Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fourth Check-in {and the Half NaNo tag!}

This was what I was supposed to be doing this week.

And this is what I actually did this week...

{spending time with family}

I am seriously embarrassed to tell you what my word count was for this week.  But I am a good girl, I am, and an honest one to boot, soooo...

I wrote 2,544 words this week.  

*cowers in shame*

This means my stats are as follows.

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 8,536
Total Word Count As Of Now:  25,045
Final Word Count Goal: 33,536
Daily Word Count Goal: 1,000
Average Daily Word Count: Eh, heh. Heh, heh, heh.
Words Remaining: 8,489

In other words, I have to do 8,489 words this coming week.  From Monday to Friday.  Do you think I can do it?  How about you?  What's your word count?  Are you feeling stressed and strained yet?

Favorite Bit Written This Week:

Francie sighed.  “Taste is immaterial.  Eggs are much less fattening than grilled cheese.”Alice choked back a laugh.  “Oh, Francie, really.  You’re not trying to reduce again, are you?”“Only a little.  For the wedding.  I have my reasons.”Alice raised her eyebrows.  “Well, it’s your lunch.”“You mean your funeral,” said Mark, peering into the pan and reeling back as if he’d been socked.  “If you don’t survive eating that thing, will you leave your bicycle to me?”Francie was saved from an annoyed retort by a thumping knock on the back door.   Alice dropped the plate of sandwiches into Sylvia’s startled hands and flew to get it.  Patsy beamed benevolently.  “It’s George,” she said, a bit after the fact, as Alice reentered the room with a tallish young man and Pumblechook.
Mark and Timmy immediately made kissing noises. 
Challenge Taken  This Week: Gasp! I forgot! 


I'll do it next week.  I promise.  And I won't issue a new challenge this week, but instead I shall give all y'all a tag to fill out.  Everyone loves a tag, right? These things are fun and fun is good.

~What's the name of your project? When did you first come up with the idea? And how long have you been working on it?

~Sum up your novel in five words or less.

~Who is your favorite character?  Tell us about him or her.

~Where does your novel take place?  What time period?

~Do you have a theme song for your story?  What is it?

~What's been the hardest part to write so far?

~Which chapter was your favorite so far?

~Can you share one of your favorite snippets?  (One you haven't shared on your blog already)

~Are any aspects of your story drawn directly from your own life?  Give us an example.  

~Your main character gets dumped into a big city in the modern era (or if you're writing a contemporary work, he/she gets dumped in medieval London).  How does he/she respond?

~Who's the funniest character in your story? Tell us why! Give examples! Support your argument.  :D

~If you were forced to eliminate a character from your story--just wash them clean off the slate--who would it be?

~Do you plan on writing a sequel to your novel?

There you have it! I'm opening this tag to anyone and everyone who wants to participate.  Whether you're doing Half NaNo, full NaNoWriMo, or just writing without a specific challenge, go ahead and fill out the questions if you're interested.  Do please leave a link in the comments so I can see your answers! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Third Check-In

You know what I said last time about not meeting the goal?  Yeah.  That again.  But you know what?  I'm not letting it bother me.  Life is tremendously busy for me just now, and the fact that I got about 5200 words written this week (erm... last week... yes, this post is late) is good enough for me.  Will I finish Half NaNo, at the rate I'm going?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But at this point, I'm just enjoying the ride.

Are you?

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 8,536
Total Word Count As Of Now:  22,501 [before any writing was done today]
Final Word Count Goal: 33,536
Daily Word Count Goal: 1,000
Average Daily Word Count: too tired to do the math... but it's less than 1,000.  Heehee.
Words Remaining: 11,025

Challenge Taken This Week: I stuck in a pirate!  Well, I stuck in a pirate in a character's imagination.  Yes, that counts.  It's my challenge, after all.  :D
“We could get all kinds of people to come and stay.”  Mark stopped to pick up a stone and attempt to dribble it as he walked.  “Travelers from all over the world, maybe.  And they could tell stories around the dinner table.”
“And show us their jewels and treasures from the caves of Arabia,” said Celia dryly.
“Maybe they’d even be pirates!” Timmy’s eyes widened.  “If one was a pirate, we could keep him.”
“In Pumblechook’s doghouse?” inquired Celia.
“No, silly.  He could share a room with Mark and me.  You’d let a pirate have your bed, wouldn’t you, Mark?  If he had an eye patch?”
“Why couldn’t the pirate have your bed, if it comes to that?”
“Because I like my bed.”
“Well, I like mine, and I’m not letting any One-Eyed Hook come and take it away from me.  Pirates don’t take baths, you know.”
“I think I’ll be a pirate when I grow up,” said Timmy, awed.

