Monday, November 30, 2009

The End

After what's turned out to be a brutal month's writing, it's mostly done. Mostly??

Yeah. First drafts are done and starting tomorrow, I'm taking some time off. Then the edits start. First up will be Spring's Reign, the fourth in the Seasons of Change series, and Hunted, sequel to Huntress, currently on Scribd as freebies.

After that, the third Huntress, which I'm having problems with an appropriate title.

Rider... needs a lot of work; a lot of work if it's to see the light of day.

All I can say, it TGIO and I'll never do this to myself evah again.

And now, to sleep; perchance to dream...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tag and bag

In honour of all those who laboured through the month, I thought I'd put a few of the tag lines used for inspiration:

Editing your manuscript is the revenge your characters get on you for thinking you’re running their lives.

“This is going to be the worst day of your life. I'm bringing nunchuks." H. Freeman

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent." - Qui-Gon Jinn, the Phantom Menace

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness..."

When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. - Raymond Chandler

" is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done." - Terry Pratchett

You fail only if you stop writing - Ray Bradbury

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián

My mind is a library of useless information and imaginings, except in the month of November.

And my favourite:

One wordcount to rule them all
One website to find them
One month to bring them all
And in NaNoWriMo bind them
-- SynapticJam

Genius. Sheer genius!

So, for all those who have tagged and bagged words this months, the accolades belong to you. Well, done... writers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two Days left

So I'm putting in the long ones for the weekend - the last weekend of Nano.

I know some parts of this last work are trash and will be tossed, but I think the basis is sound. I think I'm going to do some shuddering when I get around to reading and editing it.

Two days to go. Two whole days of writing and I'm done.

Next year, I'm going back to writing a trilogy in the same genre. This massive word count takes too much out of me and the writing suffers as a result - and that means extra work come editing time.

Come Tuesday, I'm sleeping in.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I don't know how I do it, but I've managed to back my characters into a corner. I have to decided which one to sacrifice, if I can't think of something brilliant to get them all out.

I've done this before... ah, well, actually the character did exactly what his personality required of him, with less than perfect results. But I left the scene in because, damn it, it fit.

Three days left. Three days and I can play with my new toy - the 1TB external hard drive. And catch up on my TBR pile; and the DVDs I've missed. Oh, boy.

But first, I have to solve this conundrum.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


So I've been up bright and early, slogging through this book, tossing in a few action scenes here and there. As expected, the writing picked up - I mean, it's not as if I've been sleeping, with plots and dialogue and characters.

I still don't think it's worth much, but it is something to edit... eventually.

An interesting and useful procrastination item, or post analysis is the Nanolyser which gives a breakdown of your Nano work, including history, a bar graph with where you're meant to be in your word count, versus actual word count and a pie chart showing which days you're most productive.

You'll need your Nano id number, but I think it's an excellent and useful bit of information.

If I'm lucky, I should finish this book by Saturday - if, of course, I don't have a scathingly brilliant idea that makes it longer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The last book isn't going well. Nope, not at all. Yesterday's effort, while I hit the goal, was full of craptacular nonsense. Really bad. Conversations that went nowhere, not a bit of action, full of 'looks' and 'said' and aarggghhh! cardboard characters who said exactly what a cardboard, stereotypical character would say.

Not even introducing a new character worked. Although the garden provided a nice word count boost.

I know why this is such a bag of sloppy shite.

When I started Nano, I thought three books, three different genres. As challenges go, not bad. It's hard, I discovered, to shift genres without a break, but I think it worked. Once was enough, so rather than going with the book I thought of, I went with a sequel and powered through that one, with some... angsty written somewhere in the middle that will be cut.

But I did the three books as promised and found I had a week left. Since I set this month aside for writing, it seems too good an opportunity to waste.

My subconscious and imagination has played fair, working feverishly to get everything done - they did not expect to be thrown another one. And they're protesting. Nothing works to shift them. Exercise, mucking about in the veggie patch (O.o got zucchinis and snow peas!), just sitting and staring into space. I think my creative well is almost dry and now I have to wrestle with book or not finish it and declare myself done.

