How many of you have read the garbage on a sight and then tried out the information given?
How many times did it work?
How many times did you want to reach out and touch someone?
Well, why don’t you?
I know why, you can’t reach me.
I wrote a poem once.
It was so much fun, I wrote another one.
Now I have thirty or forty of them.
What do I do with them?
Have a good rest of the week.
It all began when two apps wanted to update my poor old confuser. It’s tired and old. We’ve been together for more than 7 years. I love my confuser. A program that I am using as I type on my phone, asked to upgrade to bigger and better things.
Old Leroy just couldn’t handle the press. He is trying to rejuvenate the complete software, but the y fi keeps hickuping and the hard drive just keeps on whuring. It’s doing something. I can tell. The idiot light tells me so.
Of course Microsoft is involved and has just dumped Edge on me without asking, just like it did with 365 even though I owned Office outright, now I have to pay a fee to be able to use. The 30 day try is irreversible and in order to go back, THERE IS NO WAY short of recreating the files all over again and of course, they no longer support OFFICE without the 365.
SO, I am wise enough to have backups for all personal files. I got burned on that three computers back.
Speaking of backups, I backup religiously every Friday or thereabouts. Right now I have 2 hours of work on my WIP and I’m not too sure the work was going to live very long anyhow.
I have never trashed so many hours of work as I have been writing. I have tossed more than has been kept on these three. One WIP has had more trashed than I have kept and I’m at 72, 000 words and have written the lead into the ending 4 times.
Move over Hemingway.
Life goes on.
PS: I have a backup computer that is a year older than the laptop.
When someone sets up something and works hard at it, it often crashes and burns. Such is nanowrimo for me this year. I am at 42000 words and have to admit defeat. In the next 8 days my time to write is washed away by two all day drives, on Thursday I eat and enjoy all I’m thankful for, closing out the time is babysitting 4 grandchildren, which will bring me more joy than winning at nanowrimo will ever bring. Another day is errands and appointments followed by a day of loading the truck, kennels, winterizing my home, and errands caused by our absence for a spell. We even have to notify the post office we will be gone until we get there and back. They won’t deliver to us so we make it rough on them, stack it in your way.
To the rest of you, GOOD WRITING, who knows I might cheat or more likely get rested for a romping finish to all my WIPs. The 3×5 cards are in my pocket.
I know, I have the kids write the story endings for all my WIPs.
Every year come November, NANOWRIMO slaps me upside the face and challenges me to write.
It’s a silly, but fantastic, way to get things done. I have won Nanowrimo for the past 7 years and intend to this year. Five of my books were derived from the writing I did one November.
What is Nano?
It is a personal challenge on your self to write, to set a goal and write 50,000 words over the 30 days of November. It’s simple to enter the contest. You sign on as www.nanowrimo.com You fill in the blanks and begin your prep for the first day of November. Okay, it’s the 13th now but you can still enter. All it takes is 1667 words a day to finish. If you start today, it will take you a few lest than 3,000 words a day to finish as a winner. One year I did an 8k day of writing just to get finished. Turned out, my wife went into the hospital the next day, the last day of NANO.
What do you win? A certificate you post on the wall to brag on. No money changes hands unless you want to purchase from or donate to NANOWRIMO, which is a non-profit that advocates writing in the schools and elsewhere.
There is no one pushing you except you. You can report your writing daily or not. I usually get my report up once or twice a week. The graph made from your report tells you how close your are and how far you have come. You can hang out with writers from all over the world, join a group in your area, and lots of other goodies like that. You can even find writers in your local area. Some folks set up groups to write together in the library or another. In normal years they have a large gathering, if you want to go, where they write, chat, compare, assist, dress-up, and show off. Not his years.
SO, what’s the use. For you, maybe nothing. For me, it is my challenge to myself to get a book writen. Last year I completed the first draft of my book, GEEZER ON THE TRAIL, hiking the Arizona National Scenic Trail in 13 short years. The reward is my certificate on the wall, the satisfaction of getting something done, the discipline of daily writing, and most of all, my donation (totally optional) might bring about the next Ann Rand or Hemingway.
I have no discipline without Nano. With Nano I have 7 certificates on my wall.
So, go write, right now.
PS: A majority of my writing months with Nano have ended with the last week rush. I have sat on a stool at my Son’s home banging away while his wife, God bless her, make Thanksgiving dinner. One time we were on the road, I banged away every evening on the road, in the car, during the rest stops, and in the cafes we stopped at. The worst year was a time I was working on a Disaster Site when my buddy fell off the roof. I had to transport him to a hospital where he had an appointment for surgery the next day. I banged away all night while he laid on the motel bed moaning and groaning. What else could I do? I am a doctor, but the wrong kind.
