November 23, 2012

To press on

O-o, I haven't written a blog post in November, yet, BUT IT'S NANOWRIMO!
How could I do that...?

It all started with a 4-day weekend for us. November 1st is a national holiday here, and the 2nd was a Friday, which automatically became a day where we don't go to work, but had to do that work on the next Saturday... Don't ask, I don't see the point, either - it's not like anyone else in the EU are working in Saturdays...
I like the UK's and Japan's holiday system better, but this post is not about that, then again I might do a blog post about that, if anyone's interested or I'm bored and want to write and don't know what to write about and... I'm blabbering on, sorry. It's near midnight.
Also, sorry for my grammar. My English becomes worse as the sun goes down :')

So, first weekend, 4 days! My aim was 75k this year, as well as last year and... on the 22nd day of November, I can say it now that it's more realistic to aim for the usual 50k... Anyway, on the first 4 days, I wrote 2,5k each day. Yay! I was very happy!
Then nothing on the following Monday. I struggled to catch up.

My main problem is that nano wordcounter is eating my words and now, after 30k, it eats about 1,5k now... It's a wee bit disheartening, if I may say. I'm writing in Open Office, by the way. And I suspect the problem lies with OO, not the nanobots. But I don't have word on my netbook, so... there we go.
I was really happy on the 20th when I caught up. Now... now I'm playing catching-up again this weekend.

IT IS THE LAST WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER! We must write A LOT. writewritewrite!
And we have a guest for the next three days, staying over, so I need to set a schedule or something, otherwise, that's it for the last weekend.
I don't even know why I'm so obsessed with this, because I'm still looking for a job, so I should have a lot of time to write, right? And it really doesn't matter if it's weekday or not. But still, I'm struggling. I really should've worked more on that outline in the last days of October...

How are you doing in this... well, let's say it: last week of November? omg it's really only 7 days away, it's past midnight now!
As for my american blog readers, how does Thanksgiving affects your writing? In terms of wordcount or themes in your novel?

41 666 is the aim by the end of 25th, according to nano. Let's do 42k! Or even better, 43k! Or if you're not playing catching-up, as opposed to me, aim for 45k! Because after the weekend, you'll only have 5 weekdays!

Warning: this blog post was not proof read. I'll do it tomorrow. Or after nano. Whenever I remember.
Hmm... should've probably posted this in the beginning? Oh, well xD

Oh, and I didn't even mention! We had two write-ins! One we did more talking than writing, but the other was really successful, the 6 of us wrote just short of 10,5k! During... about... 3,5 hours. Yeah, we did some talking this time, as well :)

October 26, 2012

Changing your mind

So, here we are... actually, it was on the 23rd when I changed my mind about what I write for this year's NaNoWriMo.

In my earlier post, I've told you that this time I would write a romcom, which is not a genre I usually write in, and I still like that novel idea, very, very much (though it might be a better script-idea), so I will write it sometime in the future, but now I'm going back to my original plan.

When I started in 2010, I thought it would be a one-book novel. But during November, I realised the story is going to stretch more. Then, over the weeks, months, years... I came to the conclusion that it might be a trilogy. I'm getting more sure every day, actually.
Anyway, when I won in 2010, I planned to continue and write the second book in my next English year*, which meant 2012. Right now. And since I have serious plans for this story, I think it's more efficient to write it now. And in the beginning of October, I've spent a lot of time on the first book and finally finished it (YAY!), so...
It's really close to me, too :) And it's fantasy :D

So, now I have 5 days (and 2 days till the Kick-off in my region!) to come up with an outline for it. Of course, I have some from 2010 (when I thought it would only be a one-book deal), but I need to think up details, because if I aim to 75k this year, then I won't really have time for it during November. I'm afraid I'd still need to do some research, but I'll try to keep it to the minimum and fix things later.

Dear, fellow Wrimos, have you ever changed your mind about what you're writing for NaNoWriMo the last minute? How did it go? :o

*For new readers (or old ones, for that matter, who don't remember, because I've posted about my NaNoWriMo habits so long ago, they forgot about it): every odd year, I write in my native language (Hungarian) and every even year, I write in English. Therefore, for my 4th NaNoWriMo, which is in 2012, I write in English :)

October 15, 2012

Preparation for NaNoWriMo

Oh, yes. It's that time of the year, again. Almost November.

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Because I had other obligations (still have, actually), I think I'll only begin my preparation the end of this week. I'll still have about 2 weeks and that's plenty of time.