Okay, it's not entirely a bag of sloppy shite - there are some nice firm nuggets in there as well.

Maybe a good kidnapping and torture of a character and a heroic rescue are in order.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Not surprisingly, I'm suffering from a bit of eye strain. I'm probably spending a little too much time in front of the computer.

There's a little under a week to go and today, I passed my word count for last year. Joy.

The fourth book is becoming a right bugger to write. I think my brain has had enough and it - the book that is - has parallels with one I read years ago. A similar premise, but with different occupations, perspectives and, I think, ending. Yeah, I know how this one ends, it's getting there that's proving difficult.

I think I'll go and rest my eyes for eight hours or so.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm looking at my rewards for finishing Nano. I'm done with the 50k, but it's a month of writing for me. But there's the TBR pile, singing like a siren.

I've done enough, just... open the first page of Holly Lisle's Talyn. Limit yourself to the first chapter of J.D. Robb's Kindred in Death. A short story in David Weber's Worlds of Weber won't take long. Matthew Reilly's Hell Island is only 120 pages. You know, Vicki Pettersson's The Touch of Twilight looks good, and it's the third in the series, just give yourself a taste...

Then there's the one tera-byte external hard drive, sitting in it's box, sitting there, waiting, like an early Christmas present... you know you need to backup the laptop and desktop computers, be a shame to lose all your hard work.

And the DVDs... come on, the first book you wrote was set in Brazil and you've got that new Discovery Channel program on just that area. Look at it as research...

All good reasons to stop. Right now. Exit Word and Excel, disconnect from the 'net and shut down the computer. Lie on the couch and just... relax.

It's a struggle, writing ever single day for thirty days, and even at this stage, there's plenty of time for people to finish the 50k.

But I won't be stopping, not yet, because I want to see how this book ends; today, I'll finish the third book and get on with the one I left dangling because I could not change genres at that time.

Sigh why do we do this Nano thing again?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


So the big-ass spider is still there this morning.

I know it's smug, I can see the damned smile from across the room. It is dripping in smug.

Yeah, come on, human, just you try coming near me.

"But... I need to go outside."

Not caring. This wall is MINE. Go find your own, and let me remind you: I have eight legs; I can run faster than you. And I jump. Can you?

"Whoa! Don't run at me! Jeez! Look, I just want to go out and check the veggie patch from last night's storm, check the weather station. Why don't you go hide behind the picture frame, hmm? I'll just nip out, make sure the zucchinis are okay and..."

What? Sneak up behind me with a rolled up newspaper? Spray me with stuff that won't kill me, but will piss me off? I don't think so.

"I could always go out the front door and around the side of the house. That way, I won't bother you, and you won't be bothered by me."

Why don't you do that. Oh, and say hello to one of my brothers. He's sitting on the bonnet of your car...

Friday, November 20, 2009


The heat is nasty. Add the humidity of the sea and woe.

Smug I was informing a sister of the onshore breeze that kept the temperature down - until sunset that is, and the breeze went away.

Today will be hotter, much hotter and this morning, ain't much of a breeze.

Writing will be nervous: there's a bloody great Huntsman on the wall behind me. How big and how worrisome is a Huntsman?

These are not small spideys. Think of a drinks' coaster, yeah, that's about right. Just to make me happy, I know they run and they jump. They are, to no-one's surprise, hunters, who go after smaller spiders and beetles and other insects.

Good things to have around during Summer, but they make me shudder. I so wish I had eyes in the back of my head... you know, just in case it... Nope, did not need that image.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An orange sneeze

I had to take a bit of a break this morning. The white jasmine is blooming in the neighbour's yard. Not much, but enough to make me sneeze.

Why the break? Promise you won't laugh? Really? Okay. I was, um, chewing on carrot and tried not sneeze with a mouthful. Weren't pretty, I can tell you that much, and I shan't go into the gruesome details, either. I'll leave it to your imagination.

