Yesterday was the first time I didn't start writing at midnight, simply too tired to stay awake. Instead I started late but fine. This month is dedicated to developing the characters of 'Walking the cities', a novel I already did write in 2012. Well, call it very rough first draft. I thought I was finished since I wrote it for reminiscence only but apparently I was wrong. ths story wants to be rewritten and this is what I will at least attempt to do this and the following camp.
Well, as I already said, last year's story is among the unfinished and wil remain there. This year I really plan to restart 'Walking the Cities' from June 2012. Camp April will be dedicated to characterization and reading, so I can take some notes about the plot as it is now. Depending on how much time I can spare I'll just see how far along I'll get. June will see plotting and maybe I even start writing, depends...
No plans for november yet, but I guess I'll stick to the original idea of NaNo and write something fresh. Something will have come up until then, I'm sure of that...
Well, a lot happened, I'm still not finished and at the moment I don't think I will finish this particular piece - another one for the heap of unfinished stories. Doesn't matter much, I learned new things about writing, characterisation, plotting - in the end I suddenly had one and maybe it'll enable me to finally plan and plot a story I wrote in 2012, Camp NaNo in June, to be exact. Now there's a story I'd like to edit or rather - write anew. The latter will be easier, since that particular story is filled with real, living people, so the usual: this book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead - only applies to the fiction part. Fiction it is, mostly. Apart from some small things which actually did happen. Well, with some research and - ok, let's face it - a lot of work it can be turned into a truly fictional piece and right now that's a lure.. Only not yet!
Okay, the Cover as shown above has been sketched by regenbogenfeder, I've colored it in and added some details so you could call it a joint effort. And I'm sure it already gives a hint - or more than that of what will happen. To tell you the truth it's about as much as I know right now so I finish with my usual line: let's see what happens ;)
As time goes by November draws nigh and here we go again - another NaNo is coming up - and fast. The forum already is unusally busy for this time of the year and has been for the past two weeks; thankfully lots of the old threads have been wiped but many new already sprouted like mushrooms in fall. Well, an apt analogy since at least around here it is just that season.
This time I'm starting with a picture left over from a dream, one name and a vague idea of where this is supposed to be happening. Simply in a Berlin flat with several flatmates, time will be late 80ies but since most of it will be happening in just that flat time doesn't really matter much. Another case of - let's see what happens, right? ;)
Wow. Looks like I neglected this page a bit. Oh well, life seomtimes has the tendency to get in the way of recording. Anyway. Won November, also managed April with a rather moderate Wordcount and the next Camp in July is already being prepared. At the moment I have one FMC, one rather vague MMC, some sort of a beginning, some sort of end and all that's missing is the rest in between. Another case of: let's see what happens!
Caught up on my wordcount, and even though I deliberately skipped two days of writing (I simply didn't feel like it, other things were more inportant) I'm still on par. My cast of characters is growing rather unexpectedly but so far I can remember most of the names off hand, should I ever have to start reading through the 30 something pages to find the names again, I'll open a new document and paste them in. I guess this point of finally taking notes will be reached soon. Several threads have been spun already, all ready and waiting for me to pull and see what falls down, just like in those booths in amusment parks where you pull any string and some sort of prize gets lifted up in the background, usually not the one you were hoping - or maybe even aiming for. Anyway. So far it works well enough, I only hope I can bring them all together before the end of November...
Due to having been away right at the beginning, I'm lagging behind. A bit anway. At least by now I do have two MCs who right now fill words and words with their first dinner. Fine by me. Still waiting for some sort of plot to be born from this but at least I have some ideas how to fill the remaining pages, until the plotbunny comes out of hiding from my two cats and decides to show himself. Or herself, as case may be. Where other authors on the forums complain about a plotbunny invasion and even discuss how to best keep them under lock and key, I would happily take at least one. Or rather I wish mine would grow a bit. Seems it doesn't get enough food. Or attention, maybe? Come weekend I promise to do my best - d'accord?
Something happened to the formatting of this page but oh well. The forums on nanowrimo.org keep filling up, especially the reference desk sprouts new topics in abundance. Fine with me. Lots of threads I can relate to, find useful information, something to smile along with and sometimes to add my own tidbits of knowledge. My story hasn't evolved much further so far, a rather shy MC lurks somewhere in the background (well, big guy why don't you come up and introduce yourself to me, finally? really, would be helpful...), the city keeps on walking and there's some twist of plot probably set in the middle of it all. I know how to start but I have no idea yet of how it'll end, well, hopefully an idea will show up in between 45k and 50 k words - or thereabouts. Still looking forward to it!
