Tuesday, November 26, 2013

If Hannah Were Dobby (For Lack Of A Better Title)

It's Hannah, and on this, the 26th day of NaNoWriMo, I have a total of 3,609 words.

I am ashamed. Bad Hannah, bad Hannah!

So I'm fairly certain I will not be writing 46,000+ words in four days, especially with enormous Thanksgiving preparations at our house. I blame this entire mishap on a lack of commitment on my own part. Was this what happened last year? I have no idea. I think I have problems being pushed into writing (even though honestly that's really what I need).
In other words, epic NaNoWriMo fail for me. Yes, I feel like I'm just giving up (shame on me). But I will not be giving up the book I'm working on. NO, I won't be giving up the book, that's silly. My characters are lovely beautiful folks and they are going to be on paper eventually if I have anything to say about it. But not before Thanksgiving. And if my stats are correct, not before October 2014.

And in other news, Trinity is sprinting to the finish with flying colors and... what's another cliché I can use... anyway, with 47,000 something words. Instead of writing I have been typing up her words for her, and I really ought to get a move on that so she can validate it soon. (Bug her until she posts a snippet, it is rather good.) So applause for her or props to her or whatever cool people say because I clearly am not one. I happen to only know two Wrimos in real life and they are both outstripping me embarrassingly. As are all of my online writing buddies. (*makes raspberry noise*)

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you all feel bitter better in comparison.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNo Update: In Which Trinity Reveals The Depths Of Her Insanity

So, I know I haven't updated in a while, but I have a good excuse. Which I guess makes it a reason.

I have been working my tail off keeping up with NaNo.

There's a lot of things that I have half-finished. Changelings. Tribes. Twenty-One is still in the conception stage. I still haven't taken my GED, and I need to do that before January 2nd (eeeep!). I've thrown away craft projects I never got around to completing. I was supposed to put together and upload a collection of my dad's radio episodes to YouTube months and months ago and I still haven't done that. Heck, I have a basket of laundry that needs to be hung up in my closet. Again. Still.

NaNoWriMo will not join that list this year. I'm going to finish, and I'm going to win. Unfortunately, Aouthentica will be nowhere near done. I must extend my scenes like nobody's business, because at 35k I think I'm only 1/8th of the way through my plot.

So all of week two (the depressing, bog-you-down, make you want to quit week) we had friends in town from Mexico. We visited with them all day for a week straight, and it was great! We had fun.
That situation is in no way, shape, or form conducive to writing 1,667 words a day. I did it anyway. The first night I stayed up until midnight to write, I thought "Hey, this is actually pretty productive. No one's bothering me, it's quiet... I like this!"
The next night I was up until one.
Then one thirty.
Then two.
Then two thirty.
I don't think it's humanly possible for me to stay awake later than that.
Actually, on the.... 8th, I believe, I did what my mom suggested and went to sleep at about ten, then woke up at two am and wrote for an hour and a half.

Fortunately, staying up late gives me a couple funny stories. One night I was so tired, I decided to close my eyes for just a minute, then opened them twenty minutes later, capped my pen, put my notebook away and shut the light off. It wasn't until the next night that I realized I had two big splotches of ink on my pajama shirt... AND I had somehow scribbled on my neck. Not quite sure how I managed that.
Saturday night, I was up until two again when I dozed off. Usually I pretty much remember going to bed. I didn't this time. I vaguely remembered dropping my notebook, and looking at the clock. I don't remember shutting off the light (which is a twirly type dimmer knob) or adjusting my pillows and blankets like I always do.
Neither do I remember writing the last line in my notebook. I only saw it the next morning. I must've written, because I signed my name and it looks like I tried to date it. It was the 16th, not the 24th.

corron. - Trinity 11/24/at 2oy   .... WHAT?!
So, all ya'll who are ready to murder me in my sleep because my word count is rising steadily, be comforted in the fact that this is not at all easy for me. It's difficult and is requiring an amazing amount of effort and dedication, and a little suffering. 
I seem to have two projects modes... Slacker Mode and Obsessed Mode. In Slacker Mode I try to get out of my task, or get it finished using any short-cut I can find. In Obsessed Mode, which usually comes with self-assigned tasks, or tasks I've completely resigned myself to, I want to get the job done, and get it done right even if it kills me. Until it's done, I don't want to focus on anything else. 
NaNo got Obsessed Mode. And so did my beautiful Christmas lights that I hung up the other day on the outside of our house. But that's beside the point. 
I don't... actually remember what my point was. NaNo has stolen my brain. 

There ya go, then. 

Oh, right! My goal right now is to write enough to either be two days ahead, or finished by Thanksgiving so I can take Thursday and Friday off of writing and spend it solely with my family and friends. 

That is all.

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNo Waits For No Man

Trinity here! I'm going to ramble today. Bear with me.
Get it!? BEAR with me? .... Oh, never mind. Ya'll are hopeless.

