PBW Stories

Paperback Writer's Fiction Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #30

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 435
Total Wordcount: 59689
Pages: 2
Total Pages: 279
Time: 11:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 30 minutes

--and that's a wrap for this year's NaNoWriMo. Congratulations to all the other NaNo'ers out there!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #29

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 293
Total Wordcount: 59254
Pages: 2
Total Pages: 277
Time: 11:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 30 minutes


Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #28

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 394
Total Wordcount: 58961
Pages: 2
Total Pages: 275
Time: 11:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 30 minutes


Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #27

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 1659
Total Wordcount: 58567
Pages: 8
Total Pages: 273
Time: 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 1 hour


Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #26

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 139
Total Wordcount: 56908
Pages: 1
Total Pages: 265
Time: 11:00 pm - 11:20 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 20 minutes


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #25

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 1240
Total Wordcount: 56769
Pages: 7
Total Pages: 264
Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 2 hours, no breaks


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #24

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 1339
Total Wordcount: 55529
Pages: 6
Total Pages: 257
Time: 5:00 am - 7:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 2 hours, no breaks


Monday, November 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #23

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 3211
Total Wordcount: 54190
Pages: 14
Total Pages: 251
Time: 5:00 am - 8:30 am
Sessions: 1 @ 3 hours with three ten-minute hourly breaks


Sunday, November 22, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #22

Since I've hit my goal of 50K I'm going to shift around my WIPs now and spend more time with the contract work. I still plan to keep working on this, so I'll keep posting my wordcounts until the end of November.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 966
Total Wordcount: 50979
Pages: 5
Total Pages: 237
Time: 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 1 hour, no breaks


Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #21

Passed 50,000 words just a few minutes ago -- I did it!

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 1976
Total Wordcount: 50013
Pages: 10
Total Pages: 232
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 2 hours, no break


Friday, November 20, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #20

My work & family schedules were pretty tight today, so I did one extended writing session this morning versus the usual two. I thought I'd try to work in another this afternoon, but an emergency job came in so that didn't happen.

Story-lengthwise I've hit the middle of the novel, and sticking faithfully to the outline so the running threads don't thin or start sagging. Two of the minor characters performed according to spec, but a third decided to get mouthy on the page and I've marked that scene for a complete rewrite once the novel is finished.

Things are rolling along pretty well, I think. Once I hit the 50K mark I'll begin the conflict transition from building to resolving. That's when the intensity will be the thing I have to watch -- like Jenga, exciting to play with but easy to cause to collapse.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2227
Total Wordcount: 48037
Pages: 10
Total Pages: 222
Time: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 3 hours, no break


Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #19

Not as much fun as yesterday, but it was another good, solid writing day. I'm off to take one of the progeny to the orthodontist now.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2682
Total Wordcount: 45810
Pages: 12
Total Pages: 212
Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours with 30 minute break in between


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #18

What a great writing day.

I held onto him until I found my balance and smiled up at him. “Why would I run away from you?”

“You hate me,” he said. “You want me dead. If I walked in front of your convy, you’d run me down in the street.”

“Is that what you think?”

“It’s what you’ve said you’d do,” he reminded me, “along with shoving a spell scroll down my throat, using a rusted blade to relieve of my manhood, setting my carriage alight with me locked in it, and oh, yes, my personal favorite, hiring a thug to toss me over my own cliffs.”

“Lucien, Lucien.” I kept beaming as I stroked my hand up his arm and curled it around his neck. “Have you no understanding of women?”

“Evidently not.”

“Let me show you what I’ve always dreamed of doing to you.” I pulled his head down toward mine, and as soon as his eyelids drooped and his mouth parted I clutched his neck and rammed my knee into his groin.

It was like that all morning. I love writing pissed-off women. :)

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 3100
Total Wordcount: 43128
Pages: 13
Total Pages: 200
Time: 8:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours with 30 minute break in between


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #17

Just this: got my game back. :)

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 3435
Total Wordcount: 40028
Pages: 17
Total Pages: 187
Time: 8:00 am - 11:00 am, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sessions: 2 -- 1 @ 3 hours; 1 @ 1 hour; 90 minute break in between


Monday, November 16, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #16

I had a minor domestic crisis derail me today, and didn't get much more time to write than ten or twenty minutes here and there this morning. It's frustrating because toward the end I felt like I was really starting to roll again.

