NaNoWriMo Day 24

The Words: 2462 written today.

I have to admit, it’s getting more and more difficult to write, after having already hit 50k, and with the story not really going a direction that feels great. But I am determined to write at least some every day, either until the story is done, or until November ends. I got to twitter.com/NaNoWordSprints during a time of one #1k30min after another. I came late for one, so wrote about 700 while I waited for that sprint to end. Then I wrote another 1300 during the next 30-minute sprint. After that, I was into a part that was more fun to write, so I kept going until I realized it was midnight.

The Story: Though some of it was pretty unbelievable, Justin finished updating the others on what he’d learned about Vin’s doings over the last several years. Then, something happened that I’ve been looking forward to since way before I ever started planning this book. The brother of Rogan, the man who returned from the dead, finally arrived back in Pithea, after being away for a few months. His reunion with his brother was great!

Total word count: 69,503

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 24th

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NaNoWriMo Day 22

The Words: 1982 written today.

Another day getting just past par, which is great after such a slump! Not much more to say here. I also finally wrote with a sprint from @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, which I haven’t been doing as much lately (no surprise, since I’ve barely even been writing lately). I did one #1k30min, which is where most of the words came from, and then kept going to make sure I passed 1667.

The Story: The climax is definitely over, though I struggled to find the resolution to it that I had planned. I don’t think I’m very good at this kind of thing, which I chalk up mostly to having a decent, tragedy-lite life myself.

Vin talked about watching both his dad and his mom die, both at different times, and feels a lot of guilt, which is where some of his violence has come from. For now, I think I will leave the messy resolution to the climax and move on to the wrap-up. Tomorrow I’ll head back to where Penny, Rogan, and Cathy have been waiting while the fighting went down.

Total word count: 66,882

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 22nd

I have been remiss in sharing the NaNoMusical as the month has progressed! Here is episode 4!

NaNoWriMo Day 14

The Words: 1837 written today.

I got done with a #1k30min, for which I skipped past the talking my characters were doing, drawing out the scene before the climax, at least partly because I wasn’t absolutely certain who exactly was going to be part of the climax.

But I skipped by all of that and went straight to the climax, making a quick decision about who was going to be there. Then after that sprint, I realized something–my story is going to end way before the end of the month. I don’t want to be done that early.

I still have 5-6 letters from Vin to write, but if they’re like the others I’ve written, that will give me maybe up to 3-4000 words. And the climax might go on a bit, plus there’s the wrap-up. But it’s only the 14th. So I’m going to try to slow down. I’m not sure it’s any more fun to stop when I’m on a roll than it is to push myself to write a lot in a day, but I don’t want to run out of story on the 20th. Unlike 2015 when I had a 2nd story on the backburner that I started when the first novel ended on the 15th or 16th, I have no back-up plan this year. (Though I could fill the month in a bit with some written brainstorming, because I feel like I left a lot of this story unexplored.)

The Story: Nathan, Clark, and in a strange twist, Justin (the man I hadn’t even planned to be in this novel) headed to a hidden, underground lair to try to find Vin. They succeeded in finding him, and then he put most of his cards on the table. There was some discussion, as Nathan in particular tried to talk Vin into giving up his crusade.

But then they started fighting. Fight scenes have always been a problem for me. Add to that the fact that most of these people have grown past the limitations that their local region has placed on Power, and this fight scene could go just about anywhere. So I skipped it for now.

I summed up what would likely happen during the fighting, and then wrote a moment during which Vin had been subdued temporarily, and the others discussed what to do with him. Nathan wants to turn him in, but Clark doesn’t think any jail can hold him.

Unfortunately, I have made the good guys too strong, because I need them to feel that it is absolutely necessary to kill him. I may have to think about that issue.

Total word count: 57,702

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 14th

NaNoWriMo Day 11

The Words: 7810 written today.

I didn’t get started on writing until 3pm, partly because it was too easy to be lazy when kids were gone and the house was quiet. But Saturdays are the busiest day of the week at my job (escape room company), and while I was not working in-store today, as the director of operations, there is still a lot that goes on through a Saturday that I am involved with, even from home.

I had decided to try a reward system to get through a lot of words–1000 words written, half an hour of laziness, back and forth. That lasted through two or three sessions, and then I got distracted by work things. Then I did a #1k30min with @NaNoWordSprints, and the sprint leader challenged us to move forward or backward in time during our writing. I decided to use that time to write more of Vin’s letters, which are a different timeline than the rest of the story. That came out to 1800 words, and then I was one solid sprint away from 50k. I passed that mark at about 6:15pm!

