Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pre-NaNoWriMo Progress, Part the Last

Okay, it's official, NaNoWriMo starts tonight! Since I got to stay home all day and no trick-or-treaters graced me with their disruptive presence, I took advantage of the opportunity to finish all the Spanner Book 1 chapters I'm posting in November. Every single one of them, from the Intro to Chapter 8: they're done! And shortly after I post this, Chapter 9 (the last one I did during JulNoWriMo and AugNoWriMo will be finished as well!

Finally, starting at (schedule change here) 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Spanner will cease to be a pipe dream for me and become a reality at last! The vision that has tormented me since 1992 will be ready for you to read in its final form. Of course, it won't be a manga, but you won't be disappointed. Not after 18 years of self-instruction in writing and 4 years of NaNoWriMo and other WriMos. At last, it's real!

My next post, after the Spanner prologue/intro, will be a NaNoWriMo progress report. My NaNo project this year is — surprise! — Spanner book 2. I won't rush into the word wars just yet. First I need to plot it. And to that end, at the stroke of midnight, I will perform my annual NaNo ritual of opening a fresh new pack of index cards. I intend to write at least 100,000 words this November. Plus, I intend to return to my drawing self-instruction that I've been neglecting since I first discovered NaNo, and post at least one drawing a day on my Posterous blog.

Anyway, back to writing...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pre-NaNoWriMo Progress, Part 4

It's been a pretty tough process trying to catch up with my goal of getting the currently written portion of Spanner as close to finished as I can before NaNoWriMo begins. As I write this, there's just over a day left before NaNo begins. However, I only managed to get one new chapter finished. Part of the problem is that I restored a few omitted scenes to the story. Another is: names.

I had the biggest trouble with Chapter 5. There were a couple sections I decided to skip during JulNoWriMo, and today I found out why. You see, I had to invent names. This means creating all new characters, and assigning new roles to old characters I'd forgotten but brought back just for this chapter. (They'll be back in later chapters.) And so Chapter 5 was the only one I actually managed to finish. But creating loads of new characters nearly wore me out.

Well, I'm done with that now. No later chapter (at least in Book 1) introduces so many characters. The challenge now is to use the characters I've just introduced. I'll rise up to it, of course.

Now on to Chapter 6...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pre-NaNoWriMo Progress, Part 3

While I was putting together Spanner chapter 3 this morning, I realized that the next few chapters (from 5 onward) won't really be all that hard at all. All it'll take is a little editing and a little rearranging, and they'll be ready for posting. These, of course, are chapters I'd already written during JulNoWriMo and AugNoWriMo. There's only a few exceptions, including one new chapter I'll likely be writing this weekend, but which follows directly from the ones I've written so far.

Still, I'll likely need to write some new stuff anyway, just to fill out chapters and fill in plot holes. I did just that this morning, with the last section of Chapter 3. But at least that's not as hard as writing new chapters wholesale and having to edit them to meet a deadline I've set in, say, the next few days.

I'll be pulling a marathon session in the weekend before NaNo '10 so that I can have all of this month's chapters finished. I don't want them to get in the way of my NaNoWriMo, after all...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cedric and Willa in: Revenge of the Badfic Merchants

NaNoWriMo is approaching rapidly, so I figured I'd whip out another "Cedric and Willa" short story, in which those glamourous and gleefully incestuous fortysomething siblings get into the "write 50,000 words and you're a winner" spirit. Both of them can write up a storm, of course, though both of them together could never match even a fifth of Kateness' November output (for those who don't know, that's somewhere around a million words or so).

But it's not all plotbunny-munching happiness in NaNoLand. Cedric and Willa have enemies, rivals, and ex-friends who write, too. Badly. A few are creative writing professors, or at least write in order to become creative writing professors. Others ghostwrite for right-wing media celebrities such as recurring character Bram Savage. The problem: our protagonists have much more trouble getting published than those two groups. But at least they complain about it entertainingly...

Note: NaNoEdMo is also mentioned in this story. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pre-NaNoWriMo Progress, Part 2

While I'm preparing to start posting Spanner book 1, I'm of course agonizing over the editing. Yesterday, I did pretty much nothing but agonize. But once I left the house and started using a library computer, Chapter 1 all but completed itself. Everything is now done except for the last two of the sections I completed during JulNoWriMo, including the main action of the chapter, and of course for the necessary editing. When I get back to my own computer, I'll have it ready to post. That's the easy part.

The tricky part comes after I'm done with chapter 1. I still haven't started the complete rewrite of the second half of the Intro. That's the backwards timeline from 2112 (the science fiction universe cancelled) to 2012 (the present day, or at least "twenty minutes into the future"). I've got a few index cards with me; I can plot it out on the bus. The hard part is figuring out what events I want to put in the timeline (leading from the 2012 coup to the end of the world in 2112) and when they occur. The easy part is transcribing them into the Intro itself.

Now I'm off to write and plot. I'll continue to post my progress as NaNoWriMo fast approaches...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pre-NaNoWriMo Progress, Part 1

As you may already know, I've decided to Spanner page 2 for this year's edition of NaNoWriMo. This gives my schedule some extra urgency: due to my usual procrastination, I've delayed actually writing or editing book 1 till almost the last minute. But at least I have some progress to report. The first three chapters are almost out of my hair.

Chapter 2 is finished and scheduled for posting on November 8. Today, I finished editing part 1 of the Intro — the part in which I destroy the world with a "nanopocalypse" in a future about to be cancelled entirely — and I'm getting ready to write the "rewind history" part. That leaves Chapter 1 for some editing with some necessary research (concerning locations in Manhattan, necessary for a recluse living on the opposite side of the continent). I hope to have a few more chapters written and/or edited in the final-week homestretch before NaNo begins.

I'm still on track to get the story posted. For once, you'll actually be able to read what I'm writing.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 Approaches, Spanner Shall Be Written

It's been a while since I've posted here. But it's not that I haven't been working on Spanner — just that I haven't been writing it. I lost AugNoWriMo yet again, this time because I got obsessed with TV Tropes and limited myself to writing a huge list of tropes that fit Spanner in a now bloated MS Word document rather than writing any actual story after the middle of August. Now NaNoWriMo approaches, and I find myself having to replot and try to finish Book 1 while I'm plotting Book 2. Now that my TV Tropes obsession has died down, I can finally get back to writing.