Lots of little details had to be dealt with in today's pages, and during my editing session tonight I decided I wasn't happy with one transition and marked that for a full rethink/rewrite once the book is done. When I have big chunks that make me unhappy I'd rather wait until the end to tackle them because I'm too close to them on the first edit; I do a better revision once I've had a few weeks away from the problem.

When my progress is slow like I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything, but I was happy to count up ten finished pages tonight. Only felt like I wrote two or three, to be honest. But tomorrow I should have the house to myself, and I'm planning on immersing myself in the NaNoNovel for the entire morning. I need a good four or five hours of steady work to get back where my head was last week.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2174
Total Wordcount: 36593
Pages: 10
Total Pages: 170
Time: (untimed)
Sessions: Sporadic


Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #15

I wish I had something more significant to write, this being the mid-way point of NaNoWriMo, but I'm still trying to get back on track and straighten out my head. So I didn't push too hard today, and split up my sessions with a long break so I could get some much-needed mental down time. My daughter and I went to see a friend's play and it helped. I love the theatre, and I'm always amazed at how effortless actors make it look.

We stopped to buy some flowers to give to our friend after the performance, and I found these lovely sunset-colored orange roses that were almost as big as my fist (my daughter went for the more traditional reds.) I wish I'd taken a photo of them, they had so many glorious colors in their petals. I'm definitely using them in my NaNoNovel, though -- they want to be written about.

And that's all for the mid-way point entry. I'm off to do some housework and clean my way through the blues.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2357
Total Wordcount: 34419
Pages: 11
Total Pages: 160
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours with four hour break in between


Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #14

No notes today, other than one to myself: stop analyzing and thinking about non-writing stuff and get back to writing. But here are:

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2049
Total Wordcount: 32062
Pages: 10
Total Pages: 149
Time: (untimed)
Sessions: Sporadic


Friday, November 13, 2009

An Excerpt from [Untitled]
A NaNoWriMo Novel
by Lynn Viehl

Before I could reach the thoroughfare and hail a cab, a large, gleaming carriage drawn by four magnificent grays cut me off. I would have gone around it, but for the silver fist-and-pike crest on the door.

Of course, it would be him.

Shadows shrouded the inside of the carriage and the man who said, “Get in.”

The driver and the footman didn’t move from their positions; I wasn’t worth the trouble. So I unlatched the door and boosted myself up inside.

The interior was, like the carriage and the horses and the servant’s livery, a dismal gray. I perched on the rear-facing bench, taking the time to arrange my shirts and satchel before I looked out the window.

“Trolling on the Hill now, are we?” I asked the scenery. “What’s the matter, didn’t your last spell for the governor provide the promised amount of dazzle?”

No answer came, not that I expected one from Dredmore.

No, Lucien Dredmore, the former Lord Travellian, mentalist, shadowmage and current acknowledged Grand Master of the Dark Arts in the whole of Toriana, simply scratched a match and lit a thin black cigar clamped between his strong white teeth. The flame briefly illuminated his craggy features but failed to find a reflection in his black eyes. Then he shook out the match and blew smoke in my face.

I coughed and banged my fist against the panel under the driver’s ass. “Getting out,” I called.

The carriage didn’t even slow.

Lucien puffed a few more times before he examined the tip of his cigar. “What were you doing at Farber’s, Charmaine?”

“Dusting the furniture.” I could be as obtuse as him. “Haven’t you heard? All the maids have gone on strike. Why, is Farber someone you haven’t yet fleeced?”

“Nolan Farber is a member of a very powerful financial consortium,” he advised me. “He does the fleecing.”

“Oh, so he’s your friend.” I sat back. “I think it’s fabulous that you still have one.”

“Nolan wouldn’t hire the likes of you,” he said, as if I weren’t there. “It would have been the daughter. Or the new wife.”

“I don’t discuss my business with thieves and liars,” I told him sweetly. “But I’d happily tell them all about it before I’d confide in scum like you.”

Accustomed as he was to my insults, Dredmore didn’t even bat an eyelash. “There’s a dark, dire force moving through the city, Charmaine. You’d be smart to stay clear of it.”