November marches on, fellow wrimos, and today is the end of the first week. Apparently, the second week is the hardest for us. It's the one where the doldrums hit us and we get discouraged. 
I have to say, I'm starting to feel it. I've heard of that little inner critic that starts saying that all your writing is horrible, and why are you even writing at all? I'd never heard from him before, but he appeared last night and I started to despair. My dialogue tags were all monotonous. My descriptions of action were drawn out and boring. Everything was moving too slowly. It didn't have any emotional depth to connect with the readers. My strong silent characters were too sappy and talkative.
Also, it was rapidly approaching midnight on the third day of staying up late to cram words in.
But. I will continue on. I don't think it's as bad as I thought it was last night, but I don't think it's as good as I originally believed it to be. My decision may change as the night wears on. Last night I managed to finish before midnight, so I'm happy about that.

Week three, though, is supposed to be a little better than week two. Like the Hump Week. (Hump daaaaaay!) The light at the end of the tunnel week. Right now my stats are predicting that I'll be done on November 27th, which would be nice, because then I could be done in time for Thanksgiving, and if I'm not mistaken, that's the day after you can officially start winning. But that's only if I keep up my pace of about 1,903 words a day. 

I don't know how many of you know, but I'm doing all my writing in a notebook so I can carry it with me everywhere I go and still get writing done. But then I have to type it all up to get an accurate word count.
I got tired of spending my whole morning, and sometime a good chunk of my afternoon typing everything up that I wrote the day before, so I came up with a clever solution. I numbered all the pages that I've filled in my notebook, then divided my word count by the number of pages to get the average number of words on each page, which is 138. Now I can just estimate how many words I have by how many pages I've filled. I think I'll have to get everything on the computer before the end of the month so I can validate it all (and win?), but for now I'm gonna stick with this.
I try to fill eight sheets (which is sixteen pages) every day, which gives me about 2,208 words per day. I estimated that, and then typed it all up and my accurate word count was 2,264, which is close enough for me. 

But anyway. My word count now is at 13,322. So, I'm moving right along. I got to my first action scene yesterday, which needs a little cleaning up. I'll probably do a little editing when I type it up because it really didn't portray Rienna accurately at all. She just kind of collapses into depression after an awful thing happens, when she's still needed. In "reality" she would just absorb the blow and keep moving on, and not bother with her more intricate, delicate emotions until she had some time to herself. 
Yeah. I'll need to fix that.

So. Keep going! And for those of you who are not NaNo-ing, I apologize, but this is what's going on right now, so that's what I'm writing about. We'll return to our regularly randomized posts in December. 

And now I need to go. I'm stalling. Procrastinating. Which gets ya'll posts, I suppose. I didn't take that into account when I was trying to guess how things would go in November. Technically it's still writing. But not really. I'm just not trying to convince myself it counts. 

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

P.S. Check out Malinda Lo's pep talk! I don't usually think much of the pep talks, but I liked this one.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Opposite Of Success

From Hannah, to all of you Wrimos - here's a reminder not to be narrow-minded... the world doesn't revolve around NaNoWriMo. Several other holidays are going on without you even noticing! For instance: Thanksgiving. The US release of the Royal Ranger. The US release of Thor: The Dark World. My birthday. And No-Shave November! To show my appreciation for this last event, I have purchased the according writing equipment.

No. No, I did not buy this in celebration of No-Shave November. That's just weird. I bought it because mustaches are cool, being the socially acceptable person that I am.

In any case, NaNoWriMo is driving me bonkers.

Today I need 6666 words (lovely). And I have... not that much. Fewer words. Less of a word count. Maybe somewhere around 1554. It occurs to me that this is the worst time for writer's block. The 1554 words I got down were going quite well. But then I realized that I didn't like it. Any of it. It was all in first person and I WANT THIRD PERSON.
Trinity said not to trash it and to add my rewrite underneath. But I can't do that either. Seriously.
I tried staring at a blank screen, listening to the same two songs over and over, lounging in a clothes basket (Trinity's) in a dark closet, lying facedown on our dining room floor for a good five minutes, raving at Trinity while vacuuming our room (there was lettuce on the floor!), and I almost rewatched all of The Reichenbach Fall as "research". None of it worked. I did get some chocolate out of the deal, some Whoppers Trinity didn't want to finish, which she gave me in exchange for my last mini Snickers. But I didn't do hardly anything writerly-wise yesterday.

Meanwhile, Trinity's skipping around talking about her 5649 words and being all competitive ("I have __ more words than Ashley!"). Here you have two sides of the experience, the joyful "my story is writing itself" Wrimo, and me (the one who stomps around the house muttering about biting pencils in half).

If NaNoWriMo is going well for you, congratulations! If it's not, you aren't alone. But I'm going to say that you should just keep working... that sounds about right.

P.S: Did you know that it is impossible to pinpoint the age of someone who has two children that are 30 years apart when you want the person to be about 60 when the second child is 13, and want them to have the first child 10 years after they move, yet right afterward, when they got married at age 17? Because it is. Timelines are so complicated.

