Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Whooo-HOOO!!! April Report.

I did it!
 I got the remaining words needed to make a full 30k this month, and now I've done it!

 Only one day to go, so there wasn't any chance of my going on to 40k, but that can wait til next month.
 I got blindsided by a few things in Real Life that kind of ambushed my creativity and hauled it away captive, so I was very glad that I'd been able to get so far ahead on my word count. It meant not worrying too much over Camp NaNo and instead worrying solely about the Real Life stuff.
 (Nice, right? )

   So... this is me, at peace with myself, my word count and my win. And I think I actually enjoy this one the most I ever have.
  Maybe I'm improving at this "race yourself" concept... and I know I'm very delighted with the story I've managed to get down onto the screen this month, and I look forward very much to having it fully completed.
   But not right now.
    Right now I'm going to work on those Real Life things and get them straightened out as well as I can. 'Cause if they act up once, they'll act up again if you don't get them fixed!

 How 'bout you? 
Have you met a goal this month? Was there something that tried to jump in your way; and did you plow thorugh it, or did it defeat you?
 Tell me!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Q& A: How much Plotting?

 Q: I have a sad tendency to get caught up in trying hard to get words written in the NOW, and I
forget to figure out the plot, so that I eventually end up lost in a mess of wilderness with no idea what to do next.
  Do you plot your stories or do you figure out as you go?

A:  I guess I kind of do both... I generally let an idea sit in my head for a little while before I even begin
on it, so I do tend to have a general idea of where it might be going. Then when I start to write, I have a long talk with my sis, (or else a long think with myself!) and get a few plot points decided on, so they act as sort of towns on a map. We may have several options of roads to get there on, and may end up discovering new trails along the way, but the town keeps us moving in the right direction.
 Does that make any sense?

 But I totally cannot outline every scene and every sentence and then go back through and "add descriptions" or whatever. It's got to be much more organic than that, and kind of be allowed to grow up out of the bed of my imagination in all it's viney, leafy gloriousness.

So, I do a bit of both!

   I really understand the feeling you're describing of getting lost in the woods, and having none of the trails line up with each other at all! I've spent my fair share of days in that literary morass and it really stinks to have so many beautiful scenes that are at total odds with each other, and there is no possible way to make them agree! That is a super frustrating experience, so I now go with the "loosely mapped" plot lines... and it really helps!

  (Which reminds me, I'm going to do a post on my "plotting arc" design.)

   So... did that explanation make any sense?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 19: April Camp NaNo

     What a rush this month has been so far! With plenty of real life hectic-ness going on, it's been almost a relief to have a word count goal to worry over, because that at least I can influence!
 I know, but it's true all the same.

  And, I've not had much trouble worrying over my word count lately. I'm ahead of schedule, even on the challenging 30k goal, and I'm super excited about where the story is going!

  First off, in an attempt to get into a friends cabin, I opted out of the un-talkative cabin I was in. But instead of getting into her cabin with her, I ended up in another cabin, pretty well populated with motivated writers and interesting chatting going on.
  This has made the Camp experience much more fun, and encouraged me anew to tackle the major plot points in my tale.

 Secondly, I met a friend of a friend also doing April Camp, and her word count was astonishingly high. I was flabbergasted, and then that little bug came up and said, "If you could catch up with her, you would be happy."

 This itched at me for several days as I tried to get my daily words in, and then I was stuck by brilliance! The story rolled out of my fingers like water out of a culvert in a spring rain, and I loved it!
 My sister also loved it...
 And soon I was within striking distance of that really high word count...

  And then, I had passed it!

 And of course that WriMo had written more, so I wasn't up to her.

Day 19, 4:48 Mtn time!
 But brilliance continued on, and I wrote over and above my daily goals. I got multiple thousands per day, and soon... yes!

  Today, I caught up with her word count! I am ecstatic! I am happy.
 And I am way ahead of schedule, so that means I am also Not Scared I won't make the total.

 And I can't wait to be so far ahead that I burst through my 30k goal line, and then I'll be like, "Good! So glad! Hm, lets' see if I can secretly do 40k before the month is out."

 There is every kind of way that will make this story get finished huge lots sooner, and I really want to send this on to betas! I think they may like it as muchly as my sister does... ('cause she can be hard to impress sometimes, and she likes this!)

So... that's how I'm doing. 
 Tell me, how are you doing?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 12: April NaNo Camp

Okay, so you may already know that I've been working on 20k per month goal since last Novemeber,
and I've been being successful so far. But since April is "Camp NaNo" month, it seemed like a good idea to join in on the fun there with my 20k goal and kill two birds with one stone.

 Since I'm trying to concentrate on one project, and I'd really love to have it done, done, done!

So I did.

  It was interesting.

 Last year I did July camp for the first time, so I am somewhat familiar with the way the Camp site works. (Haha, got you there, that's an accidental pun!)
   Anyway, the real NaNo site is more fun, with the Plot Doctoring forums my favorite part, but having the "cabin mates" chat to talk in can be fun, too. My cabin mates so far aren't very talkative, so that's kind of sad. (I may have to resort to a different cabin...)

 So, I got some great days of really productive sprints in early in the month, and was almost nearing the halfway point on my wordcount.
 "If I'm doing so well at this," I thought to myself, "Shouldn't I try to do more? The faster this project is done the happier several people in my life will be, and that includes me. So... why not up the word count to 30K? After all, a measly extra 10k on top of the pile shouldn't be too hard, right?"

 So, I did.

 And now I've hit some days where I'm not getting the scenes rolling like they used to, and I'm kind of losing momentum, and I'm thinking "What was I thinking?!!!"

 But, I think I can still do it... it just won't be easy sailing. I'm on track to accomplish it, as the site stats say:
"At This Rate You Will Finish On
April 30, 2014"
In order to write 30k in 30 days; I simply need to come up with one thousand (high quality, intensely expressive, and on-track-with-the-plot) words per day.
 At 12k on the 12th, (today) that means I'm theoretically doing okay. But I know that I did more than 1k per day early in the month, which means that my actual production has downshifted... and this spells a bad forecast for the upcoming weeks.

 To add to my problems, I have the ridiculous tendency to desperately want to finish early. To the degree that if I simply finish on time I will feel somewhat like a failure; only if I finish early will I have actually won.
 And the degree of actually enjoying the win will directly correspond to how many days early I finish.

   Is this crazy? (Are you afraid to answer that honestly?)

   Does anybody else feel like this? It's actually pretty miserable, 'cause it totally steals the joy out of most accomplishments. (At least timed ones.) And I don't like to think of myself as going through life all joy-less, etc. but I'm not sure how to alter this tendency, or ever from whence it springs.

  Anyway, let me know what you think and make me feel less lonely, will you please? :-)