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NaNoWriMo: Day Thirty

Nov. 30th, 2007 | 11:44 pm

Word count: 51,392

Over 74,600 participants fell by the wayside. But after typing the last sentence in my novel, I uploaded the document, and was declared one of 15,329 winners. National Novel Writing Month Founder, Chris Baty, wrote on the resulting victor's page that it was one of the hardest years on record.

Then he put a question forward.
"If you were able to write a not-horrible novel in 30 days, what else can you do?"

Myopia In A Popular Culture Of AscensionOfficial NaNoWriMo 2007 Winner

Original post
I'll update this post in a bit. After I calm down.
I'm posting this as proof for now.
Yay no bathroom cleaning!!!
Thanks to my family and friends who encouraged me, put up with me, or threatened me with punishments.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-nine

Nov. 29th, 2007 | 10:52 pm

Word count: 47,053

We Are Heroes, but We Can't See

Where permanence glides away on wings of
Certitude's disfavor, dissonance and
Circumventive memory, our times' sand
Expansive to behold where rides eyes' love
Ningirsu; Thor; a thousand heroes shove
Inward through mighty doors which mortals band
Together, unexamined, minds unmanned
Sighs vexatious, one hand bare, one a glove 
These are throes, which need not be beholden
We click the remote, tune the dial, look
At a thousand plastic heroes while we
Cling amid the quiet refuse stolen, 
Reside, distracted, delayed, on what took
Fifty-thousand years; heroes, we can't see

Written 3250 c.e. Ballein Ceux, lead singer of Genomenclature. For the Fakolur Foundation, a welfare non-profit for environmentally threatened gengin-Martians.

Never performed due to artist's irresponsibility, noncommittal behavior, and late night partying and fraternizing with lowlifes, genmod punks, thugs, and fleshbots.

No big surprise there!

This 200th Anniversary of Resettlement, Port Robinson's Red Day Parade, together with over 100 other Mars Republican districts, celebrates a greener, more civilized Mars!  :)

Sponsored by SolOrg and your friends at the Universal Church.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-eight

Nov. 29th, 2007 | 02:50 am

Word count: 44,627
This entry was edited after NaNoWriMo 2007. See below for note.

Featured in Chapter Nineteen: an entirely italicized paragraph, wherein the protagonist considers the likelihood of artificial women built complete with female problems... right before remembering that such problems have been solved for several centuries. What?

Malcolm Forbes said, "Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs." That's a cheesy line. Too bad, then, that it's a fact. It's time
to lay some preemptive logistics on the table. The excerpt featured on my Nanowrimo profile is a large one, and it's only about half of what's been written (Note: minutes before December this was further reduced to two chapters); but, how would you know for sure? What if I'm lying? I have my detractors, as well as my supporters, and they're the same people. No one wants me to fail, but some people know a good bet when they see one; and it is very unlike me to finish a novel. Even in a year.

Well someone is going to have to clean their own bathroom. On the 30th -- as soon as the last word has been typed and verified via the Nanowrimo website -- I'm going to post the entire document on my website. It will stay there, warts and all, for exactly one week. Crappy passages italicized for later evaluation will be covered with white text, enabling proper use of italics (no effect on word count; you can even highlight/color to read).

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-seven

Nov. 28th, 2007 | 01:33 am

Word count: 41,941

What bores me or depresses me in novels?

Half-complete thoughts and intimations of the narrator's inside knowledge (i.e. authors who forget about their audiences on their road to catharsis).
Characters who are aware of the reader or the author (doesn't apply to the first-person perspective).
Horses. Ponies. Dogs. Kittens. Middle-management.
Simple protagonists who are rewarded in the end for staying simple.
Characters who don't seem to want or need anything, really.
I want to like the Victorian era more than I actually do.
Overly quirky main characters and psychotic main characters.
Moral-driven stories thinly veiled as character-driven stories.
First-person-perspective characters who think too much (these characters can be interesting in the less-torturous third-person perspective).
Any novel that does not push the story forward with every page.

Only four of these have slipped by me and into my novel! Not bad! Chapter Eighteen is up.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-six

Nov. 27th, 2007 | 01:41 am

Word count: 38,841

Ever say something stupid, wish you could take it back? Noveling could be your playground. In chapters Sixteen and Seventeen, I began using italics to set passages aside for later evaluation by my Inner Editor, who has been drunk on some park bench for the past few weeks. Some of these sentences and paragraphs aren't necessarily plot-derailers, they're just incredibly out of character or cheesy. Following are a few quick notes on embarrassing, italics-causing, character development pitfalls I've discovered during my noveling adventure. Someone with a degree in English or creative writing could prescribe preexisting terminology for these. Since I only have a degree in excuses for not having a degree, I'll have to make stuff up.

General relative tea: The moment a character is conceived, he or she begins maturing and having tea parties with other characters. They live in subjective time, which passes faster than normal time, resulting in conversations on-stage that would seem "too early" for characters that have "just recently met". Italics!
Character attention disorder: Author leaves the room, but his fingers keep typing. Characters stand around and chat for two or three chapters. Most frequent during word-count marathons. Not author's fault. Italics!
Empathic interference: Characters leave the room, but the author keeps typing. Suddenly, everyone is hooked on 21st Century references, and thinking and speaking exactly alike. Italics! Also, may lead to...
Tourette's syndrome: Characters realize their world is fictitious, lacking real social consequences. Italics!

