Word Count: 6,943 
Total Word Count: 20,890 (Delta: +4220)
Before you go “Liar!” note that I’ve been writing since around 9am today, which puts me at about seven or so hours worth of writing. Not the best return actually given my usual rate but I wasn’t trying to push myself too hard. Today was the first of two and a half days where in I try to get as far ahead as possible in order to take off next week, possibly, as I’ll be going on vacation, as I mentioned. I’d say today was a success!
So we finished one scene and moved on to the next. Scenes in this novel are far longer than they’ve been in some of my other novels. I’m not exactly sure why. Especially since I planned for these first scenes to be prologue openings. But I think it’s because I’m still world building as I write and that is making me write more than I is strictly necessary. For example I know some of what I wrote earlier needs to be worked into dialog and revealed slowly rather than in an info dump. But that is for editing!
I’ve learned a little bit more about my main character in this one. Zora is actually decently trained in self-defense but can definitely get her ass handed to her. I actually think I may keep this scene later but retool it slightly. Zora is confronted by a sexist monster hunter who tries to intimidate her just because she is a woman claiming to be a hunter. Actually I’ll just show it as the excerpt so feel free to read it below! One thing you should know about the excerpt that gets explained in detail earlier. Calling a woman skinny is the equivalent of calling her fat in real life in this particular world. As you might be able to tell, Zora doesn’t take kindly to it.
The hunter is going to turn out to be our primary antagonist I think. Well primary human/kurran antagonist. More of an annoyance. I also started writing Janet, who is going to be Zora’s new best friend. She is already complicated in that she is older than Zora, a fan of Zora (and her work) and is shy and a little awkward. I already think she is adorable.
I keep thinking I’m accidentally writing a YA novel with adults… but that’s not something to be too worried about until editing!
Word Count: 2,127 
Total Word Count: 13,947 (Delta: +611)
Ohh that was so much easier and nicer. I breezed through half my word count in under an hour and kept writing until I got to a nice stopping point. So much easier than yesterday. I did hit a small snag where my inner editor wanted me to delete a few paragraphs and I admit, I went ahead and did so. There’s a big reveal about stuff that I didn’t want to make yet according to my outline. On the other hand in the outline what I was writing should have been done about eight thousand words ago and I should be far more into the meat of the novel. Ahh well. That’s for editing to worry about!
I rant into a slight problem towards the end of the plot today. I realized that my male character was asking my female character to put herself into a somewhat dangerous situation voluntarily. It’d be a situation where if he was going to try to do something harmful to her, she wouldn’t be easily able to call for help, much less fend him off. I’m happy to say I think I resolved the issue a little bit. Both by supplying another female character which means my main female character is no longer along with a older physically stronger man, but also because said secondary woman is going to goad my main character into doing it more or less on a dare. No this is not smart on her part. But I’m also trying to establish my main character, while a genius, has enough of a competitive streak that she isn’t always smart about things. Read the excerpt to see what I mean.
I’m happy to see CinsAngel and LacyJae are still plugging along. Keep at it both of you. Use this coming weekend to really try and push! Sadly I haven’t seen any updates from the mightymur or sleary. I understand that Mur might be on some kind of work related vacation at the moment, which might help explain that, and that sleary is taking a more relaxed approach to this NaNo this year so her end goal might be more like twenty five thousand words instead of fifty by the end of the month. Still, you gotta write to get there! So lets keep going! (continue reading…)
Word Count: 1,824 
Total Word Count: 4,229 (Delta: +895)
Once again over the word count. Perhaps not as much as yesterday but I might yet still do some more writing later. We’ll see. This weekend is going to be busy so I’m going to need to get something done, or I’ll be playing catch up come Monday. Today’s session was a little more distracting. It took me a about an hour and a half to two hours to push this out. That’s still not bad though. Perhaps about average, actually.
So ends my prologue, which wrote itself a lot longer than I expected it to. I also don’t think it is going to survive the first real draft editing. It doesn’t really set the tone of the novel that I want but it is good back story for the main character. It was interesting to write. I don’t know if I captured a child’s tone very well. Read the excerpt and tell me what you think.
