NaNoWriMo 09 Nov 07 Post Mortum

Today has been the first chance I’ve had to actually go at it, up until now I’ve either not felt up to it or have had some social engagement or other that has stopped me from getting any writing done. As it stands I’m at 2,328 Words at the moment, up from 640 which has been my word count for the past 2 or so days. The irritating thing is that puts my output today at 1688 words… Which is only 21 words more than you are supposed to average a day during NaNoWriMo. this is partly because I rehashed/replaced/merged 200 of my old words into the new 1688 so technically I’ve written 1888 which is slightly better, I guess.

As it stands I’ve not gotten very far into my plot I have a long an convoluted plot planned out and I’m still in the first scene which introduces the main character. I might end the scene and thusly the chapter where I am or I might not, I’m not sure. I think I need to think on it, the next scene has my Amnesiac character meeting his wife for the first time since he disapeared for 6 months, and it’s going to have to involve a fight and a flashback. I’ll hopefully get that done tomorrow. I’ve got a little bit of filler I need to put in where nothing happens to set the reader at ease, about what the character is doing I dunno there are bits that I might skim over and just say they happen the filler is in space so I get to jabber on about technology and I get to describe for the first time what it feels like to slowly become a human popsicle. I like describing things.

After that there is a brief trip home for that character, the character has another fight with his wife, and sees his kids slightly more grown up. Then the final bit that is set in the “present” which I think will be a year  or so later will involve the main character going popsicle for one last time and waking up god knows when, which will lead on to the main plot. One of the things that I want to try to convey is how despite bieng socially inept when dealing with his wife and kids and constantly bickering/fighting with his wife that he really does love them, beause this is going to just make the rest of his future life all the more difficult. I don’t want to go too cliche, so lets see how I manage it…

I want birthdays to play a role in what I write, I think they are wierd, how we celebrate dates that mark the coincidence of the earth being at the same point in it’s orbit about the sun as it was when we were born. I also think that one really hard thing about being away from your kids and having them grow up while you are away is missing their birthdays.

I think I might have a birthday party in the filler, how much detail I go into is not really that important but I think I want a birthday party in the filler.

Anyway, I have a list of things I need to do tomorrow as well as NaNoWriMo so I’m going to have to go to bed soon. Just want to spend some time chilling before I do crash out, otherwise I’ll never get to sleep.

It amuses me that I just wrote almost 600 words about my nano rather than in it…

Dream Journal: Wierd shoe shopping experience.

Last night i think i had a few dreams. I only remember one of them though and now only vaguely… For some reason I was on the run for someone and I’d lost my shoes. I needed to buy shoes because the ground outside was ripping my feet to shreds.

I was in a shop that normally sold shoes but didn’t for some reason. I was told that another branch of the same shop might have shoes but this one didn’t stock any. As I was walking around i found some shoes, costing anywhere between £1 and £80 and possibly more. When i checked my money i found that I only had £1 on me, so I tried to get one of the cheaper shoes, but everything was in the wrong place and none of the shoes i found were the £1 ones, even a pair of beaten up falling to pieces trainers were £80, I think eventually I did find some shoes that were £1 but the didn’t fit me. I spoke to the staff about the shoes and they said that they didn’t have any cheap shoes that would fit me…

Then the manager of the shop announced to the staff in a language that i get the feeling that i wasn’t supposed to understand but did that there was an incentive on for staff to sell me anything, this was uttered with some kind of reference to me as being the Fat customer or something like that, I don’t remember the exact wording.

I decided to complain to the management about them insulting me like this, but in order to do so i had to sneak into the backstage area of the shop to get to the offices and when I got there It looked more like some kind of evil villains lair, with scantilly clad women wondering about wearing police hats… I eventually found the person who I was goingto complain to just as my alarm went off and woke me up…

So this dream seems to expose that I have financial issues, am insecure about my weight, and my shoe size. Also I don’t trust anyone in retail.

