On To The Next!

I completely forgot to mention it or update anything concerning Crafting the Badger’s Head until today.

It is done. It has 112,600 words. It still needs to be run through spell checker to catch all of the spellings that I’ve trained myself to ignore when writing a rough draft, but it’s done.

After I finished it, I kinda took some time off mentally from the Sentinels world. I did no writing at all for a while. Then, I wrote a short story for a Mini Contest on the Redwall Survivor Forums and now… on to the next, I suppose.

The Next in this case being… *gulp* Sentinels of Mysera.

Again.

I pulled out the notes I got from a content editor 2 years ago (prior to my insane learning experience at Redwall Survivor), as well as notes from my Survivor shipmate, Tooley.

I’m not sure I can make these fixes short and easy on me.

I’m thinking I need to take SoM through Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course. Run it through the the grinder which is HTRYN and finish it, once and for all.

I don’t want to, but I need to, because the book is not publishable as it is and I won’t see any further progress on the Sentinels Series until Book #1 is done.

Day 30 – NaNoWriMo 2016

Day 23: 2589

Day 24: 856

Day 25: 3266

Day 26: 1769

Day 27: 2299

Day 28: 4185

Day 29: 271

Day 30: 414

Final Total for NaNoWriMo 2016: 63,797

Only a few hours remain for NaNoWriMo 2016, but I’m for bed after a long day. I hit 50,000 on Day 23, tying last year for my quickest NaNo win. I wanted to see if I could beat last year’s number of words and finish out Crafting the Badger’s Head, but these last few days conspired against me with a puking child and then a trip to my daughter’s eye doctor for her post-op checkup.

Crafting the Badger’s Head is close to being complete. I’ve got four major scenes that need to be written, and one of them I know for sure is going to be a doozy. I still have 15 plot cards to cover. According to my original estimation, that would give me another 15,000 words at the very least. Potentially more, seeing how I’m running long on my scene average this year. I may break 100,000 with this one!

All in all, it was a good month. One of the things I love about NaNoWriMo is that if you set out with a will to hit that 1667 words each day, by the end of the month, you’ve established a writing habit for yourself that, with discipline, you can keep going with for many weeks to come. I needed NaNo to help me refocus my writing once more and get me in the habit of writing every day again. I’ll probably continue my current habits until Crafting the Badger’s Head is finished, then I think I will drop back to writing 5 days a week with 2 days off, so I don’t burn myself out too quickly.

After this draft is done, it’ll be back to Tales of Mysera and Sentinels of Mysera. I’ve got a plan for those now and, by golly, I’m going to get them done this time.

 

Day 22 – NaNoWriMo 2016

Day 16: 1853

Day 17: 1768

Day 18: 2243

Day 19: 1757

Day 20: 765

Day 21: 3573

Day 22 (so far): 2795

I’m currently less than 2000 words away from hitting 50,000. I have 23 plot cards remaining, so Crafting the Badger’s Head is still on track to at least tie last year’s NaNo, Noontide Green. If I can find more time today to write, I should be able to hit 50,000, which will make this my fastest NaNo win yet.

I unfortunately came across a little hiccup in my plot. One of my minor characters has become more of a major one. He’s supplanted his father in a lot of the story, so I’m considering having the son take over a key confrontation rather than the father doing it. But it would require some reworking of the order of the plot, which makes other key scenes a little more difficult.

So I should probably spend my spare time figuring out how to make this change work, rather than writing myself into a corner that I’ll have to revise out of later.

To my fellow NaNo participants, keep up the words!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Halfway Mark (and a Tale of Two Eyes)

Day 11: 2889

Day 12: 1748

Day 13: 1988

Day 14: 1708

Day 15: 678

Yesterday was the halfway mark for NaNo 2016 and proved to be the toughest of writing days for me. It wasn’t even writing that caused the challenges. It was what happened during yesterday.

If any of you had spent a substantial amount of time around my 6-year-old, you may have noticed that her eyes had a tendency to drift outward. Kind of like going wall-eyed, I guess. They had a different name for it, but I can’t remember what. When she was really little, her right eye just lost focus and drifted, but it did it rarely and only when she was tired. As she got older, it happened more often.

She got glasses at 3 years old, which improved the problem slightly. We tried patching and different exercises, with varying degrees of success. We went from our regular optometrist to a specialist in a bigger city 2 hours away. Her left eye began doing the same thing as the right.

Over the summer, I noticed that her right eye drifted any time she looked at something for more than a few seconds. It did it constantly. So at a recent appointment to the specialist, my husband and I informed him of that and he said that it was probably time for the one thing we were hoping to avoid.

Surgery.

We agreed, though reluctantly, but with her eye drifting more and more often, we were running a higher risk of her losing her sight in that eye. So surgery it would be.

Her and I went to the bigger city on Monday, to prep for her surgery on Tuesday morning. We got a hotel for two nights, while my mom stayed home with the twins and my husband kept working a job he couldn’t afford to be away from for 3 days. I brought my husband’s work laptop with the intent of keeping myself busy.

Day 15 was Tuesday and the same day as my daughter’s surgery. I wrote a little in a half distracted fashion before waking her up and taking her to the hospital. Surgery was at 8 a.m. We were back at the hotel by noon.

Yep, that quick.

But the rest of the day was spent with the two of us lounging in the hotel room while the rest of the anesthesia wore off, with me occasionally giving her Tylenol when she started complaining about her eyes hurting. She looks a little cross-eyed now, which the doctor said would be normal and would improve over the next couple weeks, since he detached and reattached muscles in her eyes. The stitches will dissolve on their own and apparently the eye heals faster than any other part of the body. So fast, in fact, that she could go back to school tomorrow.

