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Monday, 26 November 2007

"One false move and I'll shave her head. I shaved mine and I'm just crazy enough to do it!"

Yeah... ouch. I finally finished typing up my progress. I'm now definitely over 20,000 words, but wasn't yesterday. I wrote another chapter yesterday which pushed it over the mark.

Crazy is right, I'm in that kind of mood. Although I don't have the courage (or the body type to carry it off) to shave my head, I'm just at a point in the story were insanity is going to be helpful.

The last chapter involved one of my MMCs (the crazy one, Ersatz), hacking a demon to shut it up. He then proceeded to torch a church (after killing the congregation, but leaving the priest alive but crippled) because it was 'unclean'.

So as Ersatz descends into lunacy, my British FMC is about to wake up (after being knocked unconscious in a psychiatric unit stairwell) in a locked room, with another voice bouncing off the walls. There's more than one voice in her head now, except this one she can hear but cannot see (unlike the 'mystery letters', which can be seen but not heard. I've just thought of that... it may prove interesting). She's got a mirror, so I'll finally describe her (in chapter 10?)!

Cheers,
Mike


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Now playing: Within Temptation - Jane Doe [*] iTunes
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 25 November 2007

I'm giving her all she's got captain!

Well, there's no chance I'm going to have 50,000 words by the end of the month. I think I've just scraped over 20,000 yesterday (I wrote an additional three chapters), but to do 5,000 words a day every day until the end of November simply isn't going to happen.

I'm not going to stop mind you.... I'm going to finish the damned book, whether it wants me to or not, yeah!

That being said, my characters are trying to mess me around, I swear. A secondary character and protagonist/motivation by death has turned into a puppet... much, much earlier than I had anticipated (I was going to kill him, oh well). The mystery letters (one of my FMCs has synaesthesia- she sees subtitles when people talk, except she also sees words which aren't being spoken.... sort of like a weird schizophrenia) have turned less sinister and now I don't know what the hell they are (they've actually tried to save her life... only a few chapters back they were trying to make her vomit), and Ersatz was locked in a small wooden crate (he's 6'4" by the way) for several weeks if not months. Boy, he's pissed. And aching after the other FMC kicked him in the crotch- hard.

Interesting developments.

I blame the book entirely. I planned it, had a minor unrestrictive outline, but still couldn't get on with it. I've obviously chosen poorly (just don't ask me to find the Holy Grail, whatever you do).

Next year, I'll try something that's more my style. I'm obviously not very good at subtle horror.

On the bright side, I have two writing companions (teddy bear/plush things) for next year- in the form of a monkey my parents bought me when I was 3month old. He's threadbare and slightly squashed, but what do you expect from a 21 year old toy. I thought they'd got rid of him a long time ago. Next to him is another monkey, bought at the same time, but in pristine condition because I favoured the other.

Great stuff!

Cheers,
Mike


P.S. I've got a lot of typing up to do- but seeing as I got up a little late today, I've got three chapters to write. Let's what magic I can make today, eh?

Monday, 19 November 2007

The perils of procrastination, and the dangers of feral transitional paragraphs...

I've passed 12,000 words... which is great! I'll be writing chapter 6 today (hopefully).

I didn't write anything on Saturday... instead I played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel all day. Which kind of forced me to write something instead when my right arm started spasming... it can't really cope with too much pissing around. Luckily I'm left handed, so I was still able to write chapter 5 yesterday whilst I rested my right arm.

I would have started writing earlier today, but I got confused by a job application... whatever happened to 'send us your CV'? No.... now it's 'describe you motivations, team skills, customer service abilities, psychological aberrancies, your relationship with Richard Gere and why you want to work with us. Oh, and a few educational and work experience details wouldn't go amiss, either.'

Ah well... it's posted now.

Does anyone else have problems with transitional paragraphs? Like describing movement from one location to another, that really ought to have a sentence or two for it (instead of just miraculously teleporting there) but adds nothing to the story?

There was one point where two of my MCs walked a couple of hundred metres from a garage to the train station. Due to a slight malfunction (the train had derailed slightly), they were unable to leave, so they walked back to the garage to ask the mechanic about the bus service. Of course, this gave me a problem... I had already described the journey one way, and now I had to quickly say something about them going back along the same road. I think I managed to avoid repeating myself, but you see my problem right?

