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Thursday, October 31, 2013

NaNoWriMO: Day 0.5

I've decided, both to help me be accountable, and to give folks a glimpse into what I do for NaNo, to do a daily log of my progress much like I did for my attempt at a 10 day novel challenge a few weeks ago.

For those not familiar, NaNoWriMo, or simply NaNo, is short for "National Novel Writing Month." During the month of November, millions of people from all over the world sign into a central website to track their attempt to write at least 50,000 words of a novel, and compare/compete with friends and regions. While there are several versions of this concept around, this one has by far become the most popular and widely participated event of its kind.

I've done NaNo since 2006. This will make my eighth one. Only one year, 2011, did I write less than 50K words. Most of my novels have been written during November each year.

This year has some unique challenges. One, while my "work" schedule isn't as heavy as has been the case in years past, it seems I have several projects that I'll need to work on this month that will take time away from writing.

One, I'm working on finishing edits and getting ready to send to the printer my third novel in The Virtual Chronicles series, Virtual Game. I had hoped to have that done by this point, but I'm still working on edits. I'll have to juggle both tasks until I get that novel sent to the printer and ebooks uploaded. You'll be getting my progress on that here as well, and of course an announcement when it is available for Christmas orders.

Two, I'm president of our local writer's club, and early this month we'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary. So for the first few days, I'll be devoting some time and energy toward that.

Three, around Thanksgiving, my family and I are going on a trip from Texas to Mississippi to visit my daughter, son-in-law, his relatives, and of course, our two grandkids. One is a step, the other will be our biological granddaughter not even 1 year old yet. That will not likely be much writing time, and it is right at the end of the month this year. So the goal is to have this novel finished before we leave on this trip, as the month will be pretty much over by the time we get back.

Four, I have a regular weekly blog post I do at that I want to keep up with. So I'll need to devote time to preparing those, a task I've not had in years past. News flash, it is possible I'll be adding yet another weekly blog post to that schedule. I should know on that in a few days.

Five, as of this point, I'm getting the slowest start I've ever had for NaNo. I've been so busy with helping my wife clean houses (pretty much my job now, part time), dealing with our children's issues, while trying to get projects done, including chores around the house, and adequate time with my wife, that I've come to midnight, the start of NaNo, not having given a second thought to what I'm going to write. As a matter of fact, at midnight, I was still trying to help my son get insurance for a car he is buying tomorrow...or later today as it stands. So, that is a good lead into logging my day.

Got up from bed around noon (yes, I have a late schedule). Took care of some deposits, calling about my son Nathan's broken lease obligations (he dropped out of culinary school and is back home now...empty nest now officially over for the time being), checked email and blogs while eating oatmeal and drinking coffee. Then responded to a request at a support group I'm on. Spent some time responding to that. My wife is home before 3:00 pm, unusual for her, but the last client of the day cancelled at the last minute. We didn't complain too much as we've both felt worn out working over the last three days.

So we put signs on our car for the business, and when son at home was getting too frustrated with the mower, I had to take over and mow the front lawn so trick-o-treaters wouldn't have to be greeted by long grass. Meanwhile, wife starts working on cooking the pizza, but discovers we never bought any pizza sauce, nor do we have anything to make it with. Nathan and his friend have pizza and a movie, so wife and I decide we'll go out and stay out until most of the kids have gone through (our street is congested with people between 7 and 9. So around 6:45, wife  and I get in the car, work our way out of the neighborhood through an already growing bevy of kids with parents in tow, and go eat pizza, visit WalMart and the new Specs (they sell roasted coffee from around the world!) We return home a little after 9 pm.

Well, you'd think now I could start preparing for my NaNo novel. Nope. My son, Jeremy, at UT, is meeting us at Nathan's old apartment to help us move him fully back home, then while here, buy a car and get the title changed before heading back to Austin. Since he's never had his own personal insurance, that means we needed to get him some, at the last minute, of course. So after going through three company quotes, we select one, get him processed, and by 1 am, he has insurance on his new car. Meanwhile, I know people all over the world are busy typing away on their novels.

Then I had to focus on getting wife to sleep. By the time I sat down with some hot blueberry tea and a bowl of prunes and cashews, it was well after 2 am. So now I for the first time start thinking about what I'm going to write about, what story I'm going to do. After thinking about it, since I'm editing the third book in the series and I'll need the fourth for next year, out of my options I decided to work on the next novel in that series, which I've tentatively titled Reality Game. So I opened up my writing database, copied over the list of characters from Virtual Game, modified them accordingly, then started thinking what the story should be about.

This was a little more difficult than it may seem. Without giving away any spoilers, the dynamic of things changes for the heroes at the end of Virtual Game. So the biggest issue I needed to deal with was what the bad guys are going to do now, based upon how events ended previously. After 1.5 hours of thinking and writing some preliminary plot thoughts down, I finally have enough rough draft plot outline, at least the start of it, to have an idea where to take things. Don't know how it will end, but I know how it will start and what the primary conflict is going to be about. Enough to start writing the story.

However, by the time I figured that much out, it was getting close to 4 am. Due to going to Austin to help move son #1 back home, I'm getting up at 7. So I figured I'd better write this blog post and get to bed. This will make the first NaNo I go to bed on day one without any word count in place. That puts me behind starting out at the gate.

Another obsticle is also doing these blog posts. They will not all be this long. To not take too much time away from writing, most of these will be bare bones "here's what happened". But this being an introductory post required a bit more work. Now that it is 5 am, and I'll get just under 2 hours of sleep, I'll sign out and give a full report on how day 1 went.

Stay tuned virtual fans. Same virtual blog. Same virtual URL.

Reality Game Progress: 0 words, but 1358 for this blog post. Does that count? Hum. I didn't think so.

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