Did I already mention our skype headquarters, aka Chaos-Camper-headquarters? No? Yes? I don't remember and don't really feel like re-reading all those words below. Anyway, as the site-implemented chat broke down two days before Camp was finished, we needed a new plaayce to meet and continue chatting - umm - our very important, not to mention extremely funny and above all - insiders-only - topics.
Rather soon two shifts emerged, the day- and the night shift. Mainly because one works nights only and two of us tend to kep him company. Sometimes I join in, at least for a while and it happened just two days ago I mentioned an older idea for a story called 'walking cities'. nspired by Archigrams walking cities. The only question I pondered - just why exactly are those cities walking? Well, Bernar did some brainstorming and even though his ideas developed something completely else form my first impression it triggered an idea. Those cities are walking on some distant planet to keep in the sun, because they need solar power. Or sun, rather. For greenery. Fine. I have no idea which planet will fulfill the orbit that would be necessary but guess what? First of all it doesn't matter and second, someone will probably around in the NaNo forums who can answer that particular question ;)
So, just now I'm actually looking forward to the start of November again, even though I'm away for the first 2 or 3 days...
Yes, I managed my 30 k in April even though the story is not finished yet, not at all. But somehow I lost the drive to actually sit back down and continue after that particular camp.The one in July had to be satisfied with an even lower wordcount of only 12 k. The organisators of NaNo changed the rules a bit as far as Camp NaNo is concerned and 'anything goes' sums 'em up rather well. A long as it's written by oneself, that is. So I decided on trying my biography, first going back year after year - didn't work out too well; then trying for so-called biography cards, where a picture is supposed to lead to biographical ideas. Didn't work out either. And suddenly I walked into a wall of words, words I'd written and which usually would be expected at the end of a biography. Somehow I just didn't manage to get past those words and start again.
What do I make of this? Well, for one: a biography simply isn't the right piece of work to be done in 30 days. At least not as far as I'm concerned. Second - it leads to memories (well, of course) and that may mean a lot of work. Especially if those memories belong to situations one hasn't really worked through yet. Still, rather interesting experiment and one I may repeat some day. There's still a lot of my life unwritten and unreflected so far.
Now November already looms at the horizon, in a not-too distant future and until now I'm completely devoid of any ideas. Nothing. I found some snippets of fiction I'd written in 2005 - 2010. Maybe - after re-reading - one of those will spark. Else I simply will sit down and start writing something. And again will see what happens.
I haven't written anything between those camps apart from my diary and several (okay, a few) blog entries. Just too many distractions, in fact. I'm not sad about it, or dissatisfied but still i hope some sort of idea will present itself come November ;)
Apart from preparing our Day of Open House I actually managed to write. I didn't manage to also study, but really, after a 10 hour working day writing was almost easy - studying would've been impossible. Well, I set my goal at 30 k words but still - it took me almost as long to write my 1000 words a day as 1666 would've taken. Strange but true... The story is by no means finished and honestly I'm not sure if I will finish it. But either way I'm in no hurry, Camp in June will either see me participating while writing my biography (for myself) or with another idea which sometimes drops in and then leaves again. Come November the year draws to its closing and usually the pace slows, so I guess I will find some idea to write about. So, no news here until June - and then only infrequently as June again is a month full of dates and things to do... apart from wirting. See you then ;)
Well, I continued writing well into the second week of march and then I stopped. Stuck. In all my three novels at work just - stuck. Guess I need some time again to re-read and to find what else is missing. Fortunately tonight we'll meet - at least four of us - to celebrate the beginning of a new Camp. So far this is all I got:
Never mind what happens and where and how - someone will always get the blame. Well, I'm done with that! I swear it wasn't me! I'm neither responsible for the earth quakes nor the following flood and most especially not for the almost complete disappearance of water. Nope. But since everyone keeps accusing me, I set off by myself and decided to find out who really is responsible. Care to accompany me on my journey?The idea came while writing just that and I'm curious as to where it will lead to. Guess I'll find out. So even though March saw me lagging behind on writing, April will see me through and then - well, maybe it'll last again.
March 6th, 2013
Due to being sick - now I'm finally starting to feel better - the past month review laggs behind a bit. Again I wrote almost every day and I managed to keep my avarage 500 words a day. 549, to be precise. See below:
What else is new? Sign-up for Camp Nano in April is open and I did sign in. The plot? There is - as usually - none. I jotted down some sentences while writing the synopsis or rather had the idea while writing. Let's see if I can make that one work. Camp this April offers the choice of the amount of words one wants to write, I set my goal (for now) at 30 k. The wordcount goal can be changed while writing, so it's not that much of stress. Suits me just fine.