“A dark, dire force.” I laughed. “That’s good, Lucien, that’s very good. I will say one thing for you, your showmanship never disappoints.” I gave the panel one last thump. “Stop this rubbish cart now, or I’ll scream murder.”

He regarded me through the cloud of smoke between us. “You’d rather tromp all the way back to that hovel of yours than accept my assistance? Why get in, then?”

“The last time I didn’t,” I reminded him, “you had one of your thugs grab me and toss me in.” He’d gagged me that time, too, something I still wanted to stab him in the heart for.

He leaned forward. “Come to supper tonight.”

“No.” Short, unadorned, straight to the point – that was the only way to refuse Dredmore. That and the visible brandishment of one or more sharp weapons. I knew I shouldn’t have left my dagger at home.

“I felt something today,” he told me. “A disturbance. Old magic.” He stared at my lips. “It tasted of you.”

Now I was going to be sick, hopefully all over on his spotless trousers and gleaming boots. “There is no such thing as magic.”

“Then why do you rabbit about disenchanting things?” he countered.

“I investigate real crimes, and whenever possible, I expose the frauds involved in dressing them up as magic.” I waited a beat. “You know, leeches like you.”

“I will find out what you were doing at Farber’s.” He sat back. “Then you and I will have a very long discussion about the consequences for young females who are too headstrong and foolish to stay in their proper place.”

“Where’s that? Under a man? Under you?” I curled my upper lip. “You're pathetic.”

He reached out and clamped a black-gloved hand over my wrist. “You will come to me, Charmaine. Perhaps not now, but soon. The portents are never wrong.”

He did have the deepest, most commanding voice of any man I’d known. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat, hearing the last echo of it humming my ears. If anyone could ever bespell me, it would be Lucien Dredmore.

No. I'd entertain a diseased copperhead first.

He dodged my fist and thrust me back, calling out, “Here, Connell.”

The carriage came to a swift stop.

I glanced out and saw I was back in town. “Thank you for the ride, Dredmore. Very decent of you.”

“Charmaine.” He watched me climb out.


NaNoWriMo Day #13

Got an early start this morning and decided to write through my frustrations. It mostly worked, although I'm still unsettled and tired. A residual headache from yesterday didn't help.

I was able to wrap up the last of the chapter I completely blew yesterday, resisted the urge to go back and look at the ruination, and moved on to the next chapter. I feel better about what I got today, although I'm still stuck outside the zone, and every word dragged.

I'm going to work on some other things for the rest of the day, meditate and see if I can rid myself of these negative feelings. I don't want to spend another minute trying to work with all this garbage weighing me down.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2381
Total Wordcount: 30013
Pages: 11
Total Pages: 139
Time: 6:30 am - 10:00 am
Sessions: 1 @ 3-1/2 hours, no breaks


Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #12

Publishing got in my writing space today (technically it started late yesterday, after I posted my stats.) I can't go into details without bashing my head repeatedly into the monitor, but the enormous, unnecessary amount of stress the parties involved dumped on me pretty much derailed my routine and my schedule. I didn't even bother to keep work notes or time myself. Which is why it is a very good thing to do whatever you can to kick Publishing out of your writing space.

I wrote when I could, and I haven't looked at it but I'm pretty sure it's all garbage that I'll delete and write over after I'm done the book. Probably the worst writing day I've had since March, which by no small coincidence was the last time I let Publishing get into my writing space.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2460
Total Wordcount: 27632
Pages: 12
Total Pages: 128
Time: (untimed)
Sessions: Sporadic


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #11

Done with the first quarter of the novel. Also past the midway point for my 50K NaNo goal. Unless I get several more rush days where I knock out a lot more words, I'll probably ended up with 65K - 70K for the month, and need another week in December to finish up the book .

I'm tempted to up my daily quota to finish out the month with 100K and a completed novel, but I don't want to head into the holidays with the accompanying mental exhaustion. Also, because I plan to take a long weekend break from my NaNo writing schedule for Thanksgiving, I'm probably going to write over quota for the next week or so anyway to buy those days off.

Had two good solid sessions today. One scene between my protag and a secondary character produced some great dialogue that flowed onto the page. If only I could get descriptive passages to be so liquid and effortless.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2888
Total Wordcount: 25172
Pages: 11
Total Pages: 116
Time: 7:00 am - 11:30 am
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours with a 30 minute break in between


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #10

I wish all my NaNo sessions were like today's; I was able to get an earlier start and accomplish about double the work (thanks in part to my guy pitching in and making my morning school runs for me.) Passing the hundred-page mark is always a good feeling, too.

