NaNowriMo day 22

Kittens. You’ve got to love them. 🙂

What? Apart from that? Nothing happening here … move along. Oh, okay. Here’s a bit of salutary advice from one who knows. It’s better to build the world before you start writing a story in it.

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NaNoWriMo day 8

Welcome to day eight of the most fabulous show on earth. Erm, yes. I’ll split this into three sections, which, seeing as it’s gone 7pm isn’t good – you’ll see why later.

Life

The boiler blew up last week and we’ve had scant hot water. Consequently, I’m beginning to look like a bit player in a Dickens adaptation, and certainly feel like one.

Went to bed late so got up late. Getting up late isn’t good and it’s lucky I’m self-employed. Not so lucky that the work I was expecting hasn’t arrived yet. Yea! thought I. I  can write.

Haven’t written a jot … yet.

Frittering

It’s a pity I can’t find a niche market for frittering as I seem to excel at it, and I’m also rather good at net research. The proof of the pudding being finding out that my Great-Grandfather would have been 157 this year! It’s a bit of a story so I’ll keep it short:

I accessed an email account I’d almost forgotten about and found a link to a website called Genes Reunited which I’d joined a few years back to try and discover my family tree. It offered me free access to the 1911 census. Now free is good, because census access can be expensive. I clicked the link (first checking it was legitimate and not spam for a ‘ penis enlargement’ scam) and arrived at the logon page. Luckily, I use a password program – otherwise that’s where this tale would have ended – and it logged me in. Colour me embarrassed but there was an email from a chap I’d last corresponded with four years ago. To cut a long thing short: the 1911 census gave me all the information I hadn’t been able to find out before. Seeing where my long dead relatives used to live and who lived with them in the house in 1911 was amazing! And, I remembered my Great-Grandfather was an author of children’s books!

I trundled over to Google,  typed in his name and arrived at Project Gutenburg where to my amazement I found they had transcribed one of his books into .mobi and .epub: The Hero of Garside School. It was quite an emotional moment. 😉 Maybe I write because it’s somewhere in my DNA? My Grandmother was a journalist, too.

After lunch – because a sensible fritterer always has cheese on toast – I tried loglines again (see yesterday’s post). As a pantser – one who writes on the fly rather than having a plot to follow – I don’t think they’re going to be that useful for me. When I finish the first draft I’ll try loglining again. At that point I think they’ll help me to refine the story.

NaNo day 8

As it’s now nearly 8pm I’ve got to get my skates on and start writing. No point in spanking myself (a la John Cleese in Fawlty Towers) and no point in wailing as I rip out my hair. No, I’ll just toodle off and write.

Ave.

NaNoWriMo day 6

Writing fiction is a strange and rather magical pastime. There are two types of writer: the pantser – who literally writes by the seat of their pants (or trousers if you come from the U.K., like I do), and the plotter – who outlines and plots meticulously before they begin. I’m a pantser. I begin with just the very vaguest idea and the story either quickly dies, or, it seems to write itself: characters arrive and are either minor bit players, who soon disappear, or major characters I get to know well. I can take those characters anywhere and they’ll bear it without too much complaint.

It is a bit like buying a magical ticket for a holiday without any idea of where you’re going or who you’re going to meet en-route. It’s big fun, but you still have to bear in mind that there will be drama and tears,  love, and fantasy and death.

Today, on day six of this years NaNo, my story clicked and I became involved. Some characters are now more than acquaintances; they’re friends. Some characters I’m beginning to loath, and at least one (wipes a tear away) is going to die.

I’m a bit behind as far as word count goes, but I don’t think that’s going to last long. I’m invested in the story and I really want to find out how it’s going to end. 🙂

Ave.

NaNoWriMo day 5

I’ve been plagued all day by thoughts of word count, why I’m slipping, and do I really care?

I write: ergo I’m a writer. I may not make a living at it: I may not get up at five in the morning and, bleary eyed, write beautiful stellar prose because that’s when the squirrels are cutely cavorting and it is just the way it’s got to be, darling. I may not even write a lot when I write … but I do write. So do I need the artificial kick in the arse that is NaNo? Yesterday I said:

NaNoWriMo is all about the 50,000 words. Write, write and write! Do not carefully construct each and every sentence while writing…

But that’s just not me. I’m not good at churning out pages and pages and then going back to edit. I prefer to try and get it right the first time. Besides, I write short stories, not novels as they seem to be an easier form for me.

The question I should probably ask myself is ‘why haven’t you finished one of your NaNo novels, then? Hmm?’ Honestly, I don’t know. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just unfinished. Also, it’s more fun writing something new.

I’m beginning to think NaNo is a bit like Birthdays, Christmas, and Guy Fawkes: the anticipation is much sweeter than the reality.

I’ve ‘done’ NaNo every year since 2006–back in the days when participation hadn’t got near a hundred thousand people and the servers were so slow it was a miracle if you could update your word count. Then, it was an utter blast, and huge fun! But then I knew a lot of people taking part. Now, it seems, no one I know can be bothered. Maybe the global economy is partially to blame, yet year on year the number of people hammering away on their keyboards grows, and the whole shebang has becomes slicker and slicker and better orchestrated … which is not a bad thing at all, it’s just….

I don’t know what I’m trying to say, here. I’ll stop blathering. 😉

Oh, and yes, I do care my word count is slipping. It’s a cracking story and as I want to finish it I’ll do better. Honest, guv.

Ave!

NaNoWriMo day 3

I’m feeling lackadaisical and pursed.

Pursued by this daft ambition to finish 50,000 words in 30 days – which I gleefully signed up for – and a creeping negativity and ambivalence that keeps trying to persuade me to watch TV, have a snooze, or anyone of a thousand other things rather than buckling down to write. I’ve failed twice since I started doing NaNo in 2006 and I’m wondering if this might be number three. After all, aren’t ‘things’ supposed to happen in threes? I seem to be justifying failure before I’ve failed, which is odd. I should be outraged by this lack of oomph.

Honestly, I don’t care. Meh. Either I will or I won’t write, and I’ll find out on 1st December.

Super! Now I’ve got that out of my system I feel so much better. 🙂

Ave.