Ishness of NaNo 2016

ishness
November NaNoWriMo 2016

(What do you mean, the month is called November? Pssh. It’s obviously been wrongly informed on that count and has been renamed NaNoWriMo. *nods*)

Hello, Roadlings! It being December somehow (whaaat?) I’m thinking it’s about time for another post about all the ishness I got up to this November!

Instead of having a sub-division here called WRITING, let me just tell you all about my NaNo this month, because NOVEMBER IS ALL ABOUT THE WRITING.

There will be non-NaNo-related stuff (whaaat?? That happens?) afterwards later on in the post. ^_^

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So… the month started off on a slightly down note, when I ended up losing hundreds of words on the first day of NaNo due to my laptop getting unplugged and the fact that I was not yet acquainted with Scrivener’s backup systems. That was… a bit of a downer, I’ll admit. (I got a new battery that doesn’t die in five minutes, and a better power cable that didn’t fall out every two seconds, and started regularly backing up my novel after that. Highly recommended.)

But after that, other than the daily struggle to come up with exactly what to write (since other than a very rough outline/list of chapters, I was basically pantsing each chapter) and the occasional downs that come with a month full of busyness and having to write 50,000 words… it was really a great NaNo, overall!

I wrote 51,134 words of The Library in the Stars (the NaNo site says less than that, due to their different wordcounter, but pfft, I’m totally going with mine. ;)) and wrote 7589 words on November 27 (my personal record other than the last day of my first NaNo back in 2010, which was just over 8K) and FINISHED NANO. Three days early, at that.

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Bucky helped me to keep my wordcount on track. ^_^ Picture not mine: gorgeous Bucky art belongs to Svenja Gosen — check out her AMAZING wordcount spreadsheets with awesome fandom etc. art. โค

I didn’t fall behind on my wordcount at all! This was my first time in seven years of NaNos to stay on track the entire month, and let me tell you, it. felt. good. I even got to take a few days off from writing in there, which was glorious. I’m very much of a sprint writer. I would much rather write 3K in a day and then skip the next day than have to write the necessary 1667 words every. single. day. Honestly, the idea of writing several days in a row exhausts me more than writing 3.5K two days and then 4K another day and getting to take off four days that week in amongst that (an actual example).

lscoverNumbers aside… it was fun to write this story! I mean, it was totally confusing too, and ended up nothing like I expected, but the characters were fun, and writing a sci-fi-ish story (admittedly a heavily fantasy version) and a bunch of different plot threads and dabbling slightly with time travel all presented very interesting challenges! It will be interesting to see how the rest of the story ends up and how edits will change it…

(Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Don’t worry, there will be snippets. Just… I have to find them first, so that might take awhile. Expect some hopefully next week, though! ^_^)

Scrivenerrrr โค

I used Scrivener for the first time, to write my NaNo novel, and it’s officially my precioussss and I love it, and ended up getting the actual program with my NaNo coupon. I’m very very excited. Honestly, it was SO useful for setting daily goals (the little progress bar in the corner!) and for organizing my chapters to write, and being able to focus on one day’s writing at a time, or a chapter at a time, or looking at the whole thing. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUUUUCH. โค

Wordsprints

Another life-saver was the group wordsprint feature the NaNo site debuted this year. I just loved being able to sprint with people in person or online (I used it at my write-ins with great success), and even if no one else was doing it, it was SO helpful for me. I loved being able to have the countdown open in one window and Scrivener in another (with my fast music, of course — a necessity) so that I could be typing and aware of how much time was left (and the wordcount at the bottom of Scrivener was helpful too, since I could make a new sub-document for a wordsprint and vaguely assess how far into the sprint I was).

That last day, I was writing 900 words in 20 minutes with the help of the NaNo wordsprint timer and Scrivener and my fast music.

Roadlings mine, I average 1K per hour.

I have NEVER in my LIFE written that much at once.