I wrote a little more after dinner, but then decided it wasn’t a bad idea to stop after that, even though I had a solid 2 hours before midnight. It was a good day!

The Story: I wrote 6 letters from Vin to the pastor. Each of these letters represents an event in which Vin affected the grander story in some way, though 3 of the 6 today were smaller parts of one larger event. He has been a background antagonist in a few other books I’ve written or planned, and this is all of what he has done coming to light. He’s basically confessing all of this to the pastor as it happens. The pastor doesn’t know who he is.

Based on my timeline, there will be 5 more letters before the final one. So at least as it relates to Vin’s storyline, I am more than halfway through.

The main storyline took an interesting turn today. Nathan talks to the pastor who was unexpectedly at the church for just a minute or two, then returns to where Penny and the others are with the journals and papers he found in the locked room. They start to read through these writings and discuss how Vin could possibly know all that he knows.

Meanwhile, Cathy has been gone for a few hours, and we leave the others to follow her and see what she’s been doing. This was the 2nd large thing that came up during the writing that I was not anticipating at all. The inclusion of Justin in the story was the first thing. But I had never planned to follow Cathy, and had always expected it to be this big reveal when she showed back up with a certain person.

Here is where I admit that I am one of those people that is guilty of using the trope that “no one ever actually dies.” It’s not true that no one dies, but there are definitely a few faked deaths, or deaths that look real, and turn out not to be (like Rogan’s). There just happen to be 2 that turn up in this story, but to be fair, I’m pretty sure the reader will know that this one didn’t actually die in the book in which he appears to die. Hopefully that makes it less bad.

Cathy’s very close friend, a man named…let’s called him Clark…is living a few countries over, hiding out, after being presumed dead. He is probably the most powerful man in at least the union that Pithea is part of, but came across this power highly illegally. So he’s hiding from the people in charge of the Power. But Cathy knows that if they do manage to find Vin, they will need Clark’s help. It took absolutely no convincing for him to agree to help, even though it would mean revealing his secret to at least a few people (one of whom–Justin–was part of the unit that was trying to bring him in before he “died”).

Wow, this story is complicated. Not just this one, but the entire series of stories. It’s just too much to try to sum up…

Total word count: 51,828

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 11th

NaNoWriMo Day 9

The Words: 5402 written today.

I was done with work earlier than normal today (around 4pm), so I had a little extra time to write. However, because that doesn’t happen often, I also just wanted to do nothing productive. So I compromised with myself. I decided that if I wrote 1000 words, I could do whatever else I felt like until supper time.

Then during my normal evening writing time, I was really into the writing, so I got through quite a bit of it. When I validated my words and saw that I had passed 40k, and there’s still quite a bit of story left, I realized that I could pretty easily hit 100k this year.

The Story: First, that thousand words I wrote in the afternoon were on my Neo. For some reason, I have relegated the writing of Vin’s letters to the pastor to the Neo, and when I’m at the laptop using @NaNoWordSprints and Scrivener, I write about Penny, Rogan, and the others.

Though Vin’s letters are going to be spread throughout the novel, I have barely touched them. I think I’m still intimidated by Vin and his dark nature. I did do some on days 2 and 3, but I didn’t like how they came out. They were unnatural, like I was trying too hard (well, I was). The thing is, I had multiple conversations with Vin durng NaNoPrep time. I’m not afraid to say it anymore. The plot for this story was difficult to pin down, especially when it came to Vin’s motivations. So every time I got stuck, I would go to my Neo and have a chat with Vin. I’ve never worked this way before, but it worked like a charm!

So in a way, I had to cancel out the first letters I wrote from his perspective (not delete them, because they still count, but just decide they weren’t going to be used) and tell him to talk to the pastor the same way he’s been talking to me, telling me what he’s been up to. So I wrote 3 letters from him today, and they came out so much better.

The evening writing continued with yesterday’s conversation between Penny and Cathy, where Cathy told Penny she had an idea to help them with the super-powerful man that they are trying to find. Cathy abruptly leaves, saying she can’t explain yet, but to not let Nathan confront Vin if he does track him down.

Then Penny is left alone, knowing that she couldn’t fight off Vin if he came after her. So she goes in search of allies. She goes to find Ari, and comes across Rogan instead. Then the two of them enlist the aid of someone who I had not planned to include in this story at all. He’s a secondary character in “Pithea,” and someone I do have other long-term plans for, but I’m pretty sure that at the time of this story, he’s just doing nothing (nothing crucial to another story arc, that is–just living life). And in fact, bringing him into this story will probably end up working nicely as the springboard into those long-term plans, so this has turned out perfectly.