If she stops seeing double, which is another side effect.

If you didn’t notice the bloodshot corners of her eyes and her tendency to bump into things right now, you’d never know she’d just had surgery yesterday. I can hear her playing with Legos in her room right now. She hasn’t had any pain medicine since first thing this morning, so I’m thinking she’s already on the mend.

Hopefully this surgery corrects her problem from now on and we can go back to the regular optometrist after a couple follow up appointments.

And maybe next time I’ll see if I can put off surgeries until after NaNo.

Day 10 – NaNoWriMo 2016

Day 7: 3,020

Day 8: 2,426

Day 9: 2,103

Day 10: 3,208

Total written: 24,383

Today’s writing session set a new record for words for this year’s NaNo. We’re 1/3 of the way through NaNo and I’m nearly halfway done with the NaNo word count… and I’ve only gotten through about 1/5 of my plot cards. At the rate I’m going, I could hit 100,000 words for Crafting the Badger’s Head. That would make it my longest NaNo ever and, I believe, my second longest rough draft. I think the first draft of Sentinels of Mysera was 120,000. Nothing else had come close.

I’m starting to get into a groove. I’m starting to figure out who Josin and Kirron are as characters. Gentos, my antagonist, is intriguing me, because he’s not exactly coming out how I envisioned. He’s better than I planned.

My plan of waking up at 4 a.m. to write has stayed steady every day so far. I’m really enjoying that quiet time first thing in the morning. The catch is that I have to get to bed early enough in the evening, or else I have splitting headaches by noon.

How are my fellow Wrimos doing? Smooth sailing, or is it a little bumpy?

Day 7 – NaNoWriMo 2016

Day 3: 2203

Day 4: 1772

Day 5: 2600

Day 6: 1975

Day 7 (so far): 1667

Total written: 15,293

Yesterday marked the end of Daylight Savings for most of the USA. I’m not sure if anyone else out there observes this ridiculous ritual other than the U.S., but I went around my house and reset all my clocks that didn’t automatically set themselves.

There is, however, one perk to Daylight Savings in November. Since we fall back an hour on the clock, most people sleep in that ‘extra’ hour. I decided to try something different this week. I normally get up at about 5:00 a.m. on weekdays, but since my body thinks that 4:00 a.m. is the wake up time, I decided that I would just start getting up at 4 in the morning.

I’m a morning person, so this isn’t as hard for me as it is for some people. I rolled out of bed with the alarm, got dressed, got a cup of coffee (which I’d prepared the night before and set the timer on so there was a pot ready when I was), and sat down to write.

When my husband stumbled out of bed at 5:30, I checked my word count. I had, ironically, written the exact word quota for NaNo: 1,667. Not only that, but for the first time this month, I felt like I really had some good story. I’ve really been struggling with my characters and my plot, but this morning, things were clicking and moving along. I liked what I wrote this morning.

I’m not sure if it was that motivational start to the morning, the early cups of hot coffee, or maybe just that hour and a half of quiet time that was all my own, but I’ve felt super jazzed and productive all day. I’ve gotten a lot done and my attitude just seems better than normal, especially for a Monday!

So while my original plan was just to do the 4 a.m. wake up the three days a week when I have less time in the morning, I might just get up at 4 every morning and use that time to write for NaNo and beyond. My time during the day is still pretty spotty and my personal word goal remains at 2000 words a day, which I’ve done pretty good at hitting.

How goes the NaNo any of the rest of you? And do you live somewhere outside the U.S. that observes Daylight Savings (because I’m curious if anyone else has to suffer it)? Let me know in the comments!

 

Day 2 – NaNoWriMo 2016

Words written: 2350

Total written: 5076

My plan this morning was to wake up at 4:15 a.m., pour myself a cup of coffee, and write for an hour or so before anyone else in my house was up and requesting breakfast.

Something about best laid plans?

Woke up to my husband’s alarm at 5:15 a.m. Apparently I slept through my alarm and shut it of in my sleep or something similar, because I have no memory of the alarm.

Thank goodness for VeggieTales (or ‘a MooMee’ which is toddler-ese for ‘movie’) to keep my twins preoccupied mid-morning so I could write like the wind. Thank goodness for Mythbuster re-runs to keep my husband occupied in the evening so I could finish getting my words.

My personal goal had been to hit 5000 today. I’m already a day ahead of schedule, which is perfect.

Now, despite what the numbers say, it hasn’t been the easiest writing day. Most of what had come out is not something I’m happy with. I feel almost rusty. Like a gear that sat too long without being oiled and moved. It occurred to me that I haven’t really written much since finishing Battle of the Bargaws revision earlier this year, and that was different than rough draft writing anyway. I haven’t written anything truly new since finishing Noontide Green last NaNoWriMo. It stands to reason that I’m out of practice.

Plus the characters in Crafting the Badger’s Head are all fresh and new. I’m still learning their quirks and their traits and figuring out just what makes them tick.

It’s not my best quality of writing, but it’s writing. I’ll find my groove soon enough, if my previous NaNos are any indication.

And let that be a piece of advice for any of you NaNoers out there who may be struggling. Just write. Don’t worry about quality. Don’t worry about your characters. You can always come back and fix it later. For now, tell the story. Get the pictures in your head down in black and white. Ramble on. Daydream while typing. Let your protagonist and antagonist meet up for tea and chess prior to becoming enemies. Whatever. Just write.

Perfection doesn’t happen on the first draft.