#NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

Just a quick after-the-patriots-before-the-pizza-arrives update on my NaNoWriMo Week 1 progress.

Billy, show ’em the chart:

Nano15 Week 1

As you can see, I’m a bit behind the curve and I know why. I violated one of my rules and did not use the Pomodoro timer at all until yesterday (the word count spike). The new words from today are in week two.

I find my lack of Pomodoro disturbing.

A mistake I shan’t make again.

I hope you’re doing better than I am.  Until next time…

Be safe and be well.

NaNoWriMo Productivity

NaNoWriMo Productivity

It’s only a few days until NaNoWriMo starts again so I thought I might give you a little bit of encouragement in your attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. What most people don’t understand is that writing the 1667 words you’ll need to write every day is not as difficult as it seems. As a matter of fact it’s as easy as writing a blog post every day.
If you’re in the habit of blogging on a regular basis, and some of you are, then you already have the discipline to write at the “blistering pace” needed to reach the goal. Many other authors, all of far more successful than I am (or probably never will be), will tell you that 50,000 words in a single month is standard for a full-time writer who makes his living from the printed word.
For the purposes of this exercise, and to help you understand that it is very much within your ability to “win” NaNoWriMo, we’re going to take the very blog post you’re reading. Continue reading

Not Just Pretty Designs

Groovy Geometrics for Adults

Groovy Geometrics for Adults now on Amazon

When I told you a few days ago that I had spent the majority of the last year designing a series of coloring books, I was not as honest as I could’ve been.

As it turns out, I was working out a draft of a rather long series. I didn’t realize I was doing so at the time; such is the nature of my genius. 🙂

I’m taking some well-deserved time off from my EDJ during which time I will eat too much, drink too much, spend too much time in the sun and do very little writing to advance the outline of which I just spoke. It’s not that I need to break from writing (I really need a break from job), but I need to let the outline float around in my subconscious a little more.

I’ll be using the excuse of NaNoWriMo to see just what kind of output I can get. I know I can get 15-20,000 words out of my brain in the course of the day if I spent all day focusing on productive writing, but I’m not going to get that chance in November.

It will also give me an opportunity to determine what my current “Pulp Writing Speed Warp Factor” is. I would very much like to have 1 million words written in 2016. If I take weekends off that’s about 3800 words a day, but I don’t take weekends off when I’m writing. I may reduce the amount of time I spend writing because I have other things to do, but I don’t completely stop.

I just wanted to take a moment here, at 6 AM on my first day of vacation, to let you know I will be posting far more frequently than I have in the past year.

 

Be safe and be well.

 

Goals Not Resolutions

So its New Year’s Day, give or take, and time for everyone to tell you to get those resolutions going.  You need to make something bold for ’14 don’t you?

Um…No, you don’t.  Resolutions, in many cases, are just people’s ways of saying they’ll do something they don’t want to.  It makes them feel better that they’ve made the first step in some change, and they get to tell everyone that they’re doing something really special with their lives now.

So, yeah, you go and be all special and see me in eight weeks and tell me how THAT’S working for you.

I hope you do it. I really do.  Me?  Screw that resolution crap and give me something to shoot for that I WANT to do. That’s a goal, a concrete something that I can get my teeth into.  If you want to do it, then I don’t think it’s a resolution, I think it’s a goal.  In my tiny little, fevered mind, there is a vast difference.

So, you may well ask “Gee, what’s your goal this year?”

*assumes you asked*

Well, thanks for asking!  I’m going to set a completely achievable, no-nonsense, and real world goal for myself this year. Make no mistake, this is something I not only want to do, but also need to do.

I AM GOING TO WRITE AND PUBLISH AT LEAST FOUR NOVELS THIS YEAR.

All caps and bold and shit. You can tell I mean it.

And I do.

I got all this NaNoWriMo stuff written that was not really cohesive and worked it into the premise of a story that might just take a few million words to tell.

Yeah…

I’ve got the plot and research all done (I found out I am a plotter – big-time) and spent all my NaNoWriMo time doing research and writing scenes for this endeavor.

I’ll be able to do it because I discovered earlier today that I am able to type things from my mind to the keyboard much faster than I could ever write things from reading them, like those traditional tests to measure typing speed.

I can crank out about 30 words per minute from the reading of text, but I find out that when I type things from my mind, it comes out SO MUCH FASTER!  Like this blog post right now.  I have given myself fifteen minutes to write as much as I can about this particular topic so I can not only get a blog post up, but so I can also re-verify the discovery.

