So… anyone for Nanowrimo?

Awfully sorry for the fact that I dropped off the face of the freaking planet for like 3 weeks. After my birthday and my trip to Paris I just couldn’t summon up the energy to keep doing the daily blog posts (still procrastinated just not on here). October is fast disappearing and November is approaching. This means Nano.

I did Camp Nano for the first time in April, for me it was kinda successful in that I reached 15K but that was only after taking my word count down from 25K. For November I can’t really win without hitting 50K and I’ve never done that. Closest I came was around 28K in 2010 but that was a only brief success before I dropped out of Uni. So I don’t yet know if I can reach the goal for normal nano without getting obsessive about it and neglecting all my other responsibilities and driving Le Boyf to distraction.

I have a French OU TMA due mid-November and another one mid-December so it’s vitally important that I still do my French work and get these done. Although I won’t have a Writing TMA due until January after next week I still have various exercises to do for the Fiction unit but I had the ingenious idea of using my Nano story to do those tasks. At least using the world, the characters and the story to base them on and I could always include them in my word count 😛

I was really quite surprised at how quickly my Nano idea coalesced into something I could actually work with and grow into a story that might stretch to 50K. I had written a little scene that was trying to describe using as many of the senses as possible (I’ll post the snippet later) and after I’d done it I was left very puzzled as to what could have led to this girl wading into a freezing lake all alone. So I started asking questions and after a few pages scribbled in my notebook I had ideas for characters, a world and a plot swirling round my head.

There is still a hell of a lot of planning to do (oh yea I’m much more a Planner than a Pantser although depending on how much of an outline I get done before Nov 1st I may be Plansting some of this) but compared to the last time I attempted Nano (2012 which lasted all of 3 days) I feel a lot more confident about my ability to create a story. I think having done 80K of a novel just this year has a lot to do with that. It’s going to be a very interesting exercise in juggling my responsibilities to everyone’s satisfaction especially now that I HAVE A JOB!! (That’s right I’m totally gonna be working in Waterstones from next week until maybe the New Year :D) 

Who else among the A215 group and anyone else is doing Nano this year?  I’m over there as LadyViolet  so if you’re interested in buddying a lass who’s gonna be attempting to write a YA Fantasy novel feel free 🙂

I’ll do another post talking more about what I’m going to be doing but  for now I need to get offline before I fling my internet router into the sun for being a pile of shit.

Laters chaps

Ray 🙂

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Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo The Final Stretch

I started this post on Sunday but as is often expected I got terribly sidetracked and since I spent most of the weekend worrying about my uncle I didn’t get that much writing done anyway. But now that there is positive progress in that quarter I was able to chill enough to the point that I could write my socks off last night.

If you were on Twitter late last night you may have noticed that I went a little mad and decided to attempt to hit my Camp Nano goal before I went to bed. I only had around 1200 words to do so I thought in the 4 hours I had it would be a piece of piss. Not quite so easy but I did it nevertheless. That’s right folks at around 12:07am this morning I wrote my 15,000th word on my novel and validated it to win my first Camp Nano!

Ironically enough when I copied and pasted my  Camp work in the website’s validator it actually came out saying I had 15,001 words which is enough to make one twitch and write another 99 words to have a round number back.

I do still have two days to write more if I fancy, and I might do some since I reckon I am only one or two scenes from the end of book one. I will still need to go back and do the first 15K of the book and fill in the missing 10-15K from round the middle but that is gonna be the task for between April and July’s Camp.

I’m hoping to maybe have the first full draft finished over the summer so I can have a go at editing it and hell I may try and write some of the second book during November’s Nanowrimo! I’m hoping to start an Open University Creative Writing module in October so I may sneakily use my novel for some of the TMAs if I can. Or simply use what I learn from the module to help my writing in general.

All in all April has been a fairly productive month, in terms of actual numbers maybe not more productive than January through March since I was less stressed about it so didn’t worry about the word count so much. But still 15K is all good stuff and some of these scenes are damn important and I hope that much of it will survive to make the final draft.

Depending on what extra writing I get done over the next two days I may do a last Camp Nano post but otherwise stay tuned for my April reading round-up probably on Friday since on Thursday Jess and I are going to see FREAKING LAINI TAYLOR Y’ALL!! *flails*. That will be a post in itself since I hope to get pics of the lady herself and of all the fun shenanigans we’ll have plus it’s likely there will be a haul of some sort *shrugs* y’know what book bloggers are like when they get together…

But anyways have a good evening
Ray

Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo Days 23 & 24

Morning m’noodles! Got a wee bit of updating to do since I wrote nothing on the 23rd but then I wrote ALL THE WORDS last night.