As for my daily writing, I took up the story from Camp last year again and am filling out the missing scenes. The other stories are sitting and brooding again but well, maybe something will hatch in time. I was stuck and so I turned elsewhere. Guess after a while I can pick up the others again. As I'm still writing for the sheer fun of it, I'm in no hurry to be finished, unlike some of the others, who really want to finish this or that one before starting a new one. Well, I hope all will be back in Camp again - we had so much fun and hopefully will have again :)
February 1st, 2013
One month of writing every day is past. Well, almost every day. Three days with wordcount zero but enough days with more than 500 words, so my average comes to about 709 words a day. With this pace my story plods a bit but at least those 500 words are written rather quickly (if one has ideas as how to go on, if not, even a count of only 100 words wouldn't make any difference). It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to write those 500 words and this time always fits into my daily schedule somewhere. Our skype group prospers and just now everybody is busy either writing, revising and editing or doing some research or preparing for final exams (or all of the above). At the moment we meet rather regularly, someone is always looking for advice or just some encouraging words. And before you ask if none of us has friends - well, ususally none who write. And writers do need other writers to cope with the crazyness of the whole thing. Still, writing is the most fun one can have by themselves (as Terry Pratchett has been quoted saying).
So. Before I get started on the next month of writing here's a little overview of my daily words:
Ileen spent her last day to write the final 5 k words and finished very very close to midnight. As it happens three of us were still awake and waiting and chatting when she finally came in and we sat until 1:30 am to celebrate, to mooch and talk about other things in life than writing. Well, okay, sometimes. Lucky us that next day was a Saturday and none of us had to get up early. So. All of us Campes made the 50 k words, some stories are finished and some will go on and are written on if with a smaller daily wordamount. Life next to NaNo has called in a loud voice and besides, Christmas is coming ;)
Well. We started to meet in skype and write for 20 minutes, after which we'd take a short break, chat a bit and then go on. And yesterday, as I'd just settled down for another 20 mnute session I finished a scene - and finished the novel. The last sentence simply was the perfect ending. I wrote it down, unknowing as I did that it would be the last one. Sat and stared at the screen, thinking of what to write next until I realized: nothing. This is just it. I like my rending. I only wish I'd been given some warning beforehand.
Well all it needs now is a cover which I'm already working on and then - time. Time to rest and sort of mature before I will pick it up again to gather up all those little beginnings inside and look at them to decide whether they stay and will grow or just be cut out.But all of it later.
What really was inspirational - apart from everything else - was Errol Elumir. No. He still IS an inspiration. Need a taste?
Errol is - well just look at the video and listen.. and then simply browse through the rest of his playlist. He makes me smile, laugh and sometimes just shake my head in astonishment. As I told him in a short mail. Sort of like: Your friends either flee or get drafted in your flow of creativity to which he replied it was pretty much so ;)
Thanks. November was just fun - most of it and - to quote him:
this bed looks fine don't think I've seen it this month...
November 25th 2012
As you can probably see on my nifty lil' wordcount gadget on the front page, I'm close to crossing the magical number of 50 k words. Not, alas, reaching the end of the story, at least not yet. It looks as if I might reach it within, say, another 10 or 15 k words. And I also found lots of possible places where to flesh out some more and also where to cut down to the bone again and *sighs* start over. BUT! that's all for the time of revising, should that ever happen. As this work directly goes to 5 beta-readers, namely those who appear as major characters in this one, I can sit back and wait, more or less relaxed as to how their reaction turns out and only then decide if I will rework this one. So, I will be back this evening - I simply write best when it's getting dark and late - and will see where it all ends up today. The last few days I wrote in a real frenzy, my words full of mis-spellings, words a-tumble and my fingers desperartely trying to catch up with the ideas. This didn't happen before at least bnot as I ermember. Was real exciting and - fun!
November 7th 2012
Just decided to drop in a few words, even though those would be needed much more - well - urgently elsewhere - in my novel. The past six days simply didn't provide room and time for writing, except for about 950 words handwritten on November 1st I found no time to add anything. Which makes me lagging about 9k words behind. I managed to meet my daily wordcount yesterday and today and looking forward to the weekend, I'm rather sure I will catch up then. It's simply a matter of time and not of finding words and ideas, fortunately.
October 31st 2012
While driving to the fleamarket I suddenly saw a scene and a sentences which introduces a new character into my upcoming novel... So I wrote it down and well, can hardly wait until I get there... which will be approximately somewhere in the first quarter...
Ain't it midnight yet?...
