Category Archives: writing

[NaNoWriMo] Belated Final Update

final word count: 50,460

So I am terrible at keeping up with blogs, and I completely forgot to post here at the end of November. I won NaNo! I’m very proud of myself. I slipped up every now and then, but I kept at it, caught up, and even (slightly) exceeded the 50k goal. This is the first time I’ve completed something of this magnitude.

But my novel still isn’t done. I feel a little silly saying that, even after 50k, there’s still plenty of room for more. I think though, that I will have to revise the current chapters a bit before I continue — there are a lot of things that I’m sure I’ve contradicted, and I have to get back into the writing spirit again.

I’ve actually already got my October Pre-NaNo schedule all set up, what I need to cover, things I need to review, and where the plot needs to be by the end of the book. Hooray, productivity!

I’m hoping to continue and finish this novel during the next NaNo. :D Let’s just hope that my writing improves a bit more by then, haha. :3


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[NaNoWriMo] End of Day 12

It’s been a while since I’ve done an ‘end of day’ NaNo post, but ta-da~~ I am finally back on par! Current WC is 20,007, and I am 53 pages in word into this novel. I am no where close to done in this story, and I’m starting to wonder if 50k is going to be enough. Ehehehehehe.

Feels great to be back on par! I am going to reward myself with DAO endgame and subsequent feels.

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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, writing


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[NaNoWriMo] Hit the 10k Mark!

Hit it at the end of Day 5. It was around this time in 2009 (my first/only NaNo) that I “lost inspiration” — ie: quit because I was lazy / frustrated. Here’s to keeping on.


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[NaNoWriMo] End of Day 3

I’m sorry, but you threw off the Emperor’s groove.

Well, word count is up to 6060! The past few days have been a struggle. The prologue was a struggle to write because the antagonist has changed slightly. The first chapter was easier, but the second chapter — jeez, that was a pain in the butt! Again, it’s the antagonist’s fault — the change in temperament really threw off my groove. Well, that and the fact that I procrastinated for a lot of the afternoon. Man, shoujo manga is a huge distraction for me.

I think, so far, that I’m happy with how the story is going. It feels a lot more solid because I started with a bit of a base, even if I didn’t get as far in prepping as I originally wanted to. Knowing the races and genders and temperaments of the main cast before I start writing is — amazingly enough — useful.  I was surprised though that an original-draft “throw away” character made it back into the story. I had been planning on excluding him but he’s a stubborn little twit and he clung to his chapter like there was no tomorrow.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of NaNo. I didn’t think I would.


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[NaNoWriMo] Beginning

Well, NaNo is here, and due to various reasons I didn’t finish my prepwork. I hope I can still do this. I don’t have a plan, and it’s kind of scary to me! Nyehhhh.


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[NaNoWriMo] The Best Laid Plans…

definitely the theme of this show. narf!

of mice and men aft gang agley.

I vowed that the rest of October would be novel-planning month. Tonight, I worked on character profiles – just brief, one-word/short phrase descriptors of personality, appearance, and history for each of the prominent characters in my story. I’ve had the generic theme down for a while now, and it always involved a group of five: the protagonist, and four other people.

When I got to the last companion, I realised that their history and personality would be better complemented by a sibling — a twin, specifically. I struggled for a while, pencil hovered over paper, wondering if I was being dumb. No, Kami, I argued with myself. We said a group of five. We even have the synopsis referencing five.

But if it flows better, I countered, then why not?

Why not, indeed!

This isn’t what I planned, and quite frankly, I’m not sure if this is going to go over well with the rest of my characters. The twins won’t appear for a while yet, but one of them was bad enough for the rest of the group. I can only imagine (and, well, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?) how two of them will go over.

In other surprising developments, my pantheon of gods and goddesses has increased by three, my secondary villain is likely going to get a more prominent role, my second protagonist is now a different gender, and my fifth protagonist has an entirely different personality. This is going to be fun.

Has anyone else had surprising developments when planning out their stories?


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[NaNoWriMo] So, uh, workin’ on that novel of yours?

Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah?

Every mid-October, I get the urge to continue my “novel” — a task I have been attempting for years now, ever since my senior year of high school. It started out as a poorly-cobbled fanfiction of some obscure (but very engrossing) title called ShadowSteed, but morphed into something original since then. It’s had several incarnations, first as a spiral-bound, hand-written fic. I dont even know what happened to that sprial notebook. I think it got lost somewhere in the abyss of my teenage-self’s desk and never resurfaced.

Next, it appeared as a gathering of notes on odd scraps of paper (which, of course, I subsequently lost). Then, a roleplaying site that no one (including me) used, which was then re-written as a gathering of notes in a proper notebook. Oh, and there was the time I was going to turn it into a video game of the roleplaying genre. Finally, for 2009’s NaNo, I manage to squeak out four “chapters” of novel, which, really, can hardly be called such considering that they average a page and a half in Word. Then back to the drawing table in 2010 because oh-my-gosh-I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing. Then in 2011, I decided, hey, I’m an artist, I’ll just MAKE A COMIC, except… I still didn’t have any idea what I was doing. Predictably, after a few ‘world-building’ exercises and one rough sketch later, the comic came to a screeching halt.

Since 2012 has been a year of a lot of changes for me, I figured I’m going to go ahead and give NaNo another go. I have a notebook — I prefer to write ideas down on paper first — and I have MS Word, and I have my first character’s mini-bio written up. A good start.

image by AdriOfTheDead @ tumblr
edit by someone on reddit

My problem, though, has always been staying motivated. I don’t know what happens — I can roleplay on a forum just fine, cranking out a couple of thousand words per post usually with no problem; but, every time NaNo rolls around, pffttttt. All of that, just out the window. I sit and stare at a blank document for a few minutes, maybe put a couple of words to virtual paper, then alt-tab into something else. At best, I play a couple of video games, eat some food, wander around the house, watch TV. At worse, the internet punches me in the face and when I come to it’s late and I need to go to bed.

I’ve tried various “stay motivated” techniques, ranging from having a devoted work area/time to using inspirational music mixes, but I can’t seem to stay on task very long unless I’m goofing off. There’s some sort of irony in that, I’m sure.

This year, I’m going to try distancing myself from my biggest distraction while trying to be productive: internet. Even when I’m playing video games, I constantly find myself tabbing over to check tumblr, or my RP forum. Not necessarily because I can’t live without them, but because they are a convenient distraction right at my fingertips. One click, or a press of a key, and shazam! All the adorable baby animals I can stomach before barfing rainbows.

I am Tomo. Tomo is me.

I don’t know if I can do it! I talk big now, but who knows where my motivation will be once NaNo actually gets here? It’s not so much that I get distracted as it is me getting … not bored, exactly, or discouraged, but more like I lose my steam when I very visibly have a quota to work with, rather  than just writing because it’s fun. It becomes a chore, a task, and the enjoyment kind of gets sucked out of it when, at the end of the day, I have to make sure I’m meeting my daily word quota and putting words to paper.

It’s draining, and it’s a large part of the reason that I drop NaNo every month. I can’t seem to stay motivated when I’m counting every word that I write. Is the chapter long enough, is it too short, am I just using words to fill up my daily goal?

Finding a balance is so tricky, and so exhausting. Not to mention that I have a lot of backstory and lore I want to write, and that gets draining too.

So tell me, what do you do to keep on-task and motivated? Any tips, tricks, or ideas to stay on task even when the going gets tough?

How do you write for NaNo
? Do you plan ahead, make outlines, extensive plots? Or are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, and let the story tell itself?

Let me know! :D

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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, writing


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