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-five

Nov. 26th, 2007 | 01:52 am

Word count: 35,174

The best thing about today is that 35,174 makes the remaining 14,826 look more manageable. The worst thing about today is its 1,081 words.

There are five days left in National Novel Writing Month. I believe I can write 14,826 more words. The dilemma of not-enough-story has long-evaporated. Too-much-story, and too-little-time have long replaced it. Today, for once, my biggest challenge wasn't writing a bunch of words. It was unplanning a bunch of unwritten words. Scattered across my five-page outline, there are whole sections of demolished sets and unemployed actors. They will not go in the trash. For now, though, into the Great Recycling Bin they go.

There are sentences and paragraphs in chapters Sixteen and Seventeen that I have already recognized may not belong in the book. I have italicized several of those passages for my Inner Editor to deal with later.

Word-count wise, it's uncomfortable to wrap up the evening with barely 1,000 words. But it must be done, I have to sleep, or else tomorrow will not be any easier.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-four

Nov. 25th, 2007 | 02:21 am

Word count: 34,093

What, to me, makes a good novel?

A story that evokes feeling, characters who inspire people to action.
The demonstration of philosophical ideaologies by believable characters.
Science fiction that entertains without sacrificing science for fiction.
A balance between character development and plot progression.
Main characters who are easy to relate with, who evoke sympathy.
Secondary characters who are quirky/colorful/morbid, who evoke laughter or shock.
Third person narration that is privy to the mind of the protagonist (but not utterly omniscient).
A healthy sprinkling of random oddities and educational facts (I picked this up from Moby Dick).
Intelligent narration, unpretentious protagonists, vice versa.
Main characters and close seconds who are at pivotal moments in life.
Vulnerable characters who discover their strengths.
Strong antagonists who discover their vulnerabilities.
Cliffhanger chapter endings, book endings that leave some interpretation to the reader.
Science fiction that explores popular culture and subculture.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-three

Nov. 24th, 2007 | 04:00 am

Word count: 31,333
"He glanced ahead and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It grew quickly as it sped toward them."
What a note to end on for the night. Let's do some quick math.

In order to write 50,000 words in thirty days, you could divide it into thirty, 1,667-word segments.

This would lead to 38,341 words written on the twenty-third day. That would leave only 11,659 words to go.

But I'm 7,008 words behind, which leaves me 18,667 words to go.

Weekends are the best time to catch up, and there are four in November. And this is the last one. This is the only time I'll ever write it, or say it during NaNoWriMo this year: I have doubts. Know what I mean?

That is all the acknowledgment I'll pay it. This weekend is going to be very, very productive and myopic.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-two

Nov. 23rd, 2007 | 03:24 am

Word count: 30,063

The phone call I mentioned at the end of the first week, I haven't brought it up because it would be more courteous not to mention names. But it's worth mentioning something about it. During the first week, I was full of inspiration and hubris for my noveling adventure. I coasted on that initial rush of adrenaline, until it tapered off into the use of words like slogging and wading to describe my now less-than-novel noveling adventure.

Before slogging had rooted itself more firmly to my vocabulary, I called relatives, and friends, and said, "Hey, I'm doing this thing, and if I screw it up, I'd like you to think of something worse than noveling for me to do."

This has long been a suggested tactic. It works. Within a week, I committed to house painting and bathroom scrubbing. Even if they don't care about your novel, some people will let you scrub every square inch of their bathroom if you fail. Some people will even leave it to become dirtier, and dirtier, until the end of the month. This is how I know there are people willing to help me, and all sorts of other things, to grow.

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NaNoWriMo: Day Twenty-one

Nov. 22nd, 2007 | 03:34 am

Word count: 28,426

Today (tonight, this morning) is a huge disappointment, because I wanted to write 3,000 words or more and be asleep by midnight. Still, I am not so disappointed that I won't be able to sleep for five hours, wake up and down a Red Bull (or two) and merrily feast on a bunch of Thanksgiving crap with my awesome relatives. I'm going to do that because I deserve it. Writing a novel isn't the only responsible thing I'm doing this month that requires some effort and discipline. But these thirty days of blog entries are about National Novel Writing Month, the most treacherous, thankless deadline ever.

That begs the question, why do it? But the thing is, it's nigh impossible to answer that kind of question without feeling as though I'm being asked to argue its merits. Which is ridiculous. Obviously, I don't have time to argue. I'm writing a novel.

If you're doing this, you know what it's like to find encouragement in places you never expected, and to find it missing from places where you felt sure it would be. But the awful truth is, you have to write 50,000 words in a month to appreciate the difficulty of writing 50,000 words in a month. The other awful truth is, Thanksgiving is there to get people to buy products from grocery stores. Your family and your friends, on the other hand, exist all year round. Always have. That's more than you can say for your novel. Also, encouragement is for sissies.

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