I already have an idea, BUT it seems I like to make it harder on myself every year.
I'm a fantasy writer. Sometimes, I write sci-fi, too. And there needs to be some adventure and romance along the way, as well.
This year, I'll write a romantic comedy, which is really out of my... ehm... field of practice. I'm a little bit afraid that I'll get bored halfway, but I really like this idea, so... I'll try to stick with it. I'm really excited about the story - I hope my enthusiasm will last for longer :'D
Actually, I've tried to write a romance story, several years ago. I got bored with it. No fantastic elements? No adventure? Pah! I don't think it helped that I had no love interests, either.

But this year, I'm thinking of those romcom movies I like and I want to do something like those. I want to write this novel to be entertaining then it becomes a best-seller then there will and auction for movie rights then everyone will be happy. And I hope people will be able to relate to the main characters ;)

So, how will I prepare? Well, I already have two pieces of paper with notes (these are like post-it notes, without the gluey-surface, so the notes are not that detailed), and I bought a new, little notebook which I'll be taking down notes in. Plus, that thing with the dictaphone 2 years ago really worked. And since I usually take some walks during the day, I might just use it to "take notes" while wandering around the neighbourhood :)
That's all. I need to come up with some scenes in the muddle middle, because -as usual- I have the beginning and the ending. And I have some ideas for the middle, but they aren't many (or I just forget them); that's why I'll be going around with a dictaphone, before writing them down :)

How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo? Do you have a favourite method?

PS.: This year is English year for me!

September 08, 2012

Knowing your habits / nature

There are plenty of posts about sticking to one project till the end, before starting a new. And that you should have perseverance and it will get you nowhere if you just jump around projects, whenever you feel like it. You should do this. You should do that. Because that's how it works for me, so it should work for you, too.

No way. Everyone's different (which is a good thing, otherwise, this planet would be a really boring place to be), with different tempers, with different priorities and with different habits. What works for one, not neccessarily work for another.
It's been a long time since I've ignored all other projects in favour of one and been stuck with it for months. I was 13-14 at the time, the very beginning of discovering the art of writing and with different circumstances.
But during the years, I've changed and developed my writing style, my habits, etc. And I realized my relation to writing is reflected in my other habits. For example, running. At first, I start with a sudden burst of speed, then slow down, almost walking when I'm tired. I don't stop. Then, when I gathered some energy, I put on another burst of speed. Then slow down again. And so on, until I get to the goalline. Meanwhile, giving myself mental pep-talks.
I've noticed the same in my writing habits: some days, I write tons of words. Other days, I only write a few, or nothing, at all (I mean, related to my writing-projects - I don't count e-mails and replies and such in this). Then I write tons, again. I've been working to try to go at a steady pace, but it's just not in my nature. And if it's against one's nature, it's bound not to work as effectively as the other method, which might not be the most 'effective' in the eyes of others, but it is true to one's nature, and so, easier to adapt.

And recently, I've realized, this unfrequent habit of mine can also be found in what I write. Oh, don't get me wrong; I usually stay in the same genre, as I've learnt it early that if I write something outside of that, it just makes me suffer. I mean, it's hard for me to stick to one project and ignore all other ideas I had in my head, until I finish the current one.
I've tried. I've done NaNoWriMo thrice so far, and that's when I've picked up the habit of sketching down other ideas that may come to me during November and put it in a folder, together with other ideas, for later and that helped on concentrating my NaNovel.
BUT. The last few months (since I've started ROW80 in January) made me realize that I still can't just shrug off my habit of working on several piece at the same time. And I jump around from project to project when I reach a certain amount of words in one. I don't know why, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing, because when I do finish my WIP, I'll finish with another soon and maybe a third one, too.
So unpredictable habits can have a positive side-effect.

With this, I kindly thank you November and let it be the only month I focus on one project for more than 50k words at once. In the rest of the year, I'll just stick to my own writing habits :)

PS.: I've started this post in the middle of June and finished it today. Brilliant representation of my writing habits, no? :'D

Do you try to stick to the 'guidelines' other people think is the 'best way'? (Whether it be writing or anything else.) Or do you enjoy it more when you just do your own thing? What are your experiences?

