Posts Tagged With: Word count

Help! NaNoWriMo Woes

We’re now on day 23 of NaNoWriMo, and I am very woeful. Apart from being 5 days behind on my word count (noooooo), I’ve also encountered a very frustrating problem that I’m hoping y’all might have some advice for me on.

Essentially, my story is going to be too long. Like, massively too long. I’ve spent the past two years turning this story over in my mind, working out all the details and character arcs and whatnot. But now that I’m putting it on paper, it’s way too long. I just hit 63k words, and I’m not even at the halfway point yet. Not even close. Right now, the story’s looking to be 150k+ words. Which, for a YA novel, is … not good.

So I’m basically looking for suggestions on how to proceed. Obviously the book can’t stay that long. But what’s my best option for dealing with this?

A) Keep writing, and finish the first draft. Once it’s all done, go back, re-read, and re-evaluate the story. Cut out unnecessary scenes, tighten phrasing, etc., and get it down to a reasonable word count.

B) Stop writing. Re-read what I’ve got and tighten it up now, so I can keep writing off a solid base.

C) Keep writing, and finish the first draft. Don’t go crazy cutting scenes — just let the story be how long it needs to be. If that’s too long for traditional YA books, either embrace it and publish anyway, or pursue other publishing formats — i.e., release the story in multiple parts (ala Lord of the Rings) at a reduced price

D) Whatever y’all can come up with!

Right now I’m leaning toward option A, because I figure getting it all down on paper first is my best bet before I start chopping stuff. But I welcome any and all suggestions!

While you come up with awesome advice for me, please also enjoy the very chill unrelated media of the day.

 

(Very Chill) Unrelated Media of the Day:

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

Wisdoms from my writers society meeting …

I just got back from my monthly London Writers Society meeting, and there were a lot of interesting thoughts and opinions floating around tonight, so I thought I’d share some of them. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with some of these — in fact, several of them I think are totally wrong — but I figured I’d share the full spectrum, and then you guys can take or leave whatever you want!

In no particular order … wisdoms from my writers society meeting:

  • Great writers should aim to write 1,000 words a day
  • Great writers should treat writing like a full time job, and work at least seven hours a day, six days a week
  • It’s more effective to write for a set period of time than write toward a specific word count goal
  • Great writers should “blueprint” their books before they ever set fingers to keyboard
  • Great writers should write first, and research later
  • Great writers should research first, and write second
  • Great writers should write only what they know

Lots of interesting ideas presented … and I’m not sure where I stand on a lot of them. I definitely disagree with the “write first, research later” mantra. What if I’ve decided to write a story about 18th century pirates in the South Pacific? I don’t know anything about 18th century pirates. I don’t know anything about the South Pacific. I don’t even know if there were 18th century South Pacific pirates. For all I know, the 18th century South Pacific seas were ruled by a cabal of hyper-intelligent octopoids. I’ll never know unless I research!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Speaking of not knowing what the heck you’re talking about …

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Who needs a muse when you have dreams?

I had the coolest experience this morning, and I really wanted to share it with you!

So like many creative types, I have really vivid dreams. Most of the time they’re erratic and fun, but not much use otherwise. You know, I’ll be running through a laser tag arena inside a closed shopping mall, trying to chase down a squad of Death Eaters and their pet panthers so I can stop them from reaching the grand library and aligning the twelve planets to attain ultimate cosmic power.

That sort of thing.

This morning, I had a dream about a boarding school in northern Ontario where a select group of students were learning magic instead of whatever subject they were supposed to be learning. It was pretty cool, as I’m a big fan of the whole “magic school” plot. Then I woke up, lay in bed grinning at the awesome dream for a few minutes, and then suddenly had a brainwave about a novel I’ve been struggling with. Eureka!

Apart from containing a school which technically teaches magic, but not really, because they’re mostly preparing themselves to fight giant elemental monsters, the dream had very little to do with my novel. But something about the dream triggered a spark in my brain, and led me to the solution I’ve been otherwise unable to come up with on my own.