Seriously, this was just amazing. (I’m not trying to brag. I’m trying to express how mind-blown I am and how wonderful wordsprints and Scrivener and fast music are.)

Oh yeah, did I mention fast music? Skillet, Newsboys, Skyworld, and Colton Dixon helped me out with that. Never underestimate the help of such things for typing faster. ๐Ÿ˜›

Playlist for 2016 NaNo

(miscellaneous inspiring music or just what I felt like at the time)

  • Feel Invincible โ€” Skillet
  • Stars โ€” Skillet
  • I Want to Live โ€” Skillet (Damian’s themesong)
  • Thatโ€™s How You Change the World โ€” Newsboys
  • Restart โ€” Newsboys
  • Go Glow โ€” Newsboys
  • In and Out of Time โ€” Colton Dixon (essential for any time-travel novel)
  • Walk on the Waves โ€” Colton Dixon
  • Limitless โ€” Colton Dixon
  • Aurora โ€” John McCutcheon (I have a character named this. ‘Nuff said.)
  • Skyworld โ€” Two Steps From Hell (Strange band name, but this is my traditional wordwar melody ever since 2014)
  • Hard to Find โ€” Skillet
  • Sleepsong โ€” Secret Garden
  • Savinโ€™ Me โ€” Nickelback
  • Northern Lights โ€” Gaelic Storm
  • This Time โ€” Cara Dillon
  • Never in a Million Years โ€” Cara Dillon
  • Tell Your Heart to Beat Again โ€” Danny Gokey
  • Dream Song โ€” Nordik Fire
  • Starkindler โ€” Michael Card
  • Wintersong โ€” John McCutcheon
  • Lord of the Dance soundtrack (particularly โ€œLamentโ€ and also โ€œWarriorsโ€ and โ€œGypsyโ€)

Other NaNo/Life Things

I was also an ML for my region, on my own for the first time, and survived/stayed on top of that, which pleases me muchly. I had like six writing events so… I’m kind of amazed that I managed to stay on top of things. (This introvert doesn’t always get a lot done when having to go places…) So I organized a NaNo region, held writing meetings, ran a forum, and sent out weekly peptalks, all by myself, and lived. I’m very pleased and thankful on this count.

Speaking of meetings… I got to meet Claire Banschbach!! She’s awesome, FYI. โค And also hang out with a few other homeschooled authors, which was so fun. ^_^

Oh and I caught a cold! Right when I hit 50K, basically. So I spent the last three days of NaNo doing things like reading, Not Writing, and flipping through Howl’s Moving Castle for all the parts where Howl has a cold (not to mention other parts, because I’m easily distracted). Yes, this is a continual occurrence when I catch colds. I’m not even sorry.

BOOKS

Notice how I cleverly disguised this section as “Books” instead of “Reading”

  • A library sale happened, which was glorious as usual, and involved my snagging some fairytale retellings including some for Tam Lin and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, among other intriguing-looking books. …My to-read bookcase has become crammed to the point where I mayyy have to avoid library booksales until I read a lot more. (I never thought I’d say that.)
  • Book mail! I don’t know about you, but book mail is one of the joys of my life, rare though it may be. โค Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the copy of The Silent Songbird, and thanks to Jill Williamson for the copy of Project Gemini I won in her bimonthly giveaway on her website!

nov2016bookmail

I also actually (gasp!) managed to READ three books during November! :O What is this nonsense? Reading doesn’t happen during NaNo, does it?? Evidently it did this time, which makes me pretty pleased.

nov2016read

  • The Silent Songbirdย  was delightful and I reviewed it (Little Mermaid retelling, huzzah!).
  • Crooked Kingdom… how am I conflicted about thee…? let me count the ways. Clever but dark and with Things I’m Very Displeased About, but I love the characters and writing and I’ll admit I really enjoyed it but I can’t/won’t recommend it to anybody… (I have no idea what to rate this thing somebody halp)
  • Ghostly Echoes… only one of my top anticipated reads of the year… and I still haven’t decided what I think of this one either. Wut.

