Wednesday, 26 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 26

Number One Competitor: 50,363 (NaNo wants 43,333)

Coops: Did I mention I was ALREADY FINISHED.

No. 1's justification/excuse: Some people have to work for a living. Good on you for beating the clock. 4 days early is pretty impressive and with the quality of work you have done extremely well. We'll lay down better ground rules next year.

No. 1's lame rating: 0

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 25

Number One Competitor: 46,093 (NaNo wants 41,667)

Coops: Finished

No. 1's justification/excuse: Too busy. Pfffffttt.

No. 1's lame rating: 9 (Edit, reduced to 4. Late word count advancement missed 'last call')

Monday, 24 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 24

No. 1 Competitor: 46,093 (NaNo wants 40,000)


Justification/excuse: So nice to be finished and getting on with important stuff, like watching the stock market eat our money and surfing the net.

Lame rating: 0

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Client Fishing - An E-book

I have recently reviewed an e-book, Client fishing: the no-shit guide to finding great clients, released by Impress: clear communication Pty Ltd. (Disclosure: the company is co-owned by my sister and her partner but she’s not paying me for this plug).

If you are a freelancer, or a small business that sells services, this guide will be invaluable to help you break through the marketing hype, double-talk and general confusion involved with finding clients.

The sub-title of the book (no-shit guide) gives a hint to the writers’ clear, conversational writing style – they walk the talk and provide practical ideas and information that can be easily absorbed and understood.

‘Impress’ demystifies the client personae; clients are people just like you. Get to know them, don’t just push your marketing efforts onto them.

Learn from real experiences. Suzanne and Bruce from Impress show how to get your small business off the ground and work through problematic areas of finding great clients, keeping them happy and expanding their horizons with easy-to-understand advice.

Their manual is currently available for download at a very reasonable AUD$18 (+GST for Australian buyers):

NaNoWriMo - Day 23

Finished at 12:13pm.

Stopped in the middle of a sentence and banished the file for later, (much later), consideration, (and mass deletions).

Number One Competitor: 44,600 (NaNo wants 38,333). Still busting her arse and maintaining her strict requirements of delivering a readable, completely finished, publishable piece of work.

Coops: 50,019. (NaNo can get stuffed).

Justification/excuse: Next year will involve planning. This 'winging it' method has not opened the gates of creativity as I hoped.

Lame rating: 10. (Wrote just to fill the page. It was just like being back in school writing whatever the teacher put on the board.)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 22

I wonder if banging my head against the keyboard and using what comes out can be counted as writing?

Number 1's made an herculean effort. Her will is strong. Her wrists maybe not so strong.

Number One Competitor: 41,132

Coops: 45,555 (NaNo wants 36,667)

Justification/excuse: Neeaaaarrrlllyy there.

Lame rating: It's so lame a fourth grade teacher would give me an F. Not the good kind of F either.

Friday, 21 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 21

Going solely by gut-feel and using a rule-of-thumb method, I have come up with the following figure. One in every few hundred words is usable. MAYBE. Some idea or a name or maybe a full stop can be salvaged.

As you can see I'm not very excited about the whole idea anymore. The only reason I persevere with this stupid flash-fiction/dialogue thing is for the sake of fair play. If I were to change tack mid-stream, as it were, I think it would be unfair. To someone. Somewhere.

Number One Competitor: 35,511

Coops: 42,982 (NaNo wants: 35,000)

Justification/excuse: 7,000 words feels very far away even with such a lead. I don't know what No. 1 is up to. Not typing I suspect.

Lame rating: 6 and my fingertips hurt.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 20

Stupid damn computer stole more words this morning. Something to do with the way I save, back up or retrieve my files.

Thanks No.1 Competitor for trying to explain my part in the error to me and to yourself.

I still think it's ridiculous that there is more likelihood of screwing up your work by backing it up than if you left it the hell alone in the first place.

I'm talking about MS Word 2007 in case you were wondering.

Number One Competitor: 35,551

Coops: 39,635 (NaNo wants 33,333)

Justification/excuse: Stupid computer. (Or operator)

Lame rating: 6

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 19

Horrors of the real kind greet me this morning. Last night's save didn't work and I lost over 3,500 words.

Somehow I managed to dig into the computer and retrieve a Temp file. I still don't know how to auto save a REAL copy of my stuff.

I hate retyping old material at the best of times. Having to retype more garbage would totally drain me.

Number One Competitor: 31,208

Coops: 37,503 (NaNo wants 31,667)

Justification/excuse: Slogging along whinging and complaining and hoping 10% can be salvaged.

Lame rating: 5

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 18

Found another idea. Then I wasted a fair bit of time on a Satanist site. All I wanted was the name of a demon but I ended up reading the stuff they believe in for an hour. I sent a link to No.1 Competitor so she could have a laugh too. (And to waste her time as well)

Then it was back to more forced conversation. I think a lot of it is destined to be binned after a quick edit. Possibly there is stuff in there that will spark something off later. It'll go in the 'desperate for ideas' bin.

