Posts Tagged ‘ word count ’

NaNoWriMo Day 17: party break

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 17

Today’s personal word-count goal: 43,329

Today’s actual word-count so far: 44,000

Ahead or behind? Ahead, hence the party break.

Years I’m Writing About: 2009-2010, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

I suffered through the transition from week two to week three of NaNoWriMo, but yesterday I found comfort in a productive and entertaining writing date, in stumbling into a natural upswing in my storyline, and in finally fundraising my donation goal for the Office of Letters and Light. So I’m going to The Night of Writing Dangerously this Saturday night. See you there?

This morning, I woke up and  re-read how I handled the challenging days last year, which helped. Then I got a call from my wife: there’s an extra ticket to tonight’s fancy fundraiser! So I’ll be dining at a designer table tonight at DIFFA! See you there?

Looks like I’m taking a writing break to attend a couple of parties. And it feels good. I’m still committed to finishing by Thanksgiving, but maybe I’ll just extend the party break and finish before the month ends like everybody else.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

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NaNoWriMo Day 10: My Top Ten Success Tactics

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 10

Today’s personal word-count goal: 26,664

Today’s actual word-count so far: 27,226

Ahead or behind? Ahead! Keeping up with word counts has actually been EASY this year!

Years I’m Writing About: 1998-2000, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

I’m a three-time NaNoWriMo winner, and I’m way ahead on my word count. How do I do it? Here are my top ten rules:

1.    Never erase anything. The only reason I ever move my cursor backward is to add a space between words that should have a space between them (see #2 below).
2.    If a word can be more than one word, I make it so. And I never hyphenate anything: bird feeder, grown ups, latch key kids, one hundred fifty eight.
3.    While writing, I try to actually write every single thought that crosses my mind, even thoughts like, “I don’t know what to write,” or, “Ugh, I can’t remember that word.”
4.    If I think of a better way to write something I just wrote, I don’t go back and edit. I write it again, even thrice, until I like it, and then move on. So the draft might read something like this: I skated down the big ramp, no I flew down the slope of the great cement ramp, no I thundered down the wide cement slope, the meanest ramp I’d ever skated, and then smiled for the reporters.
5.    I write long, episodic chapter titles. They help me remember what I’ve written at a glance, and the long title helps my word count. Example: Chapter Twenty Seven: In which the main character Tallulah chases her new beloved girlfriend into the burning village and helps her rescue a house full of orphans and two old blind men and then they have sex in an abandoned barn at twilight.
6.   Everything I need to draft this month starts in my NaNoWriMo manuscript. I draft blog posts like this one, important email, and thoughtful Facebook comments  in my fastest NaNoWriMo writing style  and then copy and paste them elsewhere for editing. Consequently, everything I’m writing this month becomes relevant to my current NaNoWriMo project.
8.    I overwrite. I explain things and describe things several times, especially if it’s a struggle or I really want to get it right. I can always remove the less successful sentences later.
9.    I tell everyone. I answer every “How do you do?” with an announcement or a reminder about this crazy thing I’m doing.
10.   I give myself pep talks and talk to myself, right in the manuscript: I am at 12,000 words! I am doing great.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

NaNoWriMo Day 1: I’m a WriMo R U 2?

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 1

Today’s personal word-count goal: 3,333

Today’s actual word-count so far: 0

Ahead or behind? Behind! 3,333 words to go today!

Years I’m Writing About: 1972-1975, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

Since 2008, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month, an international annual event where participants compete to see who can write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The event is open to all, so if you’re even a little curious, don’t hesitate to join me. And if you want to sit this one out and watch first, keep an eye on my blog this month, where I’ll chronicle the harrowing adventuresperseverance, experiments, and triumphs just as I have in past years. Today, I’ll embark on my 4th NaNoWriMo–not because I have another stunning novel concept in mind but because I’m hooked.

November’s become a time in my creative year where I can count on the momentum of an online community to push me to race-write for 30 days, to prioritize writing for 30 days, to trust in future drafts and thoughtful editing in order to convince myself to write, uncensored and unbridled, and as fast as I can. The yearly exercise makes me a better writer.

This month on the blog, I’ll write about the inspiration for this year’s endeavor–a memoir to celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday, mine my own stories for new fiction ideas, and review my life so far in order to set goals for the next forty years.

I’ll also keep you updated on my word-count race, so you can cheer when I’m ahead and sympathize when I fall behind. Or you can follow my word count on my Twitter feed, my Facebook page, or by befriending me in the NaNoWriMo online community.

And of course, I’ll share the play-by-play emotional roller coaster of a writer gone mad, writing wildly and without care for thirty glorious days.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

Still Life With Novel #1

Last November, I posted this story of my writing process for novel #1. After I finished writing about pigeons, I returned to this project and have been deep in it ever since. So I thought I’d update.

I snapped the shot above because when I finished the current draft and printed it, I felt proud. Now I’m working with this pile of papers to ensure a few things:

  • the story has a day-by-day rhythm that works
  • I’m using sexy, thematically appropriate language and sentence structure
  • the plot makes sense

So what are we looking at in this photo? That stack of paper beside the butt-end of my hot pink stapler, a pen, and a nail file, consists of:

  • a color-coded, day-by-day plot outline
  • theme-word lists for each of the novel’s four sections (on hot orange paper)
  • an 80,000-word manuscript

Yep, the manuscript has almost doubled in size, so I’m also looking for places I can cut. And I’ve joined a local queer/trans writing group where I hope to find some momentum for this final push. After this draft, I’m looking to sell.

Anybody know an agent or publisher looking for a bisexy romp through deadly sin and snow in San Francisco?

I’m a verified, three-time NaNoWriMo winner!

Day 24: I’m Supposed To Finish Today

Today’s Word Count Goal: 50,000

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 43,000

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

This will be the first year I didn’t finish by Thanksgiving, but I’ll be damned if it will be the first year I didn’t finish! I am taking off now for a weekend at my brother’s for the holiday. I will be writing the final seven-thousand words in bits and pieces over the next few days and will definitely announce when I’m all done.

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row.

Day 15: Halfway There

Today’s Word Count Goal: 32,450

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 25,000

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

“I’m only behind on being ahead,” I declared to the wife last night.

“Wow, Kristy. Just wow,” she said, laughing.

She’s laughing at my logic, my word-count excuses.

“But it’s true,” I argue, and enter my latest count into the tiny box in the upper right-hand corner of the NaNoWriMo website. Today is day fifteen, so to be just exactly on schedule, I should have 25,000 words, halfway there. And that’s where I am. Not behind.

But I try to plan ahead, to be done by Thanksgiving and not write on weekends. I try to be an over-achieving WriMo.  On those goals, I am behind, way behind.

So yeah, shooting for the stars in order to stand half a chance of landing on the moon–it works for me as a writer. Does it work for you?

 

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.