May 01, 2012


As for the last 2 weeks (that's when I last wrote about ROW80, right?), I've met my goals - I wrote more than 6k per week. Last week, I became a bit impatient and wanted to pick up the pace, but I realized shortly that I'm starting to do what I do during November: write, write, write and sometimes scenes doesn't have a point or characters are thinking too much and the plot just isn't progressing.
So now, I'm thinking about taking a week off. This week is promising to be very... unpredictable and a hectic, and I do need some structure to my novel. I need to get back to my earlier notes, and make new ones and plan out scenes and pick up the pace (not the wordcount as I wanted last week, but to... you know, actually let the story progress).
Then, after a week of thinking, I'll come back on 7th May with more ideas and a structure to my plot. So that I can make it better, because now I seriously feel that I'd need to cut a whole lot out when I start revising. I won't rush myself, even though there's some pressure (from family and society). Writing is more than a hobby for me and this seems to be uncomprehensible for my immediate environment. Ah, it's difficult.

Anyway, time to put batteries in my dictaphone, again! The weather is so nice, I really should take a walk and plot!

April 15, 2012

ROW 80 R2 #3

I almost did a check-in on Thursday (I have no idea what's with this lateness this week), but in the end, decided against it. Last week, I declared Thursday as my day-off. Even if I want to write something, I just find something else to do (watch movie, read book, etc.), because I need some break, to recharge my energy and/or writing skills, etc. And Thursday is literally the middle of the week and I remember when I was attending Uni and one semester, I had a day-off Wednesday. It was the greatest thing!

Ahem. Anyway. I wrote a lot on Monday (1794 words!), then: Tuesday - 1089 words + 1094 to another project (of course there was a couple of hours break between them; it helps you write more if you don't write it in one sit when you're struggling), Wednesday - 1153, Friday - 1320 AND I only needed a little less than 700 words for Saturday and would be done with the week. So I wrote 690 words and mentally ended the week. Whew!
In the evening, though, I wrote some more to another project: 1332 words. The thing is, this was to be a short story (I've started it about 2 years ago), and I reached the scenes so close to the finish according to plan, but - as you might've guessed - it didn't go according to plan.
And I was a little agonized yesterday about it, because I wanted to stop here, but I knew the story went beyond, I knew it 2 years ago, but wanted to stop it here, at this place, so it would be an open end and the reader can decide, wonder... But as it turned out now, it would end very abruptly. Thankfully, by talking about it with one of my friends, helped, because I found a solution: I will write more of the story! Maybe it would become a novella and that's alright, too. Because I don't write it for a competition anymore, so I can write more and tell the story in full. I still need to come up with some details, but so far, I think I needed the permission myself to write more of the story if the story wants me to. Not to restrict myself.
Short stories are really not my forte - usually, I think in novel-lenght ideas.

Anyway, today came. And I was like 'Ohoho, I'm already done with this week's amount of words! I don't need to write more!' Plus, I even ended somewhere strange yesterday, because I didn't write as much as I usually do (ahem, I mean, in round 2).
But the more I thought about it... Thursday was my day off. And my goal said: 'at least 6000 words per week', which means if I write more, then I'll write more. And the thing is, I wanted to write some more! And to make a habit. To make a long story short, I wrote 1129 words, so it's 7175 words for this project for this week. Which means, I'm over 31k now! Yay! I'm very satisfied, plus I even advanced with 2 other projects this week! Better to write now while I still have time for it (such is the life of the job-hunter). It'd be a waste not to and I know I would regret it later.

Hope you had a good week and you reached your goals, as well!

April 09, 2012

ROW 80 R2 #2

I know it's Monday, but it's still Sunday in some parts of the world, so it's okay, right? Right?!

It was very late last night when I wrote the remaining words to reach 6000 for last week, so that's why. And yeah, I've reached my goal for last week! Weeehee!
You already know about the first three days; I took a break on Thursday, then Friday was over with 1076 words, Saturday I've written 1449 words (in two parts - maybe I should make a session in the morning and one in the afternoon?), and yesterday was 767 words. All in all, last week, I wrote 6059 words for my freshest novel (I'm a little over 24k now), plus 727 for one of my short stories which is still unfinished, after two years...
I'm happy I could start round 2 with success! Let's just hope my energy would last *knocking on wood thrice*

And as I've thought, it's easier to focus on page count, because I can immediately see it and it doesn't take my attention away as does checking wordcount. It lets me focus on the story more and before I know it, I've already written the daily amount!
At the end of the day, I would check the wordcount, after I've reached 2 new pages :)

So, let's stick with this plan and see how far I can get :) 2 pages per day, so I'll get 6000 words per week. And after I'm done with the daily amount for this novel, I can work on other WIPs.

I hope you had a successful first week, as well!