Three big cheers for dreams and imagination! Hip hip, hurray!

 

NaNoWriMo update:

Yeah … it’s going pretty miserably, not going to lie. I’m at something like 4.5k words. It’s bad. On the plus side, I have made some strides in figuring out how the story will progress, so even if I only break 10k by the end of the month, at least I’ll have a solid foundation to work from in the future!

How’s everyone else’s NaNo dreams going?

 

Unrelated media of the day:

This comic (by illustrator “Strangely Katie”) is fairly long, but it’s a really cute story, so I suggest you read it all the way through! Click here to view the artist’s website.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Quick NaNo update …

Avast, me hearties!

Sad news — my NaNo attempts have, once again, failed epicly. I was doing really well the first couple of days … and then it was Monday and there was work to be done, and … long story short, my NaNo dreams are rapidly dissolving. I’ll still tap out some words whenever I get the chance, but 50k seems tragically out of reach at the moment. Noooooooes!

That’s all for now. Back to work. Write on!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

I won Camp NaNo + first draft of Chasing Nonconformity complete!

Fellow bloggerites, I have officially won Camp NaNo and completed the first draft of Chasing Nonconformity (the sequel to Imminent Danger). Huzzah and rejoice, my friends!

would say that today’s a huge day for me, writing-wise, except that would be a blatant lie, as I actually accomplished all the aforementioned accomplishments yesterday. Ah well. Victory tastes just as sweet the next day. But not the day after tomorrow. That’s when the ice storm hits and we all freeze to death in the New York Public Library whilst fending off a starving wolf pack.

Right! So Camp NaNo was a rousing success, possibly because I only attempted to write 20k words instead of the traditional 50k words. Meh. The point of going to camp was, of course, to finish the first draft of Chasing Nonconformity, which I did. So … woo!

Here’s some stats on Chasing Nonconformity for you, because who doesn’t love stats? Crazy people, that’s who.

Total word count: 114,340

Total page count: 308

Total usages of the word “ZWOOSH”: 41

Total references to someone being kidnapped or abducted: 59

Total of alien planets/space stations/colony ships visited: 5

Total level of awesomeness: Over 9,000

 

To celebrate my success, I acquired a slice of cherry cheesecake, a bacon pizza, and a peanut butter chocolate cupcake. The cheesecake was delicious, the pizza was meh, and the cupcake hurt my stomach because I was full from all the cheesecake and pizza. Intestinal discomfort has never tasted so good.

In other news, tomorrow marks the beginning of the LA Times Festival of Books, where Blackbird LSD will be representing me and my book since I don’t have the moola to jaunt off on a jet plane to California for the weekend. They’ve got 51 copies of my book (I know, weird number, don’t ask), 3,000 bookmarks, 2,000 stickers, and all the enthusiasm they can muster! Three cheers for Blackbird LSD! Hip hip, hooray!

That is all.

 

Unrelated media of the day: “Scumbag Candyman”

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments

Camp NaNo + assorted updates

In a somewhat suspicious turn of events, my Camp NaNoWriMo attempts are going extremely well this year. As of thirty seconds ago, I am officially at 8,666 words — 43% of my goal for the month. And it’s only the 6th! Huzzah! I suppose it helps that I actually have a plan for what I’m writing — not an outline, of course, but more of a general “This happens, then this, then this.” I’m really excited, guys. Chasing Nonconformity is going to be epic. Well, as soon as I finish writing the darn thing, that is.

And I have new pictures for you! But first, let’s do a brief iUniverse update …

 

iUniverse update

Remember the pricing issue I was talking about? According to iUniverse, it is impossible to solve it. iUniverse sent out their recommended sales price, and now apparently the online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, etc.) have complete freedom over how much they want to sell the books for. Grrrr. So I said, “Dear iUniverse, if you can’t control the eBook price, can you at least make the physical books less expensive?” To which iUniverse responded that they used a base print-on-demand algorithm to determine the price, blah blah blah, and that the softcover price is fixed at $21.95, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Like heck they can’t.

