I'd like to say, now that my 'Holiday Season' is over, that I hope everyone enjoyed the absolute best of the season. And I wish only the best to you and yours in the New Year.
December has turned into one of the busiest months I've had in a long time. With all the Christmas stuff happening, include school concerts, shopping, etc, it was tough. On top of that, I stopped writing novels and wrote some software instead.
My previous post showed a screen shot, and things were actually working pretty good at that point. But, the devil is in the details. I now have something to send to Linux beta testers, but the Mac and the Windows version have a bug or two. One of them may be related, but I have a Mac bug I'm not sure what I can do about. At this point, I'm dieing to get back to writing, so progress on the code will slow down.
Still, the Linux version is in a state I can use it, and that's why I wrote it. I'll use it to outline and write my next novel. I'm also thinking of moving my current WIP (work in progress) into it, and see how I can use it for revision. Hmmm, I'll have to add snapshots…
Anyway, that's taken a lot of my time as well. Oh, and my wife noticed that when I code, I tend to get very snappish and angry, which bleeds over into regular life. When I write, that doesn't happen. Cool.
When NaNoWriMo was over (for me), I didn't know what to do. I'd been in 'the groove' for so long, my days felt empty. I had a lot of normal work to catch up on, but once I did…
So, I decided it was time to write some software. I wrote what I consider an Integrated Development Environment for writers. Previously I looked at Scrivener, Writer's Cafe and yWriter. All of which looked good, especially Scrivener. Still, I wanted my own thing, it's what I do. I also use Linux for my day-to-day work, and none of these products run on Linux (except Writer's Cafe).
I now have a basic application that is character/scene oriented. Here's a screenshot: (click for larger image)
The user basically enters characters and their related information. You can also enter locations where your scenes take place. Once a user is entered, they get a 'timeline' on the corkboard. As a scene is added and given a characters POV, they are given an index card on the corkboard. Each card has information related to the scene associated with it, including the text of the scene itself. Also, each card can be moved to anywhere on the timeline, and even to another character. The entire novel can be rearranged at will.
When editing a scene, the text editor can be made full screen, with no outside distractions. I used Q10 for this during Nano, and I loved it.
All information is stored in standard files, so if a user decides not to use the software, no data is lost. Also, the entire novel can be exported as a whole, for import into a word processor.
It's not done yet, but it's getting usable! All this runs under Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
Here it is, about 70,000 words in manuscript format:
Yesterday, I reached the end of my outline. I wrote 'The End' and called it a night, with only 1822 new words. I became… depressed. I know I have plot holes, since the outline shifted a bit during the writing, and my word count isn't where I wanted it to be. True, I didn't think I'd hit 50,000 words, but once I did, I planned for 85,000 words this month.
I just ran out of plot.
I think I'm feeling down because I really expected to go all out all month, and now I'm done early, and I can't do that. I'm not sure. Anyway, I'll write up notes on where I know I made mistakes, and maybe what I should do to fix them, and then I'll put the manuscript in a drawer for a couple of months to give myself some separation. After that, back at it with heavy duty revisions. Maybe actually turn this pile of mess into something readable!
NaNoWriMo has been a sort of epiphany for me. Yes, I got serious about my writing about three years ago, and yes, I did a lot of work in that time. But Nano showed me how much work I could actually do, and the quality really isn't that bad for a first draft. My total for the month then is 69,419 words in 24 days. And I'm really happy about that.
Now, with Nano out of the way, I need to set my sights on my next project. I'm not sure if I'll return to Anshi right away, but we'll see.
I do have some software in mind, but I'm worried that going back to writing software will hurt my writing. Although both are creative, programming is creative in an entirely different way than writing, and I don't want to mess up at this point.
Well, it's just after eight in the morning, and I've got 1,819 words done so far. Getting up early in the morning is great!
After I hit the Nano 50,000 mark, I had a hard time getting back into it. Hitting 50K was hard, what the hell was I thinking? But I put my butt into the chair and got to work. I'm now just over 57K because of it. Go me!
I seem to have another problem though. I'm churning through my scenes way too fast. A scene that I thought would be about 1500 words turned out to be slightly less than 950. That's a huge difference, and may affect my final word count. Now, granted, I tend to write fairly lean and add description later, but that's not what I've been doing with the first 50K. Why the change? I dunno, maybe because some of the pressure is off.
At any rate, I'm forging ahead. With some luck, by early to mid December I'll be able to put the first draft to bed and let it sit for a couple of months before I start revisions.
Well, I've done it. Averaging about 1149 words per hour over 17 days, I have completed my first ever NaNoWriMo. I have, to say the least, surprised the hell out of myself. I didn't think I was going to get 50,000 words on 30 days, never mind 17.
Over the last 17 days, my typing speed has increased a tad, with the sad side effect of my spelling becoming the worst I've ever seen. It seems my fingers don't move fast enough for the words to come out right. I think I can live with that.
Even though, officially, I have completed Nano, I've decided that I'm going to keep on going until the end of the month. If I maintain this rate, I should have close to 90,000 words by then. Pretty much a complete novel. But, now that the pressure is off, I also plan on actually cleaning the house, cooking some real meals, and generally keeping things nicer for the family. They have, for the most part, been very supportive.
All I can say is… WOW!
This is not some of the stuff I usually have on my blog, but laughed so hard, I had to post about it.
Back on September 7th, I post a video from you tube. Here it is again…
Well, today I saw a spoof on it. Here it is. Watch the one above first!
Let's try this again. WordPress seems to have misplaced my previous attempt at this post.
Nano is starting slow down. It's become a bit of a slog to sit down every morning and get the words out. It hasn't helped that I ran out of detailed design and had to sit down with the outline to figure out where I had to go.
I've heard the the 2nd/3rd weeks of Nano can be a bit of a slog, and I'm feeling it. My morale is still high, but we'll see how long that lasts.
I've introduced all the major characters now, and have three potential antagonists. I'm keeping the real antagonist a bit of a secret, hoping to throw a wrench into the works in later chapters.
Must… keep… word… count… up…
It's been a few days since I updated the blog with my Nano progress. Overall, I'm ahead of the game. If I stay at my current pace, I should reach the 50,000 word mark around November 20th. If I continue to the end of the month, I should have a little over 80,000 words. We'll see what happens.
The last few days have been interesting, I went through a major slump a few days back. I'd written up to the point of my outline, and all I had left were single line descriptions of some scenes. Not exactly what I wanted to happen, but I was expecting it. Just not so soon. It all resulted in a couple of really tough days, but I managed to work past that, and things went good today.
I am, however, out of detailed scenes again.
I'll spend a bit of Sunday morning fleshing things out a bit more, and the rest of the day trying to hit a high word count.