Link for other check-in posts.

April 04, 2012

ROW80 R2 #1 & Goals

Weee! A Wednesday check-in! Quite rare from me, isn't it?
Ahem. Let's state my goals for this round. Even though it half-worked in round 1, now it's already spring and I have more energy. Also, I have goals (and self-proclaimed deadlines) beyond ROW80, so I thought I must pick up my pace a little.

The details are... flexible. Originally, I wanted to write 2 pages per day. Every day. But I realized that might be too much of a jump after my performance in round 1. So I opted for 6 or 5 days per week.
Then I calculated some and arrived at the decision that I wanted to have 6000 new words per week for this novel I've started in January.
Concluding the first 3 days of the first week of round 2, I've reached a compromise with myself: my aim is 6000 words per week for this novel. If I can write 2 pages per day, that's quite great, but there might be a day when I write less, so there will probably be days when I write more. The average is 2 pages (which is around 1000-1100 words, I guess), but it can be amended.

Also, I have some other projects (loads of them) and while I'm certainly grateful for NaNoWriMo, I realized it made me learn to concentrate on one project at a time. Which is really not my style, since I tend to jump around from here to there. So, I'll try to get some writing done on those 'currently work in progress for years' projects, after I've written my daily dose for this new novel. And I don't start on another novel, until I've finished this one.
I hope this method works and lets me to get back my skill on concentrating on more than one projects at once. This first half of the week was deemed successful in this aspect, as well.

583 words on Monday, 1025 words on Tuesday, plus 727 words for another project, and today I've stopped with 1157 words. AND I've crossed the 20k line. Which is not much, but if I keep up the good pace I set in the beginning of this week *knocks on wood thrice*, then I can write more and come up with a respectable wordcount at the end of R2.

Well, I'm curious.

Good luck, everyone!!!

March 24, 2012

ROW 80 R1 - Final check in

This is actually my third check-in for Round 1. Told you that writing a blog wasn't my forte...
Ahem, anyway~

My last check-in was on 15th January. Let's see what happened after, a quick summary:
The week starting with 16th was all right. I met my goal to write at least 500 words 4 days per week. Even the week after that was successful! But after that...
I wrote on 30th January, then nothing that week.
The week after I was back again to writing more than 500 words for 4 days per week. Then, I wrote 301 words on 19th, 206 on the 20th, then nothing for a long time. It was almost a month later that I managed to get back to writing. I've continued on 16th, 18th, then this week, 20th and today, 24th.

I know Round 1 was finished on Wednesday (21st), but since I already had a month-break, I figured I would continue.
Truthfully, I'm a little ashamed that I didn't manage to reach my goal every week in Round 1. I purposefully set a lower wordcount, so if I had a bad or a busy day, I would be still able to write that amount. But the end of February and beginning of March proved that I was slacking off.
It wasn't that busy. Sure, we had 1 birthday and there was this 4-day trip to relax and enjoy ourselves in a hotel on the countryside, but it wasn't like I couldn't do it if I wanted to. The thing is, I felt I had little energy and hardly any inspiration. I guess the weather was getting to me, finally, plus it didn't help that everything I've started to work on (including my 'brilliant' idea mentioned in the earlier post) ended up in failure or didn't make any difference. My mood was terrible and during those times, sometimes it's better to let the gray, depressing clouds pass and not force myself. I would accidentally end up with a manuscript which needs a whole lot more afterwork than my NaNovel...

So, that's what happened. Still, I feel it was worth it to participate in ROW80, because: I wrote 17 184 words, which is approximately 17 184 words more than I would've wrote otherwise. This is 79 890 characters and currently, I'm at the beginning of page 32. Not as much as I would've liked, but it's still better than what I did the beginning of last year.
So I guess I can think of this as a half-success, right? And I want to participate in Round 2, as well. Even if my check-ins are irregural or my writing in not frequent, I want to continue and ROW gives me support to reach my goals. Just, you know, the thought that this is an event others partake in and that I see a goal in front of myself. It strenghtens my resolve, I think.
Especially that everyone around me (I mean, family members) still think I waste my time the entire day. As if that when I say 'I'm writing', it translates to them as: 'I'm too lazy to do anything, so I'll just play on the computer and don't do anything productive'. It's rather irritating, but I can understand them somewhat. From their point of view, writing probably does seem like that, however much it hurts me to say this.
That's why I need something to hold on, to strenghten my resolve, so I can continue what I really want: write. And I feel ROW80 gives me that something.