Well to say I wrote nothing on the 23rd is slightly inaccurate – I *thought* some things and I scribbled them down. Technically it was after midnight but since I hadn’t slept yet twas still the 23rd 😛 I was supposed to be trying to get a decent night’s sleep since I was meant to be getting up earlyish to go with my parents to the airport so I could bring their car back (they gone pissed off to San Fran WITHOUT THEIR CHILDREN-who-are-in-fact-adults). But of course my stupid-ass brain decided that midnight was a prime time to launch a plot bunny at me that would run rampant when I really wanted to sleep.

I haven’t finished my first book yet, I’m maybe over half-way with the first draft but definitely not finished. So it’s extremely unhelpful for my brain to keep coming up with ideas for what is going to happen in the 2nd and possibly 3rd book (Originally I had only conceived of it being a duology but the damn bunnies are making that unrealistic) before I am done with the first.

This particular plot bunny was related to one of my secondary characters; the thought occurred to me that I had no idea who this character’s family was and where they came from. BAM! Plot bunny had the answer – of course her family are Royals from a neighbouring country! She was married to the previous King (before y’know, he got murdered and shit) so it would make sense that the eligible candidates were either from royalty themselves or very high-ranking nobility.

Super-unhelpful-late-night Plot bunny also gave me the answer as to why this character’s family had not apparently thought to inquire about her well-being for the last 25 years since you’d think Royals would be a tad concerned if one of their Princesses just went incommunicado for a couple of decades. After the coup when the King’s brother went all Scar and whatnot, he simply decided to tell the Queen’s family that she’d been killed during the takeover (purely accidentally of course *sniff, boohoo*) and that left him perfectly able to forcibly marry her off to his pet Duke – cos that’s just the kind of scumbag he is.

So somewhere across the sea is a kingdom where this character’s family rules from who are blissfully unaware of her survival and the subsequent mistreatment and abuse she suffered at the hands of the Duke (*hackspit*). But following events at the end of book 1 which I won’t discuss for OBVIOUS reasons the whole Scooby Gang could always go and enlighten these guys about their beloved daughter/sister’s survival and *voila* allies galore!

And that was my plot bunny. Eventually around 1am I did get to sleep but spent much of yesterday being a shleepy grumpasaurus. But after application of tea and noms in the afternoon I did get more lively and then proceeded to wordsprint my way to a very handsome word total.

Yesterday I ended up writing 1,649 words which has put me nicely ahead and taken my overall Camp total over 13K. I only need 1940 words to get to my goal so there’s a possibility that I could get away with raising my goal up to 17K to stretch myself a little further.

I also had a rather good twitter night 😛 I’ve become one of those vaguely annoying people on twitter who now constantly tweet about their book or stuff related to writing and/or tea. It got me quite a few new followers yesterday which was hilarious and cool as well as a few retweets and favourites (apparently undertones of male flirtiness go down well with folks).

So yea I’m going to go now since I’m meant to be meeting my sister today for therapeutic home store browsing and Cap America watching *longing sigh*.

Laters
Ray

Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo Day 22

So I didn’t plan on doing any writing yesterday because, y’know I’d wrote myself into a soggy mess on the DDS buuut then I found myself horrendously bored. So bored that I ironed all of my foldable clothes and filmed a vlog. So bored I could have easily eaten an entire tube of paprika pringles (because NOM), so bored that I found myself watching a crap-ton of Youtube videos by a girl whose videos would normally never appeal to me (hair & beauty shit) purely because of her outrageously amusing way of talking.

THAT IS HOW BORED I WAS.

So I was vastly relieved last night when Kiersten White (author of the Paranormalcy series and Mind Games) tweeted  about wanting to do a 30 minute word sprint. Yes! I now had a reason to do some writing – a bit of gentle competition with the alarm on my Q10 software. So I started writing on the scene which follows the double-whammy of feels.

30 minutes later would y’all believe it I did 534 words! It was more than I needed to do in order to stay on track to reach my end goal and since I carried on a bit afterwards to eventually reach 710 words I was rather proud of myself.

My Camp total is now 11,411 words which pleases me because palindromic numbers y’all!

Gotta get some more done today before I drive to my parents tonight cos I’m taking them to the airport at God-awful o’clock tomorrow so they can bugger off to San Francisco, LA and Las Vegas for three weeks – lucky bastards. Ugh, parents just because I’m nearly 24 doesn’t mean you stop taking me on your awesome holidays – except of course that’s entirely your prerogative and you are taking us to Dublin in August so I’ll shush.

Happy Wednesday folks and Happy World Book Night!
Ray

Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo Day 21

Feck damn today was hard.

As in- emotional train-wreck hard. As in- I just killed one of my characters and now I’m emotionally compromised hard.

I finally did it. I finished the DDS (Dramatic Death scene if you cba to look back a few days). I have avoided it and procrastinated my way through several reading books and my garden for two bloody weeks but it’s now done.

