it's done.

Dec. 4th, 2010 09:21 pm
withorwithoutyou: (highway// another soldier on the road)
And like all good stories, it's not really over, we've just reached the point where we part ways with our heroes (and anti-heroes) and they ride off into the wild blue yonder into that nebulous post-story world, full of other adventures and new crises to overcome.

One thing that writing such a gigantic amount in such a short time taught me is that 'happily ever after' is entirely overrated. Life is messy and chaotic and tragic and beautiful.

There's always another adventure over the horizon, always another story to be told, another person to meet, somewhere. Last year, I started keeping a regular personal journal midway through NaNo. It was something I had never managed to keep up with in twenty years of life, and the more I write, the more I realize how much I have to learn about myself and everything else.

It's a good thing.

It means that I won't get bored anytime soon and that- god willin' and the creek don't rise- there will be another novel next year, more stories both before and after it, more things to see and learn and do.

If writing is an adventure and writing is all about life and death and the moments in between, then I've got a feeling it's gonna be a heck of a ride.

Like any good adventurer, I'm both totally ready and completely unprepared. And I can't wait.

Happy travels. :)

Thanks to [personal profile] ladyseishou at [community profile] nano_writers
withorwithoutyou: (nanowrimo// just do it)
It's November 1. It's gonna be awesome, but up until 12:30 last night, I had no idea what I wanted to say, just a half dozen fragments of ideas.

Completely ignoring that fact, I started writing, and slowly the ideas started to come.

I have no idea where this novel is going to take me just yet, but I hear half the fun is getting there. That said, allons-y!.


Day 1 Total: 2,097
1.5 Total: 1,696
1.7 Total: 1,273 (sprints)
Total: 5.066

withorwithoutyou: (penguins// to walk on tiptoes everyday)
It's been several weeks since I've done any serious work on my novel, I did about fifteen hours worth during March for NaNoEdMo, and honestly that's a big accomplishment for me considering that my first novel is still languishing on my hard drive, now almost three years later. Lately especially I've really been missing the little world I've found for Mercy and her family, and having acquired a lot more information on the subject of her illness, I feel like I'm ready to get going again. My story isn't perfect and maybe it never will be- I'm alright with that. It's a story that needed to be told, and in the end it isn't mine or anyone else's so much as it is its own.

Somewhere along the way it's taught me that doing your personal best is not necessarily the same as perfection. Nothing's perfect in this life, but it's that we try our hardest that counts and armed with that knowledge I've been de-stressing my life quite a bit these last few months.
withorwithoutyou: (nanowrimo// don't try to be a hero)
Ahh, wow. I don't even know the right word to describe how I'm feeling right now. It's this incredible place between "I can't believe it's over and I did it" and "I don't want to end" and "Oh my god, I'm tired, somebody find me a bed please."

Finishing out at 70,062 words, the ending of Mercy's Friends was officially written about six minutes ago, and I don't know how to feel right now. Seriously, I have no idea. Yes, it's entirely possible that I'm in shock, in fact, it's likely. And believe it or not, I'm getting ready to go journal all about this fact.

Yeah, NaNo seriously does things to your head. Believe that.

Meep. I realize I fell down the rabbit hole the past few days, give me tomorrow to sleep and then I promise things will start getting back to normal.
Gosh, I might actually find out what it's like to go to bed before two in the morning again...
withorwithoutyou: (handwritten// i love you)

Big thank you to [personal profile] ladyseishou at [community profile] nano_writers for the lovely banner :D
withorwithoutyou: (arctic fox// and they did not notice me)
^ Favorite line written today. Because Ella can be snarky and get away with it now and then.

Anyway, today, I had to be reminded of two things that have made all the difference:
1) The story wants to be told, and it will be.
2) It's not going to happen exactly the way I want it to, just because I say so.

I messed up, and I'm taking the blame for that. The other day when I was writing, the story took a twist that I hadn't been expecting. I didn't like the idea at first, I thought it was too out of character for the person, and so I didn't write it. And for the first time since I've started this novel I had the feeling that something was profoundly wrong, like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just didn't work.