Hope you had a more successful Round 1 than I! It's time to plot, draw some conclusions from Round 1 and think about our goals for Round 2.
Good luck, everyone!

January 15, 2012

Oh, it's Sunday! - ROW80 R1 #2

I almost forgot to do the check-in this week...
What I did accomplish: writing 4 days a week! Yay! Though only 3 days had I wrote more than 500 words. I don't know what it was with me on Wednesday (actually, I do, it was some boring stuff about wondering my place in the universe, how to get a job and things along that line and I was under the weather and struggling with everything, not just writing), I only wrote 285 words. And I was pretty tired, as well.
And I didn't manage to fix that 9th chapter in my 2010 NaNovel - again! I must make some serious planning regarding that chapter.
Which reminds me... today I added two scenes in chapter 1 in my newest novel. I might have to do some more planning on that part, as well.
Next week or the week after that would be all planning, I'm afraid. I hope I can get some writing done, but... well, we'll see...

But what I was successful with (outside of my ROW80 goals) this week:
1) I've talked with a friend almost every evening in English, so we could both practice speaking it. Sadly, I do not have much opportunities to speak English, so this was good :)
2) It seemed that the deep pondering I suffered from on Wednesday had some results in the end: I woke up with a brilliant (?) idea formed in my head on Friday. No, not a story idea, but an idea how to get a job (which I would hopefully enjoy). I must work on that before I can make a move, so that was the other thing I did from Friday to Sunday this week. I hope it works out. <knocks on wood thrice>

Well, I hope you had a productive week and wish your inspiration continues! Good night!

January 08, 2012

ROW 80 - R1 #1

This is my first ROW80 check-in. So I'm sorry in advance if this will be awkward, I'm still familiarizing myself with the whole thing.
And as I said, I'll probably do 1 check-in per week.

My goal was to write at least 500 words for 4 days per week - ticked. I wrote almost 2,5k in 4 days. I didn't write from Wednesday to Friday, because I caught the cold. These words all go to fiction; I've started a new novel on 2nd January.
And this also marks the end of the first chapter!

As for my other goal, it was to revise a chapter of my 2010 NaNovel. Because of my cold, it all came down to Sunday, after I've written my at-least-500-words for today. And I was like 'Ooow, don't wanna! I have fun with the new story!' because I knew it needs so much work. But to start with failure? Nah...
In the end, I opened the document and tried to find where I was the last time I revised (because it was in September...). Chapter 8 didn't have a title and the beginning of chapter 9 had many blank paragraphs, meaning that was where I most likely stopped in September.
I re-read chapter 8 to give a title and found myself laughing at some parts. And realized that I still love this story very much! But it took a different turn from the first draft around chapter 6-8, so I would need to think on chapter 9 as much as I would need to think on my new story...
That said, I decided to leave it for next week. But at least I've found a title for chapter 8, fixed some awkward-sounding sentences and picked up the thread of the story, again. So, until next week, in between (or after?) writing my new novel, I can think on how to continue this old one.

I think I've started off well and because I aimed for a lower wordcount and not for everyday, the cold didn't disrupt me much (though I had to make a conscious effort to sit down and continue the story after I got better)...
Next week, I want to continue the new novel as I did this week and want to plan and write the new chapter 9 for my earlier story. If I can write more (than for 4 days) for the new one, then great, but it's not priority at this point. Haaaaah, why do you give me so many things to revise, earlier novel?!

January 01, 2012

ROW 80 - Goals

You can find more info about ROW 80 here. Basically, it's a writing challenge where you set the goals for 80 days. There are four (80-days) rounds in a year, the next one starts tomorrow.

And since I have a degree now, NaNoWriMo is over and I'm still looking for a job, this seems the perfect time to finally join! So here're my goals for the 1st round of 2012:
  • write at least 500 words 4 days per week
  • fix at least a chapter per week from my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel

This might not seem much, but I know about myself that I don't like repetitiveness - which means writing each day isn't a good advice for me. Cue the 4 days I didn't write a word during November. You can call it 'laziness', I call it 'rebelliousness' and I can't really do anything about it.
Anyway, I'd rather start with smaller steps and with a plan than greater ambitions and failure in the end. I can always write more if I have inspiration, right? Right.

Let's see how this ROW80 challenge works for me. Good luck to you, if you're also participating!

Do you make any New Year's resolutions?

Happy New Year! \^o^/

PS.: I think I'm going to do one blog post about this per week (check-in). That, in itself is a challenge for me...