Favorite Snippet Written This Week:

This lake was quite different, and it was a lovely, wild kind of different.  For starters, the beach was practically nonexistent—a thin stretch of pebbly sand with rocks here and there and no semblance of order whatsoever.  The lake itself was rather small, and Sylvia could see clearly to the other side.  Pine trees, which Aunt Janet had never approved of because they were wont to shed like St. Bernards, studded the banks, and the air smelled sharp and clean and cold, not sun-warmed and proper like it did in the mountains.  “Isn’t it gorgeous?” said Celia comfortably.

Challenge for Next Week:  Use a word you've never used before (and I'm referring to fifty-cent dictionary words, not swear words, as I hope you realize).  Put it in your narrative or casually drop it in a favorite character's dialogue--it's your call.  Don't forget to post the snippet containing your word on your blog and drop me a link in the comments!

Did you do last week's challenge?  How'd your week go overall?  Do share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Popping by to say...

...that if you're having any trouble whatsoever with Half NaNo, or Real NaNo, or Just Plain Writing In General, or Hog Calling*, go check out this post from my writerly friend Jessica.  Jessica, by the way, will soon be releasing her long-anticipated novel Annabeth's War.  I've been drooling over the teeny-weeny bits my sister has condescended to tell me about (Anne-girl got to read the manuscript awhile back) and I can't wait for the book to come out! So I'm poking a wee bit of advertising into this incredibly short post.


And, actually, since I'm feeling guilty over the shortness of this post, I will give you something to giggle over before you depart.  You're welcome.

*Well, not really.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Check-In the Second

Has it really been an entire week since the last check-in?  Well, if time flies when you're having fun it must also fly when you're pulling your hair out to find time to write.

Unfortunately I didn't quite meet my 6,000 word goal this week, but I came very close.  The stats...

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 8,536
Total Word Count As Of Now:  17,380
Final Word Count Goal: 33,536
Daily Word Count Goal: 1,000
Average Daily Word Count: 953
Words Remaining: 16,156

Challenge Taken This Week: I followed my own command and wrote in a person I encountered this week-- to be specific, the little boy I nanny/babysit every Monday.  He's a darling, but is prone to frequent bouts of crying if he's too long away from his mother, which is a bit of a frustration each week.  So it was great fun to channel that frustration into an entire chapter about a baby who will not. stop. crying.
Perhaps he’d lost his hold on the bunny blanket.  She dropped the rest of the silverware onto the counter—it didn’t matter now, he was awake anyway—and hurried to the nursery.  Give him back his blanket, roll him over on his side so he’ll go back to sleep. She could do this.  It wasn’t as if he was howling.  He was just… crying.
The noise subsided as she got closer—perhaps he had gone back to sleep.  Or perhaps he was comforted by the sound of footsteps nearing.  It was nice to think that a baby might be comforted by her presence.  She could handle this; she was responsible.  But as she peeped over the edge of the crib and made eye contact with Isaac, he immediately set up a howl.  It was most definitely a howl this time, a howl of the most howlish sort.  Wolves, she reflected, might take lessons from this child.
Favorite Snippet Written This Week:

“This isn’t the right stuff,” said Celia, taking a long, deep sniff from the bottle of hairspray she held.  “What on earth is this anyway, Francie?”
“Hairspray,” said Francie dryly.  “I realize the label is in Mandarin Chinese, so it would make sense that you would have to ask—”
Celia pursed her lips.  “Come on, Francie, I know it says hairspray, but you and Alice kind of have just the tiniest tendency to reuse bottles.  Don’t you remember the time you put talcum powder in an old cornstarch container and the gravy was absolutely disgusting?”
Challenge for Next Week: Put a pirate in your story.  It doesn't matter how-- have him sail into the nearest harbor for real, or let him appear in a pretend game, or even mention that someone's reading a book about him.  Whoever he is, make sure to give him a name and at least a sentence or two, somewhere in your story.  An eye patch is optional but recommended.

Did you do last week's challenge?  How'd your week go overall?  Do share in the comments!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's too early for that game {Beautiful People: Celia Rochester}

Celia Jane Rochester, take your nose out of your book and meet Beautiful People.  Beautiful People from June 2011, this is Celia.

Enough with the introductions and polite chit-chat, I'm on a Half NaNo schedule here.  Let's cut to the chase.

What kind of music does she like?

Celia's not the kind of person who will turn on the Victrola of her own accord, but she doesn't mind listening when another member of the family has a record blaring.  By proxy, she enjoys classical music (particularly Beethoven) and Broadway showtunes (except when Francie is singing them in the shower).

Does she like to go outside?