Since I also finished early, I decided to do my type-ins from the printed manuscript, which I've been editing by hand every night. I need to do a glossary update tomorrow and correct the outline where I've made some minor changes. Still working on a warfare timeline.

The toughest thing to do when I have a really productive session is to make myself stop at an appropriate point. I'd happily lock the door and write straight through the day, but my voice wouldn't be worth a damn tomorrow. Plus I'm coming up on a series of very tough scenes that I'd like to take my time with. So while I hate putting on the brakes, I know it's good for me in the long term.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 3749
Total Wordcount: 22284
Pages: 18
Total Pages: 105
Time: 6:00 am - 11:30 pm
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours with a 30 minute break in between; 1 hour doing type-in corrections from last week's edits.


Monday, November 09, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #9

Slow getting back to work today after my two days off, but I wrote up about 5 pages of notes over the weekend for this week's sessions, and I thought a lot about what I want to do in the chapters I'll be writing. One reason I prefer to write at least something every day (notes don't count) is because I do have to work to get back my rhythm, like today.

After a couple hours of plodding through every word and really getting nothing on the page, I finally wrote through the downtime blues, knocked out one scene and started another before my sprint ended. I would have liked to have written more words today, but for most of the first session I didn't even think I was going to make quota, so I'll be happy with my 2511.

I came up with the names I'm going to use for my opposing forces in the story, and introduced them today in a logical spot, although I may move them up earlier to the catalyst scene. Not sure. More thinking to do on that. I'd like to sketch the hallmarks of both groups as interpreted symbols, maybe a loose interpretation of their names. I also need to work out a concrete warfare history timeline for this world before I end up citing nine hundred different skirmishes with only a vague idea of what order they happened in.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2511
Total Wordcount: 18535
Pages: 12
Total Pages: 87
Time: 7:15 am - 12:30 pm
Sessions: 1 @ 2 hours 15 minutes with frequent/untimed breaks, then 3 @ 50 minutes with ten minute breaks every hour.


Friday, November 06, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #6

Today I had a domestic crisis interrupt my writing life; one of the motor mounts on the engine popped its cap, and as the part was still under warranty I had to take it over to the shop to have it replaced. Then my guy and I decided to look at something I'm not going to write here in case my kids are reading this (you'll just have to wait until Christmas, you nosy little darlings.) Then I had to come home, review contracts, put together packages, talk to Mom, get ready for a school function, etc. etc. so the day simply evaporated on me.

I did pop into the office whenever I had time to spare to write in between all this stuff. It took all day and some of tonight, but I managed to knock out my goal wordcount. What I wrote was fairly sketchy (I don't write by voice well in short snatches) but I got some good dialogue out of it and one interesting bit of world-building. I did not try to edit at all; I'll do that over the weekend.

I'm getting spoiled in my old age, wallowing in hours and hours alone during the day to write. Today reminded me of how I started out when I got serious about the work, when I had to write everything very fast in between naps or after the kids were down for the night. I am really lucky now to have four or five hours a day to work uninterrupted.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2100
Total Wordcount: 16024
Pages: 8
Total Pages: 75
Time: Various
Sessions: Several in 10 and 20 minute bursts (I didn't count them or time them); wrote a bit here and there throughout the day whenever I could get on the computer.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #5

Is there anything like the moment when the Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know character steps foot on the story stage? I don't think so. Had a bonfide blast writing that scene today. Grinned the entire time. Whoopee!

(I know I should analyze it further and nitpick what I did wrong, but too happy. I think I'll just go and bask in the glow.)

Tomorrow I just have to knock out quota + 76 words and I've bought myself the weekend off. The tough thing is going to be staying away from the manuscript for two days. :)

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2899
Total Wordcount: 13924
Pages: 15
Total Pages: 67
Time: 8:00am -- 12:30pm
Sessions: 2 @ 2 hours + 30 minute break in between.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #4

I hit a zone today with my NaNoNovel, and opportunistic wretch that I am, I wrote straight through it (I did take a 15 minute break every hour to get up, stretch, walk me and the pup a few times and rest my voice.) I rode the rush and stopped only when the alarm went off for school pick-up. I love writing days like this.

