Holidays

Holidays

NaNoWriMo 2016 is over, the end of the year holidays are here. I’m working through the last of the chapters of my “work in progress” and revising the story. This has been an interesting project and North Carolina will never be the same.

This work, with the working title of Alien Alliance, will be the last in the Spirit Missions series, so I have to make certain that I wrap up all the little nuanced loose ends I left in Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers.

All the action in this new book takes place in North Carolina and a little in Virginia. Zombies in Asheville, aliens in Raleigh, and the end of humanity as we know it just hours away. Jealousy, anger, love, joy, pain, and desperation, all play out in the story. So, I’ll soon have to write the cover blurb and include all that in just a few sentences.

Merry Christmas

I will probably not post again until after Christmas. I’m working on the book, getting some other projects done, and spending time with the family.

I also selected a new site theme. As I tweak this and get it working, let me know what you think of it. Getting a theme, with colors, font, layout, and widgets, all organized takes a little time. The basic theme is in place and most of my standard widgets are there. I just need to make sure it is all working and set up correctly.

So, if something isn’t behaving correctly, post a note and I’ll get right on it.

Thanks for your support this year and following along on this blog. It has been an interesting year.

I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Keep writing.

 

Winner

Winner!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

Winner!

Today I passed the 50,000 word mark and am now an official NaNoWriMo 2016 winner! My word count for November 29 is 1,816. My daily average was 1,751. The total word count uploaded for the win today: 50,793.

The first draft is not finished, though. There are a couple of chapters yet to write as there is still one more problem/conflict to manage.

My personal goal for this project was about 60,000 words. I suspect I’ll meet that–or, be close–in the next few days. I’ll finish this draft soon, as this last bit will not need tons of writing.

I even have an epilogue.

This process was fun. There were days where it was difficult to get any words written, but I kept at it. That’s where the value of NaNoWriMo is. It gives me a structure, a deadline, to work in. I have daily goals to meet. I get support from friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Best of all, I get a first draft at the end.

Believe me, this is a very rough first draft. I’ve already gone back over several chapters and rewritten or added some material. You’re not supposed to do that in NaNoWriMo, but I did. You’re supposed to just keep charging ahead. I did keep charging ahead, but I found I kept forgetting something and had to go back and add it. Or, maybe I thought of something new and different for a particular place.

In any case, it all worked and I’m a day ahead of the 30-day schedule. I’m a winner. I don’t get anything for it other than improved self-esteem, congratulations from friends, and that all-important first draft.

Soon, the rest of the work begins. Editing, revision, rewriting. I want to get this ready for a good editor to look at. I think it’s a good story and I’ve learned a lot in the three NaNoWriMos I’ve participated in. A good editor will help make it a better read and a stronger story.

I hope you followed along this month. If you didn’t take part in NaNoWriMo, think about doing it next year. If you’ve wanted to write something, or you’ve been struggling to write something, this is a great way to get the first draft done.

I’ll be posting more information on the progress of this project as it moves through the process to publication. Thanks for your support and encouragement, those of you on Twitter and Facebook.

Keep writing.

 

 

Day Twenty-Two

Home Stretch

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200This is Day Twenty-two. My word count is at 39,707 words. I wrote 3,047 words today, and I’m averaging 1,804 word per day now.

By this time next week, I should have passed the 50,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo-2016 and be well on the way to my personal goal of 60,000. Or, I’ll be done with the first draft.

Things are going along very well. I’ve done my best to lay waste to much of North Carolina (the setting), and develop my main character, Amy. I’m pretty excited about how this is working out.

Some of my writing friends on Twitter are doing well, too. I do my best to encourage and support them as we make our way through this month of writing.

It isn’t as hard as folks might think. And it is. The key is getting started. Once you start, it isn’t hard to keep going. There is the struggle each day to pull up the application and open the document and pick up where you left off. But, that just takes about a half-cup of coffee.

The other day I had this great idea for an epilogue. Yesterday I wrote the epilogue as part of my work. It gave me a finishing framework within which I’ll work the rest of the novel.

So, things are going well, even with a little travel and some interruptions. I’m on track and making progress, and within about 15,000 words of a finish.

Keep writing!

 

Day Fifteen

Halfway

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200This is Day Fifteen. The word count for today is 3,470. I’m averaging 2,019 words per day. My total as of today is: 30,299. This is half way through the month and half way to the end of NaNoWriMo 2016.

If my goal was 50,000 words–which is the goal for NaNoWriMo–I would be three-fifths the way to the word count goal. But, my personal goal is about 60,000 words, so I’m halfway there.

I’m cheerleading friends on Twitter and Facebook. Some even cheer me back, and that is a wonderful thing. I like seeing friends succeed at this as much as I like succeeding at it.

Both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers, the first two books in the Spirit Missions series, were the result of first drafts done during NaNoWriMo. No, they didn’t go from that to published right away. They went through numerous rewrites, edits, revisions, and more edits. That’s what got them the “Spirit Filled” awards and the great ratings and reviews on Amazon.

So, this project, working title of Alien Alliance, will have a similar process. Edits, rewrites, more edits, revisions, all that. Of course, my wife will be my first reader because … well, she IS my wife. And she deserves a reward for her patience.

The main character, Amy, appeared in the first two books. She was the secondary character to Paul in those, but this time, she’s the main character. There are reasons for that. But, I’m not spilling any beans here. You’ll have to wait for the book to come out.

Can you tell, yet, that I’m having a great time putting this one together? Well, I am. Yeah, there are days when it is hard to sit down and hammer out the story. But, I try to push through. The last two days I’ve logged more than 3,000 words each. That helps. Holidays are coming. I’ll need the buffer.

Keep writing.

 

Day Eight

Day Eight

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200I just finished writing on day eight of NaNoWriMo 2016. So far, I’m averaging a little over 2,000 words per day. Today’s count was 2,150 words. I’m kind of hitting it as a chapter each day. Tomorrow, I’ll start with a fresh chapter. That seems to work pretty well.

So far, the total word count on NaNoWriMo is 16,179. the NaNoWriMo November target is 50,000 words. My personal target is 60,000 words. I should hit that with no problem. I include about 2,000 words in the personal target from some effort prior to NaNoWriMo.

This story uses Amy Grossman’s point of view. She has a bit more internal dialogue than if it was from a male point of view and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The hard part is getting it right when things get tough. And things are getting tough. I’m already thinking of what I have to rewrite tomorrow to do a better job of expressing Amy’s …

Whoops, don’t want to give anything away.

The working title is Alien Alliance. I have a feeling this title won’t work well and a couple of ideas have come up since I started the book.

Those of you who’ve been waiting for this, know that it is in progress. After November, I’ll let it “cool” for a few weeks, then get into the editing, rewriting, and polishing phases. This is a lot of work. I’m hoping to hire my editor again and she’ll help get this story in it’s best shape.

For now, though, I’m hitting it hard every day and increasing the word count. Lots of action. Interesting characters. Can’t wait until we can get this finished and out to the public.

It’s amazing how much fun this can be.

Keep writing.