junowrimo catchup post, days 7-11

Well, I haven’t kept up with blogging JuNoWriMo, but at least I’ve been doing the writing work. For the most part, anyway.

day 7 wordcount: 2202

day 8 wordcount: 2014

day 9 wordcount: 0
We spent the 9th at a family reunion (the husband’s side). By the time we got home and got the 5yo to bed, my introvert had been showing all day and I had no words left. Pretty sure I vegged the evening away with the husband while he continued his recently-begun, first-time binge-watch of The Walking Dead.

day 10 wordcount: 2319

day 11
titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 2,543
total wordcount: 23,292
chapters: 4.3
cups of coffee consumed today: 4
Fireball shots consumed today: none, and more’s the pity
sleuths: 2
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
suspects: 8

BOOM, BABY.

Today’s total wordcount puts me three days ahead of schedule, which is particularly nice since I’ve had two dud days so far. Also, tonight I decided for sure to combine two suspects into one. There wasn’t really a reason for them to be two people, and it’s getting way too complicated to have as many suspects as I do. Technically, there will be two more fewer suspects by the end, because the two corpses (whom I’ve been counting as both bodies and suspects) were actually murdered by a third party instead of having killed each other.

Clear as mud?

P.S. I’m adding the tag “electric boogaloo” to this post because I wanted a “boom, baby” reference in the tags but didn’t want to create another new tag, and “electric boogaloo” has “boo” in it, which is almost “boom.”

This is my blog. I don’t have to make sense.

P.P.S. I’m thinking of starting to vlog regularly. JuNoWriMo must be killing brain cells.

junowrimo day 6

Today was a better day than yesterday. In more ways than one.

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 1,930
total wordcount: 14,214
chapters: 2.1
cups of coffee consumed: 13
Fireball shots consumed: more than 1. definitely more than 1.
sleuths: 2
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
suspects-to-be: 7

I could do more tonight, but I’m tired. So it’s bedtime. Good night, sleep tight, and keep your blood on the inside. 😘

junowrimo day 4

Today’s stats:

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
today’s wordcount: 4,435
total wordcount: 12,015
chapters: 2
cups of coffee consumed: 11
beers consumed: 1
sleuths: 2
murder scenes: 1
corpses: 1 mostly intact, 1 dismembered
dismembered body parts: 4
sets of exposed entrails: 1
suspects-to-be: 4
deceptions: 8
red herrings: 2
Chekhov’s gun: roger that

Finally got Body #2 onscreen! Flung some flopping fish into the mix! Got Chekhov to give up his gun! So much fun! Tally-ho! *toots horn*

junowrimo day 2

Today’s stats:

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
total wordcount: 5,839
cups of coffee consumed: 7
beers consumed: 1
sleuths: 2
assistants/servants: 2 onscreen, 2 offscreen
murder scenes: 1
corpses: 1 offscreen, 1 onscreen
dismembered body parts: 2
suspects-to-be: 2
deceptions: 5

The plot, like the blood of the murder victims, thickens.

junowrimo day 1

I tried to post this last night but fell asleep at the keyboard. So.

Without further ado or adon’t, yesterday’s stats for my first NaNo Day One in seven years and my first ever JuNo Day One, period:

titles: 1 (The Priestess Murders — a Light-Walkers murder mystery)
wordcount on story: 2,427
wordcount on notes:879
total wordcount: 3,306
cups of coffee consumed: 4
beers consumed: 1
sleuths: 2
assistants/servants: 2 onscreen, 2 offscreen
murder scenes: 1
corpses: 2 offscreen
suspects-to-be: 2
deceptions: 2
movies/TV shows watched by 5yo: 2

Excellent start, I daresay. 😉 Onward!

the one where i don’t make wise choices sometimes

Dear Two Remaining Faithful Readers,

I’m back.

Sort of.

Maybe.

Long story short (too late), I have made the probably unwise choice of signing up for JuNoWriMo. It’s 99% like NaNoWriMo, except that it’s in June instead of November and it’s not affiliated with NaNoWriMo except for having gained permission to use the concept Mad Dash of Writing a 50K Novel in One Month That Isn’t November.

It’s Becca‘s fault for telling me that she’s doing a murder mystery for hers, and trying our respective hands at a murder mystery is something both of us have expressed a desire to do, and when she told me she’s going for it, it took me about five minutes to roll my eyes and sigh and come around to deciding that I wanted to hop on this crazytrain too.

So. There you have it. I’m doing a murder mystery for JuNoWriMo, and I’m setting it in my Light-Walkers Universe. After all, if I’m gonna indulge in complete insanity, I might as well go all-out and do my first ever murder mystery AND add magic and otherworldly creatures and lack of “modern” technology into the mix. It’ll be FINE.