I’m happy to report that one of favorite authors and podcaster Mur Lafferty is doing NaNoWriMo this year and I added her as a buddy, because she is one of my favorites. Mur is the author of the superhero novel Playing For Keeps but more importantly is the creator behind the podcast I Should Be Writing (The website is currently undergoing renovation at the time of this writing but you can find the podcast on iTunes as well!). I’m excited to report that she exceed the daily write goal yesterday so she is doing well!
I can’t say much about anybody else as nobody else has updated but hopefully they’re at it writing!
Today’s excerpt may be a little bit of a spoiler, if you care.
It was very bright and Zora wasn’t sure what happened. One moment the monster was bathed in red light, still kind of invisible, and chewing on the transport and the next it was surrounded by a bunch of white light. The white light was shooting from the black people’s hiding spots, which seemed to ring around the entire monster, to the large thing attached to the creature’s back. It was very bright and very hard to look at. Zora covered her eyes with her fingers, but let one eye peek.
The monster was roaring again but unlike last time it wasn’t rearing and shaking itself. It seemed to be shivering. The people in black where now running around and shouting, although she couldn’t make out what they were saying. More transports slowly lowered themselves above the monster and shot more light at it. This light, unlike the prior streaks, stayed attached to the creature. Eventually it was so covered in light that it was no longer shivering. It had even fallen over. It was like the time Rock got twisted up in the sheets on the bed, except it was with light instead of cloth. Zora felt a bit of relief. The monster had been a bad person and now they had made him stop.
The fuzziness returned, along with the person’s words in her head. All civilians. The infiltrator has been contained. Please continue to broadcast biomed information if you need assistance. Avoid any area with green gas. Avoid the quad. Please report all damage. If you are in need of shelter- Zora concentrated and blocked out the voice again. The monster wasn’t gone exactly but she was pretty sure it was okay to come out from hiding, so she did. She could see others were doing so as well. Some of them looked tired like mommy had. Zora considered going to find mommy when she saw a new transport land in the park. This one was white, rather than black, and several people in white coats climbed out of the transport.
Word Count: 2,367 [N/A]
Total Word Count: 2,367 (Delta: +700)
Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2012! Today begins our month of writing. In theory you’ll be getting an update of how I am doing on a daily basis. In practice hopefully it will be every other day or so.
For those of you new to our watch Nojh write for NaNoWriMo, the above is statistics breakdown. Word Count is how many words have been written since my last update. The number in brackets is how many days it has been since my last writing update (whence why it is set to N/A. The total word count is how many words I have written for my novel since November 1st. Delta is number of words ahead or behind I am in making it to the end.
For you math types, the equation for delta is (Total Word Count – (1667*Day of the Month)) and assumes that I should be writing 1,667 words per day, since that is how many you need in a 30 day month to write just a little over 50,000 words.
Remaining is the number of words I still have to write in order to reach a goal of 50,000 words by the November 3oth.
If I’m not updating here, I might still be updating my NaNoWriMo profile. WHich means you can either look at the neat little widgits to the right or you can go to my profile. Feel free to add me as a buddy on NaNo if you’re participating this year!
So my novel this time around has a working title of Monster Hunters. Which is a way better title than Zombie Steampunk (now entitled Everlasting, my ongoing novel from NaNoWriMo 2009/2010) and Werewolf Zombie Steampunk which doesn’t have a new title since I haven’t touched it in a year. Strangely enough the title is also not very descriptive of what the actual novel is about. (continue reading…)
Session Word Count: 1,251
And we’re back to writing for Everlasting and man was it easy. I think NaNoWriMo reminded me some of the rules about writing a first draft. Just write and don’t worry about it. It also reminded me how much I love outlines because I still have plenty of scenes outlined for Everlasting which made it very easy just to jump back in. My word count before I decided to stop and write this was one thousand two hundred and fifty-one, which I think is the highest word count I have for everlasting over the last three months. So I’m rather proud of myself for getting back into it.
Free Write & Science Future
In other areas of writing, Free Write will be returning sometime in the new year probably in a less hectic schedule of two to three times a week rather than five times a week. So be looking forward to that. Also Science Future will be appearing sometime between now and the future, so keep an eye towards EscapePod for the release of that.