I brought him in because I was searching my mind for characters that were already in my story that can use the Power in a way that would get Penny to safety if Vin attacked. Justin was actually there the first time that Penny and Rogan encountered Vin, or at least his underling, so his name popped into my mind, and thus popped into Penny’s mouth. I kinda love how organic writing the first draft can be! Yes, I have an outline (very vague, and stops soon in the story), but even as a planner, the plot and characters usually take on a mind of their own during the first draft.

Anyway, right at the end of my writing today, Nathan came back, with some very interesting news about what he discovered in that locked room, but he didn’t get a chance to share it, because I was done for the night.

Total word count: 40,363

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 9th

NaNoWriMo Day 6

The Words: 2323 written today.

I knew I couldn’t sustain the higher word counts I’d been getting this month for long, but that’s okay. Even the year that I challenged myself to write 100k in a month didn’t yield this high of results this early. I don’t want to burn out, so this amount of words today is just right.

I had a rough day of work today. Worse than what I thought was rough 3 days ago. To sum it up, I went into work to drop something off, and was there for an hour discovering a plethora of mistakes employees had been making recently (no one was there when I went in, and most of this had happened Saturday). It was a barrage of bad, and when I got home, almost 2 hours later than I expected to, I still had to do some clean up for a while.

I finally got to my writing around 10:30pm. One 10-minute sprint was interrupted by my husband, for I-can’t-even-remember-what reason. The next 15-minute sprint was interrupted by him again, when he came to tell me that the oven was officially broken and we are going to have to get a new one tomorrow. At that point, I had about 1000 words, and just wanted to hit par for the day, so I didn’t use up any of my lead. I tried a #1k30min with the Twitter word sprints feed, and got interrupted by my son who was just trying to say good night. Poor kid. I gave up a few minutes from the end of the 30-minute sprint, but I’d reached the goal, so I didn’t care.

The Story: More talk. The only plot advancement was that Penny went to go find out if she’d received a response from Rogan’s brother yet. He’s been out of the country for a few months on an extended vacation, but with his brother’s sudden reappearance, Penny wrote him and asked him to come back to Pithea sooner than he’d planned. There’s been no word so far.

The main story this time is Penny telling Rogan and Ari about a bit of a murder-mystery that happened a few weeks prior. It’s actually the book I wrote for my 2015 NaNoNovel. I didn’t finish that story, though, and in the end hashed out a lot of what needed to happen, but never got back to it to finish the mystery. So on a day like today, trying to write about what happened in a mystery story that is still a work in progress…it sort of just fell apart. That’s when I gave up. When I come back tomorrow, I will probably be wise to just put a cap on that conversation and move on to some action.

Total word count: 28,492

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 6th

NaNoWriMo Day 5

The Words: 8743 written today.

I decided to really make use of my day off. I work only about 20 hours a week, but those 20 hours are generally spread throughout Monday-Saturday, and I can be needed any time from 9am until 11pm on those days (or midnight on Fridays and Satrudays). So I highly value my Sundays off.

I came up with a plan today. My husband and I have been binge-watching Girl Meets World recently, since I came down sick and started from the beginning of the show on Netflix (we grew up with Boy Meets World and loved the continuity from that show, but hadn’t finished GMW yet). We’re in the final season, and have been enjoying watching it together. So I told him I would write 1500 words, and then we’d watch an episode, and we’d go back and forth like that, see how it went.

We went through 3 cycles of that, and then it was time to make supper. I helped him get supper started, and then wrote some more. When I realized how close I was to 25k words, I decided that would be my stopping point.

Then I validated my word count, and it came in over 1000 words higher than I thought, and I remembered that I hadn’t been counting all of my words, just my sprints. But I’d written some between sprints… anyway, the point is, it was a great day!

The Story: Well…I’ve been doing a lot of rehashing events from my very first novel, and I did do some more of that today. It’s been a lot of dialog between 4 people, and very little showing what they’re doing while they talk. I know this is mostly filler, and that it can’t stay in the story. And it’s not even the kind of filler that at least teaches you something about your characters or your story. But I don’t care. Because what it is is filler that has been so much fun to write. I have just been having so much fun having one or two characters share a crazy, fun, or surprising story from the past, and letting the other one or two characters who didn’t already know the story react.

But most of that has come to an end now. Penny has explained to the others that the man who seems to have brought Rogan back from the dead 5 1/2 years after he was thought to have died was a villain from their past. Now they know that this man is likely up to no good. Worse than that, he’s probably been working with another man, and between the two of them, they stalked Penny for a few years. She’s tired of being scared of them and wondering what’s going on. So her husband, Nathan, has assured her that they are going to put a stop to it.