October 30th 2012
October 27th 2012
Only four days left until NaNo starts again and well, I've laid down some scenes - or rather the bare bones of scenes and collected almost all information I asked of my cabin mates. Feder complained about the weightlimit on the virtual suitcase I asked everbody to pack whereas Red simply commented that she wouldn't be able to reach the weight. It's not mandatory but simply the limit.. well, I guess I'll soon find out if I missed to ask this or that detail - fortunately I don't have to make it up but can simply ask.
I guess I'll have some trouble meeting the wordcount at first, because I'm away for six days just at the beginning and well, usually beginnings are quite important! At least I'll be able to write-in with some of the others for at least half an hour. After then we'll just see...
As this page is dedicated to my participation in Camp NaNo in June - one of the 30day challenges I mentioned elsewhere - and NaNo was born in the USA - I'll write in English.
Honestly, it's fascinating - the ideas ppl come up with to really celebrate something which 'only' happens online and gets done for the sheer fun of it. the result can be seen here: Camp Achievement Badges
The most important achievement for those 30 days is - to have done it!
Not to sell it somewhere, not to receive anything apart from the knowledge to have sat down every day (or at least most of the days) and written until the necessary word count had been reached.
To experience characters going AWOL, a plot bunny hopping by in the middle of the work (or even the whole cast of Watership Down), wrecking the brain for just the next few lines during those days later in the month while the inner editor no longer will be ignored and maybe even fighting the idea of. why the **** did I even sign up for this?
I don't know how much will end up here as - well, in June I should spend my time writing on my story instead of blogging but maybe it'll help during those moments where nothing comes to mind. Just vent a little and get back to work.
See you soon ;)
I finally finished my cast of characters, even wrote an excerpt sleight-of-hand style - fine, now I know why the ppl I chose get chosen, did some research on paintball and now all I need is to get the place all set up. In between I relaxed during this 3-days weekend and spend the nights browsing in the naNo forum. Come tomorrow night will be over all too early - as it usually is after weekends. Counting down the days ;)
Less then 3 hours left until Camp NaNo begins at midnight. Dunno if I'm still awake then, if not I'll jot down my first sentences tomorrow morning. At least it's Friday and a long leisurely weekend awaits - time and time enough for writing ;)
Finally it is weekend but as it happens, there always is something else to do. Still, I made more than 4 k words yesterday which is pretty fine for a first day. Started at midnight, did a 10-minute word war just to get going and went straight off to bed after.
After a rather long day and an even longer siesta I set to writing again at 8 p.m. and stopped shortly before midnight - and am rather satisfied the way it went. Still in the prelude of the story, a part I would maybe eben skip come editing time - but on the other hand, maybe keep - dunno yet. Doesn't matter now, anyway since the month writing means writing only, no editing allowed - so stay off my premises, inner editor (he hasn't shown up yet, I expect him to be in around week three - as usual).
A few lines before I fall into bed. The Camp draws less people than NaNO in November does but still it's fun participating. My wordcount is well under way as today I already jumped the 30k hurdle early. Only, the way my story unfolds it doesn't look like it will be done come 50k. Which also is a part of the whole - you're not only supposed to write a 50k story but also to FINISH it within these 50k. Sorry but it won't do. I only hope this time I will be able to write it up to that final line where it says: The End - where my November 2011 story never got to. But I feel like maybe I could pick it up again. It's well rested and I still think it deservves to be finished - even if only for me. But not this month. The 'brothers in arms' will have to wait until 'Walking the cities' has reached it's conclusion - whatever this'll turn out to be, I'm not sure where exactly this story is heading.. But I know I'll have fun finding out.
Day 15, halftime - and I passed 41k words only a few minutes ago. 50k loom closer on the horizon than I would've expected for this time - the true end of the story still hides somewhere behind the horizon though. Somewhere where it says: here be dragons, most likely. I didn't plan so I can't complain about anything that happens in my story. Somehoe another MC (Maincharacter) showed up, some of the others only make a rare apperance. Maybe, should I ever revise this story I'll drop out some of the characters, there are several which won't be missed even though in the bgeinning I deemed them necessary. Well, it's too early to talk about revising yet since I'm nowhere near done :P
let's just see what happens tomorrow
So, my story has reached 63k and still I can't really see an ending ahead. -.- This time I want to get the story written to the finish line, to those magical words 'The End' (or synonyms) at the end of June. If this won't be done then, I probably will never pick it up again. Already had an inspiration for camp NaNo in August, will be revisiting my 'Universe next Door' from NaNo 2004 and am looking forward to meeting all those characters again - or at least some of them as I have most certainly outgrown several of the cast. I have an incling of the plot or let#s say - I managed to put together one sentence which about sums up my idea. At least I could try and get prepared - a bit - in July. Like - re-reading the original story, taking notes on characters, trying out the 100thingsthingy and, well umm.. maybe find some more pieces of plot to note down.
