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Archive for the 'NaNoWriMo' Category

2009.01.09 concentrate:

Aside from my preternatural skills of procrastination, one of my biggest obstacles to writing is focus. Sometimes, you run across a piece of advice that speaks directly to you, and this is one of those times.

Don't research
Researching isn't writing and vice-versa. When you come to a factual matter that you could google in a matter of seconds, don't. Don't give in and look up the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, the population of Rhode Island, or the distance to the Sun. That way lies distraction — an endless click-trance that will turn your 20 minutes of composing into a half-day's idyll through the web. Instead, do what journalists do: type "TK" where your fact should go, as in "The Brooklyn bridge, all TK feet of it, sailed into the air like a kite." "TK" appears in very few English words (the one I get tripped up on is "Atkins") so a quick search through your document for "TK" will tell you whether you have any fact-checking to do afterwards. And your editor and copyeditor will recognize it if you miss it and bring it to your attention.

from a post by Cory Doctorow

I've not done much actual writing (mostly outlining and, more often, NOT outlining—see procrastination, above) but when I was attempting to write that sci-fi novel I started in 2005, I was horribly horribly derailed by researching the position of mars in the night sky, from the mountains of northern california. In my defense, it gave me dialogue i might not have otherwise had, but still… distracted! The above is great advice for countering this, which I hope I can actually put into practice.

- 04:30 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Cool Links - NaNoWriMo - Personal Projects - Pleased/Like - Writing


2008.06.29 every little bit:

as you may remember from waaaay back in 2005, i was attempting to participate—or procrastipating—in that year's NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month "competition." i managed to get a whole 1900 words or so written (out of 50k) before the month was up.

well, i'm back in the saddle, once again trying to make some progress with this thing. i haven't made a ton of progress in the "torrential flow of words" department, but i have managed to finish the first chapter and throw down a few notes about ideas and events in the novel.

and i also managed to finally, after three years, get a basic outline hashed out for the thing.

so, i'm not going to hit my goal (set at the beginning of this week) of an additional 3000 words by monday, but i have made some progress in other areas, so i'm pretty happy.

- 02:44 am - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Happy/Love - NaNoWriMo - Personal Projects - Writing


2005.11.15 posterity & procrastination:

in the interests of complete and total procrastination on the novel-writing front (2640 words), i have undertaken a massive clean-up operation here on bipolar. at least, on my side of things. i've changed the permalinks to link to the individual post pages, rather than the monthly pages, and i've gone through every single one of my old posts to bring them in line with some of the better ways i've figured out to do things since we started. javascript new window links are now "accessible" (which just means they should work for people *without* javascript as well), all self-referential links point to individual post pages instead of monthlies with a hash anchor.

i've found quite a few dead links, and have started treating them in a standardized way (when i can't find a replacement or updated link)…

oh, and the big thing… all those posts in the "Old Posts" category from before we moved to movable type have now been gone through and assigned actual relevant categories. "Old Posts" (is/are) no more!

i also did a little jimmy'ing with the categories page, so now the categories are sized (and weighted) a little more sensibly.

the last thing i need to do is go through each post and hunt for linkrot. i've done a little already, but i've skipped around a bunch, so i'm sure there are more to be found.

all that stuff, and i've set up a new machine at home and installed SuSE linux on it. too many toys, too little time!

now, let's see if i can procrastinate on my procrastinating and get some work on on that novel…

- 11:15 am - PL :: 4 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Computers/Tech - NaNoWriMo - Nostalgia - Personal Projects - Pleased/Like - Writing


2005.11.09 prologue:

The firelight flickered in Mel's eyes as she lay looking up at the stars. There had been a few moments in Old John's life with Mel in which he truly understood what it meant to be a father–to be responsible and proud. Seeing Mel like this, her face awash in contentment, warmth, and love; and remembering all his struggles to help her to this point in her life, he felt proud, not just of her, but of himself. Daniel gently stroked her hair as she leaned back against him, his back on his backpack, supported by the large boulder near which they had pitched their tents.

That Daniel was here at all was a secret pleasure for John. Daniel's work took him away from Mel so often, it seemed to John the two spent more time apart than they did together. And with the child on the way, John worried–too much, as she often told him–about Mel being alone without Daniel's assistance at the ready. Mel was headstrong and could take care of herself, he never questioned that fact, but knowing her abundant resourcefulness and self-sufficiency did little to ease his mind. But now, they were together–relaxing and enjoying each other's company, and John was just glad that he was still able to play his part in her life.

John raised his arm and pointed a finger to the night sky. "Mars." he said, "Look there, just above and to the right of that tree. It's just crossing Pisces–see those four bright objects there, like a 'v' with an extra dot on the right." He saw they were looking, saw the lines around their eyes relax when they'd found it–or when they'd given up. Either was fine, really, he was just talking to make noise.

"It's amazing to think that there are actually people living there now. A family, no less." Old John had been following the CNSEA effort to "colonize" Mars when it was big news a year ago after the family's capsule had touched down and immediately gone dark.

"Families have been living on the moon for almost a decade now, John, it's not like it's THAT big a deal." Mel's smirk betrayed her intentions.

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- 01:08 am - PL ::
categories ::  NaNoWriMo - Personal Projects - Writing


2005.11.05 NaNoWriMo:

Not even going to attempt to explain the long hiatus. Needless to say, time is a precious commodity, and one must prioritize one's life.

Now however, i have thrown priority, precaution, and most things of a precious nature to the wind and decided to attempt participation in NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. Thus far, four days into it, i have a grand total of 82 words written.
**Update: 968 words as of 11/7 — 1 week in, just under 1/50th of the way there.**
**Update 2: 1359 words as of 11/8 — I'll post the prologue soon.**
**Update 3: 1840 words as of 11/8 — prologue posted**

I tried to do some leg-work prior to the start of this thing, and the result is a potentially unfortunate predictor of the remainder of the month. I did some work on a character sketch (yes, "A", meaning singular), but didn't quite get it finished. It did help me to think through and flesh out some of the backstory for this character, as well as some of his supporting cast, but the actual fiction portion remains incomplete.

Nevertheless, i thought i might post it to solicit feedback, and to wade on into the water by telling the world at large (i.e. those three obsessed readers who still persist in checking bipolar on a weekly basis) what i'm up to. Perhaps if i wade straight in rather than continuing to dangle my toes, it'll help pressure me into making some real progress.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the unfinished character sketch:


Old John Hoffstead was a fat little man with a generally pleasant disposition. Right now, however, Old John's brow was creased, and his outstretched arm was waggling a finger in the air.

"Young lady, you get down from there before you hurt yourself!"

A petite blonde with an almost comically round belly glared down at him from the top step of a 4-foot step ladder.

"John, seriously. I'm not a baby, and I'm not an invalid. I'm here to work, and I'm going to work, and you're going to just have to get used to that."

John lowered his finger, and his hand rested on his waist.

"I know that Mel, I just wish you'd be a little more careful, is all. It's not good for a woman in your condition to be exerting herself too much, or putting herself in danger. Why, my June, when she was carrying our 2nd, climbed up on a step-stool at home and nearly broke her damn neck. Damn near lost the baby too."

"But, she didn't do either. We women and these little parasites are a little more resilient than you apparently give us credit for."

Mel handed down the item she'd grabbed off the top shelf, and carefully made her way down the ladder, taking the hand John offered.

"Oh, I grant that you ladies can be pretty tough, but little babies are still pretty fragile… unless that really is just a big rubber ball you've got under there like some of the cashiers have been saying." He winked at her.

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- 12:12 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - NaNoWriMo - Personal Projects - Pop Culture - Writing




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