Nathan has just left to stake out the building they visited in the previous day’s writing, the one where Rogan woke up. He’s hoping that Vin (the man who “saved” Rogan) will show back up and he can get a lead on what’s going on.

Total word count: 26,169

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 5th

NaNoWriMo Day 4

The Words: 4109 written today.

I didn’t get to any writing after midnight last night again, and I worked today. I didn’t get started on my writing until 9pm. The first word sprint with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter at that time was a #1K30min (30-minute sprint where people push themselves to try to write 1000 words). I got 1700–the entire daily goal in one sprint. It was a rush!

My husband came in then, and we put our daughter to bed. A few shorter word sprints later got me to the word count I have, 5 minutes before midnight.

The Story: Rogan, Penny, Nathan, and Ari go to where Rogan thinks he was when he woke up the previous day, having been told by a Cleric that he’d been in a hospital for a few days (when really it had been 5 1/2 years). They find a building that looks familiar to Rogan and go inside. It’s completely empty. Rogan recognizes the view out the window, though, so they know they’re in the right place.

Ari stumbles across a discovery that shakes Penny to the core. A blue fluid that was once used by a powerful man who had tried to kill her about 7 years in the past (he called himself Jarrett). This blue fluid gave Penny powers she should not have had. It isn’t exactly a liquid that exists naturally in Pithea.

They decide they should not stick around this place, because he is a very dangerous man, and they don’t want him to find them there. Penny also makes another connection–the man that claimed to have saved Rogan’s life had a similar name to another man who had attacked her once. The man was not Jarrett, but he had reminded her of Jarrett. She suspects they’re all connected somehow. But only half of the people with her know half the story of these men, so they’ve gone somewhere safe (Penny’s mom’s house, because Rogan doesn’t feel comfortable at Penny and Nathan’s place) so that Penny can fill all of them in on the various events of the past.

(If anyone is following along with this, I’ll bet it’s starting to get really complicated, since it references past events in my first book, “Pithea,” and because I’m trying to be vague to avoid spoilers.)

Total word count: 17,426

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 4th

NaNoWriMo Day 3

The Words: 3682 written today.

I didn’t get to any writing after midnight last night, like I like to do to get a jump start on the day’s writing. And I had a rather rough day of work today, that followed me through supper time. (I work from home for about 70% of my job, so I worked from home, but the work kept going after I’d quit for the day and ate supper. That isn’t normal, at least not to this degree, but we’re finishing up a long project…like, 1.5 years long, and it’s down to minor bugs and issues that we’re starting to stress over.)

I told my husband that I wasn’t sure I was going to get my words in today during supper, not because I didn’t think I’d have time later in the evening, but because I wasn’t sure my mind would be in the right place. And because I wasn’t sure if work would keep following me. Let me be clear about something though–I was already ahead of par going into today, by 3 days, and I’m aware that is really good. But I’ve always liked to still get at least the normal 1667 words in each day, no matter how far ahead I am, because I know there will be a day (usually later in the month) when I just can’t. So I store the extra for those bad days. I didn’t want to use some of that extra on day 3.

Rather than wait for after my daughter went to bed, I decided to take the hour after supper, before she went to bed, to steal away and see what I could get done. I had my husband’s blessing, so off I went. I got to the Twitter word sprints feed that I love so much just as one sprint leader was signing off. The next one didn’t join right away, so I started up a 10-minute sprint on my own. Two total 10-minute solo sprints later, a sprint leader came along and said we were doing a #1K30min (30-minute sprint where people push themselves to try to write 1000 words). I got 1500, which was fantastic. The others on Twitter kept going with another #1K30min, but I needed a break. My fingers were tired after that.

The Story: Nathan and Penny, finally alone after Rogan first showed up out of nowhere, take some time to discuss the situation. Penny goes through a range of emotions, first elation over the fact that her once-best friend isn’t dead after all, but also sad that she knows their relationship will never be like it used to be. She and Nathan have a moment of reaffirmation of their love for each other, and all is well.

Then we move on to the next day, and Nathan and Penny meet back up with Rogan and their team leader Ari. They go for breakfast before trying to track down the man who Rogan says saved his life. At breakfast, they talk more about things that happened while Rogan was gone, including a rather disastrous, nearly civil-war-inciting battle in the desert.

Total word count: 13,317

Don’t forget to check out today’s NaNoToons if you haven’t already: 2017 – November 3rd