Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNo '13: Day 29


All right, dear readers. I validated my novel on Tuesday (63, 418 words), but since I wasn't finished with the story yet, I kept updating even after validating.

Still not done yet. Looks like it won't get finished within November, so I'll be taking the first few days of December to finish the story, then move on to reading about Bristol's ports as research for my historical fiction WIP ahead of re-reading, gnashing of teeth, and outlining.

But anyway. This is your last AbsoluteWrite NaNoWriMo Blog Chain excerpt. Enjoy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

NaNo '13: Day 22


So, as some of you may have read, I hit 50,000 on Sunday the 17th. I'm still writing and the word count is still going up because I'm now trying to finish this story.

This is excerpt four, part of the AW NaNoWriMo Excerpt Blog Chain.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

NaNo '13: Day 17: 50K words reached!

People, just a few moments ago, I put my Word doc back into normal viewing mode (I write it in full screen mode during NaNo so that I don't stare at the word count on the bottom) and waved my hands in the air and texted a friend and made a lot of squeaky noises.

I hit 50,000 words. I wrote 50,000 words of a book in 17 days, by far my earliest NaNo win. I don't have a winner's badge yet, because it's not time to verify my win yet.

In case you're wondering, this is what I reached 50,000 with:

"Being thanked for my patience always makes me feel impatient," Colin says. 

Hmm. Wonder what that's about? I may have hit the NaNo goal, but I'm not done with the story. I still have a climax to wrench up to and an ending to write.

But, oh, my God, does it feel good to hit the goal!

Good luck to all you NaNo'ers out there! Kick butt and write on!

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNo '13: Day 15


For whatever reason, Week Two of NaNoWriMo is often uphill. Whether it's because every movie you ever wanted to see is released in November or because after writing so much stuff, you get that sinking feeling that it's really not very good, Week Two is not the best week of NaNo.

I hit a little bit of that lovely Week Two writing A.D.D. over the second weekend because I was working and then again on Day 12, also due to work and finding shiny things to distract myself with. I'm a compulsive word count updater and it irks me when I update and see that the paragraph I just wrote was only 400 words long and not, like, a thousand.

I'm still excited about the story. I'm at a good part of it, actually (they're finally going out together!) Then somebody told me that I'm ahead by a lot, so "calm down and enjoy the process."

Ugh. Just because I'm ahead doesn't mean I'm not feeling Week Two. And it doesn't mean that I'm NOT enjoying the process. The good thing is, if I have Colin and Emma in the same scene, their conversations go on for ages.

Also, I had an epiphany earlier. I thought Emma was turning into me, a recurring problem that I have with modern day female characters. But actually, though we share some of the same traits, views and problems, I am not Emma and she is not me. We only have similarities because a) she came out of my brain and b) we're both modern day young women.

So that's the rant. Here's the excerpt. As always, part of the AW NaNo Blog Chain:

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Song and a 9 minute beat poem

I just hit over 33,000 words (I've written 3,000 total just today) and I am taking a little break before I go back to finish this scene. I'm still pondering whether to post the story once it's finished on the blog, kind of serialized style.

At any rate, I think I'd like to do an "annotated" version. I did this once with a fanfiction I wrote about five years ago. It was never posted online, but because the fic was based on a real person and a (very) Mary Sue character, there were certain songs and clips on YouTube that I could refer to. I linked them within the document and emailed it off to my friends. It was fun.

I might have written it before I started this blog.

At any rate, I do have some clips and pictures and whatnot in mind that work as inspirations for this NaNo story. Including the reason why I'm calling it Inventing Shadows, which is the closest thing I could think of to be a title.

"Inventing Shadows" is a song by Dia Frampton, who was on the first season of The Voice. I didn't really listen to it after I downloaded it. But it came up on my iPod one day and I was thinking of this story and about Emma. I think "Inventing Shadows" sort of embodies Emma's struggles with herself:

So you keep on/ Inventing shadows/Where there are none

The full lyrics are here.

And then there's "Storm." So, you see, because I loved Matilda the Musical, I googled its composer, whose name I thought I recognized from somewhere. Then I fell into the rabbit hole of YouTube because Tim Minchin, who is a comedian, songwriter, and actor is hilarious. And one of my favorites of his is his nine-minute beat poem, "Storm."



