Saturday, November 29, 2008


Yeah, I get to brag. I won NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row. It's true that I have miles to go before I sleep. Not only do I have to think about extensive rewriting, if I plan to finish this novel, but I am nowhere near even finishing the rough draft! And I don't know that I'll be able to finish it by tomorrow at midnight.

I am going to try! Even if I have to roughly sketch out the rest of the novel, at least I'll end up with a good, long, solid outline!

Current word count: 52,067

For Current and Future Use: a PSA

Can I scramble my novel before submitting it to your untrustworthy word-counting goons?

If you are using Microsoft Word it is very easy to scramble your novel in a way that will not affect its word count.

Open the file and make a new copy of your novel using 'Save As...'
Open the Find and Replace dialog box (Edit -> Replace).
Click the "More" button to expand the box.
Check the "Use Wildcards" checkbox.
In the "Find What" field, put this: [a-zA-Z0-9] (include the square brackets, no spaces before or after)
In the "Replace With" field, put this: a
Click "Replace All"
Save the scrambled file as a text file, and upload away!
The procedure for Open Office is essentially the same, except that Open Office refers to 'Regular Expressions' instead of 'Wildcards'. (Thanks to Peter Dudley for this advice!)

You can get the same effect in a more cumbersome way by just doing a find-and-replace on every letter in the alphabet, one letter at a time. Open the find-and-replace interface on your word processing program and tell it to replace every "b" in your story with an "a," and every "c" with an "a," then every "d" with an "a." And so on.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An excerpt:

“It’s The Cracked Cake Painting!” someone yelled, and they laughed. I didn’t know what they were talking about. “The Cracked Cake Painting” sounded so funny, but I understood the situation to be very, very unfunny. There was black goo all over the floor, and it could have been dye or ink, or paint. But I knew it to be blood. Black blood, all over the floor. Smeared all over the canvas. All over my hands. And Greg was standing in the doorway, hating me. Why couldn’t I remember the show? Why didn’t I know what was going on? Did anyone even care I was there? I was trapped in this little room, with Greg at the door, and a canvas smeared with dark colors in a room that otherwise was a dingy, gray broom closet, and I had black blood all over my hands and on the floor and in my hair…

And then I woke up.

Coming into the home stretch...

I plan on writing most of the afternoon while my parents are sleeping off the food coma, but this morning I cleared 45,000 words, so I am on the last leg of the word count challenge. I'd like to make it to 50K today so I might have a chance at finishing the story before the end of November as well, but we'll see how it all works out. I'm confident that, barring any major catastrophes *knock on wood* I'll be a NaNoWriMo winner for the second year in a row. But I suppose I shouldn't be counting my chickens just yet.

Current word count: 45,595

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am caught up. Not only that, I am ahead! And hopefully I will have more time to write tonight!

Current word count: 43,674

Ok, so maybe I'm procrastinating...

It's 1:56pm, and I need to be at 43,342 words by the end of today. Right now, I am at 41,000. My goal is to not only catch up, but to get ahead.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I had a breakthrough in the shower this morning! (Always my favorite place for inspiration...)

I'm sending in a spy. When everything else they try to do fails, Kim goes undercover as a spy and finds out more than she even expected. In the end, it gets so bad that Charlie kills himself.

Now all I can think is, "Shit! Shit! Shit! I need so much more than 15,000 words to finish this book! Write, dammit, write!"

Word count: 36,737

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, I'm not where I'd like to be, but...

My friend, you have passed me gallantly, clearing 30,000. I am lagging behind at 25K. However, though I am a day behind, I am now only one day behind, and without a play or strike, I will have more time the next two days to write. No longer will I be cleaning to procrastinate writing--now I'll be writing to procrastinate packing.

I have been in a slump with my book, unsure of where to take it, but last night I decided that I am going to approach it like a play, and the second act will be related but entirely different. Different mood, different POV, but the same story. Much more experimental, where the first half was relatively conventional.

I have a working title, finally, which makes a huge difference in how I feel about the book: Foxes and Bluebirds

Current word count: 25,000

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slowly we roll along...

There is a challenge on the table to make 35,000 words by Sunday night. My book, so far, seems to be writing itself (knock on wood), so hopefully I can keep it going without too much fluff. As you may have noticed, my syntax and vocabulary are suffering, but my plot is still going strong! And really, editing is much easier if you have a good foundation.

We're off!

Current word count: 16,074

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Word Count Update

I am still ticking along with my word count. I am currently about 5,000 words behind where I should be at the moment, but that's a doable amount, and if I'm really diligent today, I might be able to continue to close the gap, bit by bit. That was a really long last sentence. I'm sure when I go back to read this book, it will be one long run-on sentence.

I haven't given up yet. Things are continuing to fall into place.

Word count: 13,325

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Slowly covering some ground

I am not yet caught up, but I am having much better luck with the story I have been working on. And there have been some seriously life altering events in the past few weeks, so I have been a little distracted. However, the new story is taking off like wildfire. If I really put my mind to it, I'm making 2000 in an hour of hardcore work. Unfortunately, there are few days that I have more than an hour of time. But this week will be different. And if I can get in even 500 extra words each day, I'll be in good shape.

Word count: 8,184

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's true what they say...

It is much harder to write a story in which you have a deep emotional investment. I have spent a year working on Evelyn's story, but going into NaNo, I'm left with no character names, no town names, and many many plotholes. The truth is that my story is still a series of ideas without much holding them together, and I don't want to rush through this. I know that the story is good, and I want to do it justice and give it the time and love it needs. Besides, I'm already stumped at 900 words.

I'm starting over with a new story--an account of the last few months of my life, and how my life has become so intwined with that of a complete stranger. Because really that's all I can think about right now.

Monday, November 3, 2008


There's an article today on the Steampunk Home blog about hidden messages built into houses. That could solve a lot of problems for me. If Evelyn is tipped off somehow that she has to get into her old house... If somehow she found out that it was broken and parts were burnt but that the ruins still hold clues...

I have a white rabbit, though he doesn't have a name yet. He's a jovial ex-circus ringmaster living in an abandoned shack in the woods.

And I have decided to write the entire thing out of order. Which may be maddening, but I suppose I'll just have to find out for myself!

Current word count: 876

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I have a working title!!!

The Escape

Day One ticked right past me...

So, life kicked my ass on day one, but fear not! My story is brewing.

And lolasangel and I are racing to 4000 words today. (No worries, I haven't started yet--I'm just updating the blog before bedtime.)

Clocks roll back, I get an extra hour of sleep, and all is well with the world tomorrow!