NaNoWriMo update Nov. 5

So maybe having 3 pots of tea in Tchai Ovna last night at half 8 was a mistake… My intention last night was to meet up with some folk after work for some tea, then go home and do nano for a couple of hours. What ended up happening was I went to the post grad club had dinner there, which of course meant delays because of their abnormally slow service. We then swung round to a friends house to pick up some stuff, that turned into staying there for an hour or so, which i don’t regret because I haven’t seen said friend in some time, also at her house was another friend whom I’d not seen in even longer so it was good to catch up, he only briefly.

Any way we finally got to Tchai Ovna at half 8 and left at about half 10 having survived an utterly rubbish poetry reading, which started with a girl who was a little too fixated on sex, so much so that you wondered if she was compensating for a lack of it by writing about it. We played hang man through the poetry reading although if i am ever in Tchai Ovna again on a Wednesday i plan on printing off poetry cliché bingo cards for all present, it would have made it much more enjoyable.
When i got home my mind was a buzz with ideas for my nano but i didn’t feel like i could write anything down for the nano untill i’d thought it out some more. So instead i opened up a new document and i did a brain dump of the characters and such, I also did a little bit of research on ranks of the airforce as my main character is in the airforce.

Then i went to bed, and spent 3 to 4 hours trying to sleep, my mind just kept buzzzing with more and more ideas. So much so that I ended up getting up at half 3 and writing some down just to get them out of my head. It didn’t work and I had some of the worst sleep I’ve had in ages, strangely I feel okay at the moment…

The upshot of this is than in my tossing and turning I’ve come up with a few ideas, and I’ve filled in a few plot holes that had been annoying me. The downside is I’m probably going to crash and burn this afternoon at work.

On another not: One of collegues at work browsed to my blog from a link on LinkedIn and read my Nano from last year, he thought it was really good. Nothing like a little bit of praise to brighten your day :)

Dream Journal: Software engineering nightmare…

I’ve been workign a bit of over time lately so I decided I’d reward myself with 15 minutes extra sleep this morning. I know that doesn’t sound like much but to me it can make all the difference.

In this 15 minutes I had a weird dream, I was in some nebulous education state between university and school and I was working on a project with a guy i went to elementary (primary) school with. The project was to develop some software program, we were really close to the deadline and we had an exam that morning, but we hadn’t done very much work. I ended up putting together the project to an acceptable-ish standard.

We went to hand it in and we were told by the people that we’d better get to the exam and that it would start soon, they also inferred to us that the exam was an open book exam which meant that we had to bring a computer program we’d already written with us and finish it in the exam. The thing is neither of us had done the pre work as we were expecting it to be just a regular exam.

On top of that we’d missed the bus in so we were having to walk the 30 minute walk into school. It was about this time I woke up thankfully due to my alarm going off.
I really hated doing exams…

NaNoWriMo Update: Eureka moment?

I’ve been having real trouble getting my nano started this year. On the first day i managed to batter out 450 or so words and since then i’ve just stagnated at about 600 words.

I had a bit of a eureka moment last night just before i went to bed. I think the reason I’m having issues is that i’m having trouble writiting dialogue. Some writers are good at dialogue others aren’t. It looks like i’m in the latter camp, which is a bit irritating because one simple way to beef up you word count is to have lengthy dialogues that expose your characters…

Another way it to quote coulridge…

Anyway i was thinking about my last attempt at nano, and that fell over as soon as i had two characters meet. Up untill that point there is dialogue, but it’s mostly between the main character and a bunch of machines, that was easy enough to write because the main character was basically me exaggerated, and the machines just needed to be comical and irritating.

I’ve reached a point in my current nano where the main character is being briefed by a doctor, to tell him whats happened. I’m having real trouble getting inside my characters head and i’m having even more trouble getting inside the head of the doctor who is for all intensive purposes a throw away character who’s only purpose is to move the plot along, a task he is proving to be rubbish at. I guess it’s to be expected, i don’t think they teach moving the plot forward in medical school.

