One of these days, I’m going to figure out how to get used to what month it is before the darn thing is a third gone. I mean really.
Between work and a mild cold, the draft of the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles is moving slower at the moment, but it’s still moving, and I’m happy with the ideas coming out of the explosion of words on the page. I’m still trying to figure out how the last couple of stories work into the greater arc, but if the last few have been any indication, it’ll sort itself out on its own as I work them onto the page.
I’m also trying to plan out more of the story for November, since it’s going to be a bit longer than the individual Tanner and Miranda stories I’ve written up previously, and the nature of the premise means I’m going to have to have things more planned out than usual if I hope to maintain any sense of continuity. It’s a tall order, particularly during November, I know, but who knows! I’m already trying to figure out how to put up string and flash cards somewhere in my room to make a sort of makeshift and readily changeable timeline. It could work!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Not much to report, so far, save that I am definitely running behind for Camp, but I’m optimistic! Reaching my 75K word goal will be a… challenge. But I like a good challenge– and I have a couple of days coming up that I plan to use for writing and pretty much nothing else. Check back next week to see how it goes!
In the meantime, anyone else doing Camp this July? How are your projects doing? How are you doing?
It’s July, also known in some circles as one of two Camp NaNoWriMo events. Personally, I’ve always had great success in November, with all its official 30-days-50,000-words madness, but every time I’ve attempted to do a smaller project (or at least one with less ambitious goals) for one of the Camps, I forget that I’m participating half a week in and don’t make much progress at all. So this month, I’m trying something different.
Based on the theory that it doesn’t go well for me because it’s too small a goal, I went the other way and am going to attempt 75,000 words in the month of July. On Tanner and Miranda, of course.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Best case scenario? I finally finish that draft I’ve been poking with a stick since last November!
After the mayhem of NaNo, it’s sometimes (read: usually) easy for the slower pace that takes over in December to feel distressingly unproductive. And certainly, when it comes to word output and time committed to writing, the last three weeks have seen a definite drop-off. Yet, while I might be loathe to admit it at times, that’s not always a bad thing.
For one thing, having the time to guiltlessly devote to friendships, everyday chores, and all the other things that make up day-to-day life, while being good in and of itself, is also the sort of thing that can help improve one’s writing. They say to write what you know, and if you have a good working knowledge of the way life seems to tick, that’s going to show in your writing.
But the slower pace means I have time to start the restructuring and editing process. Which is terrifying. And a lot of work. And weird, because for the first time in my life, I’m writing out of order. I recently got my hands on Scrivener for the first time, and now I understand what all the hype is about. Consider me sold. Being able to drag chapters and scenes around and divide them up into more thought sized chunks is already invaluable. And it makes it so much easier to write what’s coming to mind right at the moment without worrying about how I’ll move it to where it belongs later. I think it’s going to help speed up the entire editing/rewriting process in the long run, which is good because my dad has sent another bag of chocolate covered espresso beans with the understanding that I finish a revised draft sometime in the near future– preferably the end of January. With the espresso beans, it just might happen!