Thursday, November 27, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 – I made it!!


Current word count: 50,029
Word count goal 27th day: 45,009

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It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, when people celebrate friends, family and things they were thankful for over the year.

I ended up spending most of it on the couch trying to figure out what was up with my laptop computer.

Two days ago Microsoft pushed the latest update to Windows 10 Technical Preview. Up until then I was having no problems at all. Now the keyboard is acting like it has a mind of its own, and I have to keep an eagle eye out for when it jumps back several characters into what I’ve previously written and deletes, or overwrites the recent characters.

I tried an external USB keyboard to see if that would work and, sure enough, it works just fine.

This either means a problem with the driver for the built-in keyboard, or the keyboard is dying. Not good, though I could understand it as I use this computer way more than it was probably ever designed to be used.

External keyboard in hand, I was able to move onto capturing the 1800 words needed to accomplish the real topic of this blog entry, my winning NaNoWriMo!! Still hard to believe it. But, I did it in 27 days.

To refresh your memory winning NaNoWriMo means writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Not sure what this year’s stats look like. But, last year only 17% of the 300,000+ participants accomplished that task.

There were times when the words flowed like water. While there were other times when it felt like pulling teeth. Still, only two days out of the 27 did I write less than the 1667 average I needed to complete the task by month’s end.

This year I wrote historical fiction so I couldn’t stray too far from what actually happened. I’ve already decided that next year will be some type of science fiction, paranormal, horror, alternative history type of piece where I can write pretty much whatever I want as it flows from my mind.

I’ve got some ideas already on electronic paper courtesy of some dreams I had lately. But, I think I’ll keep them to myself for now till I actually decide which to use. I’ll definitely make sure to have outlined and planned a lot better than this year when it was a case of research, write, research, write, and repeat.

This year’s book is hardly finished though. I’m guessing it’s going to take another 50,000 words, or so, to finish the first draft. Then it’s time to revise and polish. Don’t expect to see Bullets and Borscht gracing the digital shelves of Amazon and Barnes & Noble any time soon.

Now it’s time to return to figuring out what’s up with this keyboard because I can’t afford a new laptop, and lugging around an external keyboard would be for the birds.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Day 15


Current word count: 28,535
Word count goal 15th day: 25,005

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NaNoWriMo is now half over for this year! Hard to believe it’s already Day 15. Also hard to believe there are still 15 more days to go!!

I hope it doesn’t sound pretentious. But, it’s actually been going a lot easier than I expected. A couple of days I hit a wall of sorts. But, other than that, I’ve found it easy to put down the required 1667 words for the day goal to keep on pace to write 50,000 words in the month of November. In fact, I’ve usually done more than what was required so I’ve now built up a little wiggle room in case something comes up.

I think on of the reasons I’ve been able to keep the pace up is that I have jumped around a bit, rather than writing from beginning to end. I will have to go back and figure out where my story holes are, and then fill them in. But, it’s made it easier writing chapters as they came to me, or I was inspired, rather than trying to co it the old ways of page after page.

When I was at the Berkeley Public Library South Branch today, for a write-in, I was able to blast away 2900 words in one session! Just got there, stuck my ear buds in with Music Choice’s Light Classical channel playing at a low level in the background on my laptop, and then typed away. Before I knew it, it was three hours later.

I’ve been able to stumble upon some books through the library which really illustrate how things were back in the 1860s.

One particular book I actually look forward to reading at another time when it’s not purely for research. Thanks to the Albany Public Library’s Link+ connection I was able to borrow it from Cal State-East Bay.

Overland Explorations in Siberia, Northern Asia and the Amoor River Country was written in 1860, and chronicled Major Perry McDonough Collins’ trip through eastern Russia and China, as he envisioned building the Russian American Telegraph Company. The goal to eventually encircle the world with telegraph lines.

A really fascinating thing is that the book I got was actually printed in February 1864! (Yes, the book was 100 years older than I am!). Though it appears to have received a new hardbound cover along the way, it was a real treat to touch pages that were printed so long ago.

If anybody else decided to take up the challenge, feel free to leave a comment below on how you’re doing! I’ve love to hear from you.

This may be the last blog entry until I either cross the 50,000 word finish line (sometime around Nov. 27th or 28th), or it’s December 1st, the day after NaNoWriMo officially ends. I haven’t decided.

And don’t ask me if you can read what I’ve written so far. As I pointed out above, it’s not being written in order, so there are come glaring holes big enough to drive a Peterbilt truck through, and with the pace I’ve been writing I expect it’ll take another 50,000 words to actually finish the book.