I think i’m going to summarize what happens in the conversation and just note on. I’m going to try to internalise the story in my main characters head for the time being, he’s confused, he’s lost his memory and not everything makes sense to him at the moment so that should work okay. Or at least it’ll get me to the next conversation which is unfortunately for me only a few hundred words away, it’s more heated though as it’s going to be an argument with my main characters wife.

Any way in short nano still not going so well but i think i can see a light at the end of this particular tunnel, and i’m going to try to modify my route so that i avoid as many other tunnels as i can.

When nano is over i think i’m going to have to “improve my craft” by practicing writing conversations between people, but that can wait untill december. For the time being i’ve got 27 days to write 49,460 words.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE:

I did a word count on the blog posts I’ve wirtten about my Nano since the 1st of November and I’ve written 816 words not counting this update, when compared to the 640 I’ve actually contributed to my Nano i think I’m doing something wrong…

NaNoWriMo Not going so well :(

I ended up doing 3 hours over time last night instead of working on my Nano. I’m currently on 623 words which is a couple of thousand behind where I should be…

I’m also not going to get much of a chance to write anything today, because I’m Roleplaying.

I tried AbiCollab again and it’s fershnooked, it seems that the repository is corrupted or something I’ve raised a bug with them, but it probably won’t get fixed, so I’ve migrated to google docs for the time being.

As it stands I’ve not really had a chance to introduce my characters, I’ve set up the story with a scene involving the main character coming out of stasis, but thats about it.

I’m going to try to get at least a hundred words down this evening before I start Roleplaying, but I don’t know if I’ll get a chance, fingers crossed.

NaNoWriMo 2009 it begins

I started work on my NaNoWriMo for this year last night,  I’ve decided to go for one of the ideas that I rejected last year. I’ve had a year to think about it and flesh it out and to forget about the dream that inspired it. So here’s hoping it will work.

I’ve only written 593 words so far but I’ve got a start that I think I like. Maybe I’ll star posting it when I’m done…

I’m trying a new word processor called AbiWord, When I say new Abiword isn’t new, in fact it’s been about for years. The reason I’ve decided to use it is that they’ve just released a new service called AbiCollab which means that I can write my story using a word processor on one computer and have it stored on a server to download on another computer if I want to work on it there.

I found this to be a bit troublesome last year, as I often use one of many computers. I’d have used Google Docs but for some reason I like the meatyness of a fat client word processor.
Anyway that’s all for now I need to get back to work.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to test it out on this computer because my work proxy seems to be blocking whatever protocol AbiCollab uses.

NaNoWriMo 2008: Chapter 7

Bugger I forgot to post this yesterday evening, Today begins the new Nano… Maybe… I might have to start tomorrow because I’m a little busy…
If you are looking for the previous Chapters can find them here:

Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4,Chapter 5 Chapter 6

“There was only one thing to do when life is going this badly” Blank thought aloud to himself. “Make tea”

Blank packed away his shopping and set the kettle on, he was glad for once that he had a bog standard kettle, he had had his fill of household items that talked back, all he ever wanted his kettle to do was boil water, which it did admirably.

Blank got out his favourite mug, put a teabag in it and considered for the millions time in his life adding the milk before the water, but decided against it, and patiently waited for the kettle to boil.

The kettle clicked it’s self off, and as blank was reaching for the kettle to pour the water into his mug and continue his tea making ritual he heard the unfamiliar sound of his doorbell.

DING DONG

Blank had one of the most advanced doorbells you could get, it had the option to play any of a hundred or so melodies, or any sound clip you chose to upload to it, after careful deliberation and having decided that every single one of it’s “melodies” was insanely irritating Blank had decided to go for the simple and yet effective, “Ding Dong” sound. He felt in encapsulated all that a doorbell should be, and was the least likely sound do drive him crazy.