Sosrin God ignt eht ceallian,
(To God be the Glory)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seven Tools For NaNoWriMo

Alright, I have just over 5,000 words, so I'm completely justified and free to write this post. (Not really, but don't worry about it. I'll get my quota in for today. Promise.)
Here I have for you seven NaNoWriMo tools:

Rainymood.com - For you pluviophiles (rain lovers). A constant stream of rain noises, with a little thunder and wind thrown in. It's very relaxing. Nice if you get bored of music or plain white noise.

Simplynoise.com -
I used this a LOT last year during Nano. You can choose between white, pink, and brown noise (which are different pitches). Then you can choose how loud you want it to be and have it oscillate just up to that volume. I kept it open in a couple of tabs and had all three going at once, at different volumes. My favorite pitch is pink noise. Brown noise doesn't block enough sound and white noise hurts my ears, but it's up to you.

Fakenamegenerator.com -
It says fake name generator, but it's really a fake identity generator, complete with mother's maiden name, visa number and expiration date, birthday, weight, height, occupation, company, email, vehicle, blood type, etc. etc. Very cool.

Onelook.com -
It's like a reverse dictionary, where you can look up a definition and get the word to match. Great for when you have a large vocabulary and poor recall. I haven't actually gotten the chance to use this much. I pinned it and then kind of... forgot about it. Go figure.

Thsrs -
Look up words that mean the same thing as the one you wanted to use, but they're shorter. I don't know why you'd want shorter words except maybe when you're tweeting. But if you want it, here it is.

Haha! I've been waiting until NaNo came back around to use this. You can buy it for your computer, or just use the web app, which is free.
"Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences."
There are three settings: 
Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself!

This is the only one that you have to purchase to use. It's $4.99 a month, but there's a free trial. 
I've never tried it, but it's supposed to be an online grammar checker and proofreader that gives you detailed writing tips and feedback on voice, word choice, sentence structure, and more.
Sounds neat, don't it?

So there you go! I hope this encourages you and helps increase your productivity instead of just distracting you. Good luck to everyone on your word counts, and commendations to Ashley Tahg, who doesn't seem to be having any trouble keeping up at all. Slightly jealous, as it's taking everything I've got to keep this pace up. And it's only day three... :O

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

Friday, November 1, 2013

3, 2, 1... NANO!!

It's close to midnight, and NaNoWriMo's lurking in the dark

Under the moonlight, your lack of outline almost stops your heart
You will not scream, your inspiration comes because you'll make it
You cannot freeze, your novel looks you right between the eyes
You're energized
'Cause this is NaNo-oooo! NaNo night!
And no one's gonna save you from the plot about to strike
You know it's NaNo! NaNo night!
You're writing for your life to share a marvel, novel tonight!

Mwahahaha! 'Tis NaNoWriMo, my follower friends! And I (Trinity) am so ready for NaNo!! I'm far and away more organized than I was last year, so I think I have a good chance of finishing. It's amazingly difficult to get where you want to go without having a map to tell you how to get there. And what does that incredibly vague analogy have to do with anything? Well, map=plot. If that makes any more sense.
Plus, this year's project is my baby, so I'm already super excited about that (I think I've mentioned this before). I have this huge desire for people to get to know my characters (a.k.a my brain's best friends), so I want to portray them properly. And yet at the same time that's a little scary, because each character likely represents a little section of my personality, which suddenly makes this book seem like it will be very revealing... 0.o *gulp*
Oh, well. I'm still excited.
What about Hannah? Oh, she's freaking out. Didn't do much planning. She's a mess. But going for it anyway. Yay for her! (Everyone cheer her on. She's working with timelines and her head's about to explode, I'm sure.)
So what will happen to the blog during November? Haven't the foggiest. Either we'll be so busy writing we won't post much, or we'll be so busy writing, it'll be easy to just pop a post out. Actually, we'll be sure to keep you updated on our word count. But beyond that, no promises.
I did get my playlist put together, though I haven't had time to look into everyone's suggestions yet, so keep your shirt on if your suggestion didn't make my list. And uh, keep your shirt on anyway. It's just good policy. No shirt, no service here, people. Bare feet are okay, though. Ahem. Moving on.

1. Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss
2. Dance with Dragons - BrunuhVille
3. Desert Mermaids - BrunuhVille
4. Clair de Lune - David Garrett
5. Kashmir - David Garrett
6. Smooth Criminal - David Garrett
7. He's A Pirate - David Garrett
8. An Epic Age - Immediate
9. Imperitum - Immediate
10. Welcome to the Jungle - 2CELLOS
11. Smooth Criminal - 2CELLOS
12. Salvation for a Proud Nation - Immediate
13. Augie's Municipal Band - John Williams
14. The Chase - Trevor Rabin
15. Car Chase - Trevor Rabin
16. London Chase - Trevor Rabin
17. Pacific Rim Theme - Ramin Djawadi
18. Welcome to Wonderland - Valentin Wiest

So there you are. Good luck Wrimos! Oh, and if you want to be our writing buddies, I'm A Quill In Her Quiver and Hannah is The Quill Is My Sister. Just be sure to let us know where you're from if you have a different NaNo name, or if we're not familiar with you.

Write on!

Look who Hannah and I dressed up as this Halloween!