Basically I read three books that came out very recently and have fairly confused feelings about two of them and what even is this reading life where I have to have concrete opinions on things.

But I’m so happy I got to read them, and not fall behind on NaNo in the process, so yay!

Blogging

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On my book blog:

Around here:

December Plans

Whenever December hits, I have this delusion that after my month-long writing journey of epicness and exhaustion, I should totally get to take a whole month to relax. I mean, it stands to reason, right?? But noooo, apparently life doesn’t work that way. (I want it to. Let me live in my delusions.)

I kinda-sorta-almost-maybe-possibly-perhaps may have neglected many things during November (it happens, Roadlings), so I have much catching up to do, as well as Christmas things. Basically, this month I am ALL OF THE BUSY.

On top of which, I really should turn this month into NaBeReMo (National Beta-Reading Month) or something like that, with all the books I promised to read and haven’t yet. We’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck!

And, oh yes, I have a review for Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales coming to the blog later this week, and some snippets hopefully next week, and I’m finishing out the year with a couple more tags, so at least there are a few things going on around the blog — I can’t wait! And then it will be the new year (2017??) and WHAT EVEN IS TIME. *collapses*

Anyhoo, that’s what’s up with me. I’m off to go see about some of that busy-December stuff. *picks nervously at mile-long to-do list*

*I accidentally typed that as “mile-long suit.” Apparently I have Howl on my mind. Because of when Sophie accidentally made his suit too big:

“Oh dear!” said Michael. “Howl, it was my fault I–”

“Your fault? Garbage!” said Howl. “I can detect Sophie’s hand a mile off. And there are several miles of this suit.”

— Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

HMC

I will leave you with that. *proceeds with dignity to wade away wrapped in mile-long to-do list*

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22 thoughts on “Ishness of NaNo 2016

  1. I can’t believe I forgot to say something about meeting you in my wrap up post. faaaiiiiilll…..
    Awesome job on finishing NaNo!!! I need to learn how to write faster. I’m a turtle these days.
    Ugh, that Bucky picture is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad your NaNoWriMo went well! That’s splendiferous! And I feel like I should look into Scrivener for editing, except I’m already using yWriter . . . did you use yWriter? Because I know I found it off your blog, but yeah, I’d like to know how they compare and whether or not Scrivener is worth spending actual money on.
    And now I’m scared because of what you said about Ghostly Echoes . . . I want so bad for it to be good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah!! ^_^

      And… with yWriter versus Scrivener… I think it really depends what you’re looking for. I did try yWriter awhile back but never got fully into it, and then when I was going to dust it off and try it out for this NaNo, it stopped working for me?? Like, it wasn’t saving and stuff. *shrug* I don’t know why but that was why I ended up giving the Scrivener free trial a try. If you’re not sure whether you’d like to spend the money on it (I felt the same way, honestly… *never buys things if I can help it*) you can try their 30-day free trial… and you can also wait until you win NaNo sometime for a half-off coupon. ๐Ÿ˜„ But for the features… I really like how Scrivener is a lot more fluid. It could be because I didn’t take the time to get really well acquainted with yWriter, but that just seemed a lot more rigid, and I just really like Scrivener’s layout and how you can change what layout versions you’re looking at (individual chapters or scenes; an outline layout; a corkboard layout, etc.) and how you can see the whole book at once if you want, and the neat index-cards-on-a-corkboard feature where the index cards are “connected” to documents, so they’re a really handy outlining feature (and probably the only reason I got as far in The Library in the Stars as I did). I don’t remember all the yWriter features, so I’m probably not the best at comparing them right now, but like I said, it probably just depends what you’re looking for. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you had specific questions about Scrivener features, of how they compare with a certain yWriter thing, I might be able to explain that to you if you wanted, but I really recommend trying the free one if you’re super curious, or just keeping on with yWriter if you like it (because it does have many of the same features, and you can’t beat free for price. ;)).

