My Notebook

I have talked in a few posts here about the methods I am using for NaNoWriMo. Basically, I am writing the entire thing by hand in a Moleskine Reporter Notebook. Sharon commented that she would not be able to write this way as she would

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worry about her handwriting too much. Here are a few pictures of my handwriting, clearly showing I don’t have this problem (sorry for the quality, they were done on my cell phone).


The biggest problem I have with my handwriting, I think, is that my brain works faster than my hand and I try to get my thoughts on paper too fast, sacrificing legibility. I can write better if I force myself to slow down, but this isn’t ideal for NaNoWriMo.

I wsa able to write 1136 words last night, so I am chugging away. That brings my total to 7146. My biggest worry, aside from the worry my novel will be crap, is that I won’t be able to read what I have written.

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Another 1000 Words

I was able to write another thousand words yesterday in my NaNoWriMo story, which stuns me. Even more amazing was that I was writing while watching the election results last night on CNN. I went to bed happy that I was able to make progress on my “novel” and also that there may now again be some oversight of the Executive Branch.

As far as the quality of my work, I’m not so sure. What keeps me writing is that I tell myself this is the first draft of the first novel I have ever attempted. It isn’t going to be Hemingway the first time.

The best thing is that I am establishing a routine and a game plan. I now know how I can juggle life and writing while keeping everybody happy.

The interesting thing about my writing is that every time I think I have run out of ideas, a new one pops into my head and I have another thousand words. I am really enjoying writing this thing, and I am almost glad I’m not using an outline. I really have no idea where this story is heading, but I am excited to find out.

NaNoWriMo: Less Words for a Good Cause

I have been working on my NaNoWriMo project during my lunch time at work each day of November. This allows me to chip away at my daily goal and not have to stay up until midnight just to get some writing done. I usually get 300-500 words each day. Today, however, I was unable to write only 130 words. I had a good reason, however. I was giving blood.

To me, giving blood isn’t really a big deal.  Luckily, I’m a “fast bleeder” and haven’t had any bad experiences.  So, every however many days I am eligible I give.  After all, I wasn’t really using that blood anyhow.  It’s extra, and maybe it will help someone else out.

I found out today that our local Red Cross moved to a new building, which was like moving from a 800 square foot house to a mansion.  The old location was in the basement of a building.  The new location used to be a hair salon, which was pretty funny considering there were mirrors all over the place.  The best part of the move, however, were the new “beds”.  Previously when giving blood, you laid on a portable “cot” with a hard pillow propping your head.  The new beds were similar to recliners, if a recliner was perfectly contoured to the human body.  I could almost fall asleep in those things even with someone poking a sharp needle into my arm.

I guess there was no real point to the story except to tell you to give blood if possible.  Also, don’t hold it against me if I don’t hit my 1000 words tonight, though I am going to make my best effort  to come close.

Plot Help – My Decision

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who answered my call for help on my NaNoWriMo project. As a result of that post, this blog enjoyed its second best day ever, with 80 page views. My all time high for one day is 82, and I think that happened was during the “Lonely Moon” contest at Clarity of Night. Also, even if I didn’t use your exact idea in my story, each suggestion helped in that it generated an idea in my head, something I would not have thought about if it wasn’t for your help.

Here is a brief, undetailed rundown (in case I ever post it here as an e-book) of the plot so far:

The protagonist visits home in search of his favorite book from his childhood, which he remembered in a dream the night before. Unfortunately, his father gave the book to his cousin years before. Dejectedly, the protagonist goes to his room in case his father is mistaken, only to find a strange book that has no title and no author. The cover has a picture of a young girl sitting, smiling in a meadow. Mr. Protagonist reads this book, falling asleep at the end, strangely with no recollection of what he just read.

The message he wrote to himself on the back cover of the book says “Be strong. Lulyc will help.” At the point of the story I am at right now, the protagonist has not discovered this message.