Draft Word Count: 97, 750 (Delta: +5,563)
So obviously I didn’t do some updating of word counts before I started NaNoWriMo as my delta is over five thousand. My apologies. Everlasting is still going well. I’m about to dig into the outline and see if I can match where I am with where I want to be when I finish this novel so I can finally be done with it. Ninety seven thousand words is far too big so I’ve obviously gone wrong somewhere but I’m not too worried. Once I have this done I’ll likely be taking a crack at editing Zombie Steampunk Werewolf or starting some small novellas before I come back to fix the problems with Everlasting.
Been awhile since I did an excerpt but I felt it was warranted. So here you go:
[spoiler show="Click to show excerpt"]
Marla stared at the wall of flesh that was writhing lengths away from her and her companions. Most of them seemed entranced by sky. It was exceptionally bright now and flaming debris was falling regularly, setting some of the walking dead alight. It bothered Marla considerably that the afflicted did not seem to care about their burning flesh but instead lifted their arms to the sky as if performing some kind of ritualistic worship of the airship that would more than likely crush them into a second death.
Not all the walkers were content to worship, however, as a few noticed the presence of the three women and began making their ways towards them with unnerving slowness. One was even on fire but Marla had to force herself not to stare. They needed a way out. She glanced to her companions. Olivia was entranced by the wall. She seemed to be whispering to herself perhaps some small comforting mantra. Leanne on the other hand seemed to have gone into some kind of shock, closing her eyes and bowing her head. She was breathing deeply as if trying to calm herself although it did not seem to be working.
They didn’t have time to backtrack. The airship was going to fall directly on their heads and Marla knew it. She glanced up again to confirm this when she realized the mass headed towards her was not the airship and it was considerably faster.
So my writing group has shrunk back down to effectively myself again with the occasional visit from my friend Daniel. I did intend to try to get in contact with other writers via NaNoWriMo but I was too busy to actually attend any of the events. I am somewhat connected to another small writing group that meets on Tuesdays but I still worry that writing alone is going to hurt my productivity some. It might be an unfounded worry since I am alone now and still writing.
Word Count: 1,719 
Total Word Count: 28,761 (Delta: +2,089)
Writing was alright today. I wrote myself, kinda, out of my hole, but the last two or three scenes are complete crap. Mostly me writing through my character’s thoughts on the prior situation that should be summed up in one scene max. Not three. Not enough going on. Only one character. If this was first person it’d be alright and easier to write I think. But I am somewhat at a loss for lengthening out the mystery about what is going on. I’m wondering if I even should. I’m kinda feeling like the last action scene I wrote should open the book, not be twenty thousand words in.
Sithwith13 and I are keeping neck and neck! This has me so excited. I’m kinda worried for the rest of my buddies who haven’t been updating their counts. I”m not sure if that means they’re just not updating or if they aren’t writing. Come on guys! We’re half way there!
Big excerpt today! So what do the people of Fang Pass wear?[spoiler show="Click here to show the Excerpt"]
Deborah was less interested in the people she saw as what they were wearing. Most of the clothing worn by the people she passed were typical autumn affairs. One of the odd aspects of Fang Pass was the extremes its weather took, despite its regulairty. While The South was mostly a uniform temperate climate, north of the mountains weather seemed to takea turn for the extremes. Each day was either hot or cold, regulated primarily by the season, and each night could also be hot or cold, independenat of of the day but also regulated primarily by the season. Summer and winter were easily guessed. Summer days were more often searing hot to just hot while winter days were more often freezing to just cold. It was autumn and summer that made things so difficult with their shifting weather pattern.
This meant that clothing needed to be highly capable of configuring itself between hot or cold as needed. This meant that most clothing was designed to be highly configurable. Jackets had flaps that could be folded or unfolded, linings that could be removed, and fastenings for letting gloves dangle from the sleeves. A particular style of vest that allows one to attach sleeves was popular for a single season before everyone realized the bother and problem of finding matching colored sleeves. Pants and skirts followed similar designs, allowing a raising of the hemlines as needed to provide cooling or lowering to insulate. Removable pant legs were not uncommon and the latest vogue for skirts that had Rosa thrilled were layered contraptions which allowed one to tie up the layers at the waist to expose the under skirt in the heat.
Simple layers of clothing were still common but modularity had mostly won out. Smaller acruments often hung from a villager of fang pass, especially during village duties during the colder season. Belts and buckles worn across the chest, around the waist, or even the hip or arm, allowed one to expand their pockets for tools or supplies for their duty for the day, but take them off when they got too heavy or hot.
