here in answer to your BB question? Oh, yeah! Pour it on the creepy step-sister. I think that direction is definitely OK!

NaNo? What's that? LOLOL. I'm how many days behind now? I have hopes of pulling the 50K out of thin air between now and the 30th, but won't be anywhere close to my personal goal.

Doing NaNo and NOT editing is one of the best things that happened to me. TR has learned patience and knows he'll get his chance with the blue pen once Iffy and I do our first draft thing. I'm at about...I have no clue. Somewhere around 13,000, I think. I did get about 1200 words written long hand (talk about pure dreck and exposition...OMG have I been in Victor's head more than I need! LOL

And a very huge thanks to our veterans here in the US, Canada, GB, Australia and the other allied countries.

Janet, hoping for good news from your partial! *crosses fingers*

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
Thank you for the link to Canada Remembers. I'm going to check it out after I write this comment.

Last night we attended a social with friends. Their daughter and her new husband were also there. Our friend's daughter is in the regular armed forces. She is currently training as a nurse. Her husband is in the reserves and has served in Afganistan. One of their best friends, who was supposed to be best man at their recent wedding, was killed there. It makes you remember that even though this war is very far away, it is still very close.

Janet, thank you for the poem. That one always gets to me.


Jana Richards said...

Me again. I'm loving the blurb. You certainly have a way with them! You are doing incrediably well with your Nano project so just keep up the good work. I wish I could join you.

Janet, like I told you before I'm keeping my toes and fingers crossed for you and sending good wishes your way. Best of luck!


Helena said...

I've been watching the Remembrance Day service on TV from the National War Monument in Ottawa. Always moving and significant.

Before that I took my usual early morning walk and made breakfast, so I deferred getting back to Nano until I finish this comment and get my files opened. I am ready to charge ahead today. Like you, Karyn, I seemed to be in a lull of some sort yesterday. I've been doing catch up ever since I had the setback with my laptop refusing to boot up ON THE VERY FIRST DAY. How could it do that to me? The irony is I was so furious that I wrote over 4,000 words in longhand that day. Haven't been able to match it since, but it does tell me that I still ought to make the 50,000 by the end of the month. I'll tell you a bit about my story another day.

Good luck to all the NaNoWriMo-ers out there.

Helena said...

Just one more small delay -- I've just been to Donna Alward's blog, and she's writing about soldiers and cowboys, in the context of heroism, over at The Writing Playground today. You might be interested in checking it out.

NOW, it's time to start adding to the word count!

Karyn Good said...

Thanks for the go ahead ont the creepy stepsister thing. I just finished a scene that ended with a twist I hadn't envisioned but am excited about. She is nasty! And smart! I think that the thing that surprised me.

Did you read the last NaNo pep talk about writing longhand and how benefical it can be? I hope it's working that way for you. And if I was a gambler I'd bet on you ramping it up at end and surpassing your goal! Yes, the no editing thing - hard but so worthwhile to train myself to do because I can definitely see the benefit to it.

Hope you're having a wonderful holiday but hope you find a couple of minutes to fit in some writing. Then you can feel free to celebrate your ... word count ;)

Karyn Good said...

Jana, thank you for sharing your story and helping put a very human face on what's going on in the world today and here at home.

May our thoughts and prayers find their way to grieving families.

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Jana. I'll be looking for you as a writing buddy for next year!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
I'd love to be your writing buddy next year. Here's hoping life changes and I can devote more time to writing in the months ahead.


Karyn Good said...

Helena, attending or watching a Remembrance Day Service always reminds me of the time my son, being a Scout, was asked to lay a wreath at one of the larger services in the city one year. A veteran came to our house prior to Remembrance Day to show him what to do, explain what he was wear, and to go through the steps with him. The experience pressed upon our whole family how important the ceremony of remembering is and how important it is to do it right.

Karyn Good said...

Helena, thanks for directing us to Donna's blog. What an excellent topic for today. You definitely had a rough start to NaNo! but I'm glad you turned it around and ended up with 4000 words.I went strong the first day too and haven't yet matched that first day tally. I hope you're busy writing. Can't wait to hear more about your story.

Hayley E. Lavik said...

So glad to hear NaNo is clicking for you, Karyn. I'm not sure if it's something I'd try, but if November rolls around when I have a new project on the horizon, I may take advantage of it. It would be interesting to see whether my polish-as-I-go style can be shaken up, or if it would just all spiral down into destruction.

At the moment I'm working on blending an old key scene into new writing, trying to layer in very important backstory without overkilling it. Also digging deeper into my characters to push them farther and make them worse :D

Karyn Good said...

Hi, Hayley. If the timing is right and you have a story idea you want to pursue, I think it's worth giving NaNo a shot and seeing how it works. You may be surprised to learn you won't spiral down into destruction :) It never hurts to shake things up a bit.

Good luck with the scene blending. I have to be honest and say I shudder (in a very complimentary kind of way) when you mention pushing your characters and making them worse :D I definitely will be coming to you for advice on fleshing out my evil stepsister scenario:.

Anita Mae Draper said...

But Karyn, that's what Natasha Kern's workshop was all about... pushing your character's to the limit and seeing what it takes to make them buckle. :)

Karyn, you're doing fantastic!

Silver you and Helena are doing great too.

I sort of am. I'll explain better when I post about Nano tomorrow.

Karyn Good said...

Hi, Anita. That's right! You gave an excellent review of her workshop at our meeting. Hayley is extremely good at putting her characters through the proverbial wringer! I need to take lessons from her and follow Natasha's great advice.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hearing how NaNo's going for you or sort of going :)