Monday, September 30, 2013

Precedent Setting

I have now successfully established a precedent for this year's NaNo. I woke up at 4:55 with the intent to write.

Did I write?

A bit.

Did I pay bills? Check the sports scores from the night before? Check on my home warranty?

A bit.

But the waking up precedent is there. The writing precedent will follow.

I did write some. I am still writing 2009's (or is it 2010's) NaNo entry. I'm a quarter way through it and still writing. With each new scene I write I am reminded why this year's entry needs to be different (as I wrote here). I'm having to write stuff out of whole cloth. It's as if my work on the entry doesn't matter at all. None of the writing made it over to this draft. What was the point of writing it if none of the writing stays? I could have just written a good outline and gotten more out of it.

Still, as my grandfather used to sing, "you got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don't mess with Mr. Inbetween" . . . so in that spirit . . . I woke up and wrote for an hour.

Friday, September 27, 2013

NaNo Goals

I know when National Novel Writing Month is getting near cause I get so many (tongue in cheek) calls from my brother about it.

But, in an effort to make this year's experience more worthwhile, I'm doing a couple of new things. First, I'm reading a book about writing a book in a month by Reader's Digest. I hope that Miss Schmidt's Book in a Month, which is really closer to a workbook than a book book, will make the work I produce a closer draft to the finished product than what I've produced in the past. I find that on 25% or less of what I've written in previous years actually makes it through the re-writing process. Those are not acceptable losses.

Secondly, I'm setting some goals. Based on a website I found on personal goal setting, I intend to provide the following goals:

  1. State each goal as a positive statement - I will knock out 80,000 words during the month of November by writing approximately 3000 words a day during that month. They will all be toward the specific goal of writing the novel I've outlined during the previous months in my workbook on Book in a Month. In order to find the time I need to write I will wake up 6 out of every 7 mornings at 5 AM to write for atleast one hour on nothing but my NaNo writing. 
  2. Be precise - Okay, so not 3000 words, more like 2666.666667 a day.
  3. Set priorities – During November, waking up to write takes precedence over working for SEAL PT and sleeping. You have one day out of every seven to sleep in or work in the park. 
  4. Write goals down – Done
  5. Set performance goals, not outcome goals – Performance goal = 3000 words a day. Outcome goal = write a blockbuster novel.

Onward and upward to NaNo Victory!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another First Line

Despite the move that has forced me off of this blog, I have still been reading. Here's another first line from the past couple of weeks.

It would be so easy to kill you while you sleep.” He rolls onto his side and faces his wife, tangling his fingers in her hair. Her face is shrouded in a dried blue mask; an antiaging beauty product that has begun to peel. The moonlight peeking through the bedroom curtains makes her look already dead. He wonders if other people look at their partners at night, peacefully dozing, and imagine killing them. “I have a knife.” He brushes his fingertips along her hairline. “I keep it under the bed.” Her lips part and she snores softly. So ugly, especially for a model. All capped teeth and streaked hair. He wedges his hand between the mattress and box spring and pulls out the knife. It has a large wooden handle, disproportionate to the thin, finely honed blade. A fillet knife. He places it against his wife’s neck, gently.

Konrath, J.A - Bloody Mary

Although Konrath can be unnecessarily visceral and over the top in describing murders, particularly bloody murders, he does grab the readers attention with his first line.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to Re-Posting The Kill Zone

There is a fun article on The Kill Zone today about time management, something I need to do a better job of based on my inability to keep to my posting schedule. There are a couple of snippets that spoke to me. First:

Never before have we had so many options. It’s an exciting era, but it’s also utterly time consuming. Who has free time when we can publish our entire body of works through various formats, and spend hours on the social networks promoting them?

Now add the "full time job with travel and three kiddos" plus "move" and you have my life at the moment. No excuse though particularly with NaNo coming up.

Then there is this on setting goals, again, something I'll need to use more aggressively in the coming months.

Establishing priorities is paramount. When I’m in a writing phase, I set myself a daily quota of five pages a day. That’s my minimum, and I have to be at least halfway through before I’m permitted to peek at my email via Microsoft Outlook. I have to be finished before going online. This is the only way to get your writing done. Do it first before anything else intrudes.

Not a bad article by Miss Cohen. Always good for a refresher on how to balance a Writing Life."

Monday, September 23, 2013


Sorry that I've taken some time off, but I've been busy moving. But! I'm back on the band-wagon and getting prepped for this year's Nano.

But before we get onto that, I have a first line.

I WAS ARRESTED IN ENO’S DINER. AT TWELVE O’CLOCK. I was eating eggs and drinking coffee. A late breakfast, not lunch. I was wet and tired after a long walk in heavy rain. All the way from the highway to the edge of town.

Child, Lee - Killing Floor 

Again, I say that these Reacher novels are modern day Louis L'Amour dime store novels. Having finished this second one, I'm standing behind that statement.