      …Wow, that was long. Sorry. *cough*

      As for Ghostly Echoes… there were definitely things I didn’t like, but still some great dialog/characters and cool Faerie-related things. *nods* Just… be prepared for the plot to semi-cliffhanger. >.> I may throw together some kind of brief review… You might like the book, though! I know you enjoyed the second one more than I did, so there may be hope! ๐Ÿ˜€ I still LOOOVE the first one (and the novella) but the other two are falling slightly flat for me. ๐Ÿ˜› (But I hope you like it!!)

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      • Thank you for that detailing. I may try the trial version of Scrivener once summer comes around, or in the March-April range depending what I do for Camp NaNoWriMo this year. Some of the Scrivener features do sound really nice, particularly the outlining feature- I don’t outline much for my first draft, but I’m trying to do it more for rewrites, so that might be useful. We’ll see what happens . . .

        I read and commented on your review. It sounds like I probably will like it better than you did, but we’ll see how much more . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  3. *flailing* Awesome job at NaNo, Deborah! I still love the sound of The Library in the Stars. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I reached 50k on the last day, and now most of my motivation is gone. ๐Ÿ˜› But after school has diminished into mostly break, I’m going to start writing again. Unlike during most of NaNo, I actually feel pretty good about my story. (at times. other times I feel like it belongs in a pit of darkness filled with slugs. :P)

    (ANYWAY. Ohh, the NaNo site said you had less? For me it said I had more than my word document said.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Emily!! ๐Ÿ˜€ (And it makes my day that you like the sound of it! EEE!)

      Congratulations!!! …Sorry your motivation is gone, though, but I think that’s totally natural. When I hit 50K I didn’t want to even look at my story for quiiiite awhile, so I think we can use a natural break from writing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you’ll enjoy getting back into it after school slows down for you! And that’s FANTASTIC that you’re feeling better about the story itself!! (…Believe me, we all have those pit-with-slugs thoughts from time to time. XD)

      And yes, it did! It usually says it’s less for me… but there was a year or two where it was higher than my wordcounter, so I have no idea. ๐Ÿ˜„ That’s good yours was higher though. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Why DO people call that month November? It’s totally called NaNoWriMo. Silly people.

    IT IS DECEMBER NOW. LIKE HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? But I ain’t complainin’ one little bit!

    I’m so happy you had a great NaNo overall! And that you kept up with your wordcount and finished EARLY and did all the awesome ML things and WROTE 900 WORDS IN 20 MINUTES!!! You were basically a wizard epic enough to impress Howl with all your awesomeness! You even squeezed in 3 whole books amidst it all! :O WIZARD I TELL YOU. (Though I’m sorry you’re feeling meh about a couple of the books. Especially the Jackaby one. I know you were so looking forward to that one! D: )

    Also…IT’S A BUCKY PROGRESS CHART. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I will not admit how long I’ve been staring at that. *cough, cough, cough*

    I understand if you feel like you have a lot to do in December, but don’t wear yourself out TOO much, okay? Allow some breathing room, too, because you have more than earned it. I do so hope your December is absolutely amazing! *hugs*

    (Also HOOOOWL. <3333 That scene. xD ALL THE SCENES. I love how you read back through the parts of him having a cold when you have a cold yourself. That is a brilliant idea. Howl makes everything better!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • TOTALLY. Silly calendar. ๐Ÿ˜„

      I know, right? Where does time go? O_O

      Thank youuuuuu so much, Lauri! ^_^ And… well… I don’t know about THAT… since I doubt Howl is easily impressed. ๐Ÿ˜„ But thanks all the same! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (And eh, it’s okay I guess. :P)

      I KNOWWWW. I got so excited when I saw she had a Bucky chart this year. ๐Ÿ˜€ It was super motivational. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Hey, not judging on that count. XD)

      I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have you around to remind me not to go too overboard and relax some. *hugs back* I will try!

