Sunday, November 30, 2008

50,007 Words!

November is drawing to a close, and I did it. I just typed the last word. Crossed the last digital T, and dotted the final proverbial I.

It was a great experience, and taught me a lot about perseverance. Writing when I just didn't feel like it. I am certain I would have given up if it wasn't for my son reading along. Every day he would read what I wrote the day before. Tonight I even caught him reading on my screen. He is already talking sequel.
The biggest struggle I had finishing it up was I got to about 48,500 words, and finished the story. So I had to go back and add in another 1,500 words. I'm not sure what will make the cut when it comes to editing, but it was fun getting to the end.

So now it is to bed. As a bonus, here is a photo of what it looks like to write 5o,000 words in a single month.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coming Down the Home Stretch

Well, less than a week to go, and I think I'm going to make it. I wrote like a madman this weekend and I got back on track. 38,390 words. I can finally see the end of the story, and I think everything I have yet left in my head will fill the last 11,610 words. It is kind of amazing to me that I really think I'll have a complete story beginning to end in almost exactly 50,000 words. (Well I guess I shouldn't count my chickens...)

I guess another week will tell. It's been a ball so far.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

3/5ths of the way

Well it took a marathon writing session tonight, but I caught back up. 30,120 words. So I am feeling really good. For the longest time I couldn't figure out how I was going to finish the novel and use up the whole 50K. It just seemed like I was moving way too fast in the story. But now that I am at 30K words it feels like I am in exactly the right spot.

As always my son has been the best encourager. Today I asked him why he wasn't reading the latest Ink Spell book. He usually devours books in just a few days, but this one has been sitting on the table in the livingroom for a couple weeks. I asked him if it wasn't very good. He said, "It's alright, but it isn't as good as your story. I can't read anything until I find out what happens."

Warmed the cockles of my heart. Cockles I tell you!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Half Way There!

Well, I just passed the halfway mark, and am now starting to think this is doable. I'm at 25,201. I am just a day behind, since it is the 16th, but that should be easy to catch up.

I actually got behind because I played poker on Friday night, and then couldn't sleep in on Saturday because we got a new cat. The Dog wouldn't leave her alone, so I didn't get my usuall "sleep until noon" Saturday. But I made up for it this afternoon.

I'm still a little unsure about how I'm going to write another 25,000 words. I've already accomplished nearly everything in the book I wanted to before the final climax of the story. But if I get to the end and don't have the words, I have no doubt I can go back and add some in.

I'm ready for a bit of an ego boost, so I think I'll print out what I've written so far. My son hasn't read anything in a few days. The grin on his face as he reads gets me pumped for another couple late nights pretty easily.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lucky 13

Well, after struggling for a few days, the words finally flowed again. I had fun tonight writing in a new character. Adina is now going to be an integral part of the story, and I didn't even know she existed until this evening.

How cool is a 10 year old cave girl going to be in the 31st century.

I passed today's goal by about 200 words. Which is good, because I want to get tomorrow's word count done before I will allow myself to go play poker with they guys.

Today's count: 21,828. Almost half way there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update. Day 11.

Well I got a bit behind on my NaNo story. I blame it on Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. He posted a goal of finishing 15,ooo words by the end of the day yesterday. And I did that with no problem. Unfortunately by the end of the day today I should actually be at over 18,000 words. So... considering the fact that the final table for the World Series of Poker was on tonight. I feel pretty good about writing about 1800 words today. So 16,842 is the current count.

Speaking of poker, I now have the goal of being ahead by 1,600 words by Friday, so I can go play poker with my buddies and not feel guilty.

One other note. I have discovered that it is indeed getting a bit harder to get the words down. Getting to that mid story doldrums. One thing that is keeping me going though is the fact that my son is reading as I go. He is really eager to see what happens next (as am I). And what dad wants to his son to see him fail? So suddenly this has turned into a lesson in finishing what you've started. What have I gotten myself into?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why I Am Proud to be an American

I'm going to take a little break from my usual writing posts and tell you about my Grandpa Clark.