Now I have only done the whole type-from-the-mind thing two or three times (I think this post is the third) but if I can get myself into a situation where I can type the scenes of my WiP just as quickly, I might be able to hit 500,000 words this year with only a single hour a day devoted to the ass-in-chair.

Of course, the work will need to be line-edited and content edited, but it’s the “sitting down typing part” with which most people have the greatest difficulty. I’m hoping I can get the two thousand word hours (2K1H?) into about 300 days this coming year, once I get into the habit.  That’s plenty of time to get the thoughts on paper, get them edited and make the necessary postings to Amazon, SmashWords and the other places you can buy them.

So fear not! I won’t bore you with the excruciating details of my day-to-day struggle to get my 2,000 words.  I’ll just put up a chart every day, or every other day, that will show you the progress I’m Making.

So that’s my fifteen minutes.

Be safe and be well.

(BTW, This post was written at almost 41 WPM, the other test I did was a little over 50 WPM.  I guess this averages out to be about 45 WPM. That’s about 2700 Words Per Hour, but I don’t know if I can keep that pace for an hour. So 2000 WPH or 33 WPM seems quite doable. And this aside does not count in the word total of the post. So, yeah, you can do this, too.)

NaNoWriMo and Indiegogo

Or is that NaNoGoGo and IndieWriMo?

So confused…

It’s been quite a rough week, getting too little sleep and not enough butt-in-chair time for my NaNoWriMo.

Why? I am SO glad you asked. I’ve gone and done the stupid (or perhaps just the ill-advised) and decided that I’m going to not only  NaNo myself into an early grave, but also try and crowdfund a new author anthology in the same month.  What the HELL was I thinking? *you weren’t* SHUT UP, I know!

Not one to shrink from a challenge, I boldly went where angels fear to tread on the wings of love.  Or something like that.  GAWD my eyes feel like they have sand in them,  but what did I do tonight?  Futzed with a website I don’t need to have ready for THREE MONTHS.  I’m not gonna have anything ready to sell until late January, but I HAD to get the fonts on the website just right.  TONIGHT, not eight weeks from now.

Moral? Prioritize!

The countdown timer I put up on TAFpub.com tells me I have a little over 26 days until the Indiegogo campaign is over (but I think its messed up).  So that means I have 24 days for NaNo which means I have to crank out 2100 words a day on a story I am only 1000 words into.  I’ll have to re-write those as well, because I had an epiphany about NOT going back in time TWICE in one story through a flashback-within-a-flashback.  Sounded like a good idea…for about 10 minutes. Then I realized it was “Inception” and said ‘eff it’.

So I’ll just play it out as a trilogy, making NaNo the first installment. I’ll tell you what it’s about when I get it all figured out.  Not quite sure just how Lovecraftian I’m gonna get, ‘cuz it’s sure heading that way in the fevered little space behind my oh, so puffy eyes.

Yeah… the IndieGoGo campaign is at http://bit.ly/1aVVybo. If you would be so kind as to tell everyone you know about it 3 times a day for the next 25 days. LOL J/K… I mean 5 times a day *wink, wink*.

No, seriously, anything to spread the word without being a spammy jerk about it.

How do I feel about all this? Sometimes I feel like the Kid in the clip below, sometimes I feel like the gung-ho iguana.  You can stop watching after 40 seconds, that’s all it will take.

 

Be safe and be well.

NaNoWriMo Genre Selector

So your happy little fingers are about to embark on the wondrous challenge of NaNoWriMo (AKA National Novel Writing Month) and your happy little writer’s mind has this sweet idea that’s gonna launch you over the 50,000-word finish line in, like, a week.

Good for you.  Stay positive; you’ll need it.

So you log in and get to the “My Novel” screen and see this thing:

NaNoWriMo Genre Selection

NaNoWriMo Genre Selection

 

ARGH! The audacity of them to make you know, and publicly declare the Genre already!    What?  Really? You do?  Damn you. :/

Well for those of us who aren’t as sure as Ms Already-Know-My-Genre, here is some help in determining what your NaNoWriMo thingy’s genre is.  We will bastardize “The Old Man and the Sea” for this exercise.

Consider this: ANY of these can be “Thriller”, “Mystery”, “Humor” or “Romance” (depending on your writing style) or, thanks to Rule 34, “Erotic Fiction”. Also, “Old Man” is generic for “Impact Character”, Like Ben Kenobi to Luke Skywalker or Dumbledore to Harry Potter.