So. Lesson learned: do not try to stop a sneeze with carrots in your gob.

Starting the second part of the third book tomorrow and it's all still flowing nicely.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Once more into the breach...

That was a good day's writing. Sure, it was twelve hours long, but hey, I got a significant amount done and the shoulders only ache a little bit!

Okay, a lot, but it was fun!

And not even the fender-bender a couple of doors down couldn't distract me... for long.

Now that I've cleared up a number of loose ends, the real work begins. But tomorrow, yeah, tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

From End to Beginning

Well... that was interesting! An ending I didn't see and a rather large body count I didn't predict. Ah, well, that's what the characters signed up for!

Hunted is done and I've started a third, this one set in Australia, where the future slams into the present with unexpected consequences for one unfortunate Aussie bloke in the Outback.

I've done enough damage, I think, for one day; hopefully, no bodies on the ground tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nearing the end of book two

I've had to readjust the total for the book, Hunted. There's a lot happening, but the first draft will not make the 100k mark.

When writing during Nano, I can only make a guesstimate of what the final total will be. The first book, Huntress was result of the first Nano I ever did, and came in at 117k because I wanted to write every day. My assumption being, the second book should be as large.

Well... it ain't gonna be that large. I'm happily writing toward solving the last mission which might take another 20k - or not; that's the thing about Nano and free writing. You never know where a books going to end.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Man, I'm tellin' ya, eyeballs are starting to hang here.

And I think I did a very bad thing to my protagonist and I'm not even halfway with this book.

Well, I guess it's the old 'and then...?' question to get them out it and save the world - if they can.

I'll give them until the morning to think about it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Moving on

So, I'm working long hours to get this done.

What? You thought it was easy? That I sat down and bam, instant 10k? Well... now that I... no... no. Ten thousand words is about ten hours work. Add in the breaks, the looking after of the aged parent breaks, meal breaks, bathroom breaks and it expands.

But it's about focus. The concentration on the story, the not getting your butt out of the chair until you've reached that hour's goal.

If you want to write, then write. If you want to be an author, you need much more. You need to accept that you are an author, that this is what you do, regardless of any comments about getting a real job or the stroking of hands over your arm because someone wants your same luck in finishing a book.

And I have no doubt that, as the month progresses, I'll become even more grumpy!!

Tomorrow, I get to beat up a few characters. Gotta happen, they're just plain mean to my protag. I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unintended consequences

Changing genres has been a little bit more difficult than I expected and so I had a tough day yesterday. I had to refer back to a book I wrote for Nano in 2003 and catch up.

While my word count was slow, the... mind set was still with me and today, a scathingly brilliant idea popped up. Whether there's a solution I'll have to wait and see what my subconscious comes up with, but it's always good to be aware of The Law of Unintended Consequences.

Remember when writing: you cannot give your protagonists something good or excellent without a downside.

Mine is potentially catastrophic unless I find an answer - and that is the crux of an ongoing and accidental story arc.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

One down

Woot! I finally fished.... make that finished the book. (Say, isn't that a Freudian Slip you're wearing?)

It took a little longer in time and words to write the last word - which, if inquiring minds want to know - is: Marine. So that kind of fits with the fish...

Anyway. The book ended up being a little over 70k, without the added burden of descriptions. When I come to edit this piece, things like what the scenery and the people look like (except for the main players), and inserting information I've made a note of, is going to add another ten to fifteen K. A nice fat size to end the series with.

Lorenzo keeps pouring me the red wine in celebration. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. He's a romantic kind of guy, so he likes Spring's Reign. It's got enough biffo and stunning revelations to keep him satisfied. Me, too.

So, onto the second book, Hunted. Serial killer Excalibur Jones is back, making mischief for Hunter Cambria Petersen and leaving a trail of bodies for her to follow. But who, now, is the Hunter and who is the Hunted when their competing goals imperil a planet?

