National Novel Writing Month 2012 Page 30

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  • RobTheBuilder 19 Nov 2012 13:13:29 6,521 posts
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    Hi guys, had a few tips from my former boss who has talked to a number of publishers about his novel (which I've read and enjoyed). Thought they might help:

    If your novel is about (character), make sure that the plot follows an arc of things that happen to him or that he's connected to. Easy for the reader to follow

    Avoid speaking as the author. Let his words and actions and those of others reveal the plot.

    Don't reveal too much too early. Let the reader gradually find things out

    Don't introduce lots of characters. Keep the cast to a select few.

    Only be in one character's head in any one chapter It's wrong to show what 2 people are thinking in the same chapter.
  • TechnoHippy 19 Nov 2012 13:13:48 14,716 posts
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    It would be nice to continue the writing thread beyond the Nano, encouraging each other along.

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • RobTheBuilder 19 Nov 2012 13:17:42 6,521 posts
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    @TechnoHippy Agreed. I won't be able to read through others fully til after November so I plan to keep at it!
  • MetalDog 19 Nov 2012 14:01:48 23,920 posts
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    @TechnoHippy
    Cheers dude.
    I'll keep an eye on Yew. A lot of his flippancy is pure gallows humour and he tends to flip between that and annoyed, but I'll watch him.

    I feel a bit like Sisyphus at the moment. As soon as I gain a little ground on the wordcount another day ticks over and adds 1667 more to the pile. *shakes fist at counter of doom*
    Slow progress better than no progress though!

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • MetalDog 19 Nov 2012 14:10:47 23,920 posts
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    NaNo threads tend to stay quasi-active most of the year until we tick over to a new one the month before the next act of lunacy.

    I spent lunchtime doing a spot of quick googling on handcuffs, I hope IT aren't keeping too close an eye on my browsing habits at work.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • sunjumper 19 Nov 2012 14:57:58 3,248 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:.

    I spent lunchtime doing a spot of quick googling on handcuffs, [...]
    /spits tea all over the screen.

    You have the most interesting hobbies.

    Despite glum silence and a chapter that refuses to finish and the word mountain building up I am still going.

    I think it's time to play Eye of the Tiger loud enough that I wont here the neighbors complaining about the noise and get cracking.
  • MetalDog 19 Nov 2012 15:02:36 23,920 posts
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    The handcuffs are for you, to fix you to your keyboard until you finish =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • sunjumper 19 Nov 2012 16:11:49 3,248 posts
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    eeeek!
  • Blerk Moderator 19 Nov 2012 16:20:26 48,225 posts
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    Thanks for the comments again, @Salaman and @TechnoHippy!

    :)
  • Deleted user 19 November 2012 16:22:06
    How many days do we have left now? 12? I'm gonna finish off this first draft over the next two days then try for a 20k short story sprint in the remaining 10.
  • Blerk Moderator 19 Nov 2012 16:27:13 48,225 posts
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    I want some of those drugs you're on, meme. Whatever they are! :D
  • TechnoHippy 19 Nov 2012 17:45:12 14,716 posts
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    Chapter 31 is deservedly shame faced as it makes it not-so-grand entrance:

    http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-31.html

    Still, it is progress.

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

  • Deleted user 19 November 2012 18:32:04
    Blerk wrote:
    I want some of those drugs you're on, meme. Whatever they are! :D
    At the moment, ibuprofen and vitamin c boosters. :D

    20k in ten days is easily doable, though. I hit the 20k mark on day five, and that's only because of sheer writing practice for the past few months - college work and personal writing combined can often see me eclipsing 10k of writing in a single day, even before NaNo started. It's literally just momentum and practice that makes it possible.

    I find that a lot of people who are stalling (at least in my region) are people who don't write a lot anyway (in general, not just fiction). Going from almost nothing to 1,667 a day is a pretty gigantic change, but continuing existing momentum is easy, even when you're starved of ideas. You write because you're attuned to writing.
  • Carbon_Altered 19 Nov 2012 22:49:46 736 posts
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    I'm about to hit 40k, but in the next couple of days not much will be achieved. Stupid friends / stupid need to try and at least stay a bit healthy and go play some sport.

