Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 30th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

What can I say. I did what I came to do today. It took me a bit longer than I’d hoped (I’d planned to be done around 22:00, but finished 23:10) but that was largely down to a couple of hours of “I don’t want this to end” block this afternoon.

Once I was over that it wasn’t exactly plain sailing – some of the writing was decidedly scrappy – but I did manage to make it relatively smoothly. And yes, the last two words of the 166,661 in total were “The End”.

As it is I’m tired, but elated, and – well if I could describe it, I would. It’s been a hell of a month (even with some 40 minutes still left to go I feel comfortably saying that), and I’m not sure I want to know just how much I’ve typed. I’ll safe a definite guestimate on that for tomorrow, or maybe the day after, when I hope to do a retrospective on another NaNoWriMo.

A few little things now:

  • Every end-of-day wordcount this month was a palindrome
  • My final “daily average” wordcount – 5,555 – is also a palidrome
  • My surplus percetage 233.32% too much, is also a palindrome
  • Finishing 50k on day 8 is my second fasted 50k ever
  • Doing 16,462 words on day 8 is my biggest writing day ever
  • Getting 100k on day 18 is my fastest 100k ever
  • And 166,661 one is my best final score for NaNoWriMo by over 40k

And finally: I’m very, very, very glad I took tomorrow off to recover from this month, and the 22k I put in this final weekend. I think I need a bit of a rest now. And some time to catch up with a lot of things, even if I am currently too tired to remember what they might be.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNo Musings 08
November 30th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

It’s been noted before, but showers are a hotbed of inspiration. So there I was, showering peacefully on the morning of the 30th of November, getting ready for the final writing day of this NaNo. The it hit me: new plot idea. Fortunately it’s an entirely separate plot – albeit it using some of the same characters I’m writing about now – so I won’t have to try to deal with it today, but still.

Still it’s typical. I’m barely even done with one plot and suddenly a new one pops up, begging to be written. Sometimes I think I must have an hyperactive plotbunny farm hidden somewhere. I’m still planning on going back to editing Gordian Knot, once NaNo is finished. But even so the universe I’m now working in looks like it’s trying to grow into one gigantic saga, which could potentially be a lot of fun.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 29th, 2008 | 6 Comments »

Well here we are, just twenty four short hours removed from the end of the writing madness that is NaNoWriMo. I managed to get the words I wanted today, so that’s one goal met. More to the point by getting just over 12k today I now ‘only’ need 10,010 tomorrow. That should be doable, shouldn’t it?

Today wasn’t an extraordinary writing day, other than me putting in a bit more time than usual. It was somewhere between walking and flying for most of the day. I didn’t get terribly high hourly counts, but I was seldom writing for more than 40 minutes per hour anyway. And while they weren’t flowing at great speed, the words were coming pretty easily.

I’m also pretty definitely headed for the end of the story now. Which is something of a relief. The new crisis that’s allowing me to tie everything together looked like it would grow larger than I needed it to be for a while. But that seems to be back under control now, and I may well end up starting tomorrow by making a list of things to tie up before the end. I think I’ve still got it covered, but given the number of threads I’ve started in this novel, it might not be bad to have a little checklist of loose ends to work from.

Still I can worry about all of that tomorrow. Right now I just want to relax for a while and the get a good night’s sleep. I’ve done what I came to do today, and that should be enough for anyone.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 28th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

13:00 I’ve decided to go for a long blog entry today, split up into several writing sessions. This probably counts as a slight form of procrastination, but then procrastinating allows me to work things out in the back of my mind. And I could hardly keep on staring at my shopping list.

I’ve got most of the things I need for the weekend figured out, but I need to decide what I want to eat over the weekend. So far I’ve got “salad” down in an option to turn this into a somewhat healthy writing weekend, though I may end up ordering Pizza at least once to compensate for the salad 😉

I’m also tidying up my apartment a bit and am actually considering doing the dishes today. I’ve probably go enough clean ones left to make it through the weekend. But having things tidy now means I won’t have that procrastination option open for the weekend.

16:00 Just back from shopping, I’ve finally got my supplies for the weekend in. Promptly forgot to buy any bread of course, but that’s not much of an issue. I’ve got some in the freezer I can get out. And I’ve got plenty of time to do more shopping Monday. That’s not a guarantee I won’t go out shopping tomorrow as well, it just means that I won’t have to.

I haven’t written a lot yet today, but I’m about go dig in for a nice little session before I have to go out again around 17:00. Just as soon as I get over the drowsiness of coming home into a warm apartment after being out in the cold on the way back from the shops. I’m rather hoping to at least break 140k before I go out again, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

21:00 I got home about 45 minutes back, and only just made it to the 140k I had hoped to have before leaving. But I’ve put myself on an hourly schedule from now on, and I’ve got a big pot of Earl Grey standing ready to keep me going.

It’s going to take a good push in these last few hours of the day to get to my target for the day, but I think I can make it. And at least the other shoe has just dropped. I had a minor crisis going on back on Earth, and it’s now turned into a major one. That should allow me to tie together the last few loose ends quite nicely, in another 25k or so… I think.

23:53 Well I made it to my goal for the day. 144,441. That leaves some 22k for the weekend to make my ideal final score. I’m not sure how that will work out in the end, but I’m looking forward to trying. I certainly managed to get a bit of momentum back today, so there’s a good chance I’ll make it.

