Nov 152011
 

I can’t believe I’m still going strong this National Novel Writing Month. Some days are harder than others, tis true, but haven’t yet hit the mid-month slump as you can see on my brand-new NaNoWriMo Word Count Widget on the right sidebar. The Office of Letters and Light was a tad slow in getting the widgets out this year, but they’re here! I decided to use the month one for a change. You can now see how I do every day in just one glance. Red is for no writing (tsk); yellow for being below daily word target; and green for yay, she hit and exceeded the daily word count goal! So without further ado, here’s week two as I blogged it on Google+.

November 8

More difficult going today for NaNoWriMo. I had to go back and forth between the Index Card app on my iPad, to remind me what today’s chapter was about, and Penultimate app, to look and look again at the sketches of the new setting and new characters. As a result, I didn’t stray too far from what I’d planned. Sometimes whole new angles crop up as I write. Not today. Though I did make a decision on the dog character, something I’d been waffling over. Not anymore!

Still, I was not happy to be interrupted early in the writing process by a call from my case manager, saying she couldn’t come today. And of course she was only available on days that didn’t work for me when we tried to reschedule. Crap. I was sputtering along till she called. Maybe being annoyed by once again having my schedule dictated by others helped. After that, I sped up, and soon I was typing along. My fingers hurt. But that’s OK by me! I got 2028 words written this morn.

November 9

I took Classical Civilizations in Grade 9. My teacher: Mr Payne, a florid man with well-worn skin who kept a 40-ouncer in his office desk drawer and gave incredibly fascinating lessons on ancient Greek and Roman societies, philosophers, and literature. I have never forgotten his lesson on Plato’s realism or forms, particularly the day he shook a desk and told us in a loud voice that this was a copy.

I thought of him when I was devising my transporter for my NaNoWriMo novel “Time and Space” (http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/shireenj/novels/time-and-space) but not for long. Today though, Payne and Plato came back into my head as I wondered what one of my character’s ought to read aloud. Suddenly, I knew. I didn’t have the requisite books in my own library — we used school textbooks or translations back in grade 9 — but Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page) and Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com) ebook reading software came to the rescue.

2092 words for today’s NaNoWriMo writing marathon. Snack time!

November 10

I watched The Illusion of Time on PBS’s NOVA last night. I was hoping to learn something new about time and time travel. I did learn one thing, but most of it cemented what I had already learnt. Seeing the same information presented in a different way means the knowledge sticks a little better in the memory banks anyway. A good thing.

So having learnt everything I can about time and time travel, it was time to write my how-to-build-a-time-machine chapter. A lot more stuff came into the chapter as I wrote. I think I was procrastinating getting to the time of the matter. But I finally got there. Wrote it out. Looked at it. Checked my notes. Fleshed it out. And I think enough of the bones and details are there for me to know what I was thinking when it comes time to revise the novel.

I was going to add some details to previous chapters that had flitted in and out of my head yesterday and today. But I’ve run out of time, energy time that is, and my head needs chocolate! Perhaps tonight I will be able to focus and think. 2519 words today.

November 12

It’s a procrastinating, vascillating, restless kind of writing day. I read the paper and Zite on my iPad, drank hot chocolate, made coffee, anything to avoid writing. I read the NaNoWriMo pep talk of the week and finally felt initiated enough to sit down at the computer. The chapter doesn’t go exactly as planned. Right off the top, my writing starts to go off on a bit of a tangent from my outline. Eventually I finish, but it doesn’t feel right. I’m restless, I head for the fridge, I’m not hungry, I head back to the computer. I work again on some of the dialogue. Details appear I hadn’t expected. Cool. I’m still not entirely happy as in I-feel-something’s-missing unhappy. But the brain isn’t producing, so time for lunch. Maybe this aft, I’ll find it, whatever “it” is.

2279 words today. I’m 700 short of the halfway point. I can’t believe that! But I can’t believe how far we’re into November either!

November 13

One should not write about French Toast on a weekend morning at brunch time. And one definitely shouldn’t write an entire scene during which the characters are eating said French Toast with puddles of maple syrup and heaps of berries. I am starving! Although after interspersing dialogue with descriptions of the diminishing French Toast on their plates, it’s not so bad as at the beginning. I guess OD’ing on an image does have its rewards.

2129 words for today’s NaNoWriMo session. Best of all, I’m well past the halfway mark now. NaNoWriMo says I’ll be done by November 23rd. I wish. Hopefully, if I keep my word count up — not always a sure thing during the saggy middle — I’ll get to the 50k mark then, but I wont’ be done my novel. Onwards!

November 14

So I had to do some thinking this morning. I had done a lot in the last few months, but not enough apparently! It’s amazing how much knowledge we store in our heads about our environment, how things work, things like infrastructure and language and names and classes and races and genders. My Toronto of the future is not like today’s, and where things are the same, there’s a reason for that. But I got tired of thinking and just decided to write and see what comes out. Of course, this means lots of inconsistency can pop up, which means needing an eagle eye during revisions or revising for one aspect of life in the future at a time. I’ll probably do the latter. It’s how I did it for my previous two novels, given I can’t hold a lot of different details in my head at the same time.

Fewer words today although more pages. That’s dialogue and short paragraphs for you. 1995.

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