Storm is what I based the very fictional new musical in the story on. It's the one in which Colin stars. Don't ask me the exact storyline, 'cause I don't know.

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNo '13: Day 8


This NaNoWriMo is going differently to the NaNos I've done. That's an understatement. I remember my first NaNo being a challenge. I was not writing over a thousand words everyday. NaNo felt insurmountable at times.

My second NaNoWriMo in 2011 was 50,000 words of a first draft--in fact, the first draft of The Sailor's Daughters. Whatever black-hearted idiot said that writing is useless is wrong. Know why? You know how I've written three complete drafts of Sailor's Daughters? How I wrote, revised, edited, rewrote a 115,000-word manuscript three times since NaNo 2011? Yeah, doing that makes a huge difference when it comes to the discipline of sitting there and just typing.

I said before starting NaNo that this year's NaNo story will not go beyond November. Which is why I really want to finish it, hit "the end" at the end of November. I'm not going to revise it. I'm not going to submit it anywhere. I'm still debating on whether I want to post it on this blog, installment-style, the way I did with Book the First.

And what's the point of that? Well, I believe that with each project, a writer learns new tricks. With Inventing Shadows, I am learning how to write about a familiar environment (modern New York City) without inserting myself into it. It's a problem I've had in the past. I'm also learning how to get along with an outline. Am I following the outline I wrote in October? Yes. Am I giving myself permission to switch a scene or a POV around when I feel like it would work better? Yes. I'm playing with a new idea after a long time. And just because I don't intend to do anything with it after November doesn't mean I'm not writing the best I can considering the volume of words I'm producing.

Ow. Ear infections suck, by the way.

This post is part of the AbsoluteWrite NaNo '13 BlogChain. This is this week's excerpt. It's a wee bit long.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bubble, Bubble: Macbeth

A view of the MET, Lincoln Center


Tonight, instead of feverishly trying to get to 20,000 words on my NaNo project (you'll get another excerpt on Friday), I took a wee break to go see Macbeth, currently in previews at the Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center.

And I took the opportunity to walk around the west side in a way I haven't done in a long time. More fodder for the novel. My friend even helped me make a list of places I should stick into the story.

Macbeth is one of the numerous Shakespeare plays I read in high school. It was the one I remember as the most...malleable...when it came time to write comparison essays for the New York State Regents. I remember watching a Japanese film adaptation called Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, in English class, where Lady Macbeth was simply frightening because of the placement of her eyebrows and her entrances and exits in absolute silence.

This production stars Ethan Hawke as Macbeth and Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth. The set was very interesting; the stage is HUGE. I looked down and saw the stage in the round, but actually, it extends into a full stage that goes very far back. There was much jogging by the actors during scene changes.

The Three Witches were always one of my favorite parts of Macbeth. The witches were played by three men, with familiars crawling on the floor and making animal noises. Smoke, lights, and a very cool backdrop lent more to the eeriness of the witches.

My other favorite of Macbeth? Lady Macbeth. I love her when she's planning murder. I love her when she's taunting her husband. I even like her when she falls into guilt-ridden madness. I liked her in this production very much. (If you want to read something mystical and based on the historical Celtic queen that Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth is based, I highly recommend Susan Fraser King's Lady Macbeth).

I'll be honest, though: Donalbain and Malcolm and Fleance and all of them? Could not tell them apart. Only figured out which one was Malcolm when he was ordering his army to cut down trees in Birnam Wood (the way they did this was so cool, btw).

And now I have a list of places to potentially add to the NaNo, which is a total bonus.

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNo '13: Day One



So NaNoWriMo has begun and I got out of the gate at midnight and wrote until about 2:30 am. Then I went to sleep, got up, wrote a little more and then was out of the house all day until now. As I started typing the beginning, I felt kind of rusty. Whether that's because I skipped last year's NaNo, because I've basically been working on The Sailor's Daughters for two years, because while I outlined this year's NaNo, I still don't have a handle on my main characters (not in the way I do after a first draft is written, for instance), or because omg!Colin got on the subway because this is a contemporary-set-story-wtf!, I'm not really sure. I hope it feels easier as I go on.

Still have some more Day One Word Count to go, but so far I am at 2034 words. Every Friday in November, I'll be posting excerpts from my NaNo project as part of the NaNo Excerpt Blog Chain 2013 on AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler. In between, I suspect I'll post about how my brain is melting, among other things.