Not that the sound his doorbell made mattered very much. Blank seldom entertained guests, and when he did have people round they tended to be coming in with him, so Blank rarely heard his doorbell go off. As such it took him a couple of confused seconds to realize what it was. His carefully choreographed tea making ritual ruined by the disruptive doorbell Blank decided that the Tea could wait a moment as he found out who was at his door.

As Blank tentatively paced towards the door, not really knowing what to expect, he thought of all the possibilities of whom might be waiting on the other side of the door.

Part of him hoped it was Lucy, come to take him back, he immediately pushed that thought out of his head. The last she’d heard of her she was moving on, due to his own lack of interest. Maybe if he called her he could straighten things out, they might have a small fight, but maybe it would end well, probably not though.

Another part of him, albeit a small part wondered if it was someone with a brief case full of cash waiting to tell him he’d won the lottery or something. Blank knew that this was even more unlikely than it being Lucy though as he never played the lottery, as he saw it the lottery was a tax on people who were bad at statistics. And Blank wasn’t bad at statistics, He’d done a stats module at university; He may have had to resit it three times but he’d passed eventually and that was proof enough that he wasn’t bad at statistics… Just Mediocre…

A third part of his mind worried that it was some murderous villain looking to kill whomever they found in the flat and take up residence there to perform some nefarious deeds, this was highly unlikely but probably more likely than his other two ideas.

Blank resolved that he had no idea who was on the other side of the door, and the only way he would ever find out was to continue opening the door and see for himself, as no amount of postulating would change the inevitable outcome, unless he spent too long postulating and the person on the other side of the door got bored and left, which could be good or bad depending on who was on the other side of the door.

At that thought, Blank became aware that with every second he spent considering this outcome the likely hood that the person on the other side would in fact just assume he wasn’t there and leave increased. Deciding that in case it was Lucy or the Lottery man Blank started to open the door, but he tensed himself ready for action should it be a villainous murdered, exactly what action he was readying himself for he wasn’t sure, but he was damn well ready.

All of Blanks readiness Dissolved into nothingness as he saw who was waiting on the other side of the door.

It was “Her”. The woman from the shopping market, the woman Blank never thought he’d see again.

Maybe she had been eyeing him up?

But how had she found him?

It had only been a half an hour since he’d left the market, there was no way she could have found out where he lived in that amount of time.

Maybe she was some scary stalker?

Maybe she was the murderous villain he’d been ready for, but wasn’t anymore because she’d thrown him off guard by being her and not some other murderous villain?

Blank tried to remember what he was intending to do in case the person on the other side of the door was a murderous villain and couldn’t come up with anything. The best he could manage was “Uh… Hello?”

“Hi, I need to talk to you. This may sound strange, but I need your help” She said.

Blank stared at her expressionlessly for a few seconds trying to think what it could possibly be that she would need him to do for her.

“Uh… Okay, I guess, what do you need me to do?”

“I can’t talk about it here; you’ll have to trust me. Can you come with me now? I’ll be able to explain it all when we get there”

“Come with you where? I’m not sure I… Uh… What is this about?”

“Look if you come with me I’ll be able to explain it all, I just… Can’t talk about it here. Someone might be listening.” She looked around apprehensively “Are you coming with me or not?”

Blank weighed moping about his flat by himself thinking about how rubbish his life had suddenly become in the last few hours against going out to help this attractive blonde woman. He was struggling to think of a single thing that made the former had going for it that wasn’t over shadowed by the fact that he’d be leaving his flat with this attractive blonde woman.

In fact he struggled to think of a single thing that the former had going for it at all.

“Okay, give me a couple of secs to grab my keys and my wallet and I’ll be right out” Blank grabbed his stuff and as he was locking the door one thing did occur to him that his flat had going for it, tea, he paused and thought maybe he should invite her in for tea before the left.

“Come on we have to go now” She said turning away from him and walking towards the lift.

Maybe not then, hopefully there would be tea wherever she was taking him.