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NaNoWriMo and Wordcountjournal January 5, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, web 2.0, writing.

I was tag-surfing yesterday and ran across a post about wordcountjournal that sort of piqued my interest (apologies to whoever pointed to the site, I didn’t save it on my favorites list or anything and it is no longer up on the tag surfer and I really am sorry). 

Wordcountjournal is a way for people to start to write a novel with very small steps.  The idea is that you write one word on the first day, two on the second, three on the third.  And by the end of the year you are writing 365 words a day.  Also, by the end of the year you will have completed 66,795 words, about the length of a novel.  You post the words to the site, I guess, and then read the novel in reverse order.

I’m not certain whether I want to do this right now.  Part of me really wants to enter NaNoWriMo again next year.  And if I started doing this I would be in the thick of writing 250 words per day when November rolled around.  And part of me bristles at the idea of writing that slowly at first.  But it got me thinking about a conversation I had yesterday with Mom about NaNoWriMo. 

She asked whether it was like authors always say, whether the characters take on a life of their own and start making their own decisions.   I said that it was a little like that, although there wasn’t enough time to really get attached to the characters.  What did interest me about the process was how every time one of the characters spoke they limited, sometimes quite severely, the range of actions that the other characters could take.  Every word I wrote seemed to constrain the path the story took.  Which brings me back to this wordcountjournal thing.  Starting out really slowly like that would give the writer the opportunity to make very careful decisions at the early stages of a novel, and it would make the constraints the author is imposing very visible. 

Plus, it would be fun to start out with a word like “Spatchcock,” or “Heterodyne,” or something, just to see where it takes a story.  What do you think?

No Terriers were Harmed in the Writing of this Novel December 3, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, My other blog, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.

Writing is a funny thing.  People bring their own preconceptions to your work (if you are lucky enough to have readers, that is.)  I just got a comment that was posted to this site on December 1 and for some reason was put into the spam bin.  Maybe that’s because it was posted anonymously.  I don’t actually know. 

At any rate, this commentor took me to task for criticizing terriers in Chapter 13 of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo and posted elsewhere on this site. 

I applaud his or her bold defense of terriers.  Just to set the records straight, though, I should admit that my West Highland White Terrier, Margaret, pictured below, was the model for that particular character in the book.  She is, as you can probably tell just by looking at her, just the sort of dog that, blinded by a spotlight, would somehow find your leg and try to take you down, somehow. 


We were playing our favorite game, chase-me-around-the-house-you-out-of-shape-awkward-human, yesterday, and when I lunged for her in the kitchen and missed, she doubled back and ran over my chest.  I was actually trampled yesterday by a dog that weighs less than the laptop I am using to type this. 

Isn’t she adorable? 

Novel moving today December 1, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Books, Education, Massachusetts Drivers, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Origami, Other, writing.

I’m moving the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo today, so I’ll post a quick link here, in case you have trouble finding it.  

Here’s a picture of the cover I made for it last night:


I have shortened the title a little, but other than that this is the first draft you are looking at.  I’m not going to start editing it until at least tomorrow.  At that, I’m seriously thinking about doing some reading about writing before I start with that task. 

Do any of you have any suggestions about books on writing?  I’m not interested in the kind about mechanics so much as something that can tell me some things about the more esoteric stuff.  Themes, I don’t know, stuff like that. 

It is done November 30, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, writing.
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I have finally finished a draft, which weighs in at 54,200 or so words.  I think the title is going to be Inkwell at the Diploma Mill.  I’ll try to decide for sure tonight.  I’m working on a cover for it tonight as well.

You may find the final chapter here.  Tomorrow the whole thing is going to be collapsed into a pdf on this site, I think. 

Chapter XIV is begun November 29, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, writing.
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Finished the 50,000 words, but the story continues.  Any luck and there will be only about 3,000 more words, which I hope to finish tomorrow evening. 

 Chapter XIV is here.

Now that I have “Won” NaNoWriMo November 28, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Books, My other blog, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Origami, Other, Tennis, writing.

Well, I still have some loose ends to tie up–like the actual climax and an epilogue that ties up some remaining questions, nothing important–but I feel like the 50k barrier is a real accomplishment.  But I am looking forward to finishing this first draft and spending December picking at the task of editing it and making it a little more interesting and readable.  More than that, though, I am looking forward to revamping this blog and re-purposing parts of it.  Expect monumental changes, therefore, in

  1. the “books” section, which will be changed substantially to mesh better with the way the rest of the blogging world handles book reviews
  2. real-life postcards, which was put on hold during the month of November.  This was only partially due to NaNoWriMo, mostly I was having technical difficulties with either Blogger or Verizon.  Verizon blames Blogger, but I currently do not believe them.  At any rate, the technical difficulties seem to have ironed themselves out.  And I have recently stumbled upon some theories that would be interesting to test there. 
  3. the page on paper-folding is mainly going to stay the same but get some added material.  Oddly, this has been one of the most traveled parts of the site since day one, so I’ll give the readers what they seem to want.
  4. the section on triples tennis is also due for some additional materials, especially w/r/t strategies.  A friend of mine recently attempted to alter the court formation during a losing streak, inverting the triangle.  It didn’t alter the balance of power that day, but it got me thinking about some possibilities.

Still thinking about a couple of other things, but 1-4 are probably enough to keep me busy for now.

Chapter XIII is done November 27, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.

Went right past 50,000 words tonight, but I have not yet finished the story. 


I still think I can do it before December 1. 

If anyone out there has any ideas for the cover, I’d really like to hear them.  Or any pictures or images that are appropriate.  Still have not though of a title I really like, either. 

Chapter XIII is here.

Chapter 13 begun November 26, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.
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Getting perilously close to the 50,000-word limit on this thing and I just can’t see any way to actually finish the story in the 1,500 words I have left.  But I will try not to go too far beyond it. 

Pretty good total this morning, 1,861 words before deciding I need to think about the next steps in the plot a little more carefully.  Can’t let the thing spin out of control as it gets to the climax, after all. 

Hope everyone else is doing well, too.  I haven’t had much chance to look into the progress of anyone else lately. 

Finished Chapter XII November 25, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Books, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other.
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Just knocked out the remainder of Chapter XII, about 1200 words or so.  The Counter on my site (to the right, there, if you are reading this on the site and not as a feed, and it is the 25th of November as you read this) is now completely meshed with the official counters at NaNoWriMo.org.  There are five days left.  All I have to do is wrap this thing up and type in 675 words per day. 

Chapter 12 begins November 25, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Books, NaNoWriMo 2006, national novel writing month 2006, Other, writing.
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I made a start on Chapter 12 of my novel for NaNoWriMo last night.  It isn’t much of a start, but I wanted desperately to reach the 45,000 word mark.   By the time I had finished I was too tired to post the thing.  Anyway, for those following along, Chapter 12 starts here.