So… next week is officially October. Which is officially NaNo prep month. And! As I found out when I logged back into my NaNo account yesterday, the whole site has gotten a huge, beautiful redesign. Which means that my NaNo fever, which is never that far off, is now in full swing.
I know it’s still a little early (only a little), but is anyone else planning on participating this year? If so, let me know down in the comments! And feel free to send me a buddy request over on the NaNo site! You can find me there under F.A. Hakimian!
Not much new to report, so in lieu of an update, enjoy this quick snippet of Miranda waiting for something. Impatiently.
I groaned and slumped back in my seat. Orbital docking procedures were the worst. Actually, let met fix that. Orbital docking procedures on a colony planet that thought it was a big deal were the worst. There is nowhere in the galaxy that can quite match it for petty bureaucracy. Okay, fine. Anything remotely related to government procedures on Earth ran a close second, but Earth politicians weren’t the ones telling me it would probably be another hour before I got to dock with a space station that couldn’t have seen more than a dozen ships a day. It was nonsense.
Objectively, I could admit that the tone I had taken with the poor soul in Docking Control probably hadn’t helped my case. Problem was, I had lost all interested in being objective about forty-five minutes ago. At this point, every minute I had to wait was just another minute to practice the most scathing insults I could imagine.
Funny how the months just seem to keep going by faster and faster. I swear September just began!
Writing has gone a little slower, both because my brain and body needed a bit of a rest after August, but also because a couple things came up and kept me running around a little more often than usual. Which made me feel less guilty about taking the aforementioned writing down-time.
I’m still plugging along, though, and while I only have around a thousand new words written, I’ve also made some really good progress on figuring out a couple of major plot points that had been giving me a bit of trouble on the next story I’m working into this draft, which is really nice. I’ve been problems figuring out this particular story since last November when I tried to fit it into my NaNo draft, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve already gotten farther with it now than I did then. Progress!
The results are in: I wrote 55,097 words to my dad’s 824 miles ridden, so my dad wins! By a lot! It would have been closer, but he decided to ride over a hundred miles(!) on August 31. Because he could. Basically, he was the Captain America to my Falcon.
As we had agreed, this means that I owe him a finished manuscript of the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles, and he gets to choose what my project is for this upcoming NaNoWriMo. Which he has already done, so November will see more Tanner and Miranda– probably a single novel-length adventure instead of the episodic and semi-linked mini-adventures in a bigger arc that this first one is.
So! The plan is to use September to finish the rough draft, which I’m expecting to come in at roughly 125,000-150,000 words. Which is about twice as long as I’m hoping it to be when I’m done, meaning I’ll have lots of material to work with and cut from. Then, in October, I’ll break type and actually try to fully plan out the beats for the November project, in the hopes that I come out of NaNo with an actual rough draft as opposed to the… pre-rough draft nonsense jumble that I usually end up with. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking. I guess we’ll find out!
In the meantime, here’s some stats from this last month that I found interesting!
Most words written: 10,081 (August 28) Most miles ridden: 106 (August 31) Fewest words written*: 63 (August 1) Fewest miles ridden*: 9 (August 14) Average words written*: 2395 Average miles ridden*: 36
You know that scene in Tangled right after Rapunzel gets out of the tower? The one where she bounces back and forth between thinking it’s the very best and the very worst thing ever? I’m definitely feeling that a little bit (a lot a bit) right now. Because I’ve finally hit a groove. The words are coming. The story is coming together– sort of. (Oh BOY does it need all the editing ever.) And I have actually started writing fast enough that my hands have gotten tired. Since this time last week, I’ve written almost 35,000 words. I know where I want the major story arc for the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles to go, and I think I have some idea of how to get it there. I have so much raw material to work with. And most of the time, I’m not even panicking about the fact that the quality is… aggressively rough draft right now.
Most of the time. Haha.
Check back in next week to see how this crazy race with my dad finishes up! Right now he’s still ahead, but I’m gaining! Is three more days enough? Is his competitive spirit going to beat out mine? Only time will tell!
Guys! I’m so excited! No, I haven’t caught up to my Dad. (Yet!) But I’ve got a writing momentum that I haven’t had in months, and that I can’t remember having outside of NaNoWriMo. Which isn’t to say that everything I’m writing is gold– because I’m not a superhero. Or Ray Bradbury, which is basically the same thing. In fact, it’s kind of terrible– in a distinctly rough draft-ish sort of way. Which is great! Because that’s what this is.
