Wednesday, November 05, 2008

WIP's and Chains


If you travel in the blogosphere you’ve probably seen this word on writers’ blogs and wondered “What in the heck is that?”

It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a novel (no pun intended) approach to writing a novel. Participants began writing on November 1 and the goal is to write a 50,000-word book by midnight November 30.

The internal editor is tossed out with the trash and your biggest goal is not quality but quantity. Write, write, write and get to that 50K mark so you can have bragging rights. You can edit in December. By creating a thirty-day window, writers must be persistent in order to meet their goal. That means writing 1667 words every day (or double that if you take a day off). When they picked November, did they forget about Thanksgiving and my son coming home from grad school to visit? And maybe the grandbaby being here for a day or two?

NaNoWriMo is a worldwide effort, so all around the globe writers are chained to their desks, bichok-ing (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) and maybe doing a little griping and screaming too.

The Playfriends are all participating (you will be able to monitor our WIPs -- works in progress -- with the word meters in the sidebar). Angel and I are each writing a book from scratch (though to be legal I had to re-write the first chapter I wrote a couple years ago). We (along with some of our other RWA chapter mates) have worked on plotting boards to guide us along the way.

Here's my plotting board. It's divided into chapters with sticky notes containing the key elements for each chapter, both from the hero's and heroine's point of view. If one of the secondary characters appears in that chapter, she gets a sticky note too. Hearts indicate S-E-X.

This is my hero and the woman who is his office manager. You can see the key elements of chapter one. Are you hooked yet?

This is my heroine and her best friend/co-worker. Can you tell I've been on a Law and Order SVU kick since February. Guess SVU can be my Tuesday reward if I've met my word count, huh?

Here's the first of those heart notes. You'll have to wait til Chapter 6 for them to do the horizontal mambo, but they'll be plenty of sexual tension before.

We had our first "write-in" on Monday at Angel's house. Four of us attended the four-hour session. It. Was. Awesome! I had my best daily word count to date. I'm convinced your own home or office is the worst place to write, though eventually I need to overcome this. I can't always escape to the library or Starbucks or someone else's house.

We had all the necessary tools available as evidenced by this photo. Here's Mary at the table with the laptops, notes, incense, magical mystical mojo beads (how's that for a mouthful -- NaNoWriMo Mojo) and caffeine. It seemed to work well because I wrote more in four hours on Monday than I wrote all day Saturday or Sunday. I can't wait to schedule the next one.

Of course, others have their own writing poses. Witness Angel in her recliner with the Alphasmart. She has some sort of holder with a gel wrist rest (she can probably tell everyone what it is) and when she was reclined, she was rocking and rolling on her Alphie. Sorry I didn't get a photo of Kathy on the sofa with her lap desk and uber-small laptop.

Instigator is working on the sequel to her debut novel from Blaze. Problem Child is working on her next book for Modern Heat. And Smarty Pants is writing 25K on a book that’s been requested and 25K on a new project.

Be warned that we may all write blogs that don’t make sense or even forget altogether until someone emails and says, “Hey stupid! Where’s your blog?”

Have you ever undertaken an intensive project like this? Anyone else participating in NaNo? Tell us about your book and keep us updated on YOUR progress too.

For more info on plotting boards, check out Angel's article on the Writing Playground website.

P.S. The following commenters have won books from Michelle from Monday's blog: MV Freeman, Sherry Werth, Kammie, Cheri2628, Rebekah E and Virginia. Please send your name and snail mail information to the Playground Monitor ASAP and she will forward it to Michelle.

P.P.S. Liza is Lori's winner from yesterday. Please email Smarty Pants with your name and snail mail info.


MaryF said...

I'm doing Nano! This is my third year. I had a pretty plotting board like that, and 3 days before Nano started, a new idea hit me upside the head, so I'm writing that. I'm at 9200 words!

M.V.Freeman said...

I love that board monitor! :)

I'm making my word count, its been hard, but I've been doing it. I will finish this paranormal!

Actually it's very freeing to just write...I make notes to go back later (I hope I can find the notes) and fix it when it's "revision month".