My protagonist is coming along nicely, but I did move part of a scene up one chapter from plan because it needed to happen sooner; at least half of it did. I notice I'm skimping on some physical descriptions again, but I think I thoroughly nailed the setting and the additional cast members that I introduced today. It's always easier to describe people and places I despise.

This puts me ahead of schedule. If I can knock out quota + 500 extra words tomorrow and Friday, I will have bought myself the weekend off. Which I need; lots to mull over before all hell breaks loose in the story next week.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 3439
Total Wordcount: 11025
Pages: 14
Total Pages: 52
Time: 8:00am -- 1:00pm
Sessions: 1 @ 4 hours + four 15 minute breaks every hour.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #3

My late start today was due to the time I spent this morning notifying a bunch of colleagues about pirated books of theirs I found on a site that had also bootlegged mine. The jackass responsible for distributing illegal copies of my books had also posted pirated copies of 1000+ titles by other authors, so I felt I had to do something about it. Fortunately I was able to cut-and-paste most of the e-mails involved or I would have run out of voice in a hurry.

Getting to work late made me grumpy, but the scene I worked on was interesting enough to dispel my bad mood. I introduced two support characters who were fun to write, and got a nice flow on the dialogue. Another week with this story and I should be able to start thinking in this new voice. For now it's still a little too new. Trying on new genres and voices is like breaking in a pair of new shoes, you really have to wear them every day to work out the stiffness.

I went over my quota again because I'd like to buy the weekend off to go to a play and a fair with the kids. I need an extra 4K by Friday to take a two-day break and I'm about a third of the way there. Pretty sure I can do it. Tomorrow I'll wrap up Chapter Two and get started on Chapter Three. Looking forward to the next scene, in which both the antagonist and the love interest make an appearance.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2618
Total Wordcount: 7586
Pages: 14
Total Pages: 38
Time: 10:30am -- 2:00pm
Sessions: 2 @ 1 hour 15 minutes each + 30 minute break in between.


Monday, November 02, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #2

Knocked out two scenes today and got a nice upstairs/downstairs spin on my protag's place of business. The genre and time period make writing the dialogue the biggest challenge, but I'm gradually getting comfortable with it. I'm glad I deliberately avoided reading any contemporary examples in this genre, I wanted to build this from scratch and I like what I'm getting.

My Achilles heel, as always, is describing things. I did better with that in the second scene; there was a lot of interesting things going on. I need to add more color and sensory bits to the first scene, and figure out what one of the two characters in it looks like. Right now she's just a pair of silk gloves with lace trim -- definitely not enough to give the reader a visual.

I think I'm going to start work with this story every day until NaNo ends; I like the rejuvenating effects of writing in the new universe before I move on to the stories I'm writing in the established series. I've earned my lunch, so I'm off to see what sort of salad I can build out of what's still fresh in the veggie bin.

Today's Stats:

Wordcount: 2233
Total Wordcount: 4968
Pages: 10
Total Pages: 24
Time: 9:00am -- 1:00pm
Sessions: 2 @ 1 hour 45 minutes each + 30 minute break in between.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day #1

We had a friend staying over so I started out late this morning, but once I got the story rolling it seemed to go pretty smooth. I came up with a semi-decent first line: The man who had just saved my life wanted to kill me. and then went from there.

I took my time with this one because it's an experiment in voice, genre and style for me. I was tempted to go for an even three thousand words, but I have three thousand more to write for other books today so I made myself stop. I went ahead, printed out a hard copy and did the editing right after my second writing session because I had a couple of corrections in my head that I wanted to get down before I lost them.

I'm fairly satisfied with what I got for the first draft, although I have to watch the backstory with this one; it's fairly extensive and already wants to eat my book. I'm also not 100% committed to the narrative I'm using to open Chapter One; I think coming off the last StarDoc has me with some residual Cherijo in my head because it reminds me of her a little. I also decided to start keeping a glossary for the coined words.

Today's Stats:
Wordcount: 2,735
Pages: 14
Time: 10:00am -- 2:00pm
Sessions: 2 @ 1 hour 45 minutes each + 30 minute break in between.



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