Of course.  Reading in trees is great fun.  Oh, you meant doing outside things like running around?  Well, sure, she likes all that too, but though the pleasures of kickball have some charms for her, she should infinitely prefer a book.

Is she naturally curious?

Very.  Sometimes too much for her own good.  She tends to ask too many questions of perfect strangers and get Looks from Certain Older Sisters. 

Right, or left handed?

Right handed.  And she's thirteen-and-three-quarters.  That was not part of the question, I know, but I felt the need to stick her age in somewhere--knowing how old people are is important, she'll tell you--and this seemed as good a place as any.

Favorite color?

Pink, in all its shades and forms.

Where is she from?

Cedar Lake, Michigan, a tiny lake town (do tell!) which can hardly be called a town--it's more of a village. Its extremely boring and commonplace name is one of Celia's pet peeves.  She has never been to Kalamazoo in the same state, but she has always held that that name is far more of a sit-up-and-take-notice kind.

Any enemies?

There are certain people she dislikes, but she doesn't have any enemies to speak of.  She and her cousin Sylvia have some real spats during the course of the story, however.

What are her quirks?

She likes peanut butter and jelly.  On pumpernickel bread.  With lettuce.  It's her favorite sandwich, partly because she likes the taste, but partly because she gets intense enjoyment out of making the rest of her family gag.  Oh, and she's good at playing practical jokes. Very good indeed.  

What kinds of things get on her nerves?

Getting up too early.  Oh, she hates that.  And being asked to read picture books out loud at the breakfast table when it's all she can do to keep her face out of her cereal.  

Arguing with a four-year-old, Sylvia decided, was something best not done before breakfast.  “How about we make some oatmeal together?”
Patsy’s head popped up and an impish smirk popped out.  “How about not?”
Sylvia sighed.  “Don’t you like oatmeal?”
“How about not?”  Patsy repeated.
Celia stumbled into the kitchen and then into a chair, huffing sleepily.  “She’s playing the ‘how about’ game again.  It’s too early, Patsycakes.”  
~The Rochesters 

Is she independent, or does she need others to help out?  

Celia would tell you that she's an independent person, but in reality she needs a hand now and then.  Now and then a lot.  Don't we all?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Check-In

Hello there, me fellow Half-NaNo-ers!  How'd the first week go? Okay, so technically it's not been a whole week.  But I've decided to do my check-ins/progress reports on Saturday evenings when I've finished writing for the week, and today will be the very first.  (Yes, thank you, my dear.)

In three days I wrote three thousand and twelve words, which puts me right where I wanted to be at the end of this first sort-of-week.  My goal is 1,000 words per day, as I don't plan to write on Sundays or on Thanksgiving Day (hey, every author needs a holiday, and I'll be at my grandmother's all day anyway).

I'm going to ape the Real NaNo's dashboard pages here and record my stats for the week... it's way too much work to do it every day, and frankly I "don't have the time or the want-to."  (That's a Grandma's Attic quote from Ma O'Dell, for your random information.)

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 8,536
Total Word Count As Of Now:  11,642
Final Word Count Goal: 33,536
Daily Word Count Goal: 1,000
Average Daily Word Count: 1,004
Words Remaining: 21,894

And I'm adding a few statistics of my own...

Character Discovered This Week-
Patsy Rochester, aged four-almost-five.  Okay, so she was in the story before this week.  Picky, picky, picky.  But it was only this week that I finally was able to put a face to the name.  And once I came across this picture of Shirley Temple, it was one of those "well, DUH" moments.  :D  Blogging world, meet Patsy.  Patsy, here are a bunch of fun and crazy people.

Favorite Snippet Written This Week-
Here the handwriting changed to something less neat but much prettier, with bubbles over the I’s instead of dots. This is Francie, and I think it would be much better if we all tell you about ourselves individually instead of leaving the whole thing to Alice.  Thank goodness she’s grown out of the habit of pinching my elbow every time I do something she doesn’t like, or else this part would be pretty sloppy.  Now she’s saying I had no business telling a thing like that to you who hardly even know us, but I believe you should know the worst about people from the start, that way you won’t get an unpleasant surprise.  Now Alice says that last comma should have been a semicolon, and I said that if she wants to dictate every detail of this letter she may as well just write the whole—oh, wait, never mind.

Challenge for Next Week-
Observe the people you see/meet this week--at the grocery store, at the library, at church, whatever--and stick someone into your story as a side character.  Ideally, use someone you don't actually know very well.  Change the name, of course, if you know his/her name, but try to portray him/her as accurately as possible in your story.  The character need only appear once if you want, but just add some flair to your WIP by introducing an interesting "extra."