Monday, November 18, 2013

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." Napoleon Hill

I told you in the Nov. 1 post that I need to finish It’s a Dog’s Life, my NaNo novel, earlier than November 30th. That’s because there is a November 30 deadline for entering the OneBook AZ contest for Arizona authors. The upper word limit is 60K words. Since none of my completed manuscripts are that short, it occurred to me to enter my NaNo book for this year.

If you’ll remember, my plan is to revise/edit each day as a way to re-engage with my manuscript as well as cut down on the amount of time I have to spend editing at the end. I am convinced that revising and editing as I go--something I have never attempted before--should help me end up with a better first draft.

Sounds like a plan. Getting sick mid-month was not on the schedule, but, hey. It happens.

Last November was a busy one for me. I had 10 days with 0 word count because of travel and other commitments. This November is shaping up to be relatively free of other distractions (other than that pesky Thanksgiving--whose idea was THAT to plop the holiday into NaNo month?). I tend to bank words when I know something is coming up so I can cover the word count.

However, what if the book stinks and/or I don’t have it in good enough shape to submit by November 30? Submit it anyway? Nah, I won’t. Why waste the judges time with something that is unworthy? I can take more time, if the book warrants it, and revise/edit at leisure in order to submit it for publication.

Will I make it before 11/30? Will the book be decent enough to submit? Am I crazy? If you answered yes to all three, you and I are on the same page.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Playlist for It's a Dog's Life

Remember, I only need to write between 6-7 pages a day. That’s not so much! Stephen King writes 10 pages a day, every day, not just in November. Impressive, yes? I ain’t ascared of no word count in November. No sir!

Then again, how does one get in the mood, day by day, for 30 days to crank out a novel of 50K words? One way is selecting the right music, music that will enhance the creation of sad scenes, funny scenes, poignant ones. Hopefully, the right music will elevate the dull, pedestrian scenes to higher levels. C’mon. We all have them. That’s why God invented edits and revisions. (Or was that the Devil? Hmmm.)

I’ve been writing since last Friday, and I can say I am still really psyched about the tale of a walk-in soul taking over a dog’s body. Writing in first person, however, is tough. I am still not quite in the swing of it. First person means, of course, that Kitty, my protag, has to be in every scene. I am used to getting other POV’s represented, so this is stretching me.

Back to music, I identified selection criteria and then picked the albums that resonated with me.
*Music has to have energy, but not too much; also some mellow for
sad scenes
*No words = no distraction, but if I don’t know the words it could work
*Nothing overtly classical since it isn’t who my characters are

Here are the albums I considered, and I bolded the ones that made the final cut. (Cut? Get it?) What music would you choose to write a comedic paranormal about a walk-in soul who tries to take over her dog’s body?

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
The Truth about Cats and Dogs
The Shaggy Dog
Far from Home
Marley and Me

Theme? Doggy stories, mostly, of course. Some sappy, some sad, some funny, many poignant. What do you listen to as you write?

Friday, November 1, 2013

BANG! [sound of starting gun] And We're Off!

Just a quick check-in with you (I’m busy, you know!) to let you know about the start. I could have typed the first word for NaNoWriMo 2013 at 12:01 am, but I was still asleep. However, being an early riser, I did log the first words while sipping my second cup of coffee at 4:34 a.m. As of this posting, I have completed most of three scenes and 1703 words. According to the NaNo Stats, at this rate I will complete my novel on November 30.

But I have to finish sooner than that! And I’ll reveal why in another post. More on my NaNo progress another day.

Below is a snippet of my 2012 time/word/pages tracker. I will fill this year’s table every day, each time I write that day. It is my accountability tool to myself. If I have 0 words one day, I will see that every time I pull this up to update. I hate 0’s!

The final column is the cumulative total, by day, to finish with 50K in 30 days. Each time I write, I log in how long I wrote, what the word and page count was at the end of the session, and how many total words I wrote that day. As long as my 4th column word count was more than the Running Total each day, I knew I’d make it. The Running Total column is what it takes to finish 50K in 30 days. I need to be ahead of that schedule.

I am eager to start filling in this year’s tracker! Here’s how I began last year.

Time Started/Ended
Total Hours

Day’s word count
Nov. 1
3:33 a.m.-5:13
9:55 a.m.-11:55
5:45 p.m.-6:11
~ 1.5
~ 2
~ .5
1723/7 pages
4047/11 pages
4516/18 pages
Nov. 2
3:30 a.m.-5:32
3:40 p.m.-4:45
~ 2
~ 2
6792/28 pages
7872/32 pages
Nov. 3
5:30 a.m.-6:00
6:50 a.m.-7:30
10:40 a.m.-11:17
~ .5
~ .75
~ .5
8468/34 pages
9385/38 pages
10,132/41 pages