And fuck was I a mess. I mean sobbing, snotty mess – my poor boyfriend was fretting all over the place because I was crying over my own damn fictional characters. I knew it was going to be bad writing this scene, but geez. Either all the authors I like have learnt how to detach themselves from their characters after a few books or they are seriously down-playing how emosh writing can get.

As Julie Kagawa likes to say “…Readers. Your tears feed my muse” well my bloody tears feed my characters so I better get some of them back!

I finally got on track with my Camp word goal, now on 10,700 words give or take a word. I can write less than 500 words a day now and hit my target on the 30th. But I probably will hit it early and maybe take it up again although perhaps not back to 20K – best not to push it too far and lose it right at the end.

With the completion of this scene my whole manuscript total goes up to 51,314 words which is pretty fucking epic if I do say so myself.

I’m probably gonna need a day to get over how much this scene messed me up and then there’s the question of do I carry on with the last few scenes of the story or do I go back to the middle and write something nice and happy? I’d be tempted by the latter but since I’m feeling a tad masochistic right now I’ll probably keep on trucking through the feels, tears be damned.

So that was my Monday, how y’all doing?
Ray

 

Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo Days 19 & 20

Evenin’ chaps! Thought I’d leave it until the end of the day to do my post since there was no point recapping yesterday since I did a measly 102 words. Ze family came round to help le boyf and I to decimate the front garden. It went from an outrageously overgrown litter-trap to a surprisingly large space that has only three plants left alive in it. Five hours of extreme gardening left us all a bit shattered.

But I digress – quelle surprise. I mixed today up a bit by doing some reading in the morning (Devoured Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor so now I can blaze through DoGaM!). Then I carried on with the fight scene I started on Day 17.

Things got a bit emosh as I reached the point where I do my evil writerly thing and kill one of the characters – except I didn’t kill him in this scene, he’s gonna die in one of my incomplete scenes that I have avoided for nearly two weeks. But it’s still rather heart-breaking to write another character’s reaction to seeing that dead character. Twas a close call on the tears front – I think I smushed my face a bit I was leaning on my hand so hard while I was writing.

My evening has been typing up the seven pages of hand-written scene, mysteriously adding 100 words along the way because y’all should know I can’t *not* edit as I’m typing up. Oh and I forgot to mention that yesterday I lowered my word count goal on the Camp Nanowrimo site again, down to 15,000 words this time. I think this should have been my goal from the start since it’s about what I was producing a month on my own before Camp and I think I’ve been stressing too much from being so far behind on a 20K goal.

Now my stats are looking a fair bit better – my Camp Word Count is  8887 words,  while my overall word count on the novel is up to 48,318 words. I have two incomplete scenes currently standing at a combined total of 2554 words as well as a scene from what will be the sequel to this novel that’s 2468 words long.

That’s a lot of words. Especially since this is still the first novel I’ve written that I’ve got this far with – my 2010 Nanowrimo attempt got just over half the amount I’m currently at so *party poppers* for me! It’s by no means finished yet but in terms of Camp I’m two-thirds of the way through the month and I’m now only 1113 words behind where I need to be to finish on the 30th.

Tomorrow I really will try and go back to the DDS, since I’ve written the bit just after it now I’m hoping I can write up to meet that point from my FMC’s POV without sobbing my heart out. *readies mournful music and tissues*

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter (and ate much chocolate), I am now going to flail at Karou and Akiva
*zoops away*
Ray

Writing Ray – Camp Nanowrimo Day 18

So yesterday… ended less coherently than it started. Didn’t get that much writing done only 681 words but had a bit of fun writing scene that *still* isn’t my DDS but technically it’s taking place at the same time but just from a different POV.

Now I’m wrestling with a fight scene which I’m trying to write without having plotted it out, and without extensively detailed knowledge of sword-fighting terms. There was some periodic googling to make sure I wasn’t writing utter drivel but I’m sure that I will have to re-word things later anyway. I quite like scenes like this because there is basically no dialogue (too much swording for talking) so I can just think about how awesome the action would look if it were a film.
I shan’t waffle much more because I need to flash-tidy my house ahead of my parent’s coming over to help wrestle with our wayward garden. I have a lot of empty wine bottles to hide from last night when me, and my boyf’s brother’s girlfriend and my boyf’s friend’s wife all got rather drunk in our lounge whilst watching/singing along to Pitch Perfect, Frozen and Mulan (because we’re all mature adults :P). Excellent evening; I sang VAIR LOUDLY and hopefully reasonably tunefully and managed to avoid waking up this morning with a banging headache, which was a win for me.
May get some writing done later tonight if I get chance, I gotta hide all evidence while my mother is about because lawd knows she won’t fully understand or appreciate how I’m spending my time. *sigh*
A bientot
Ray
p.s. sorry for how incoherent this post is, I don’t think my head is quite on an even keel just yet.