NaNo 2017, Plodding Along

I’m behind the NaNo word-count goal by about 3300 words, so I need to write more than the minimum of 1667 words a day to finish my 2017 novel at the end of November. It’s still well within the realm of possibility, but today, other than being a work day, I’m finding all sorts of excuses to avoid the beast. Write before work? It didn’t happen this morning. I usually take a short coffee break in the morning and fit in some writing, but I avoided that, too. And now it’s nearly lunchtime and I’m writing about not writing instead of writing. Ah, the procrastination has set in!

But there’s nothing new about that, and only one way to fix it. So, a bite of lunch, another cup of coffee, and words. Many, many words. Let them gush forth like a geyser and spray on the virtual page, never mind what gets wet. Unless it’s the keyboard …

Good luck, fellow NaNo writers!

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NaNo 2017, Day 3

Well, I’m doing NaNo again. I put off making the decision until October 31, at about three in the afternoon. While that’s not quite a last-minute decision, it does reflect the amount of energy that I have to give the novel this year. I think that I’m still stinging from the slop that I wrote last year and disappointed that I never managed to wrap my head around a suitable plot for a murder mystery.

The novel-esque thing I’m working on this year is a dystopian novel. It’s sort of science fiction, but not really, although sci-fi spans a really large range and doesn’t have to include aliens or space ships. Though if one shows up in chapter eight, that might up the interest level — mine! I named my novel Waist Removal, and here’s the description I put on the NaNo site:

Dystopian sci-fi/fantasy in which our heroine finds herself wanting to get away from her parents, but her only escape is to get sent away to a state-sponsored fat farm. However, Heroine isn’t fat, and with the government monitoring everyone’s health (for their own good, of course), she has to figure out how to eat enough food to gain weight so she can be “transported.”

I think there might be a love interest in there somewhere, maybe a mystery or some strange documents that Heroine discovers.

I wrote about 2100 words before I settled on a name for Heroine. It was actually easier to come up with a name for her best friend. Oddly, I had as much trouble in my first novel “seeing” the main character, while describing the supporting characters was much easier. At the end of day 3 I finished a synopsis (chapter zero) and chapter 1, and my word count is 4298 (703 behind).

In other writing news, I’ve just broken the 100,000-word barrier and I’m within 56,000 words of my goal for the entire year. NaNo should take care of most of that (if not all), but I’m working on some other projects and trying to schedule them all so NaNo doesn’t eat all my time. I’m accomplishing that by doing self-inflicted word sprints with NaNo. The less time I spend second-guessing myself at this point in the draft, the better, and I’m hoping that as I get more words down my writing momentum will pick up. I want to turn this year of writing angst into one of finishing projects.

And speaking of that, Corrugated Sky‘s second anthology, Smoke and Steam, is due out any day. We’ve submitted our final files to CreateSpace and hope to have the book go live next week. Stay tuned!

October Is for Anthology

Ah, yes, that’s a bit of a lame title for the blog post this week, but it’s eerily prescient. Last year (in October) we launched Corrugated Sky Publishing with the publication of our first anthology, Tales of the Black Dog. We started a second anthology with the hopes of printing it this spring, but that came and went and then the summer sun burned down on us and we still didn’t have a finished book in hand. And now it’s October again, and we are very, very close to getting the second anthology in print. So close that we will probably have it next week, just in time for Halloween — again!

This second book is called Smoke and Steam and it’s big: 260 pages, which means that what started out as four Steampunk short stories morphed into four Steampunk novellas, including “Wings over Staria” by JC Rock, “Hekatite” by Karen Garvin, “Heart of the Matter” by Michelle Schad, and “Freedom for a Foster” by Cathryn Leigh. We’ll have the book available in paperback and ebook versions on Amazon, but while you’re waiting for our second anthology, why not pick up a copy of the first one — Tales of the Black Dog? After all, it contains some great horror stories, and what better time of year to read them?

With the anthology all but finished except evicting a few typos and finalizing our print files, it’s time for me to get back to other writing projects. The looming question, with November coming up, is whether I’m going to do NaNo this year. I did it last year and managed to meet the word count, so technically I had a “win,” but the story never quite jelled into something worthwhile. It was supposed to be a noir mystery, but the only “noir” was my character riding a bus at night and the only “mystery” was the plot. I loved my title (Killing Palatino); I also liked the art I came up with for the cover. Maybe I’ll dust it off sometime, but not this fall.

I do have another book idea that I’ve been thinking of developing. It would be a young adult story and the protagonist would be a young girl who lives in a country where being healthy is considered a social duty and being overweight is illegal. I want the politics to be in the background, not in-your-face, but I’ll need to develop an interesting character who has motives and desires. I have some ideas, but you’re going to have to wait at least until December to learn more … as will I!

After the Draft is Written…

I’m almost three weeks into my 2016 NaNo novel and let me tell you, it’s just not happening. Oh, yes, I have words on the page. I have dialogue, some description, and pretty spiffy punctuation. I even started this year’s project with a brief outline so I wasn’t pantsing the whole thing. And nothing is coming together. It’s supposed to be a noir murder mystery — and, well, it’s a mystery, all right.

Now, I know that writing a novel in a month is more like training for a marathon than actually running the marathon. You have to practice. You have to write things that you will later cut (many, many things). But you have to keep going. I get that. I’ve never had problems making the word count, but sorting out a complicated plot beforehand would have been more useful than a one-page outline. I just didn’t spend the time doing it because I was involved in getting an anthology off to print (Tales of the Black Dog — buy it!).

So that got me to thinking about what people do with their drafts once November is over. Will you put it aside or keep pressing ahead with the project? Or will you throw it away and be glad not to see the beast again? I’ve got a short poll here that you can take. It’s all in fun, and I’ve left an “Other” box that you can fill in with your own answer. Please, keep your answer PG rated!