Maybe it's the incense and caffiene that helps...

I can hardly wait to write again tonight and to go to another "write in".

Keep writing!

Angel said...

Yay to all the NaNo-ers!!! Congratulations on your awesome word counts. Sounds like everyone is doing great.

Mary, simply keep a "revision notebook" next to you, so when you have those moments you can just jot it down and move on. Then it is all collected for you in one place and you can find it easily later.

My alphie holder is actually made for a laptop, but I need the wrist rest because I have a tendency towards carpal tunnel. Which should be totally aggravated by the end of this month!!!


Problem Child said...

I'm a little slow off the start due to external factors and the fact my people are in a very emotional scene at the moment. It's like pulling teeth to get the words on the page.

But I'm doing it, and NaNo should at least guilt me into writing when I want to slack off...

If y'all do one of those write-ins on my side of town, I might try to come.

Smarty Pants said...

Mine is going well. I'm making myself do 2000 words a day to make up for any interruptions where I can't write at all, or can't write much, like Thanksgiving.

It's actually forced me through the middle of my book, made me write all the squishy love stuff I'm bad at, and now I'm actually getting to the end, black moment, etc., which with me, means cult kidnappings and ritualistic sex with blood sacrifices.

Smarty Pants said...

Oh, it also helps that I won't let myself go to the bathroom or eat lunch until I finish... that's an incentive!

Instigator said...

I'm working pretty steadily at the moment which is a good thing. Without NaNo I wouldn't have much incentive right now to write. It's helping to push me although I'm allowing myself a life after I get my 1500 for the day. In the past I'd probably have pushed myself for more but if I stay steady I'll hit my goal.

I'm interested in the write-in concept. Unfortuantely, I think I've used up all my brownie points for Nov and don't have any more to cash in for child care :-)


Sherry Werth said...

I'm a little behind on my word count but participating in NaNo has been the best thing I've done for my writing. Through NaNo I have been given permission to write crap, cos you can fix crap later. My internal editor (I've named him Eddie) is away for the month of November with other Eddie's having a nice time. My family was warned weeks in advance that Nov. was going to change their way of living as they know it. Thanksgiving dinner will be determined by my word count. If I'm behind they can still have turkey only it will be sliced and in a package. :D

Anonymous said...

You go ladies!!!!! I don't write but with my job I can have a lot of events going on. Recently within 7 days I had 4 events. Also, several prior to and afterwards. This week it's been good - yeah, no events. Two next week, our turkey day on 11/11 and breakfast event on 11/13.
Good luck with keeping up your word counts.

Playground Monitor said...

My internal editor (I've named him Eddie) is away for the month of November with other Eddie's having a nice time.

Great idea! Mine's acting up today and just won't go away. I think I'll call him Humphrey and book him on a month-long cruise to Alaska.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

LOL, Sherry, on Eddie the Internal Editor! I think we should all name our inner demons/editors and then cast them out.

My NaNo counts are in the toilet. I've yet to really start. The weekend was shot, there was some personal drama, and then there was the election -- which my historian side could not drag herself from (my undergrad and grad minor is history). I stayed up waaaay too late watching all the coverage and analysis last night. And this morning I've watched more. Finally stopped now, whew.

So, need to show Polly the Procrastinator the door, along with Daryl the Doubt Demon and Ignacio the Internal Editor. Out of here, dudes! I have to NaNo!

Think that'll help? I hope so.

Marilyn, I know just what you mean about the success of Write-Ins and getting out of your office. I've been considering a Starbucks trip just to get myself into gear. Polly, Darryl, and Ignacio will not dare follow me there!

Playground Monitor said...

Love the cast of characters! I'm thinking I should shower (I'm still in my PJs) and drag the laptop to Starbucks too. I'm at 444 words for today. At least it's not 666.

Angel said...

I'm loving the little meters in the sidebar! I love updating mine and seeing how much more I've covered. Of course, it helps that mine is green. My favorite color!


Virginia said...

I am not a writer but I love the way you ladies get together. I love your little sticky notes and I could see how this could work well for you.