My grandfather never talked about the war. All I knew growing up was he was off to war for much of my mom's childhood. Then just a few weeks before he died back in 1994 he began to talk. We sat at his feet in his home, his family that had grown to four kids, dozens of grand kids and even a great grandchild or two, surrounded him as he told us about something that he had a very hard time putting to words. He still didn't talk a lot about the details. Even then it was still too much I think, but my impression of him and the war were forever changed.

Turns out he was on a ship just off the coast of France during D-Day. He wasn't the first wave to land, but he went in pretty close after that. Then he spent the rest of the war riding across Europe, freeing villages. I remember an old picture of him sitting in a jeep in front of a windmill in the Netherlands. Another of him and his buddies in front of a bombed out cathedral. Anyone who doesn't think we we should have been in the war, just go ask those people in that village in Holland, and all across Europe who could very well be living a very different life now if it weren't for people like William Fredrick James Clark, my grandpa.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Math is not my strong suit.

Somewhere along the line, I discovered that my calculations of the past couple days were inaccurate. I thought I was right on schedule with my Nano word count. But I realized that Saturday, to Saturday was 8 days, not 7. So I started writing tonight with about a 1,600 word deficit. Which meant I needed to write 3,200 words to get back to my target. Well, I didn't quite make it. I'm at 14,322 words, a little less than 700 words shy of my goal for the day. So I need to make up for it tomorrow. (Hmmm... actually later today since it is after midnight.)

At least I figured it out now instead of 3 weeks from now.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

End of Week One

Well, I'm still keeping at it. Here we are 1/4 of the way there, and I'm almost exactly 1/4 of the way to my goal. 12,517 words out of 50,000. I have to say this target word count thing is really working for me. I'm finding it surprisingly easy to sit down and write the 1,600+ words needed every day to meet the goal. It really makes me wonder just how much I could write if this was my full time job. I begin to understand why some authors can crank out several books a year.

I'm also pretty excited because this morning, lying in bed, I figured out the ending of the story. I'm definitely a plot as I go kind of writer, but it is a little hard for me to write the story not knowing how it will end. Now that I know, I've got something to work toward. And having the goal of writing a complete novel at 50,000 words with a beginning middle and end, I now know when I need to start reaching the climax of the story in order to come down the other side with a finished story.

My son is still reading along. It is a blast writing with him in mind. "Oh, I know that'll make him laugh. I'm sure he'll think this is cool." really makes me look forward to his reaction. So far I haven't been disappointed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Slow but steady.

Well it is the end of day 5 and I got a good couple hours writing in. As expected I didn't write at all last night. I wasn't really planning on watching much of the election coverage, but my son was studying it in his class at school, and was interested in watching. Couldn't pass up the educational opportunity. I am still on track at 8,220 words, so no problem there.

I'm still quite happy with the story thus far. Our heroes are now in 12th century Scotland. JJ (our ten year old protagonist) is not at all happy about having to wear hose.

I am thoroughly enjoying writing a sci-fi, time travel, young adult novel. I love space, I love gadgets, I love time travel stories (Crimson Swarm also has some time travel elements) and I love writing to this level. It feels so natural. I guess that means I have the mentality of a ten year old.

Well off to bed, so I'm not a total waste at work tomorrow. Also need to make sure I get up and take the kids to school since the wife is out of town on business and isn't here to wake me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The story for NaNo is going well. I'm at 6,766 words so far which is a bit ahead of schedule. My wife is going away on a business trip tomorrow, so if I can get the kids in bed on time I should have some really good writing time tomorrow night. We'll see how it goes this evening, being election night and all.

I wanted to tell you what a great son I've got. He has turned into quite a little encourager. (Well not so little anymore at almost 11) He read the first 3 chapters of Noah Zarc. I watched him while he read. Several times he grinned. Then when he was all done he said, "That's really great dad." Then he proceeded to tell me some places that needed work. Let me tell you. No other bit of encouragement or advice has felt so good. He is basically the one I'm writing the story for, so to hear he liked it, is great. Thanks buddy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


1,830 down, 48,170 to go.

Man what fun. It has been so long since I just sat down and wrote, with no thought to editing, and perfection.

Well off to bed. 2AM.