Winning NaNo

GIR yay!
The steampunk book crossed the 50K threshold this morning, so I've officially won NaNoWriMo. Given that this is my first year attempting this (since it was the first year since I've started writing novel-length fiction that I haven't had a deadline to meet in November) I has some thoughts about this.

1) YAY! I wrote fifty thousand words in twenty-seven days. That is pretty darn impressive. Most mornings, I got up an hour earlier than the rest of the household. This is a habit I plan to continue into the near year, because it made for great production and a happy writer-mom.

2) I am nowhere near being "done" with this novel. I don't write fifty-thousand word novels... mine tend to be seventy to eighty thousand. I figure I have a third of a book yet to write, and the plan is to do that over the next 2-3 weeks. The manuscript as it stands now also has all these lovely, lovely holes of "research this" and "need name here" and "what did I call that earlier???" I was filling those bits in during evening editing sessions, but quickly fell behind given that people around here like to eat dinner on a fairly regular basis and I prefer both the kids be clean and in their pajamas at some point before bed.

3) Even if I'd written eighty thousand words and typed THE END, I still wouldn't be "done" with this novel. It needs major editing. It needs proofreading. I don't have any plans of showing it to anyone anytime soon, and that includes friends, family, agent, etc. Hot copy needs time to cool. You wouldn't eat a cheesecake straight out of the oven, would ya?
Ok, maybe I will share the first few chapters with people via email. But I don't really want notes-notes. (Say that like the :"like yous" in "does he like you, or LIKE YOU like you?") I just need to hear if I've broken anything major and that it's super shiny and keep working on it dammit, it's going to take the world by storm. Notes other than that aren't helpful.

4) At least, they aren't helpful yet, anyway. When I've had a chance to let it cool, read it through, fix the major stuff, THEN I need notes-notes. The kind that make me feel vaguely stupid and want to tear out my hair because I even wrote those words in the first place and what was I thinking and this scene is slow and there's not enough tension here and go back and plant this bit earlier.

5) Even when it goes out on submission, it's not really "done" because the hope is some editor somewhere will like it enough to buy it and make me rewrite it again. Each of the theater books went through two major revisions, not including copy edits and page proofs.

6) So, the moral to the story, kids? That Emerald City is twinkling in the distance. Keep skip-walking arm-in-arm with your wobble-legged Scarecrow story.

And don't stop walking just because the calendar ticks over to December.

Writing Life, with family

Writer's Block
Welcome to my insanity.

I have unofficially entered in to NaNoWriMo, because I am determined to get a new draft of the steampunk book done by the end of the year. Keeping the characters, setting, and gadgets, I am gutting and rebooting it from scratch. That meant this morning, of my own volition, I got up at five. Stumbled downstairs, let out the dogs, made a cup of tea.

And managed 1400 words in just under an hour an a half. Which is the most New Words I've managed in one sitting in more than a year.

Thus energized, I woke up the family, made breakfast, started cooking food for us and the dog with allergies, washed dishes, made the bed, got the baby dressed...!

The plan is to round out the word count over the course of the day, inserting things that need to be researched or pulled from an old draft, polish a tiny bit, and plan for tomorrow morning. I figure if I can wake up with a mini outline of What Needs To Be Written staring me in the face, I will be able to blunder and bluster and bluff my way through this.

Keep me honest, will ya?

Worth about 78,000 manuscript words

Writer's Block
ProofDoom(because -Doom is the new -Punk.)

Don't forget, you have until midnight PST tonight to enter the "SO SILVER BRIGHT Cover Reveal (and ARC)" thingamajig! :)

To prologue, or not to prologue


Prologues are...

A great way of introducing story elements
As likely to be unnecessary as they are helpful
For bums who can't work in backstory properly
Other (in comments)

Deadlines (of DOOM!)

Writer's Block
There's apparently nothing like in impending arrival of a small human for getting revisions done. Editorial letter for SO SILVER BRIGHT arrived 18 days ago, I've redrafted, and now I'm about 25% done with a final pass read.

It's too early for the Dance of Triumph, and yet I do believe I just performed a small chair wiggle.

Room Service

Writer's Block
In the revisions cave is SADLY LACKING.  But, we have coastal fog this morning. There was cinnamon toast for breakfast. And I am determined that today is going to be a better editing day.

I have coffee (not this pretty, but still!)


Ideally, I would also have these:

And one of these:

awaiting me when I finish for the day.

*wonders if anyone would take an application for a pretty coffee-pain au chocolat-massage writing grant seriously*

In the Revisions Cave

Holler if you need me.

And have a cute to tide you over.


If You Need A Pep Talk

Animaniacs Soliloquy
Also, you will pry my pen from my cold, dead fingers.

It's always about the food

suzanneyoung  did a post over in the Tenners about "Top Ten Foods for Writers (and their unlucky families)" so I've decided to gank it and make my own. We're somewhat limited where we are, given that there aren't a lot of places in town to do dinner take-out, and fast food is just yucky by the time the husband would get home from work with it.

So, at my house, the "mommy's drafting/revising/copyediting" menu goes something like this:

1) Margherita pizza - throw the dough ingredients in the bread machine, then roll out and toss in the cast iron skillet for 20 minutes.
2) Breakfast for dinner: pancakes or waffles.  As long as we have buttermilk in the house, we're good. If there isn't any, see #3
3) Breakfast for dinner: crepes. This is the husband's specialty, but requires a bottle of beer (half for the batter, half for drinking.) If no beer in the house, see #4
4) Breakfast for dinner: something eggy, like frittata or an omelette.
5) Rescued by the Freezer (The Double Batch of Something): When I do a cassarole or spaghetti sauce, I double up and put half in cold storage
6) Rescued by the Freezer (Costco version): They carry a nice orange chicken there without a bunch of junk in it. Let's not talk about the frying bit.
7) And then there were Frites: Yes, I have let my family cut up potatoes and eat nothing but frites for dinner. *points at the 25% Belgian husband*
8) Quick, Grill Man to the Rescue!: The Husband takes pity on me and puts a chicken on the Vertical Chicken Cooker.  This usually ends up served with green beans (organic, frozen, zapped in the microwave on "sensor" mode)
9) Crockpottery and ricecookery: Roast, soup, stew... I have a pile of recipes that start out with "dump these ten things into the crockpot." Usually accompanied with a side of brown rice/wheat berries from the rice cooker.
10) Smorgasborgas: The child's word for the hodgepodge of leftovers that gets heated up and doled out. Not just for writing nights, we use this to clean out the refridgerator!