NaNoWriMo, Day 30: Da-da DAH dah! Da-da da-dah-DAH!

That’s right, kids, it’s the final countdown. I’ve got about ten hours to write 6,777 words (pay no attention to the word count at the right; I won’t be updating it until I get home tonight) if I want to win this thing.

Perfect time for an emergency situation to arise at work, right? Naturally.

Keep watching, folks. I ain’t out of this thing, yet.

Oh, and congratulations to Laura, whose word count is currently 50,495. Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah!

NaNoWriMo, Day 26: Home Stretch

Okay, so the home stretch is a long damn stretch for me. Something just shy of 20,000 words in five days. Well, now I’ve managed to whittle that down to less than 15,000 words, so I feel pretty good. I have to say this, though: not writing for three or four days at a time is a bad idea.

I just finished writing the epilogue, which is the bit that comes after the end. In my case, the epilogue doesn’t feature any of the main characters, so I really didn’t have to know how they fared at the end in order to write it. Which helped more than you might think, because though I’ve got a vague idea of how I want to wrap this thing up, I haven’t fleshed it out too much. I will say that writing the epilogue has helped to establish a couple of events that must happen prior to the end of the novel, so I’ve at least got some direction. I may write the rest of the thing backwards, starting at the end and working toward some point in the middle.

Two Things

  1. I broke a blood vessel in my left thumb. How? I was attempting to blow out a four-wick candle by clapping my hands together a la The Incredible Hulk. I succeeded on the second attempt, but I believe the blood vessel ruptured on the first. The pad of my left thumb is now slightly swollen and vaguely purple in color.
  2. The Craftsman ½-hp belt drive garage door opener I bought on Sunday is incompatible with our garage. There is a support beam approximately 101 inches from the door that will prevent the opener from being installed. Required horizontal clearance: approximately 125 inches. Dammit. There may be some hope, though. The installer told me that Genie garage door openers (available at the nearby Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse) don’t require as much space as the Craftsman models.

NaNoWriMo, Day 21: The Wall

I wrote a measley 500 words last night and failed to move the story forward at all. The problem is this: I started with a single character, built a situation and then starting filling in details. But I have no outline and no clear idea of how the story should conclude. My fear right now is writing 50,000 words and winding up with no climax.

NaNoWriMo, Day 20: Traction Control

I’ve written about 2,150 words today, bringing my total to just over 28k, or about 5k shy of today’s goal (33,340). At this point, I have two main objectives:

  1. Don’t fall any further behind.
  2. Close the gap.

To a certain extent, I’ve met both of those objectives today. However, I’d like to get another 2k written before I turn in tonight.

Laura, by the way, is doing better than I am at this point. She spent most of last week several thousand words behind me, but really made a big push since about Thursday. When last I checked, she was just under 2k shy of the daily goal. She’s in the middle of writing a difficult scene right now, so I’m trying not to bug her.

If you’d like to see a my NaNoWriMo user profile, a nifty bar graph that tracks my progress since 01 November, and an even more nifty excerpt from my as-yet untitled novel, have a look at this page.

First Flakes

We had a little snow in Willoughby on Thursday. Just enough that I had to shovel a drift on the front steps and sprinkle some salt on the sidewalk Friday morning. The sun has been out all morning and now most of the snow has melted.

When I got home from the NaNoWriMo meeting Thursday evening, I found an e-mail from my dad waiting. Seems they’d gotten some snow in the U.P., too.

Messy Manor Road Old Man Winter vs. Messy Manor
(Click thumbnail for a larger image.)

NaNoWriMo, Day 17: Like Pulling Teeth

Progress has been made. I wasn’t particularly productive at Panera tonight (I’m estimating somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 words), but I haven’t updated with last night’s Arabica total (around 700 words), either. If you add the roughly 1,300 words of background material I just wrote, that makes for about 2,300 words that aren’t included in my current total (21,760), which should put me right around 23,000. Still a fair bit behind, but nothing that can’t be made up in a day or two.

Since I’ve been stumbling over scenes that just weren’t working over the past couple of days, I decided to go back and do something I might have done early in week one, had I known what I was going to write about at the time: I’m setting the stage.

There’s a lot of stage to set, and most of what I’m writing now will likely be integrated into the story in some other form. I think it’s important that I set the stage now (better late than never) because it’s really going to help establish some boundaries and — more importantly, direction — for the story in the coming days. What I wrote tonight is interesting, and has me looking at my story from a new angle, which is definitely a good thing. It may take a couple more days of writing this type of background before I get back to the story, but right now it feels like I’ll have a good idea where the story needs to go once I start moving it forward again.

I’d add more to the 1,300 words I just wrote, but I have a job that I’d like to keep, regardless of how much it’s cutting into my writing time.

NaNoWriMo: An Aside

Does anyone else find it interesting that ABC waited until the latter half of the month to report on NaNoWriMo? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to publish such a report sometime in October to give readers an opportunity to participate in NaNoWriMo themselves? Of course it would, which is exactly why ABC waited until 17 November. They’re hoping you’ll forget all about NaNoWriMo between now and 01 November 2006.

That’s right, ABC doesn’t want you to participate in NaNoWriMo. Why? Well, let’s think about that for a minute. NaNoWriMo is just the sort of story with which news organizations prefer to end their broadcasts. After twenty or fifty minutes of stories about natural disaster, war, corrupt governments and the atrocity of the week, it’s nice to be able to close with a piece on pets helping the elderly or a woman who knits mittens for the homeless. So you’d think NaNoWriMo — with its thousands of aspiring novelists and fund-raising campaign to build libraries in third-world countries — would be a golden nugget of human-interest For most media outlets, that’s exactly what it is.

But not for ABC. See, ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, and Disney has a vested interest in burying NaNoWriMo. Just so there’s no confusion, let me make it perfectly clear: the House of Mouse wants every single one of NaNoWriMo’s 62,000 participants this year to fall flat on their faces. The nearly 400 million words already written by WriMos across the globe represent a significant danger to Disney’s bottom line, especially in foreign markets, where Disney has had less than phenomenal success.

How? To understand that, you need to know something about the recent history of the Walt Disney Corporation. In the spring of 1994, Michael Eisner (CEO of Disney at the time) covertly met with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno on four separate occasions. Recently, a CIA investigation recovered documents connected to Eisner’s meetings with Reno, and the specifics of the meetings are just now being made public. One of the documents, signed by both Eisner and Reno, is an agreement to… hell, I don’t know. I’m just making shit up to avoid writing my novel.

Shameless self-pimping.

The latest episode of Unquiet Desperation has been published. It is the second of Chris Miller’s podcasts dedicated to NaNoWriMo and people in the Cleveland area crazy enough to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

This particular episode is near and dear to me because I got to play field correspondent and conduct interviews with several aspiring authors (including Laura and blob). After I turned the interviews over to Chris, he layed down some phat beats in the background and removed almost all references to Star Trek slash fic.

25,005: The target word count for 15 November, based on 1,667 words per day.
963,684: Total combined word count for all Cleveland-area participants as of this writing.
2.25%: My personal contribution to the above total.
4: Number of Cleveland-area participants who have reached or exceeded 50,000 words as of this writing.