Cheers,
Mike



Total word count- 12,125

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Now playing: Diana Krall - Peel Me a Grape Winamp
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 12 November 2007

Quick update....

Remind me to never, ever, write more than a chapter before typing up my progress. My arms hurt like hell now. Because I was typing up, not continuing the story, I didn't bother taking a break, thinking 'it'll be finished in a few minutes, so I might as well keep going'.

Ow.

Anywho, I'm now at 9,758 words. Which is about what I expected.

Also, a couple of days back, I was told of a good source of Cadbury's Wispa in my home town. I thought nowhere in town sold it! I was even struggling to find it in Lincoln... but now I have a good source, I can stock up. So my cravings for retro-chocolate are sated for now (retro-chocolate, hell, any chocolate, is good for the imagination and thus, writing. Cadbury's Wispa, doubly so). Next I'll be wanting a Caramac...

Damn it! Now I do want one...

Cheers,
Mike

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Singing the 'Not Updated In A While' song...

I didn't type up my progress. So I still don't know my actual word count.

That being said, I've almost finished chapter 4, and going on the basis that I write (by hand) around 350 words per side of A4 in my lined notebook, I'm probably quite close to 10,000 words. I'm hoping to get chapter started and finished today.

I'm not getting into it as much as I could. I don't think it's my best of idea's to go for a 'subtle' horror. I quite plainly suck at it. But, if I were to change the plotline now, I would either a) ruin the story, or b) guarantee that I won't beat the deadline.

So, instead I'm going to soldier on. Eventually I may start to love my story, and when that happens I should start zooming ahead. I actually have another character I've been wanting to write about for years, so I'm going to include him.

Meet 'The Lawyer'-

An animated limbless corpse sat on a chair facing a rotting wall in a dark, decrepit room. He was murdered by a client decades ago, and is now trapped in his cadaver. He's not bitter though, oh no. He's let the decades of loneliness pass by doling out advice to passing mediums and spirits, and talking to himself. His main desire is for someone to come and turn his chair to the window so that he doesn't have to look at the Wet Rot any more.

The house itself is possessed by his client. It allows people in and out, but it won't let him leave. It continues to torment him to this day.

He's not really developed, but I've decided he's got two chapters- somewhere in the middle for a little exposition, and the epilogue. Hopefully he'll spice up the story a little.

Cheers,
Mike

'The Lawyer' character- (c) 2007 Michael Barlow.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Quick update 33 1/2

Again, I haven't done as much as I intended. However, I've done well over 1,000 words which is nice. I'll post the actual word count when I've typed it up.

That could take a while though, seeing as I haven't finished the chapter yet, and I've told myself (in a firm voice), that I shouldn't type it up until I've finished a chapter. That way, I spend less time typing up, and more time actually writing.

I've just noticed that in three chapters I have not described what my first FMC (who was introduced in the first line of the first chapter) looks like. At all. In fact, I now have a better description of a secondary character than my FMC. That's not to say I don't have a description, I have quite a detailed one ready to tear up and piece together with magazine cuttings like a ransom note. It's just I haven't found a good space to fit it in. So I've concocted a plan... a plan so devious, Moriarty himself may have even turned his nose up at it.

Basically, whilst she's rustling through a hospital (in her next chapter), I'm going to drop a speck of dust in her eye, and force her to look in a mirror to remove it. Then I'll describe her. Until then, she's lucky she's fictional. If this were real life, she'd wake up, go to the bathroom, glance in the mirror whilst she's brushing her neck and splashing mouthwash everywhere, and think- "Hang on, I haven't got a face! I wonder why I haven't noticed that before?"

It's 12:40am now, but as fashion dictates, I'm just tired enough not to be able to write, but not tired enough to sleep.

Smeg.

Cheers,
Mike

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

"I was dead at the time!" Tales of procrastination

Bonus to anyone who gets the quote.

I haven't written a word today. I've been too concerned with a rather large and daunting graduate scheme application form. I started the form on Sunday, after much psyching up, and had to force myself to finish it today. Or rather, I took all Monday training my dogs to attack me should the event arise where I didn't submit the form today. I think it's slightly less extreme than hiring a hitman to kill you for not going to the gym everyday (I can no longer find that news story... but it was hilarious).

