Sunday, October 31, 2010

And we're off!

National Novel Writing Month begins in less than two hours for those of us on Central Daylight Time. I'm telling you now, because there won't be much time for blogging in the next thirty days, at least until I'm comfortably ahead on my word count. I've added a nifty Word Count Widget to my blog so that if I fail to maintain my daily word count goal, my shame will be broadcast across the intertubes... and no one will notice.

I've been Snowflaking as usual, and this year I've got further in the process than ever before. Good thing, too, because this book is going to be one complicated bugger and I need to stay as organized as possible. Right now I've got full character summaries for six principal characters, a five-page detailed synopsis of the plot, and a chapter-by-chapter breakdown that tells me what to write every day.

My outline has an even 50 chapters, which has to be a good sign. If you guess 2000 words per chapter, then I've got about a 100K book here, or about twice what's required for a Nano win. I imagine I'll actually get done around New Year's.

So wish me luck. If you want to pray for me, I'd suggest you pray to Crom, but he doesn't listen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A week to go...

until National Novel Writing Month. This will be Year Four for me, and the third in which I head back to the world of Majadan. You can find me here on the NaNoWriMo site masquerading as a 16th Century Danish astronomer. The working title of this year's book is The Wolves of Majadan, but I suspect that should I ever market it to a publisher, I'll probably call it The Ghost Cauldron.

Meanwhile, "The Century War" is stuck like a duck. (No celebratory pizza for me, dammit.) I did quite a bit more work on it since my last post, but the whole thing has stalled out. It's not writer's block - I know where I mean for the story to go, but I don't feel that what I've written so far can support my ending. I've been reading Writing Fiction for Dummies by the great Randy Ingermanson, and it's really helping me analyze exactly why my story is flawed. I know you're supposed to do a first draft, then rewrite, but I think I've got to rework everything that's come so far before I can push through to the end, and with November and the final assault on the Ghost Lords looming on the horizon, I just haven't got the time.

I'll come back after burning Majadan to the ground and finish the "War." I still have confidence in the underlying story; I just need to approach it better. Besides, I'll need something to do in the break between drafts 1 and 2 of Wolves.

Now: back to outlining my novel and plotting the murder of one of my characters.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Deadline: Did I make it?

Nope. Not even close.

To be fair, my current story is turning out to be over twice as long as any of my previous shorts. If it were only as long as "Dead Man's Hand" or "Rougarou" I would have been done for days. (Current word count: 8,263) Since this critter is turning out to be a novella, I'm still not there yet.

So will I renege on my deal with myself? Nope. I knew this was a longer piece going into it, and if I had been working at the pace that I manage during NanoWrimo, I would have been done with it anyway.

(Of course, the argument could be made that writing a novel is like driving on the interstate, and writing a short story is like driving through an urban area on surface streets.)

So: here's the deal. I told myself I would give up soft drinks for a week. This, I will do. However, I want to be able to finish this story and it might be a little difficult to write through a caffeine withdrawal headache, I will allow myself one (1) Diet Coke (which I hate) a day, but I must write at least 1000 words on any day that I do so.

Here we go.