It’s sad that I haven’t had found the time to comment on my NaNoWriMo progress on my blogs at all. This NaNoWriMo seemed to be a bit more bleak than the last year’s incredibly fun journey, mostly because some of the people I followed last year weren’t writing and I didn’t even get a chance to follow some other people. Also, NaNoWriMo website’s tools were not as fun this year around.
But overall, it was still an incredible journey. Just with a little bit more of proverbial taste of blood in the mouth. I’d say I survived through NaNo this time, not really finished it.
I’ll probably release my book draft later on. As in last year, I’ll release a PDF and possibly an EPUB version. Cover is already drawn, and shown on the right (click for a larger version).
I’ve also made some sort of a video journal. Once I get around to editing it (and doing the EpicDiff run to show how the text mutated over time), I’ll put it to my YouTube channel. This is also the first time I’ve ever produced anything major in Org-Mode, so I’ll also write a separate blog post on my experiences with Emacs as an authoring environment. (Summary: it’s probably the best environment I’ve tried so far, but there are a few snags that I really wish were fixed easier.)
Anyway - the following is basically just a copy-paste of my /r/nanowrimo posts, with some minor tweaks. Hope it’s interesting enough. November 1: Unix word count tool lies like a rug. It can’t be 2251 words already.
November 2: 4067 words as of today, and I’m feeling the stuff is kind of disjointed. It’s weird to write a bunch of stuff and then realise I have a bunch of really incomplete chapters. First, it’s kind of a feeling of a failure, but then I realise it’s just stuff that needs to be fixed and meat-ified in the following days. There’s, like, a whole month to do this stuff. And there’s always December to fix the plot holes, or something. =)
November 3: 6100 words!
Aside of some very broad directions, I still haven’t outlined most of the book and I have a very vague idea of where the hell I’m actually going. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to hit my target of 6000 words today.
So I added an awesome circus performance.
And very very roundabout and hopefully tastefully subtle off-page sex. (Look, it has to be roundabout. Wordcounts, dammit.)
…in the same chapter. Not the same scene.
November 4: 8148 words. Pros: Some parts of the stuff I’ve written actually form something that someone might, on a good day, call some kind of a story thread. I even have some vague ideas that allow me to tie all these weird threads I have on my hand together. Cons: Head not work. Need to be coffee bad. Wrote stuff while not really in a conscious state.
November 5: 10066 words! I felt the characters were totally underdescribed so I got to work. More to come.
Also, last night, produced a little bit more dependable tool for word counts. May not be terribly useful unless you use emacs org-mode like me. This tool lets me put notes and the story in the same file, which will hopefully help me to make the story make more sense. =)
November 6: 12114 words!
Last night I finally made something that sorta looks like an outline, and actually marked up my text with chapters and scenes, and shuffled some underdeveloped scenes around to places where they make far more sense. I’m no longer writing in dark! I have some - not a clear idea, but some idea - where I might stick some of the stuff I was thinking of, and I can actually make the plot make some sense.
Yeah, I added a whole bunch of interesting scenes and did a lot of work on them.
The content of the scenes is still dangerously random though. Only two new plainly obviously word-count-padding roundabout off-page sex scenes. =)
But hey, at least I’m thinking of a cool twist ending that will put the events of the book in a whole new light. Unplanned awesome plot features.
November 7: Clucking bell. I woke up late, had to waste time to file some papers, and felt incredibly crappy today in general. Can’t touch my Xbox 360, because unfriggingbelievably I still need to mop up my DVR’s hard drive by watching some of the shows so I will have space to record more.
This is not a day to write.
But I have found my saviour.
Got some coffee going.
Fired up Thief: Deadly Shadows soundtrack. Had completely forgotten how awesome writing music this is.
Typed the hell away.
14072 words. Continuing the steadily lethal speed of 2000 words per day. Yay.
Oh yeah, I’m
parodying cunningly referencing The Da Vinci Code. A low move. Kick me.
November 8: 16041 words.
Somewhere, beyond reach of mortals, the god of knowledge welcomes a recently departed man to the Eternal Library.
Meanwhile, the protagonists try to make sense of a totally not goddamn Dan Brown ripoff of a puzzle box.
And in the ageless sacred gardens of the gray City of the Dead, there’s a juggling elf and a bunch of wolves performing funny tricks.
…what the hell did I just write? I swear I’m not on drugs.
This sort of work on completely unrelated things in pretty much random order may not make much sense right now, but I swear this makes much more sense when I actually finish this thing.
Anyhow, over 15k now. Yayyyy!
November 9: 18143 words.
Yesterday was exciting. I rambled about all sorts of cool things. Today was boring. I worked on one scene that was kind of invented out of thin air, but I felt it was sort of interesting considering the big picture.
But hey, I somehow got >2000 words done! Yay! I was even using a wrong word count program for a while, which was giving me wrong word count. I was, like, “no WAY I wrote over 2500 words yet.” Now I’m like “no WAY I have over 1000 words just in the background notes.” =)
November 10: 20014 words. Awesome.
This is probably the point where I should start seriously considering making some sense. Okay, I have a plot outline and I have been following it, so I guess I will eventually make some sense. There’s yet hope.
In related news, I guess I need to write a bit more after midnight, so that Skyrim won’t ruin my 2k/day pace. This novel of mine has elves having sex. I’m surprised if Skyrim will have any, though it is always a possibility. =)
November 11: I knew I could do it.
Come from the town. Dig Skyrim from the backpack and stick it to the shelf. Sit down. Write the damn 2000 words, like I’m bloody well supposed to do. All it takes is normal kinds of discipline. It happened before. It happened today. No problem.