The way I wrote around the twist was flat and boring and it simply felt wrong, even if it seemed to me to be more realistic. No matter how much I tried to force the explanation I'd come up with to work, the real one- the one that I'd refused to write- stayed embedded in my mind.
It took me two days of feeling out of sorts and off balance around my poor novel to realize that I'd made what could've been a fatal error. By forcing my opinion into things instead of letting them progress organically, I wasn't being true to the story or myself.

So today when I sat down to write it wasn't too hard to tell myself that the offending scene had already been corrected and to simply write from that point- especially since I'd been unable to get the real explanation for it out of my head. And the most amazing thing happened when I did- everything just worked. Suddenly it flowed as a natural connection right into another scene I'd had plotted out for weeks, and the character who I had thought it was so out of character for? Turns out it's not at all, and in fact is exactly the kind of thing she would do. Two large parts of the story just connected themselves on their own, and they wouldn't have if I had continued thinking I knew best and that was that.

Lesson learned: Do not try and force a story to go where you want it to. Ever.

I WIN ^^

Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:10 am
withorwithoutyou: (highway// another soldier on the road)

I win. :D

that is all.
With five minutes left to midnight on November 23, I have once again kicked NaNoWriMo's butt. I am awesome. and so modest, too!

That's not to say that the novel's finished yet. That's why I wanted to hit 50k early, so that I can have some extra time for writing out the last few scenes I have planned out, and getting a head start on editing, because otherwise I never will. True story. I still haven't edited my novel from last year.

I have notes jotted down for additional scenes I want to add (it wasn't written 100% chronologically this time), and I know what I'm doing for the final scene already, which is refreshing. Because last year this time I was sitting there going "O_o what next?"

But- that is all for tomorrow. Tonight? I am binging on chocolate and dancing around the house, and that is that.
Night y'all.

PS. Yes, the shouting and caps and flailiness will be gone tomorrow when I look at my novel and inevitably flail again, (this time in the unhappy way) and go "ZOMG, THERE'S STILL SO MUCH TO DO." However, that is tomorrow. :P
withorwithoutyou: (Default)
If you write 835 words in a row it will all turn out okay.
NaNo Motivator

Well, actually no it won't. Realistically things will never be okay for Mercy. I still wrote the 835 words though.
withorwithoutyou: (penguins// to walk on tiptoes everyday)
Today I didn't like a lot of what I wrote. I repeated 'just keep writing' so many times I'll probably be saying it in my sleep tonight, but eventually I got all of the random words that had been simmering in my head all day out, and once that happened I started getting somewhere. I got an interesting perspective from Mercy's point of view as to what it's like when she's having one of her episodes, and lo and behold, there was something usable out of all that rambling after all. It's hard for me to get things from her perspective right, seeing as I don't do children's thinking well. People told me I was an old soul when I was a kid, and my mental age regressed as I got older. Sad but true.
So... we're working on that. Mercy and I have a few creative differences, but I'm finding that since it's her story, then my ideas don't matter much. She has a story and she's going to tell it her way, and as long as I don't get in the way of that things work remarkably well.

If I'm allowed a completely selfish bit of ranting, I had a bad day. So hmph. I'd very much like to go to sleep now, I think.
withorwithoutyou: (polar bears// somewhere only we know)

Booyah. Never underestimate the power of 90s pop, my friends. Ever.

withorwithoutyou: (casette// always something there to remi)
I've reached the portion of the month where I no longer feel self conscious for sitting in an empty hotel room eating lukewarm Chinese food and blaring Will Smith music while I type. The portion of the month where I have to remind myself that there's no need for separating compound words in everyday writing, and that spelling is indeed something to be concerned about when writing non-novel information.
Embrace the stereotypes, people. Live them.
withorwithoutyou: (novel// mercy's friends)

Having made the breakthrough I did earlier, I came up with a section of the novel that I really did like. I finally connected to it and came up with something that worked.
Also, I stopped trying to write chronologically and just went where the muse was leading me. It went surprisingly well, I got a lot of writing done in a short amount of time.
withorwithoutyou: (laura// nanowrimo)
Reading this interview from one of the directors of Battlestar Galactica taught me something without even trying: Each and every thing on this planet holds a story. It seems simple but sometimes I need to be reminded.