 

Chapters update

On the other hand, my book is now in Chapters! Check it out:

2013-04-05 19.03.02

HOW COOL IS THAT???

The Chapters people have been absolutely awesome, as you can see from the above image! The only thing they were obligated to do as part of my publishing package was put the book on the shelf, so the fact that they stuck it at the front of the store, on the top shelf, is beyond fantastic. Huge shout-out to the staff up at Chapters North, London!

I’ve also contacted their general manager about doing a book signing — no word back yet, but I have high hopes!

 

Other update

The lovely and talented Ms. Tania L Ramos is currently rocking Las Vegas on a writer’s getaway. She brought along Imminent Danger, and took this adorable, alien-themed photo:

WP_000643

 

Okay, enough bragging for one day. Off to work! But before I go, I shall leave you with your favourite part of my posts, the …

 

Unrelated media of the day

Categories: iUniverse, Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

And now … to cheat blatantly at Camp NaNoWriMo …

Well, maybe not cheat, per say. More like deviate slightly from the rules, while still sticking with the spirit of the event. Sort of …

As I explained in some post in the past, Camp NaNo is all about sitting down every day for a month and writing. Now, you’re supposed to start a new story from scratch. But to that I say PAH! As if I have time for such shenanigans. What I really need to do is finish the sequel to Imminent Danger, and I’m about 20k words out from doing exactly that. And since they changed the rules this year so you can set your own word count limit … talk about a golden opportunity for a little free motivation!

So, basically, I will be attempting Camp NaNo this year, and I urge you all to join me. You set the word count, so there’s no need to freak out about having to write 1,667 words a day, where failing damns you to the eternal purgatory of crushed literary dreams. And since I’m cheating blatantly, y’all should feel free to do the same!

Got a story squirrelled away somewhere that you never quite finished writing? First of all, stop squirrelling things away. It’s undignified. Second of all, grab that story, dust off the bark and acorn crumbs, and join me for a month of glorious writing awesomeness!

This concludes my confession / call to arms. Here’s a link to my camper profile. Feel free to add me, or friend me, or however the heck the internet works. To Camp Nano-finity, and beyond!!!

 

Related media of the day:

More fan art!!! Today’s offering comes from the lovely Kate Sparks. Check out her rendition of Miguri, the loveable, contraction-phobic alien:

Miguri-brighter

Related update of the day:

No news from iUniverse yet on the ebook pricing debacle. The general consensus seems to be that people in the USA see the correct price, and everyone else … well, doesn’t. If you live outside the USA and for some reason you can’t possibly live another second without reading the brilliant literary masterpiece that is my book, Google Play has the ebook for super cheap. Oh, and the free Goodreads Giveaway is ending in the near future. So check that out. Or not. Whatever pressurizes your escape capsule.

Unrelated media of the day:

An internet classic for you:

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

NaNoWriMo — Day 7 Check In

My temp job continues, netting me sweet, sweet cash, and further inhibiting my ability to meet my NaNo word count. When last we chatted, I was 483 words into NaNo. Now, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been a busy little beaver these last few days, and I have officially brought my word count up to … wait for it … drum roll …

5,455 words

Woo!!! Broke the 5k mark! PARTAY!

Okay, to be perfectly honest, that’s actually a pretty pathetic word count. You’re supposed to finish 1667 words a day, so by Day 7 I should be at 11,669 words. I’m a little short. And by a little, I mean I need to double my word count. I might have to cancel my partay …

However, I’m not letting that stop me. I WILL PREVAIL! It won’t be easy, however, because my boss has projected that he’ll need me to keep temping well into next week, and possibly longer, as the job is much bigger than they thought and we’re nowhere near done. So, yay for my bank account, and boo for my story. Oh, and we’re also moving apartments on the 17th, so there goes most of the weekend. But still, I WILL PREVAIL! If I say it enough times, it’ll come true, right? RIGHT?

Unrelated images of the day:

His mother must be so proud.
Source: http://i.imgur.com/eH0VP.jpg

((NOTE: Click on the image below to see a larger version))

 

Unrelated video of the day:

Categories: Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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