Sigh. First I simply have to finish this one though. I'm also tempted to pick up my 'Brothers in Arms' again from November 2011 and finally write that to the finish lines.. well, I'm back in word...
Well well well, these 30 days surely have passed in a hurry... And after two days off PC and with really no opportunity to write I spent half a day debating whether or no I should try to get my story finished. Had I used the time writing instead the end wouldn't feel as hurried as it does now. But that's beside the point. Point is: my story not only passed the 50k mark long ago but also has reached its end. Close to 70k and two words of these are: The End. Managed to update my final wordcount two minutes to midnight and there it stands now.
Those missing details are left for revision - if I ever will. just now it feels like that story need to be re-written completely and I really doubt to find the nerve for this kind of work any time soon. Maybe this is simply because I don't think it's worth it - I don't know. Anyway, all writers on board agree - after having written the story, let it rest for at least a while.
Since Camp August is upon us only 30 days hence, I rather start preparing for that one, since the idea is already there and howling to be worked with. Fitting, since there are were-wolves in it. And other were-people. And oh, witches as well. And one vampire lurks around in the background, too. And of course, humans. All set in a paralell Berlin, in a squatted place which really and surprisingly still exists after 22 years. I think the people living there won't mind. After all, in my story the place is still peopled with - well all kinds of people who simply want to live life their own way. Including concerts.
Again, looking forward to revisiting my Universe next Door again after 8 years ;)
Did you know camp has already started again? No? Well, it did. On the 1st of August, to be precise. And midnight found me sitting here, yawning (I have to admit) and ready to go. The first few sentences had been clamouring for attention and for being written down that long I was really relieved to finally see them there, snuggling into the empty page and I swear the words were sighing contentedly as they finally had found form. And except for two days during the last weekend when life had seen it fit to really occupy me otherwise I've been writing each night as I already did in June. Just now my story drags a bit but well - happens. Tonight I feel fit and willing enough to meet my daily wordcount again - which I didn't make yesterday, too tired and mind wandering elsewhere. But before that revisiting my universe next Door again there's still some work to be done. So - I'll be back later ;)
Well, what do you know? Another month of NaNo has gone past, mostly in a blur of sleep deprivation. Not necessarily due to writing though it did play a part, of course. No. mostly due to work and work and uh, did I already mention work?
Satisfactory work, really, I liked to get up each morning, looking forward to my next piece on my agenda. But it still was a lot of work and when I finally got to writing, it somehow was later every day further into the week.
But - this month Camp NaNo really felt like a camp. We were six people sharing a virtual cabin - and that included Ileen and Bernar providing virtual breakfast, Rainbowfeather supplied mountains of muffins, Red Eye and All-I-need (Isi) did most of the typing - over 100 k each - and all I did was supply the coffee.
Bernar and Isi worked the night-shift and the rest of us was there during the day, and usually had to leave by the time the two came in. But thanks to our messageboard no matter when everybody was always able to stay up to date as far as the latest development in the stories was concerned, which characater had - again - barely escaped from injury or worse. Three days were spent in heated discussion as how to save a then still not even written leopard from being severely injured because this animal was supposed to attack a main character who of course had to be saved. I don't remember how it ended but well, I'm sure this gives an impression to how writers' minds can work.
I was the last to cross the finish line of 50 kwords and even managed - thanks to Ileen on that particular last night - once in a blue moon - to hammer down the missing almost 5 k words to also finish the story. A small scene of about 2 k words still need to be written, apart from revising the whole thingy which may or may not happen.
All in all it was a great month in writing, I learned a lot about writing, laughed a lot and - well didn't get enough sleep but you simply can't have everything, right?
During the 2 months break until the real National Novel Writing Month starts again (November) we're in touch via Sykpe and discussing other things, talking about day-to-day stuff and well, let's see if we weather this.
*whistles* as time goes by... Since the invention of camp NaNo, my writing year has grown more intense. Hah. Funny, really since I only got re-started in writing, story-telling last year but anyway. Suddenly writing feels like something which has been there all along, quietly biding its time. This coming november will be the first time I venture onto a different genre, I chose Satire, Humor & Parody. With just a tiny twist of the fantastic but who needs a real real-life story?
I plan to write using real living people as characters (not only with their permission but also full support and already insatiable curiosity.
It all developed during the August camp when we all spent as much time chatting as writing (as already mentioned above) and slowly slowly the idea grew on me to use this setting and turn it into a story. All I have so far are the people, a vague outline of our place and one or two situations which simply have to happen. As for the rest - well, let's see what happens, right?