    Anyway, I just wanted to agree with meme's point about writing making writing easier. I found it the other way round too - nano has seen me writing at a faster pace at work. I have to do these short 300 word updates on various goings-on, which feel like absolutely nothing these days!
  • evild_edd 19 Nov 2012 23:37:35 3,198 posts
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    Another late night and I'm done for the evening. Just hit 34,318 words which is alright. Not as many words today as I'd hoped.

    Feeling a bit guilty that I just don't have to the time to read your efforts (for those who've been loading theirs on to blogs). Really been put to shame by others on this forum, who seem superhuman in being able to do their own writing whilst finding time to read other people's as well. Did someone invent time travel whilst I wasn't looking, or something?

    Anyway, I PROMISE that I'll go back over as many blogs and things as I can at a later time. As it is, I think I'm going to push through till I've done a first draft of my story, then I can go back over yours which may be welcome break from my story by that point :0)

    Why look, it's a blog:
    http://www.edwardlaven.blogspot.co.uk

  • evild_edd 19 Nov 2012 23:43:47 3,198 posts
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    RobTheBuilder wrote:
    Hi guys, had a few tips from my former boss who has talked to a number of publishers about his novel (which I've read and enjoyed). Thought they might help:

    If your novel is about (character), make sure that the plot follows an arc of things that happen to him or that he's connected to. Easy for the reader to follow

    Avoid speaking as the author. Let his words and actions and those of others reveal the plot.

    Don't reveal too much too early. Let the reader gradually find things out

    Don't introduce lots of characters. Keep the cast to a select few.

    Only be in one character's head in any one chapter It's wrong to show what 2 people are thinking in the same chapter.
    Speaking as a not published writer, I guess I'd agree with most of that, but not all. There are some very interesting books out there that subvert such established 'rules'. Then again, trying to break new ground with a NaNo work is probably a little ambitious.

    I'm sort of breaking the last rule about chapters being told from more than one character's perspective, but the chapters have mid point breaks that clearly identify passing of time and perspective changes. So, for example:

    Chapter X

    Character A witnesses something happening to characters B & C

    ***

    Character B then tells the immediate aftermath of such event, revealing their own feelings/thoughts/opinions of which Character A was entirely unaware.

    I'm on the basis (read: hoping) that if I do it right it'll remain clear and not confusing...Hopefully it'll be interesting, as well, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, hey!

    Why look, it's a blog:
    http://www.edwardlaven.blogspot.co.uk

  • MetalDog 19 Nov 2012 23:58:40 23,920 posts
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    I write plenty, but story doesn't play ball with just grinding out the count for me. Even if you're that sort though, the more you do it, the less hard it gets.

    Not feeling like shit today helped too =D I hope that lasts.

    Day Nineteen

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Deleted user 20 November 2012 00:01:28
    I forgot to post my stuff from passing the finish line. Days 16-19. This all takes the posted count to about 51k, and I've done another 2k on top of that which will probably get posted tomorrow. Probably another 2 or 3k after that and this first draft'll conclude. Whee.

    Edited by meme at 00:01:41 20-11-2012
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Nov 2012 02:00:19 6,521 posts
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    I may have to take a short break for a few days to do a project to try and help me get a job. I and the story shall return soon!
  • sunjumper 20 Nov 2012 02:14:59 3,248 posts
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    Today I actually I made some real progress and I finished a chapter. This puts me at somewhat over 21k

    This is going to be fucking hard. But I won't give up just yet.

    So.
    Chapter 5
  • Deleted user 20 November 2012 05:27:00
    Day the end.

    There's a single missing word at the end, one I haven't quite decided on writing, which I may actually leave blank regardless. But we shall see.

    Also I probably need to bulk up the end for a better epilogue. Or at least a better wind down from the climax. But that's for January.

    Wild ride.