      (HOWL IS JUST THE BEST. I wonder how many lines from that book I could quote from memory… ๐Ÿ˜› YES it totally helps with colds! You should try reading those parts next time you have one. XD)

      Thanks so muuuuch for your loverly comment! โค KEEP WRITING, YOU'RE DOING AMAAAAZING!!! *flailing*

      Like

  5. So happy you reached 50k AGH!! *gives you all the cake* You must be some kind of super human or something. ๐Ÿ˜€
    And yes, I will eagerly be awaiting those snippets. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I am shocked that you managed to read any books during NaNo. *stares at tbr-pile with shame* And I totally feel the same way about Crooked Kingdom!! *sniffle* And it’s such a bummer because I LOVED Six of Crows…I can’t help you with that rating. ‘Fraid I’m as confused as you are. ๐Ÿ˜„
    Haha, I feel the same way about December. Totally deserve a break after all that intense writing, right? But no, because Christmas and family and life in general. *shakes head in despair*
    Always love hearing about your life, Deborah! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • AAAHHH THANKS SO MUCH MADELINE! ^_^ Eheh, I don’t feel very superhuman, just tired, but thanks. ๐Ÿ˜„
      Hurray! (I will actually be using your awesome Snippet Tag for that, so stay tuned!!)
      Yeah, I only read because of review-books and the fact I had write-ins at a library, which was too big of a temptation to resist. ๐Ÿ˜„ Also because I stayed on track with my writing enough to take a day off each week, so that was when I did my reading (mostly). *nods*
      *hugs you and sniffles about Crooked Kingdom* I DON’T EVEN KNOWWWW. D: *confusion* Eheh.
      I’m glad you relate… but hopefully we can relax in between the busy Decemberness!
      Aww, thank you so much!! ^_^ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Firstly, congrats on the AMAZING NANO WIN! 1000 words in 1 hour? You are a mad genius of the writing variety, you!
    I finished drafting The Quest For Fhern novella for NaNo this time, which I’m super excited about! Even if it’s not the official 50k words long. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Speaking of NaNo, since I’m new to it, what is a “NaNo region”? And what were the writing events?

    Awesome you met Claire M. B.! She’s great, I’ve enjoyed being a beta reader for her.

    HOWL FAN forever!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eep, thanks so much! ^_^ (Actually, 1K per hour is my usual writing average… but I was doing nearly 1K in 20 minutes, which was insane. XD)

      Aaahh, congratulations! No matter the length, that’s so exciting to finish something for NaNo! *has only ever done that once*

      Oh, okay. So, NaNo’s the online site, of course, but there are also regional forums on the site for various places around the world, and many of those places have a local presence where writers get together. So I’m the ML = Municipal Liaison (local volunteer organizer) who puts together events in my local area and runs my regional forum for the local people on NaNo, and sends out messages to encourage them. You can go to the list of regions on the site and “home” to the one nearest you so that you can get the messages from that region and find the forum more easily. *nod* As for events… I held a write-in each week of November, which is basically getting together with our laptops and just typing in a room together, at a library or restaurant, for instance. It’s helpful to set aside that time, and fun to meet other local writers. I also had a “kickoff” party, just getting together and chatting before NaNo started, and a wrapup afterward, and one cool event where we had a wandering-write-in around town, writing at different stops. That’s just my region — lots of others have different stuff going on, but most of them (at least those with MLs) have a weekly write-in and before and after thing. I hope that answers your question! Let me know if you have more questions. ^_^

      Yes! Claire’s really fun! Ooh, I haven’t read her writing yet (other than some snippets on her blog) so that’s awesome you’ve been beta-ing! I hope to read one of her books soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

      HURRAY FOR HOWWWWL!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks so much for explaining that to me! These regional events sound really fun, I’d like to join in mine next time. I hope it’s as fun as yours sound! ๐Ÿ™‚ “Wandering-write-in” around town, haha, love it! I think it’d be too cold in my area to do during November though. Maybe an in-doors version. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Brief Ishness of December | The Road of a Writer

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