Yesterday was the beginning of my 7th (?) year using NANOWRIMO as a crutch to get writing. I have succeeded in writing 50,000 words plus, in the 30 days of November. It’s a race. There is a prize. There are losers and there are winners. Well, actually there are no losers, except for those who don’t try the challenge.
The challenge is made by you. The goal is set by them. 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 words or better every day. If you succeed you have a work in progress that just needs a bit of refining to be a real book.
Studies show that folks want either huge, 150000 pagers, or smaller books in the 40 to 60,000 words. My smallest, or thinnest if you prefer, is really a novella of 30k words. My largest is in the 80k range.
Back to Nano.
The problem with most of us is we don’t have the self-discipline to stick with it. We live in a high-speed society. Everything starts and ends in 30 minutes or 4 quarters. Our phones are small enough to hide on our bodies and be instantly in touch with the world and it’s libraries.
A finished piece of writing takes time. Time to write. Time to rewrite. Time to edit. Time to format. Time to get a cover that attracts. Time to proof. Time to order. Time to promote. Time to present. Time to merchandise. Time to get reviews. Time to rest and relax. Time to start again.
Nano costs you nothing. You can get into their cheer teams, work in a group, hide in a corner with your laptop, but the idea is to self challenge to 50k words, 1667+ words a day and finish in the 30 days of November.
I find the challenge fun and forceful to get me on track and keep me there. No one is pushing. No one is reminding. No one is doing anything except you. YOU WILL BE WRITING A BOOK, first draft.
I sit down. Open Word. And start writing. I do not go back. I don’t ever read it. I just write. If I think of something to enhance the part of the story already written, I just go to bold caps and type it in the flow of the story on the page I am working on. No flipping back. No erasing, line thru maybe, no researching (Once again BOLD CAPS marks the spot and the need). The time for editing begins December 1.
I always write in double space, but with Nano you may want to use triple space to provide space for your first edit/rewrite notes.
It usually takes me 2 to 3 months to do the first rewrite. BUT, I have 50+k to work with.
Check out Nanowrimo.com and get writing.
If you don’t, get writing anyhow.
It’s never too late.
Good luck on developing the discipline.
So, there I was merrily reading through my latest WIP when I came across a slight problem. The problem was this is the fifth book in a series. The hero and all others in book 4 did things and were places all through first 3 books. So, there’s a history.
The history not only establishes the characters, but all the locations, style, etc.
I have, in this fifth book, started out with one major person taking certain actions in the fourth book that don’t carry over into the fifth. She is assuming a new job, when she has held the job for three years. Toss chapter 1 and rewrite. The location of the hero’s office is new. Rewrite 200 pages because the location makes a huge difference. One character is very different in personality in 5 than in 1-4.
Continuity – the keeping of all things in the same pespective, location, personality, color, etc. In movie production there is at least one person on every shoot that is in charge of continuity. The heroine cannot be wearing a pink blouse in the scene and then with the next sentence be wearing a blue dress. There are no con trails in a John Wayne western. The hero needs to be consistant in the gun he uses and the books she wears and the hat they were is very important.
The continuity of the first four books in the series is great. Number 5 stinks as far as its ties to the other four. That makes for a serious complaint from series readers. They will catch the errors. Confusion will set in. Even the characters will be mad.
I took the beefed up car away from the hero. I made the Governor a rookie with no experience. I turned a single gal into a pregnant gal when she’d had her tubes tied. ETC.
Four days of rewrite to get the timeline straight and the characters back to being themselves, except for one. He is a villian.
OOPS. Spoiler alert.
After almost a week, I now have the fifth in line with 1-4. Had to trash a lot. But, I gained over 10,000 words. I don’t even get that many words done in that amount of time very often. It took me two days just to make all the corrections in file after smearing read ink all over the proof printout.
I am now off and running on the ending and out of the middle.
Did I ever tell you how much I hate middles?
I HATE MIDDLES.
WRITE. RIGHT. RITE. Get it done, properly.
One of the first things I did when I got fairly interested in writing at 38 or so, I read all the books on writing I could find. I read TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT (which I liked) and ON WRITING (which i thought was a stupid book that did nothing for me) and a whole lot more. I went to seminars, subscribed to WRITER’S DIGEST (which was a moderately helpful). I even went out and bought the bible of writing, the name of which I cannot remember but it was full of nothing but sources that would buy, or at least publish, my writing. Most librarys have all these books for loan or at least reading in the quiet sanctity of a library.
So, what did all that reading do or me? It told me that writing was fickled. What works for one writer, will probably not work for the next. How one person broke into the business, rarely worked for me. No one writes of writing and selling that hasn’t found their own path to the one agent that loved their stuff enough to fight for it with the publishers.
At the point I started looking for a publisher, KDP and createspace and all those other print on demand orgs that are available today just were not around. Everything I had read was allowing and encouraging me to send direct to the publishers and get an agent after you have an interested publisher.