Getting caught up in the day to day grind means sometimes you don't stop to think beyond what you see and get down to the reasons for everything. I've been guilty of this more than once, but when you're trying to tell a story, you can't afford not to think about the whys. Part of the reason the story I'm writing has meaning to me is because I have personal experience in dealing with schizophrenics because of my uncle, and growing up that made a huge impression on me. The challenge now is making that resonate in the novel, and it's why the way I'm writing the story may change now. It's been a bit of a breakthrough, I finally understand why it's so important to me to be writing this particular story at this point in time, instead of all the other ones that have passed through my mind.
withorwithoutyou: (highway// just another soldier on the ro)
Here's a link to an interesting article I found the other day.
50 Things A Writer Shouldn't Do
The funny thing is, since we're talking about NaNoWriMo, most of those rules are to be discarded until the end of the month. Feel free to use them in December. Honestly, I find the lack of rules involved in NaNoWriMo to be awfully refreshing. That said, there's a few things I've learned from personal experience. They aren't rules, they're just things I've learned about my own writing process, and that's different for each person.

Dear self, this is what you need to know:
Lessons learned )
I wrote this because I needed to remind myself of a few things before I could forget them. That said, I'm going to be adding to this throughout November as I think of things that I want to remember about this crazy month long self discovery trip. The best part of any trip is all the things you see along the way. With that in mind, I can't wait to see what else this month has in store.
withorwithoutyou: (novel// mercy's friends)
oo1. des'ree - you gotta be
oo2. the eurhythmics - here comes the rain again
oo3. matchbox twenty - unwell
oo4. oasis - wonderwall
oo5. chumbawamba - tubthumping (i get knocked down)
oo6. tears for fears - i believe
oo7. des'ree - life
oo8. creedence clearwater revival - have you ever seen the rain?
oo9. the beatles - i am the walrus
o1o. peter schilling - major tom (coming home)
o11. the klf - justified and ancient (feat. tammy wynette)
withorwithoutyou: (handwritten// so many ways to say i love)
Working twelve hours a day and then trying to novel at the end of it isn't always easy. Today's one of those days, there's a whole bucket of excuses that I could come up with, but the biggest one is simply that I'm tired. There are times when whatever it is that I'm going through at the moment finds its way into my novel, and writing two thousand words of a character musing on how much they need to go to sleep might advance my word count, but it wouldn't help my plot any. Therefore, my standby measure: when in doubt[see also: tired, sick, grumpy, etc] troll the interwebs. There's an unending variety of information online and generally, it's enough to give even the most stubborn of muses an idea.
So... I'm off to go drum up ideas for the next chapter.
withorwithoutyou: (nanowrimo// just do it)
So, the title of my novel this year is "Mercy's Friends", and yes, that's a working title, it's already been changed a couple of times. Loosely based on the story of a six year old schizophrenic living in Los Angeles, California. I emphasize loosely based because only the concept is similar in that the main character, a little girl named Mercy, is indeed schizophrenic. So far, the writing is going alright, I've hit a few snags with regard to the plotting end of it, because there's really no way to come up with a resolution for a schizophrenic, especially when it's presenting in somebody so young.

The biggest issue I've had, or issues, really, is that I'm on a ten day work trip in Chicago, Illinois, working twelve to thirteen hours a day with a few breaks interspersed in between. It's been a real struggle to get up the energy and the nerve to get any serious writing done by the time I get back to my hotel room at night. Still though, I've been cranking up the tunes and plunking out my roughly seventeen hundred words every evening, like clockwork. Last night I managed almost 3400, and felt ridiculously accomplished.

Oftentimes, things that are currently in the news find their way into my writing, and this novel will be no exception. Checking my news feed this morning, I found this article on career women, and having families, and I think I might even be able to fit it in somewhere in my novel. Yes, I really do love doing shoutouts. :)


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