And whether I make it to my ideal of 166,661 or not, I’m certainly in a position to reach my more modest goal of topping 150k. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ll do that sometime tomorrow afternoon. It’s still a big push for the weekend any way you look at it, but I’ve got all the essential supplies in, so I’m in a good position to push for it.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNo Musings 08
November 28th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

My characters are gearing up for battle, and in a way I feel like I am to. I’ve just cut my nails again, about as short as I can stand them, to help with typing for the next few days. And I’m busy figuring out what I’m going to need the next few days. In short I’m laying in supplies to see me through.

Not for a real battle in my case, but for the final part of the month long wordwar that is NaNoWriMo. So while my characters are worrying about intelligence data and ammunition, I’m worrying about my supply of candles and tea-lights. About the only thing we’re both worried about is getting the food supply sorted out.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 27th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

Another 2,200 word day. But I did manage to get a lot of other things sorted. And perhaps more important, some of characters are finally starting to give me some idea of where we’re going to go for the next 30k or so. The way things are looking now I may end up meeting my twin ambitions of getting 166,661 as my final score, and finishing the novel during November.

That’s all in the future though, and I have to wait and see what I get tomorrow if I want to find out whether I can really push for that. Right now though my first priority is rest. Getting a good night’s sleep and having an easy start to the day tomorrow. I have a feeling I’m largely through the slow bit I’ve been struggling with though, so tomorrow may well see a boost in speed.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 26th, 2008 | 4 Comments »

As I’d half expected another 2,200 word day. it’s my minimum right now, and with a full (and late) day at work, and other stuff taking up my free time in the morning this was all I could get done. I’m not much of a morning person in general anyway, and certainly not when it comes to writing, so having to work late (afternoon and evening) was an automatic cut to my best writing time already.

One thing that did succeed was writing at work. I would have been quite a bit later getting to 2,200 for the day if I hadn’t managed to put in just over 600 words during a 30 minute break. That’s another good use for my new toy. I wouldn’t want to have to depend on writing at work to make all my words, but getting the odd 600 or even the odd 1k should be possible.

One thing I’m struggling with a little right now is how to let the story run. Part of me is tempted to keep it pretty short from here out. While a different part of me points out the way certain plotlines could be resolved more satisfactorily if I let them run a little longer. Right now I’m still in scenes I need to do whichever way I go, but I’ll need to get that sorted out before we hit the final stretch this weekend.

I also have a new possible ambition. I’m contemplating attempting a push for 166,661 as my final score. Not only is it a nice palindrome, but it would work out as 5,555 per day for the month (rounded off). Though that depends, at least partly, on how far I want to carry this story. If I go for the quick finish I don’t think there’ll be much more than 10k left to do. And 30k would certainly be out of the question. Then again I could work around that by using the sequel to fill out the wordcount until the end of the month.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 25th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

I’ll keep my progress report short today, because I’ve been tired all day. That’s also the reason I’m calling it a day already. I really need to try to get a good long night in, before I get any more tired than I was most of today.

So the result is once again not a huge distance beyond where I was yesterday. I don’t much care about that though, as I did what I’ve set as my current daily minimum (2,200), and managed to finish on time to get to bed pretty early.

The one dilemma I seem to be coming up against in the near future is how much (or how little) to abbreviate upcoming events in the story to push for a conclusion. But I can worry about that again tomorrow (if I want to).


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 24th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I’m a bit disappointed with my wordcount for the day, only 2200 words. But I’ve been exhausted for what seems like far too much of the day. And while it was only a half day at work there was other stuff to worry about and try to get done as well. So I’ve settled for this and called it a day.

I’m tempted right now to stay up until just after midnight to try to validate and claim my purple winner bar as soon as possible, but I’ve got an other early start tomorrow, and I don’t want another day of feeling as exhausted as I did today. So I’m turning in early (for me), which is to say well before midnight. I can still look stunning in purple tomorrow.


Posted by Jarsto in NaNoWriMo 2008
November 23rd, 2008 | 4 Comments »

The new toy worked out quite well this weekend. Based on reviews I hadn’t expected to get much more than 30 wpm or so during the first weekend of using it. But we did some wordwars during the write-in and I managed to get up to 47 wpm in one of those. That’s nearly as high as the highest sustained speed I tend to be able to write at here at home, so I’d say that’s definitely a success.

Thanks to that success, and to the wordwars spurring me on (and the fun of the write in) I managed more words than I’d really expected this weekend. Writing on the train on the way back home also helped, although that sort of went wrong after I’d blogged about it, when the time came to change to a different train.

Firstly the train I had to change to was late (by about 20 minutes) and secondly it was absolutely full. I ended up with a choice of standing, or sitting on the floor. New discovery: you can use my new keyboard while sitting cross-legged on the floor with the keyboard balanced on your backpack in front of you. Second discovery: staring at a PDA you’re writing on, while being shaken about by a train and facing sideways as opposed to looking towards the front or rear of the train, you get motion sickness after writing for a while.

That motion sickness put a stop to my train writing, but I had managed a nice number of words by then, and I’ve added some more since I came home (I’ve also been trying to do something else I should be doing, but that hasn’t been working as well yet). Anyway the final result is that I managed to get to 130k this weekend, where I hadn’t expected much more than 125k.

And in a final bit of keyboard news: I wrote the last 1.2k or so in bed, and it was pretty much as I’d imagined it: very comfortable, but somewhat hard to stay awake at times.