I'm finding it difficult to swap from the latest edit of Fatal Cure where I'm trying to cut out extra words and tighten up the action, to a rambling bunch of crap that isn't going anywhere.

Number One Competitor: 30,049

Coops: 33,743 (NaNo wants 30,000)

Justification/excuse: Just want to finish. Not enjoying it at all. Wish No. 1 would finish first so I can give up.

Lame rating: 2 (I feel lame.)

Monday, 17 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 17

Competition is hotting up again.

Number One Competitor: 29,263

Coops: 30,450 (NaNo wants 28,333)

Justification/excuse: Using an edit to add a few words here and there. Need to mind dump a few more ideas though.

Lame rating: 7 (edited). Thank you for picking up on my mistake. The re-weighted lame rating is in effect.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 16

With the halfway point come and gone you'd think there'd be a feeling of relief. But words only come slower when you've used most of them up. Not to mention the enthusiasm. Repeat after me, I will not drop out.

Number One Competitor: 26,052

Coops: 29,294 (NaNo wants 26,667)

Justification/excuse: Grinding it out.

Lame rating: 0

Saturday, 15 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 15

At the halfway point and more than halfway finished. If I continue at this pace it will all be over soon and I'll be able to concentrate solely on Killer Serials.

I might have to try typing and thinking at the same time.

Number One Competitor: 24,551

Coops: 27,995 (NaNo wants 25,000)

Justification/excuse: None today,

Lame rating: 0

Friday, 14 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 14

Tomorrow is the day we were striving to finish by. I won't be able to do it. I managed to get another Fatal Cure chapter out and that feels like real progress.

Number One Competitor: 23,303 (How did you manage to go backwards?)

Coops: 23,745 (NaNo wants 23,333)

Justification/excuse: Should have maintained that lead. Tomorrow will be that much harder.

Lame rating:5

Thursday, 13 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 13

The NaNo is a chance to write outside my normal range. I have stopped myself discarding or even assessing idea based on their merits. If I think of a subject, even fleetingly, I make myself write about it.

Number One Competitor: 23,307

Coops: 23, 384 (NaNo wants 21,667)

Justification/excuse: Just had to push it past No. 1 didn't I. And the best thing is I get to post this regardless of any further advancements on her part tonight.

Lame rating: 1

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 12

There's a certain amount of zoning up you need to do when writing. I havent had the zoning out time.

Number One Competitor: 22,616

Coops: 19,696 (Nano wants 20,000)

Justification/excuse: Parents leave today. I'll have to play catch up.

Lame rating: 9

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 11

Damn. No. 1 Competitor caught up and raced past.

Number One Competitor: 19,222

Coops: 17,929 (NaNo wants 18,333)

Justification/excuse: Entertaining parental units.

Lame rating: 9

Monday, 10 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 10

Something might come of this free association thing I'm trying. Typing exact responses to random questions off the Internet is bringing some interesting responses. The dialogue in my serial is coming much more easily too.

Number One Competitor: 16031

Coops: 17229 (Nano wants 16667)

Justification/excuse: Slowing due to house guests. Cant fully blame them but it is much harder to get into a groove with other people banging around the house.

Lame rating: 8

Sunday, 9 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 9

Even though I overran the quota yesterday I will not become complacent. A buffer is a beautiful thing, whether it be money, beer in the cupboard or words. If you forget to refill the buffer every now and then, you end up in deficit very quickly. 1667 words can be a lot to make up for when compounded with several days of substandard output.

Number One Competitor: 12,309

Coops: 16,750 (NaNo wants 15,000)

Justification/excuse: Repeat after me. A little bit ahead does not mean I should slow down.

Lame rating: 0

Saturday, 8 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 8

The NaNo is ultimatly about freeing your creativity. Reaching the stage where you are ready to stop judging a story's worthiness to have extra words attached and exploring its potential. A free association continuance is opened, allowing ideas to flow from some strange area of the mind, normally throttled by reason and logic.

Sometimes, if I'm lucky, a Buddha-like state can be attained where production is constant and the screen fills with red underlining from misspellings. When typing speed outpaces correct keystroking I redesign the english language into phonetics and abbreviations.

Number One Competitor:12,000

Coops:15,016 (NaNo wants 13,333)

Justification/excuse: Stopped thinking so much, started writing a bit more.

Lame rating: 0

Friday, 7 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 7

Around 3:30AM seems to be a common time for me to wake up. If I can get out of bed and write, I often achieve a great deal. For those who think working from home is a routine of sleep-in's watching TV, and scratching my butt, you can think again.

Normally I'll get up without the aid of an alarm clock at around 7AM and work to 5 ish with a couple of breaks to garden or to hit stuff with a hammer in the workshop. Then I might do a few hours after dinner.

I was curious about sleep cycles and found this site about circadian rhythms. 2AM is supposed to be the time of our lowest ebb and deepest sleep. It is also a time of the bodies lowest temperature. That explains a few things. An injection of coffee has been known to fix those problems.

Number One Competitor: 11256

Coops: 11292 (NaNo wants 11667)

Justification/excuse: I'm struggling. I only wrote the last few words to get ahead of No. 1. Spending far too much time going through the finances.