This meant that Deborah mostly saw light jackets hanging open and skirts pulled high but it being closer to summer than winter left the one item she really wanted to see, a cloak, in the closets. The figure the prior night had been wearing a cloak. She had surmised while preparing for the day that if the creature had indeed been a werewolf, it might have decided to try and enter the village as a human. It was not unknown. It was also suicide, with so many Clergy in attendance, all of them trained to know the signs of darkness claiming someone’s spirit and body. This creature, however, had already shown a willingness to enter the village proper despite the dangers, likely under the knowledge that her father and half the Clergy were off hunting its kind.
Word Count: 7,178 
Total Word Count: 27,051 (Delta: +2,046)
And I yet still succeed! Nay I am ahead! The last two days of writing have been somewhat torturous while writing, even though I get my word count only to realize that not much time has passed. I find this an odd situation. Writing is progressing. I don’t like what I’m actually writing. I desperately want to make more of an outline but I am on NaNo time and I still want to get more things done. I no longer have day time work obligations but now I need to catch up on the stuff I didn’t do last week. I honestly didn’t even realize I had already passed the half way point! Woo!
Heeee! I’m leading the charge among all my buddies for most words written. I’m only leading by around two thousand words but this makes me rather happy. Most of my friends are a little behind though, which worries me. Come on guys, we’re nearing the final stretch. You gotta get that word count up before the holiday (if you’re in America)!
[spoiler show="Click here to show excerpt"]
“The most likely scenerio is that someone broke into my bedroom. They wanted to steal something. The clawmarks could be from some kind of artifical appendage or climbing tool,” she mused as she began gathering her discarded clothing. With her ribs she wouldn’t be able to do any heavy lifting but she could at lest push her desk out of the middle of her room. “But we know something climbed the wall last night. Is it possible that something decided to break into my room?”
Deborah decided as she gathered up her books and writing supplies that this was not illogical. “If my memories are to be trusted, the creature ran away from me, even when it knew I was chasing it. It was either scared of me or it was trying to lead me to the village. It had no obvious motivation of the later, so perhaps the former. If it was a werewolf. It somehow knew my father was off hunting. It saw me in the forrest. It decided to steal into the village to break into the house.”
Word Count: 5,601 
Total Word Count: 19,873 (Delta: +1,536)
Sorry sorry! Work has been so hectic that I’ve really only given myself just enough time to get my word each day before rushing off to finish it. Hence no real update post. You’re getting an abbreviated one right now as I’m about to go have some fun for the first time in about a week, assuming you don’t count NaNoWriMo as fun. Heh.
Writing is going okay. I know it has problems. But I’m allowed to suck. The last two days were a breeze. Today wasn’t too bad. I find I write description really really quickly. Exposition a little less so. Dialog and action I slow down considerably. I seem to be almost the exact opposite of all the other writers I know, who can churn out dialog like they were writing plays.
Still I’ve made my word count each day, despite excessive working. I’m totally hanging on to my “I am writer!” title.
Speaking of writers, everybody seems to be doing a great job on my list. A few people are a little behind here and there but nothing they can’t catch up on this weekend. Sithwith13 has once again retaken her lead according to the website but I also know sigmad hasn’t been updating and is actually supposedly a day ahead. I wouldn’t bet on him too quickly however as I also know that the game Skyrim is going to kill off that lead, more than likely tonight.
It’s been awhile so here is an extra long excerpt. Reminder this is completely unedited. See how bad raw writing can be!
[spoiler show="Click to read"]
They arrived just in time for the pyre and the fire was just begin stoked to it’s full brightness. A small crowd had gathered but far more than Deborah had been expecting. When a person died, it was well known that what had made the person a person had somehow passed on to become apart of the Spirit. This was proven mostly by the living dead, who rose and attacked the living indiscrimently, be they strangers or loved ones of the prior body’s aquatinence. This was why all bodies were desposed of quickly as possible in a pyre. Loved ones and friends were encouraged to attend and share in the celebration of the dead one’s life and, if the gatherer was particularly devote, their joining with the Spirit.