I was able to write 1,000 words yesterday, which feels really good. I am currently trying to introduce an antagonist and some conflict to the story to get things moving. It will probably end up in the “Fantasy” genre. Also, I am not working off an outline so it feels as though this thing is writing itself and I am only transcribing it. Pretty cool.

Weekend Writing

I was away visiting family all weekend, so sorry for the lack of updates.  I was able to write a little over 1000 words this weekend, which is way off target but was more than I thought I was going to write.  Add that to the fact we had a very cranky baby at night (she didn’t like the sleeping arrangements at my parent’s house) and I think I did ok.

I will be posting a followup to my Plot Help post a little later today.  I enjoyed everyone’s suggestions and appreciate all the help.

Plot Help

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If you are looking for writing advice, might I point you here? https://strugglingwriter.wordpress.com/category/writing/ I’m getting a ton of hits from tumblr on this post right now, so hey, how’s it going?

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I am about to do something that is probably very unprofessional, but I’m not getting paid for this so I will take my chances. Please don’t think less of me. I need to ask for help.

I am at a point in my novel that is key to the whole plot of the work. If I screw this up, there is no going back. 48,000 words will be wasted.

My plot involves a 23 something guy who visits his parents looking for one of his favorite books of his childhood. He doesn’t find the one he is looking for, but does find one that looks interesting that he didn’t remember. As he opens the front cover he sees something written inside. It is a note to himself he wrote when he was eight years old urging him to do or remember something.

Here is my problem: what does the message say? What is it urging him? I have an idea for what the message might say, but I’m not 100% happy with it. Does anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated and could earn you an appearance in the book as a main character (if you would like).

The Inner Critic can Bite Me

Well, I somehow met my evening writing goal last night, banging out 982 words last night, giving me a total of 1293 for the day. I didn’t quite hit 1600, but I am pretty proud of myself. I was telling my wife about my progress last night and she asked me, “Can you keep this up?”. She asked me this not in a condescending way but more with a sense of awe. I honestly don’t know if I will be able to keep it up, but I would like to try.

As I was writing last night, I had to smack down my “inner critic” several times. He kept telling me that I was putting in too much description, and I kept telling him that description is essential to a story, especially when I need to keep my word count high. I can edit out what isn’t needed later. Then, he kept suggesting I go back to the beginning of the story and make it more interesting and better written. Again, I told him this is what the second draft is about. I think in the end, he just got tired and let me write. Soon enough, 300 words became 900 and I was good to go. Don’t listen to your inner critic. He/she is not nice.

Midday Update

I didn’t hit my goal of 800 words at lunch today, but I did manage 300 words. If I can manage 800 tonight, that will give me 1200 for today and that will be fine with me. Some of the advice I have read regarding NaNoWriMo talks about “filler” and just writing about anything. I don’t want to quite go this far. I have no problem turning off my internal editor, I think he’s drunk or just confused half the time anyhow, but I also want to have something to work with at the end of the month.

To me, this is an exercise to get me to write as much as possible in a month. It is already working, in that I can’t remember the last time I wrote 1000 words in two days. I also feel energized and I just might have a strategy for writing beyond November, and to me that is a good thing.

By the way, check out Sharon’s post titled The Igloo. I really enjoyed that one. Also, stop by Helen‘s blog for her “mini-biography“.

National Novel Writing Month – Update

Well, I was able to write 720 words in an hour last night, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is very good for me. Add to that the fact that I didn’t have an outline, and I think I did pretty well. As I started writing I felt like I “was in the zone” and kept flowing with good ideas. I’m excited to see where this story will take me, as it almost feels like it is writing itself. I was so pumped up by the time I was finished it took me an hour to fall asleep (I’m not used to this as I am usually so exhausted from the baby that I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow).

I did my writing in a Moleskine Reporter Notebook, which I bought yesterday by accident. I planned on buying a regular Moleskine and picked up the Reporter version by mistake. Once I started writing in it, however, I started to like it.

My plan for today is to write 800 words at lunch at work and 800 words at home before I go to bed. We will see how that goes.