Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo Winner

I  won #NaNoWriMo with 50,032 words. I'm only about two-thirds of the way through the story, and I have only a vague idea of how to end it, but I made the total word count.

I learned a few things along the way:

    1. I find it a lot easier to write if I have a solid idea or scene already formed in my mind. If I have a good solid scene in my head, I can whip out 500 words in no time at all, but if I only know I need to write a scene or two to get to that solid idea, it takes me a lot longer.

    2. But if I don't have a good idea of what to write next, I'm often pleasantly surprised by my own creativity. It's not unusual for characters or tidbits of information to seemingly come out of nowhere, and these surprises are often the most interesting thing I wrote that day.

    3. Short term goals are easier to achieve than long term goals. I've been hearing variations on this for years, but I now have solid, personal experience which proves it, and which has led to a shift in my thinking. NaNo showed me how to write 50,000 in 30 days by breaking it down into a daily word count. I'll will probably continue to approach my writing in the same way.

    4. I don't need to turn off my editor. I've heard that a lot. It seems to be one of NaNo's common bits of advice--turn off your internal editor, and just pump out the words. I'm not sure that advice is completely valid. I think it should be something more along the lines of, "Learn to work with your internal editor." If you work with that editor, your writing will be better--unless you listen to everything he or she says, and then you'll just want to stop writing. Listen, but you decide if it can wait until you know how to fix it, or if you can fix it now without interrupting your flow.

    5. Support systems help. It doesn't have to be much. Just tell your friends and family, especially that nosy aunt who will ask you about it every day. Or join a group online, or in your local community, and offer support to others. You'll be surprised how much positive motivation can come from this.

    6. If you want to be a writer--just write. Don't worry about what. Buy a journal and a pen, and fill a page every morning. Start a blog, and spill random chatter all over it--frequently. Or annoy your friends on Facebook and Google+ with your lousy poetry. Maybe you'll loose some friends, or maybe random strangers will want to read it. What matters it that you wrote something.

    7. You can't write all of the time. You shouldn't try. It you are stuck, and sitting there wishing you knew what to write, play a video game or watch a movie. Take a break when you need to take a break. Or, if you want to write, but don't know why you can't, write something personal--something you would never admit to another person--and then destroy it if you need to.


Friday, November 25, 2011

NaNoWriMo, Part Two

Well, I'm still on schedule to 'win' NaNoWriMo, and I have my writing done for today, so there's only five days of writing left. It's been an interesting experiment, and I wish I could say that I would keep writing every day, but I don't think I will. Motivation is increasingly becoming a problem, and I'll be lucky if I can squeeze five days of writing out of whatever is left of my tattered outlines.

I started the month with one main character, and full of intentions to carry on with her story all the way to the end, but I ran out of useful outline about half way through week two. I had more ideas, but they were wispy things, hardly complete, and only suggestive of outline material.

Fortunately, I had an outline for another main character in the same world, and their stories overlapped in the timeline, so I stirred in a second plot line, and that kept me going for another couple of weeks. That outline, plus integrating the two plots, offered more creative opportunities than either outline would have given me on their own, so I'm much happier about combining the two stories than I thought I would be when I made that decision.

Now I've got something with meat on it, but I only have a couple of solid scenes in mind right now, so I suspect that last few days are going to be a struggle. On the other hand, I've only got a few days left, and then I can put the story aside for a bit, and to let the ending coalesce in my subconscious--because I'm still not sure how it ends. It won't be a cliff hanger though. I hate to read books that don't end, and I never want to write one.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Memories of dreams
are wandering through my mind
like broken whispers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Social Options

    I've been trying to define the differences between Facebook and Google+ for a few months now, and I think it comes down to control. 
    On Google+, I have transparent and almost complete control over my stream. I can circle someone, or uncircle them if I'm not interested in what they have say. I can even block them if they keep sharing things I don't care about.
    On Facebook, I can 'like' and 'unlike', but Facebook wants to control my stream. They decide which are the top stories, or whether that post from a friend is important enough to show me. They have added controls to enable me to change the level of importance I want to see from each person or page, but they still decide the importance of each post.
    Sure, people can and do block me on Google+, but that is still about putting control into the hands of the users. Maybe that's a subtle difference, but for me, it's all the difference required to put Facebook in second or third place.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


That's my excuse for not writing more here. It's the only one I have. I'm on track to 'win', but barely keeping up.

Bred is for sale at, but it will be a week or two before it's available at other online retailers. I've had very good responses from the few people who have read it, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. I may lower the price a bit, but I think I'm going to just make a bunch of coupons for promotional posts, and keep the normal price at $4.97. I picked that price just to give my 2 cents worth to Apple, who thinks every price should end with .99.