Lame Rating: 5

Thursday, 6 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 6

I've worked out why some writers, me included, can be so secretive about their work. It was amongst some nasty, morbid thoughts I had while editing a particularly crap piece. (When you're slamming stuff out at full speed that can occur quite frequently).

One of the thoughts was, if I died right now what would somebody think of my draft NaNo? There'd be a few side-long looks of
'This guy thinks he's a writer? Check out this garbage'.

That's why I cringe when read a draft. Its lack of sophistication, it's clumsy structure, the spattering of truncated sentences. And all those ideas jammed in with no connections to the story at hand.

That's why I hide drafts away until they can be hammered at and combed into shape. Like an ugly child getting a makeover, it can then be released from the cellar and sent into the world to earn its keep.

A few people last year wanted to read my 'winning novel' and may have felt hurt by my abrupt refusal. They were under the impression I had actually written a salable novel in 30 days. Sorry. No can do.

Someone out there might be able to. (If there is such a person, I hate them).

Number One Competitor: 11097

Coops: 10,057 (NaNo wants 10,000)

Justification/excuse: On track. Stealing ideas from No. 1 Competitior, abusing her and generally having a good time. Got so much done yesterday I even knocked off half an hour early. (3:30AM to 4:30PM in case you were wondering.)

Lame rating: 0

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 5

It looks like I'm gaining pace, doesn't it? In reality it's still a hard slog. Just a matter of putting in the hours. There's been no sudden release of ideas. Plenty of lame ones are being bashed out that usually wouldn't pass the thinking stage. Some of these ideas may bear fruit for later. Twisting them into something better with a flurry of, 'oh yeah, that would have been better if this had happened', wastes precious time with a heavy edit. I get a better read out of the story but it is against the principles of word creation.

The floppy, horrible meaningless paragraph is now a single taut sentence. And I'm down 30 words.

I still believe editing at this stage is essential. Spur of the moment ideas must be written as they are visualize or awesome stuff can be forever lost. I have done it to myself too many times. Particularly on the edge of sleep when I don't force myself to get up and write down that brilliant idea.

Number One Competitor: 7792 words

Coops: 8344 words (NaNo wants 8333 words)

Justification/Excuse: I caught up today with No.1 Competitor AND NaNoWriMo's daily word count. Today I am on track to win. I never doubted myself. (Except for the first four days.) Other serials are suffering though. A concerted effort is required to keep Fatal Cure churning out. Have hit another low spot between extreme action episodes. The wind disappears out of my sails when the chainsaw gets put aside.

Lame Rating: 0

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 4

While working for a construction company I had to spend an entire day as a crossing guard on a train line. The retard who was supposed to be doing it didn't turn up. To kill the boredom I wrote a short story. About 5000 words in tiny writing on a pocket note pad.

Now, a year later, I came across the scribble while digging through the 'maybe' drawer for ideas. Since I'm desperate for material I have converted the story into dialogue, using as many of the original words as possible, just to make life harder. I'm still not up to the required word count for day four, but it's a big step in the right direction.

Number One Competitor: 7240 words

Coops: 4545 words (Nano wants 6667)

Justification/excuse: None again. Cruising.

Lame rating: 1

Monday, 3 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 3

Pulling ideas out of my...out of the air. Dragging my vocabulary for the strange and quirky speech patterns, heard and stored over the years. The results might surprise me upon editing.

Number One Competitior: 6571 words

Coops: 2113 words (NaNo wants 5000 words)

Justification/excuse: Once again, I don't feel the need of one. Stuff is happening on an unconscious level. Tapping the elusive well is worth more then winning. Though winning is worth a great deal too. Almost more than life itself in fact. Both are still possible.

Lame rating: 2

Sunday, 2 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 2

I finally get an idea. Use the two things I'm really bad at.

Flash fiction and a restriction to writing pure dialogue.

I am within the NaNoWriMo's guide lines here. An exception is made for interlinking short stories. It will be a useful writing exercise. Whether any of the dialogue will be of any use can be assessed later.

Number One Competitor: 5718 words

Coops: 821 words (NaNo wants 3333 words).

Justification/excuse: Don't need one. I'm writing. No.1 Competitor is just writing faster, and better than me. For now.

Lame rating: 1

Saturday, 1 November 2008

NaNoWriMo - Day 1

Right, that'll teach me. The gauntlet thrown down has been picked up ultra-fast by Number One Competitor, sibling of a female persuasion.

For the record.

Number One Competitor: 3640 words.

Coops: 2 words (NaNo wants 1667).

I'm having a crisis of starting. The title was easy, (NaNoWriMo 2008), but an unreasonable expectation to write something of value is bogging me down. I have until midnight to improve this count, and will probably watch every second of that buffer tick down rather than write a single word.

I am also running a table of justification/excuses and how lame I think those excuses are.

Justification/excuse: I wrote over 3000 words for my serials and now I am awfully tired. I also cut down a tree. And had several beers. And I have RSI.

Lame rating 1-10: 7