I finished my first book after selling two articals to a magazine I liked to read. The first of which I wrote in thirty minutes ,while sitting on a clift with my feet hanging over the edge, with a pencil and flip pad left over from college. Within three weeks I sold it to my favorite magazine, got the check, and a copy of the magazine with my story in it. I WAS A WRITER.
The second piece I sold and never saw published but I got paid $50 for it.
The first book length story, BLOOD ON THE ZUNI, was a western with a young man starting a ranch, a blue eyed redhead and her brother, and some bad guys. ZUNI was a masterpiece of standard western pocket novels. I went to the WRITER’S BIBLE, (that’s what it was called, I think) and started sending off quaries to publishers. I started with Bantom because they published all of Louis L’Amour’s books. REJECTION – DOES NOT MEET OUR NEEDS AT THIS TIME. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.
I was in hog heaven, Bantom like my book so much they wanted me to try again.
I sent the book out 47 times to different publishers. One asked for the entire manuscript. I sent it. $8 postage in 1983. It was returned with this note. I DON’T DO WESTERNS. BUT, I LIKE THIS ONE. PLEASE KEEP TRYING WITH PUBLISHING HOUSES THAT DO WESTERNS, LIKE BANTOM.
47 rejections and I was almost done with my second book.
In that year of rejections, I wrote and sold a dozen articles, a published a short story, and a banner story for ARIZONA magazine. I wrote a couple dozen crossword puzzles (all rejected), some greating cards (all rejected), and sold a short article that sold on the ROMANCE OF CANDLELIGHT. I slowed my pace to an almost dead halt due to going back to work teaching in a middle school and driving the school bus on the longest route in the state, 70 miles one way. Somehow writing just didn’t matter to me, but encouraging students to use their gifts in mighty ways was more exciting than selling my writing or even writing. I wrote a couple dozen poems in six years.
Somehow the bug of writing got back in my fingers when I retired for the fourth time and was sitting at home doing nothing but looking at my beautiful wife who was still working. I was 67. By that time we had sold the cows, the horse had died, I had a hip replace, and all the kids were off on their own. I was bored. I went back to writing, fast and furious.
SELF PUBLISHING FOR A RESONABLE PRICE HAD COME INTO THE WORLD!
After I bombed outta college, I wrote nothing except the blathering the USN made me write. Evaluations of men and equipment. Equipment evals were easy. They either worked as advertised or not. Most of those writing were ugly negative.
The evals for my troops were a totally different thing. One mistake and a man’s career was ruined. I learned that in a very personal way.
I had 11 years in and found out I made Chief. A big jump in the Navy. A friend made First class at the same time. I called the wife and told her I’d be a bit late. She knew that meant I was on the town. The second place we stopped one of the bouncers didn’t like submarine sailors. He was an Airedale moonlighting.
On the second draft beer, he bumped me and spilled my beer. He said a few derogatory words that used to be un printable. We walked out after I said a few words he had never heard before. He screemed and knocked over the remains of my beer, what was left after I returned the beer using aerodynamics. In other words I tossed it in his face.
We went across the street to a place I really liked, where I shared the good news with the owner, Paul. I realized I was a bit handicapped and called my bride of a year to come join us for dinner at Paul’s or just pick us up.
She got there just in time to see me shoved into a Shore Patrol buggy. Long story shortend, come eval time my Boss marked me down two ticks in military behavior. Can you imagine that?
A eval period is half a year, 180 days. I asked him why the down tick. He referred me to the night I was encamped in the brig for being unkind to the bouncer.
I just naturally pointed out that one nights mistake was only 1 outta 180 for the eval period and asked if he really wanted to slap me so hard. He in turn marked it up a tick from the 2 down making me only say thank you.
The next day I found out that two ticks would have killed my chances for any further advancement in the Navy. I kissed the lieutenant and accepted the friendly slap back. I only kissed him on the cheek like a Frenchman would have done.
Be careful with your words. It might be fiction, but if you use my name I’m coming after you, next.
Sit down in a chair in front of a pad of paper or a word processor. Don’t worry about the quality of the chair or pad of paper. The word processor is another story.
My first word processor was a portable typewriter I was given by my parents in my junior year in high school. It was a Remington. It was fantastic. Red and black ribbon. Paper up to 12″ wide. I wrote the tripe my teachers had to have on it. My teachers didn’t encourage my writing at all. It wasn’t until college at 24 freshman English that I got some encouragement. A- on all my papers except the first one. My prof, who was younger than I, really took me under her wing and showed me how to organize and transition. Those writings were done on the old portable.
From there it was all technical writing of various procedures and/or failures. Only when I was writing annual evaluations on the men in my gang for the Navy, did I get much into creative writing. Some of those were cold fiction.
More next time.