Tomorrow, my parents (yeah, being just out of university and unemployed, I live with my parents. I really need a job...) are going to be out all day, moving furniture and boxes over to my sister's flat. Not that it'll help. I mean, if it's already flat then piling on furniture isn't going to make it more 3D.

So anyway, I've got to look after the dogs. So I'm going to take over the radio, tune into theJazz (I still want to call it Jazz FM... I'm only 21! Help Me!), and write like a chav driving down an empty street in the middle of the night.

That is to say, very quickly. Not shouting obscenities at pedestrians and blaring awful 'hardcore' dance music with so much bass the cheap 'quality' sound system can't deal with any other part of the sound spectrum, laughing idiotically at small dogs and spitting out of the window.

Erm... that's probably the longest version of that gag I've used.

Anyway, I'm to going to relax tonight and watch Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Cheers,
Mike

The Death of the Schedule (did I even have one? I don't know now...)

Chapter 2 is finished, finally. My word count is not accurate, as OpenOffice says I've got 5,838, whilst GoogleDocs says I've got 5,799. I've been taking the lowest count so far, but I'll be very happy when the official counters are back online.

Looking around the other NaNo-ers, it would seem I'm not as far behind as I thought, but I'm still not on schedule.

So I burnt the schedule. I hated that thing anyway. As it lay in my waste-paper basket, screaming in anguish as it was engulfed by the flames of hatred, I laughed. I was watching Henry's Cat at the time... I love that cartoon. Realising that it wasn't my finger that was screaming (it usually is. Ever since that curse... I've had a screaming ninja pinky of death), but the schedule, I promptly put it out of its misery, and then shot it. Then fed it through the shredder and... did I go too far?

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I'm going to stop with what has been referred to as 'word count envy', and simply write what I can when I can. Or rather, write what I should. If I write what I can, then it may be unsuitable for human consumption.

Or canine consumption for that matter.

And schedules taste nice fried with a bit of English mustard...

Cheers,
Mike

Ahh, there we go. Insomnia's sweet delirium... is somewhere in the corner. Under a pile of paper and an A3 map of a fictional town. I'll dig it out another time.

Total word count- 5,799

Monday, 5 November 2007

Quick Update #2

Well, I didn't break the 5,000 word mark. But I'm close, at 4,656 words. I can feel a very large boot coming in my direction, but my head isn't working properly at the moment.

The weird thing is, I wrote 1,244 words last night. When I started the second chapter, I wrote 1,248 words.

Despite the weird coincidences (and my amazing knack of trying to spell 'weird' with a 'q'), I'm getting too far behind schedule.

It is only day five. Perhaps I'm just a slow starter.

Cheers,
Mike

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Now playing: Bernadette Seacrest and her Provocateurs - When The Sun Comes iTunes
via FoxyTunes

Quick update...

It's 00:55, so I'll be brief so I can go to bed.

Writing by hand seems to help a lot. As does jazz playing in the background. Considering I don't often listen to jazz, this came as a bit of a surprise. I discovered this when I grew bored of ClassicFM and when I sat down to start writing by hand on the day I bought the notebook, I switched over to 'theJazz'. They had Cleo Laine playing, and I managed to write considerably well (although still under what I had intended).

But anyway, using these methods, I've a feeling I've passed the 5,000 word mark. I can't be sure as I haven't typed it up yet.

I went into detail about the workings of the human eye, in an effort to explain congenital aphakia (absence of the lens), which was good for about three paragraphs. I might try going into detail about how things work again...

I haven't finished the second chapter yet, and I may have to wrap it up soon and move on before it becomes too long. My overview so far has actually been too short on the time scale. These first two chapters were supposed to be one (I thought I would have trouble with the beginning. I am, but not in the sense I originally thought). And now it seems the 'first chapter' will actually be three. Which is good. Makes me feel better about being behind schedule...

Now hands up who knows my definition of 'brief'!

Will post a word count when I've typed it up tomorrow.

Cheers,
Mike

[Edit] After rustling around some blogs, it's now 01:30... hands up who knows my definition of 'going to bed'.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Better...

