the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNo Diary: Day One

I began the 2008 NaNo challenge today. The idea is to write a novel (or at least 50,000 words of one) in a month. I started with an idea and a few notes, but no outline and my worldbuilding woefully unfinished. I'll have to try to manage it by the seat of my pants as I write.

The idea is a killer one: if I can make it work, I will have slain two of science fiction's sacred cows: the Turing Test, and the Singularity. The trouble will be keeping up the pace; to "win" NaNo, you need to write 1,667 words per day. If you miss just a day or two, that daily average rises alarmingly. Well, I managed it in 2006 - I tried in 2007, but my friend's death was just too recent, and I never had the slightest chance.

Typically, the first day was not promising. I began unprepared, and while I love writing and have some good days when 1,700 words or so is an easy target, the need to do research, worldbuilding, and plotting on the fly cuts into the time I have. A family crisis struck without warning in the afternoon: I seriously considered that I might need to drop out. Well, I decided to stay in, anyway.

I am also a poor candidate for NaNo for several other reasons. While any real veteran of NaNo would scorn some of the sleaziest tricks advocated to "win" - tricks that make you nothing but a phony who is only pretending to be as good as those of us who have won at least once, such as copying someone else's work from the Net to "prove" you "won", I go much further. Whereas many NaNo veterans will at least make zero effort to curb their wordy tendencies, in hopes that will help push them over the top, I continue to attempt to write passages that will require as little later editing as possible.

Worse yet, I cannot bring myself to follow the typical NaNo advice: to save the editing for December. I keep skipping back to polish sentences, trim stray bits of scene that aren't necessary, and so on. All of that, of course, wastes time and trims my word count severely. So I find myself running twice as hard just to reach the same finish line.

Despite those problems, I thought up a passable beginning - no real "hook", but at least something that might stir a tiny bit of interest in the reader's mind. I set up the scene, and began to set up the premise of the entire book, and I managed a total of 1,766 words. I find the inversion, 1,766 instead of the minimum 1,667 needed, amusing. Stay tuned for more episodes in the saga: will the Wandering Author trip while running with a pencil and stab himself, or will he manage to pull it off?

Today's Total: 1,766 words
Days Left: 29
Cumulative Total: 1,766 words

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diigo it


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't tell anyone but I don't like to the "editing is for December" rule either. It irks me too much not to sometimes, but I pick my battles with it.

Good luck Wandering Author. :)

November 02, 2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so excited that you're actually doing this! I look forward hearing about your progress. Good luck...

November 06, 2008 9:18 PM  

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