Dunno, I'm only writing the damn thing...

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I'm just short of the 70k mark and the end of the first book - should have the denouement written in very short order.

And then... and THEN... I get to start on the next one. New story, new genre, new length.

I can't help but ask myself why I keep doing this to myself - then I read them a month or so a later and remember what fun it was to write.

This day is finally over and I'm off to sleep, perchance to dream...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Nano Update

Wow! I didn't see that coming!

The book took a surprising turn - yes, even for me - and it's absolutely perfect.

All the clues were there from the previous books, and in trying to wrap all the plot points, this one came out of the blue. It's right for the book, for the characters, and just a little bit... okay, a lot brutal.

I guess this twist has been simmering away in the back of my mind for three years, since I wrote the first three books for Nano. But, wow, I am such a bad person for putting my characters through this.

I wonder how it will end? Time to find out...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Nearly there

The late nights are starting to catch up on me. I'm not usually a night owl, but I wanted to get as close to the fifty k as possible. Then it's on to finishing the book.

Now, I'm one thousand words short. Which seems like a good place to start tomorrow... if my fingers are still working. They're currently protesting.

Wan tan xamlep? They're sjust pissy at me for all the extra work and I don't blame them.

anyeway...'slate, need sleeop and I'm fed up with correcting all the types... typos.

Oh, before I forget:

Weird Nano: Every day I've been writing this book, I've been struck by deja vu. And since I don't plot and free write, having that happen is weird in my estimation. Go figure...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Out of control

My characters went out of control yesterday and it wasn't pretty. I'll probably have to delete about four thousand words.

It's my damned fault. For two days I've been writing conversations to make sure I don't forget the information. And while verbal confrontation is considered action, it wasn't biffo or boinking (both are excellent word count lifters for Nano, just fyi).

Well, tired as I was last night, the protagonists decided to test my limits and went wa-ay overboard.

People who plot have more control, I think, than organics like me. Plotters know exactly what's going to happen, when and with whom. I don't. I've got the characters, I've got the scene and I'm just being dragged along for the ride.

Okay, I know what's up when I'm writing in the morning, but as the day goes on, scenarios change, scenes change and the characters move on towards the book's solution. However, sometimes they want a 'candy' scene. A scene that's a reward for hard work.

They got it and when I edit, they're gonna lose it. Why? It's not time - the fun thing about being a writer is that you get to torture the characters, and that's what I'm going to do.

Another 10k today? Hmmm... let's see what the characters think.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Hmm... lots of writing done, but it needs edits, and, I suspect, a chart to keep track of everything that's happened during the first three books.

Basically, I think it's going fine, but man, there's a lot of info-dumping going on. All the hints from the previous books have come home to roost and need further explanation. A lot of explanation - so a three-day trip across Brazil for the two main characters has turned into a gab-fest, so I don't forget the important stuff later.

And there's no action. At least, not yet. Somehow, I'm going to have to find a workable device to keep readers reading - and it may make the book bigger than I want.

Still, that's what Nano is all about - getting the stuff down; and that's what editing is all about - taking stuff out and turning the work into something coherent.

I'll be working towards another 10k day tomorrow but I doubt I'll make it. Already the fingers are getting tangled up and I have to go back and correct. Just because I can't stand spelling mistakes that are underlined in red. I've already turned off the grammar thingy, but the spelling one has to stay.

Tomorrow, I'm posting an extract on the Nano board. Yippee.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Off and typing

Well, then. Nano has commenced.

I got to it at about six-thirty this morning after tossing and turning for most of the night.

For me, I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve. I can't wait to see what happens, so at sunrise, I was up with tea in hand - coffee comes later - and put fingers to keyboard.

I'm happy with my progress, I know I suck at the first three chapters, but I don't care; Nano isn't about perfection, it's about quantity. The quality comes later during editing - at least I hope it does.

Anyway, I'm wasting finger energy typing this and lunch time is nearly over. Onward then, to 'kill' a few characters... as you do...