    Edited by meme at 05:28:03 20-11-2012
  • MetalDog 20 Nov 2012 07:28:52 23,920 posts
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    Congratulations meme \o/
    Glad you enjoyed this year more than last. Knock back some booze, have a quick conga and grab your pom poms for the chaps still in the mines.

    @sunjumper
    You need to FINISH a story, Sun! Make it this one. Doesn't matter about the wordcount, high, low, early, late, don't matter. Finish the yarn =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Blerk Moderator 20 Nov 2012 08:50:24 48,225 posts
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    Made it across the 40k barrier last night which felt pretty good, tbh! Didn't post anything new yet, I'll try and get that done tonight.

    Concerns:
    1. I might be coming up on the word count, but I don't appear to be anywhere near "finished". Stopping at month's end isn't an option - if I do that I'll get out of step and probably never complete it, so the show must go on until I'm actually done with the tale.

    2. I'm still not entirely sure how I'm going to get from where I am to where I need to be for my end-game. This means I can't estimate how long there is left to go. See point 1.

    3. I think I'm genuinely starting to feel a bit burnt out now. Too much stuff, not enough hours in the day. Fell asleep on the chair in the middle of watching a movie with the kids last night, which isn't like me at all. But the kids thought it was funny. :)

    Edited by Blerk at 08:50:40 20-11-2012
  • MetalDog 20 Nov 2012 09:40:53 23,920 posts
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    @Blerk
    Maybe lower your output a bit? Keep writing every day, but less, ease off the pressure since you know it's going to be a marathon rather than a sprint?

    On point 2, I would be willing to bet that at some point you'll be struck by an epiphany that will tie all sorts of things together, but I'm very familiar with the sensation of looking ahead and seeing fuck all but fog and trip hazards =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Blerk Moderator 20 Nov 2012 10:19:50 48,225 posts
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    That could be sound advice, I think. I don't want to start taking days off because that'll interrupt my flow, it's already difficult enough to remember what I did yesterday never mind last week. Equally I don't want to start rushing to the end as I've been fairly happy with the pace so far and wouldn't want the rest to feel rushed.

    I think my solution to point 2 is to do like I did at the end of last week - plan just a few days ahead and work in short sprints, then plan a bit more, another sprint, etc. etc. Or at least I hope that works, 'cos I'm buggered if it doesn't. :D
  • MetalDog 20 Nov 2012 10:24:26 23,920 posts
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    Ahh, right, you're a planner. Yeah, do what works for you. No sense changing horses midstream and at 40k you're in a good position to slow to a walk while you sort yourself out =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • boo 20 Nov 2012 10:30:26 11,929 posts
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    How's it going, nanopeople?

    Been crazy busy the past few weeks, so haven't being able to do any reading, but I look forward to a pile of great stories in December.

    Any surprises? Anyone veered off from where they thought they'd be going?
    How's the bodycount, MD? You must have killed at least half a dozen people by now!

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • MetalDog 20 Nov 2012 10:36:54 23,920 posts
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    I've been sick as a dog for large chunks of it, but I may be *fingers toes legs crossed* getting better. It's been killing my output, but I haven't stopped altogether for more than a couple of days and I'm hoping to make up some ground in the latter stretch.

    Total confirmed deaths so far: 1837 =D

    Hope things are good for you, boo, missed your company on the trek this year, although you were quite tasty. Really should sort out who's for eating now, I'm sure there's a couple playing dead at the least.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • boo 20 Nov 2012 10:41:17 11,929 posts
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    Sounds like tough going - stick it out though. Good health's overrated.

    And I'll be back next year. Assuming I can grow my arms back.

    /wipes off BBQ sauce

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • TechnoHippy 20 Nov 2012 11:15:03 14,716 posts
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    @MetalDog

    Your updates are coming in at a more regular pace - Keep going!

    Day 19:

    "panic was circling, waiting to bite" is a nice phrase.

    Grim, but a good read. Leaves me with more questions, which is what you want.

    My books, contests, reviews and author interviews on my blog

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