So here’s the formula — Titular Synopsis: Likely Genre (Possible Genre) – “Story that comes to mind”

Example — The Old Man and the Sea: Literary (Spiritual) – “The Old Man And the Sea” (the trope namer LOL)

Got it?  Here we go

The Old Man and the…

…Robot: Sci-Fi (Action, Horror, Inspirational) – “I, Robot”, “Bicentennial Man”, “A.I.”, “The Terminator”

…Moon (any planet): Sci-Fi (Action, Horror, Fantasy, Historical) – “Capricorn One”, “Apollo 13”, “Apollo 18”

…Creature: Horror (Sci-Fi) – “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”, “Herbert West – Re-animator”

…Elf/Dwarf/Dragon: Fantasy (YA) – LoTR and a billion others

…Young Apprentice: YA (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical) – Arthurian Legend, “Harry Potter” series

…Young Lady: YA (Literary, Chick Lit, Sci-Fi) – “Hunger Games”, “Lolita”

…Old Lady: Literary (Chick Lit) – “Driving Miss Daisy”, “The Notebook”

…Dead Body: This could go a thousand different ways – Hercule Poirot stories, or (if zombie) Horror

…End of the World: Again, could go in any direction, but “Distopian YA” and “Zombie Apocalypse” seem the fashion these days.

…Old Memories: Historical (Chick Lit, Literary, Sci-FI) – “Schindler’s List”, “The Notebook”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

 

So…sot even CLOSE to complete/authoritarian/quotable.  Maybe not even close to accurate.

The point is to take one obstacle out of your way so you can focus on writing the thing.  Worry about classifying it later.

Today, finish whatever passes for novel prep in your world and get ready for a great time writing the first draft of your new novel.

I’ll see you in print in May, just in time for the ‘summer reads’ *wink*.

Be safe and be well.

For the love of SOMETHING

So you’re sitting there in front of your word processor/typewriter/laptop, you have the new document open and whiteness of the page blinds you while the little cursor thingy blinks at you as if to say “HA! I’m not moving! LOSER!”

Like the maintenance people in the building you work or live in, the cursor, while it’s doing its job, goes mostly unnoticed. You only seem to acknowledge its existence when it’s not doing what you pay it to do, which is clean the whiteness off the page with wonderful letter-shaped blackness which hopefully forms understandable words. So how are we to motivate the little sum-bitch and make it conform to your will?

Talk to its boss. If you didn’t realize it yet, that’s you, Shakespeare.

And just how are we to get this plot thingy out of our heads and onto the page, thus making the cursor do its funny dance? Several ways, one of which is the internal motivation of your characters. Why are they submitting themselves to the insanity to which you are about to subject them?

Yes, it’s OK to fling a supernatural monster into suburbia and watch the madness unfold (add zombies, that seems to work these days). But it often helps if the character’s motivation is clear in your head. Once you know why this schmuck has accepted his role as ‘Savior of the universe/continuum/residential block’, then you’ll be able to let that unfold in the natural course of storytelling so the reader can see it as well.

So what is that motivator?

My premise is that Love is the only motivating force that actually matters in any story, anywhere, anytime.

All you need is…

Right.

Now I’m not talking about a Kumbaya-laden, come-to-Jesus-moment where the slayer of aliens gets all mushy about a kitten and starts weeping for the fur-ball in the tree. Not that there’s anything wrong with this particular trope, but I’m going a bit further than that.

I’m talking about the main reason anyone ever does anything.

Love.

Even if its only “Love-Of-Self” (which is not the same as “self-love”). This is cherishing something SO MUCH (a person, an idea, a way of life, a kitty, whatever) that you (your character) will go out of your way to save/preserve/defend it, even at the cost of sacrificing something along the way(comfort/status/wealth/freedom/life).

Lest you think I’m getting all touchy-feely Sunshine-and-Rainbows, this concept also works, in the extremes, as twisted justification of atrocities. Think about it.

Even the anti-hero has a love of something so strong and uncontrollable he does the craziest, most life-threatening crap to protect/save/preserve this thing s/he loves so dearly. (Warning: “Shrek” Reference.) Sometimes that might only be a love of being left alone to live in peace in a swamp.

Yes, he might save the princess, escape the dragon, reluctantly fall in love with said princess, defeat the evil king, return the people to their rightful homes, slay the horde and seal the cosmic tear in the process, but it all started with “I LOVE MY LIFE – STOP EFFING IT UP!

What does your character love? This is what motivates her.

Now go motivate the HELL out of something.

Be safe and be well.