Because you can’t edit it if it’s not on the page first. And for the first time in way too long, I’m okay with that.
My friends, I think I’ve made a tactical mistake. I mentioned last week that I’ve challenged my Dad to a race of sorts, with each hundred words that I write on Tanner and Miranda being equivalent to each mile he rides on his bike. The mistake is that I forgot to remember the fact that my dad is at least as competitive as I am, and that he also really wants to see this story finished.
If my calculations are correct, our standings are as follows: Miles ridden: 164 Words written: 1533
… hoo boy. It’s a good thing it’s been getting easier to write more words!
First, the bad news. My final wordcount for Camp NaNoWriMo July 2019 came in at about 3000 words… so, nowhere near my ambitious goal of 75,000. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed, in myself if nothing else, since I know I can write at that pace, I just didn’t this month. However! If that’s it for the bad news (and it is!) I don’t have much to complain about.
As for the good news, there’s a couple pieces! First, my final wordcount came in at about 3000 words, I wrote almost every day, and I kept working on it all month long. Compared to my other attempts at Camp NaNoWriMo, that’s a resounding victory, and it’s absolutely a step in the right direction. The second has to do with the fact that I may have found another way to help motivate myself. It’s come to my attention that I’m actually a fairly competitive person. Gasp. That being said, when I find ways to harness that competitiveness, things tend to go pretty well. To that end, I’ve made a deal with my dad that for every mile he rides his bike during the month of August, I’ll write a hundred words. As my father is an avid bicyclist, the next thirty one days could prove very interesting. Check back in next Wednesday to see how I’ve fared the first week!
Another quick update this week– mostly to announce that I’m going to be switching my usual update day to Wednesdays. With my current work schedule my “weekend” falls on Tuesday/Wednesday, which, in addition to leaving me perpetually confused as to which day of the week it actually is, leaves the timing of the Friday updates a little awkward. Plus! It means the first update on the new schedule will be on July 31, which will let me give you a final update on my Camp NaNo results!
It’s so nice to feel like the bones of a story are decently solid. Most of what I’ve been doing so far this month is “editing”/fleshing out some sections that I’d already done some scribblings on, and the result has been very encouraging, if still moving slower than I’d like it to be, ideally. I’m proud of a couple turns of phrase in particular, actually, so by way of showing off, I’m including a quick excerpt below. Those of you who have been following me for a while might recognize this as very similar to the beginning of The Verdant Wildlife, which is because I’m in the process of completely reworking it so that it can take its place as the first story in the upcoming novel.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the promised snippet.
Our client had arranged to meet up with us at a small mining outpost near the drone’s last known coordinates and had offered to transport us out there on one of her company’s atmo-sprinters. It was a welcome gesture that cut our travel time down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. I spent the half-hour ride alternately teasing my brother and staring out the window as semi-developed plains gave way to wild cliffs and canyons.
Even before the sprinter’s pilot started edging the craft down between a couple of jagged cliffs, there was little doubt in my mind that our destination was less a spur of civilization than a small collection of humans trying to do without it. In Coville, I’d gotten the impression that the occasional showdown at high noon was a distinct possibility. Looking down at the approaching outpost, I would have been more surprised to find that such confrontations didn’t happen there with some regularity.
I leaned towards my brother. “I thought you said we weren’t going to get shot at. This looks like the sort of place that gets us shot at.”
“What, the mining camp?” He looked out his own window. “Good thing we won’t be spending much time there.”
I scowled. Now that our hike was more imminent, I found myself less excited about the prospect of tramping around the wilds of a new planet than I had been the day before. And given that I hadn’t been all that enthusiastic about it in the first place, that was saying something.
Tanner winked at me. “It’ll be fun. Like those trips we took growing up.”
I grunted, non-committal. “I hadn’t spent the last eight months crossing the galaxy when we hiked the Sierras.”
“We won’t be moving too fast. There’s a ton of nooks and crannies out here, and that drone could have crashed in any of them. You’ll be fine.” The look on his face was the same one he’d worn when he’d suckered me into exploring an old “haunted” warehouse with him. At night. About three weeks after I’d pranked him in front of all his buddies. But bringing that up wasn’t going to do me any good.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You just managed to make me feel better and worse at the same time.”
He winked. “I aim to please.”
Lucky for him and despite my complaining, I did still enjoy a good hike, if not under these exact circumstances. Not that I’d be caught dead admitting that to him just now.