Fang Pass was a small village. Everybody was at least some kind of an aquatinence if they stayed longer than a week. So when someone died, more often than not the entire village showed up to the pyre. Last night had been an exception, since the clergy and militia had been on duty, and Deborah herself had been in quarentine. So the crowd was made up mostly of people who couldn’t have attended the pyre of the servitor the prior night. Deborah guessed, however, that there were more than that. Some looking to pay their respects again, or perhaps just find something to help lighten their mood.
Since there was no body for a second pyre, small effigies were to be created by the attenddees. Traditionally this would take the form of a twig doll wrapped with the gather’s own hair but that had given way to more metaphorical effigies. Fang Pass in particularly perfered to burn symbols. Words or images written on paper to the deceased or a small personal item, that burned, that reminded the burner of the one who had died.
Word Count: 1,761 
Total Word Count: 8,951 (Delta: +616)
Writing was rather hard today. Weekends are always hard. I had a particular distraction since I had family and significant others over who wanted to spend time with me, understandably. Yet and prevailed. But I also have to cut this update short for those exact reasons. Here’s a quick excerpt.
Also one annoyance. The NaNo site is once again not very responsive. I find this aggravating and I wonder what kind of pressure they get that will break their site every year so regularly.
[spoiler show="Click to view Excerpt"]
The library had been managed by Servitor Williams. It was his pet project, since his healing skills were not needed too often, and his spirtual gudience skills less so. Fang Pass was a village of hard working farmers, explorers, miners, and the like. As a rule, they accepted the reality of the world, rather than ascribing to dogma. Even her father was not a particularly religious man despite having been apart of the Clergy for most of his life. Nobody, however, could deny that the Church’s skill and faith had done humankind a service. It was the Church that provided the Clergy, an organization of men and women trained to hunt the deadliest and most cunning of creatures that preyed upon humanity. Zombies were the most common threat, even in the cities.
Werewolf packs were the next most common threat but mostly in the outer territories such as Fang Pass. Other fauna that roamed the land such as wolves, bears, and shocker lizards made venturing outside the wall a hazardous past time, which is exactly what the Clergy was tasked to do. The Clergy provided protection for any and all to travel between human civilizations. They setup a network of message bearers between the city states and villages that eventually formed the kingdoms. Some territory, like the cities, were considered safe enough that people could walk around without even needing to carry weapons or signal horns.
Word Count: 1,733 
Total Word Count: 5,274 (Delta: +274)
I seem to be faring pretty well. It’s taking me about an hour and a half to two hours to meet my word count. Again I couldn’t write a bit longer or give myself some time to fill some of my outline but the story isn’t too bad so far, I think. I’m definitely taking notes of how to improve it as I go. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to seed the ending I really want.
My writing buddies are doing awesomely. jagmunoz and sithwitch13 are both ahead of the word count. sigmad isn’t too far behind and is likely going to catch up this weekend, if I know how he works. sleary hasn’t reported a word count but I know she’ll ping several thousand words here soon.
[spoiler show="Click to read the excerpt"]
She realized she had been so focused on her father that she had lost track of the zombies she was distracting with her presence. She whipped her head around to see the fresher of the pare crouching slightly. She brought her crossbow around to point at it, fired, and struck it right in the chest, which did nothing to stop it from tackling her.
The smell had been unbearable when they were feet away. Now with one atop her, it was unbearable. She vomited, spitting directly into the zombie’s face. At the same time she began struggling for her life. She let go of her cross bow and grabbed for her knife, putting it between the zombie’s face and her. The most dangerous part of a zombie was its mouth. A single bite was a death sentence so she did her best to make sure that wasn’t going to happen. Her chest was heaving involtunarily and her eyes were watering both from the vomiting and the stench but she had to make sure it also didn’t get a grip on her by pushing and moving.
She was screaming and she thought her father was yelling. She didn’t have the space to stab the zombie. It was now squirming atop her, trying to push itself up so it could get a proper bite. She kept the blade in its face, pushing its face away while kicking and pushing its arms out from under him. Then it gabbed the blade of the knife and wrenched it from her hands. The blade cut across her forhead as he pulled it away and her vision went red. She was gagging now. She could feel the zombie managing to sit up. It moaned, it’s horse dry voice promising to devour her. She punched and kicked feebily under its weight and cried for it to stop.