Oh but come to think of it, it’s not actually my first murder mystery. My very first novel was a murder mystery. I was 12, I got 1.5 chapters in, and the gardener did it. I was highly inspired by Jessica Fletcher at the time. I still have the two typewriter pages somewhere. They’re a thing of ancient beauty, lemme tell ya.

During June I’ll try to update here daily with word count and story progress and amount of caffeine consumed. I have zero idea if I can actually swing the requisite 1667 words per day — in regular life I struggle to write even a little bit every day. But I also know that when motivated by sheer panic and the cheers & desperation of fellow writers, I can accomplish way more than I give myself credit for. So we shall see.

It’s worth noting that I’ve never done JuNoWriMo before, but I’m a NaNoWriMo veteran. From 2003-2011, I “won” it 7 times out of 9. Hopefully, some of those mad skillz still lurk deep within the recesses of my writerly subconscious.

I’m off now. Need to do some more plotting (murder mysteries are complicated!) and make sure the five-year-old isn’t torturing the cat. Ta-ta for now, cutie pies. *kisses*

#Amwriting Your First Draft: The Editwock Will Steal Your Soul

NOTE: I wrote a version of the following post for JuNoWriMo 2013. Becca Campbell, one of the founders of JuNoWriMo, was kind enough to ask me to write a Pep Talk for this year’s event. I was only too happy to oblige. What follows is a version of that Pep Talk, altered to suit the needs not only of WriMos, but of first-draft novel-writers everywhere. Enjoy!

Greetings, O Ye Warriors of the Mighty Pen!

Word documents. Word wars. Word mongering. Wordiness. WORD COUNTS!

If you’ve committed yourself to writing a novel (which is not unlike committing yourself, period), then you’ve committed to hammering out that first draft no matter what it takes. Some of you have done this before, some of you are doing this for the first time. But whether you’re an oldtimer or a newbie, you know that words are key to succeeding in this crazed endeavor we call noveling.

This could be an Editwock.

This could be an Editwock.

Well, duh. It’s kind of hard to write a novel without using words. I suppose you could try using music notes instead, but you’d probably end up with some kind of post-postmodern, Wagner-derivative opera suffering from an existential crisis, and I don’t think any of us want to hear that. And writing your novel using Morse code might be tedious. So, words it is.

But the thing about words is…they’re tricksy. They flit like pixies across your page or screen, all innocent-like with their serifs and curlicues…and then they just squat there. Brooding. Staring back at you from your work-in-progress and making you care about them. Making you want to change them. Daring you to change them.

If you change one, you’ll want to change others. You won’t be able to help it; editing when you’re not an editor is some kind of weird addiction. Once you start, you can’t stop. AND THE WORDS KNOW THIS, PEOPLE.

One minute, you’re writing merrily along, something about Our Heroine rescuing the doomed prophecy puppies and drinking the magic elixir in the nick of time. Next minute, you start editing, and before you know it, your Plot Point #3 has turned into Carrot Magnetic Demolition Force 7 and there’s really no turning back after that.

What I’m getting at here, y’all, is that while you’re first-draft-ing, you must avoid editing. The words will tempt you to edit. They will lift their lovely faces to the morning sun, open their lovely mouths, and give voice to lovely siren calls of editing bliss. Do not listen to them! “Beware the Editwock, my son! The affixes that bite, the compounds that catch!”

*ahem* Sorry. Slight Carrollian digression there. But you get the point. First drafts and editing don’t mix. If you let yourself edit, you’ll slow yourself down. Those chapters won’t write themselves, y’know. You gotta put in your butt-to-chair time, and if you take that time for editing instead of writing, you’re going to be hard-pressed to slog through the Middle-of-Story Blues or have the energy for the Finish Line Sprint.

Your best friend, dear writer, is the admonition emblazoned upon the JuNoWriMo homepage:

JUST WRITE.

Don’t worry about the “mistakes” (better known as “happy little accidents,” right?). Don’t worry about the typos, the synonyms, the passive voice, the dangling participles. After you’ve used the last of your strength to type “The End,” you can give in to the sweet seduction and edit all you like. But for now, resist. Don’t worry, and just write.

You have a novel to finish. And the great news is, you can finish it and you will finish it. You’re sacrificing sleep to get there. You’re sacrificing time with friends and family. You’re sacrificing the calm that comes from not over-caffeinating 24/7.

And yes, you’re sacrificing the luxury of poring over your own every word and tweaking each word to perfection.

But all this sacrifice is worth it. In the end, you’ll have a first draft in your hands — and editing it will be glorious. So just write, hon. That’s your only job right now, and you can do it.

Now stop reading this and get back to it. : )

__________________________
Other JuNoWriMo Pep Talks by Nina Post (contemporary fiction), Hugh Howey (WOOL series), and Rayne Hall (dark fantasy fiction).