Well, it didn't go exactly to plan... I realised I couldn't remember how I described my characters, so I had to go back home and turn the computer on.

On the upside, I am writing the next chapter by hand. It seemed to do the trick, and I've got 1,250 more words. Not as much as I'd hoped, but it's early days yet, and tomorrow's Sunday.

After deciding that there wasn't much point to me travelling to the park to write if I wasn't going to get very far (Lincoln was packed full of people), I thought I might start on the train back. Fat chance.

Although the train was very quiet (three carriages for about ten people), a small child decided it wanted to scream all the they way to my home town. Not for any particular reason, not because it was upset or hungry or trying to get attention (well, perhaps he was trying the get attention, although his parents weren't exactly ignoring him). No, it just fancied screaming in a very high pitch. For the entire twenty minute journey. Thank goodness the journey wasn't any longer, or I would have been tempted to smash a window and use a large shard of glass in a rather nasty way.

So, it seems I'm only really going to get any writing done at home. I'll keep trying whenever I'm out, but it seems unlikely.

Cheers,
Mike

Total word count- 3,421

P.S. I think I'm going to have fun writing Plague Mask Guy... it's already made two appearances, over the first two chapters.

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Now playing: Apocalyptica - Resurrection iTunes
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 2 November 2007

And... breathe

Screw it. My brain isn't working too well at the moment. I've written about 100 of the 3,000 words scheduled today, not even worth updating my word count for. Again, I know what I want to write, I just can't write it.

So tomorrow, I'm going to Lincoln early with my good pens, I'm buying a mock-suede journal I saw in WHSmiths, and I'm going to the Arboreteum (a park) with a cup of coffee and I'm going to write it on paper. My computer can go screw itself.

So I'm going to turn off. I'll only turn my computer on again when I'm stuck for an idea or am ready to type up.

Of course, how long that attitude will last, I don't know.

We'll see.

Cheers,
Mike

Well.... that sucked

I have over 2,000 words (finally)!

Hopefully, later today I'll be able to write 2-3,000 more!

I'm not sure what went wrong there... but then I've always had problems with beginnings. Middles and ends I'm okay with. Beginnings, I can never think.

So hopefully, as time goes by the words will come more easily, as has been said (thanks for the encouragement).

Ah well. I'm going to take a break now and fill out some very scary application forms for graduate placements... well, not right now, but later today. I need to psyche myself up first...

Cheers,
Mike

Total word count- 2,194

Ah crap

Well that wasn't a good start... although I've got it in my head, for some reason or other I've only managed 1,000 words today... well, now it was yesterday (1st of Nov).

Ah well, I'll just have to redouble my efforts tomorrow and write 4,000 words. That'll make up for it.

The main problem was, I didn't know how to start. I knew what I wanted to write, I just didn't know how to write it.

The first chapter involves a train ride. So I grabbed my notebook (well, it's a 2007 diary with '2007' crossed out and 'Notes' written on in silver ink) and went for a train ride.

It helped alot. But I couldn't write as much as I'd hoped because people seemed to insist on being in close proximity to me as I was scribbling away. And then I had to bring my laptop downstairs to write so that I could look after the dogs. Not the most productive of environments.

Well, my laptop will be safely back upstairs in a quieter environment tomorrow (today), so I should get something done.

I won't be able to sleep tonight, you watch.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. The NaNoWriMo severs are being very, very, slow. So I'll have to upload my wordcount tomorrow.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Go-Go, Power Authors!

So here it is... 2,000 words a day for the next 30 days.

And I' haven't even finished my overview yet. Ah well, I'll have to play it by ear.

Anyway, as I was bored with my blog template, I've put up a new one.

The images are my own (as you can probably tell, they're a bit crummy), but the code is from Pyzam.com (I haven't the foggiest where to start with coding). They've got some great templates ready to use straight off the bat (I modified mine from the 28 weeks later template).

Anywho, what do you think?

Back on track, the name of 'The Fourth Character' is Ersatz. And to say he's off his trolley is an understatement.

But he doesn't appear until chapter 6 (ish. Thing. Possibly).

Anywho... en garde! Good luck to all!

Going for a cuppa,
Mike