22051 words. It’s almost like a crappy sample rate, only one better.
And I’m improving the confusing chapters. Yay! The book really is starting to make more sense when I fix stuff that I didn’t really get right earlier on.
November 12: 24100 words. The past few days, I’ve been goofing off a little bit, but now I got back to the early chapters that didn’t have much meat. It’s surprising how a little bit of expansion to the chapters that didn’t have anything substantial yet can restore my faith in the project. =)
November 13: 26106 words. Over halfway done. Uh… prologue and one chapter reasonably complete so far, the rest in various states of completeness. I don’t actually see any problem with this. =)
November 14: 28054 words. This is one of those days when I just have to say “don’t ask what happened, I just got a cup of coffee a moment ago and I have no frigging idea where the 2000 words came from.”
November 15: 30113 words.
Got a new Eee netbook. Came with something called Windows 7 “Starter”, which is apparently the version of Windows that doesn’t come with Emacs and Git, for some reason that I can’t quite comprehend </obviousjoke>. Had to download and install them separately. Not a biggie, but it was a rather boring and time-consuming setup.
But it works now. I made stuff in time.
Still, I needed a bloody keg of coffee to get my brain running properly.
November 16: 31007 words.
Yes, it finally happened. I produced ~1000 words today. Which is not quite near 2000 words. A few hours in the day remain, but I don’t think my head can take it. My body may not be falling asleep and my fingers keep typing this comment, but my conscious mind is wholeheartedly behind the whole sleepiness idea.
I was in a pretty zombie-like state today. The highlight of the day was that I installed Ruby on the new netbook and my wordcount script, which I had written on Linux, worked perfectly on the first try on the Windows system. I just wish my brain had been tagging along so I would have been able to produce some words for the script to eat, too!
Tomorrow, I’m going to take the new netbook to whence it came. The Town. The place that is quite not like my apartment. Need to seek some inspiration in a place that has, uh, places. And space. And fresh air. Dammit.
November 17: The failure the previous day was crushing. Was stressed. Had had my fill of writing in my apartment. Went to the library. Had fresh air.
Had a funny random moment when I ran the word counter.
Ended up with 33516 words.
November 18: The nanowrimo website was mocking me.
Branding me a total failure after failure.
So I decided to show the damn thing what’s what. 36172 words. That’s right, I recovered from the failure and got back to where I was supposed to be if I’m writing 2000 words per day. And I made some pretty interesting new scenes, I think. And I even got some of my further analysis done on what has been done and what needs to be done. It’s extremely gratifying to see my scene list go from red to green with a little bit of additional text in some scenes. Outline is really shaping up. Hopes are getting high again.
November 19: 38031 words. Still new scene ideas. More structure stuff and integration. Feeling that a couple of scenes in the story are a bit too close, they probably need to be moved. Intriguing. Well, things will be fixed. =)
November 20: 40221 words.
I suck. I just couldn’t wake up early enough and procrastinated all morning. And ate a pizza and really wanted to take a nap but said “hell no” and got writing. While my brain was still greased.
So I lay down on the floor on pillows, plugged a USB keyboard to the netbook, closed my eyes and typed what the hell I was thinking for 90 minutes straight.
Not porn. It’s a very post-modern stream-of-consciousness scene expressing the deepening relationship between the two protagonists and their realisation on the fulfilment and comprehension of their goals in life and their mission within the story. Seriously. You guys would be able to see that if I just had time to fix the bazillion typos this month, but I obviously don’t.
November 21: 42205 words. The previous stream of consciousness attempt was so awesome that I wanted to try another one. The previous one was about the protagonists - easy stuff, I just needed a good summary of the situation where the story was and where it was moving to. This one was about a few minor characters, how they perceive the situation, and how the ideas in the story affect them - in a completely different manner. (…also I had never ever written a high-flying and philosophical lesbian sex scene. Let’s see, hmm… hmm… nope, writing strange unfamiliar scenes is not anywhere near folk dancing and incest. I definitely had to try this.)
November 22: 44325 words. Basically, the situation was this: I had no idea what to write. So I wrote a scene that had been sort of bubbling in my head, but that had nothing to do with this story. After I was done, I somehow (merely figuratively) slapped my forehead and said “damn, why didn’t I put this thing in the novel? I totally needed this so my shadowy guiding forces get some personality and their motivations become clearer.” Basically, I had this good scene I had planned, but I didn’t really know what story to put it in - until now. And it seems to fit. Wonderful.
November 24: 50000 according to my word counter.
Might be higher according to validator, but I’m not really done yet and I think I need to work a little bit more on some parts of the novel. Still, glad majority of the stuff is done.
Last year, the 50000th word was “fucking”. This time, it was “carnivals”. Both were equally calculated and preposterous choices. =)
November 29: Had a weekend off, did some more writing.
I end my NaNoWriMo 2011 with an official wordcount of 51757 words.
Tomorrow I’ll make cover art. And possibly typeset the bastard into PDF. Not sure yet.
The last fixes were mostly to a few sex scenes. I thought they might end up being embarrassing, so I decided to take another look. That’s when I realised they weren’t going to be embarrassing to most people, because they were just incomprehensible. Some more wording, and bam! Less confusion! …and not much more actual sex.
Still, I have to say that a lot of stuff that remains needs serious, serious fixing. This is going to be a huge pile of work when I get around to clearing it up!
Avarthrel is a fantasy world project, originated by Urpo Lankinen.
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