Posts Tagged ‘Nanowrimo’

Hashtag #stormofghosts

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

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Once again, starting behind on Camp Nano, but I am starting to get a little traction on the story, thanks to a lot of help from my friends. Of course, the most important thing is taking this week off for vacation, so I’m cutting myself a little slack here – but I plan to take one full day to just get caught up on writing. Hopefully soon. But at least tonight I solved two major problems in the story – how the climax works out, and how and why a couple characters that seemed to get dropped from the story can come back with a vengeance. Onward, fellow adventurers!

-the Centaur

P.S. Upon uploading this, I noticed I made a mistake – I counted writing done yesterday the 5th as being today the 6th (it’s just after midnight). The role of posting about Nanowrimo is to reinforce the purpose of National Novel Writing Month – to provide a public benchmark for your private achievement. Many people are runners, but a marathon provides a specific, external, timed goal at which you have to participate to succeed — and at which you fail if you don’t go the distance that everyone else is at the time everyone else is. My buddy Nathan Vargas worries that this can create a failure mentality, and I agree at that; many people don’t need to be exposed to the possibility of failure, but instead encouraged to success. But as my buddy David Cater knows, a marathon can push you to do things that you never would otherwise – and Nanowrimo can do the same. But that external accountability only works if you externalize it – and that’s why I sign up for Camp Nanowrimo, and why I post my writing goals here. I want to write more than 150,000 words a year – and I rely on all of you to help me do it. Onward!

Camp Nano July 2016: PHANTOM SILVER

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

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National Novel Writing Month is November, but the Camp version – Camp Nanowrimo – has rolled around yet again, and I am returning to finish the final part of PHANTOM SILVER, which will be Dakota Frost Book 5. For my own entertainment, I put together the above cover, which will NOT be the cover of the final book – but it’s teaching me more about cover design.

Magical tattoo artist Dakota Frost just wants to raise her adopted children in peace, but when a routine film shoot at a haunted house awakens a real ghost and an ancient curse, she finds herself in a race to prevent the devious phantom from hurting her family … if the curse hidden in the family silver doesn’t kill her first.

Sounds exciting! What’s more exciting to me is that after a long conversation with the estimable Gayle Schultz, I’ve found a way to resolve the climax which could only appear in a Dakota Frost book – or maybe in a Jim Butcher book if he got on a lot of drugs. Now I have a destination – time to finish the drive.


-the Centaur

Viiictory the Fourteenth

Saturday, April 30th, 2016


Viiictory! I successfully completed Nanowrimo for the fourteenth time – adding 50,000 words to PHANTOM SILVER, Dakota Frost #5. And, by working hard, I did it!

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Because of work, life, and other writing, I got behind early this month, and had to press hard to really make it. But I successfully got it off my plate one day early. Because Nano’s site counts words differently than Microsoft Word, I had to push a bit past my Word word count, and so saw something I rarely see on this graph: a negative velocity debt, meaning I could write backwards and still end up finishing the count (at least the Word count) exactly on time.

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For a bit late in the month, especially around the 26th, it was as bad as I’ve ever gotten it: 6000+ words behind only 5 days from the end of the month. But somehow I managed to pull it out, setting a couple of daily records on writing … though I never even came close to my absolute max writing rate of 7,000 words a day.

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Strangely, even though Camp Nano doesn’t have November’s holidays, it still works out that most of the writing gets done near the end of the month. Go figure.

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Alright, late, tired, going to bed, more commentary later.

-the Centaur

Life is More Important

Friday, April 29th, 2016


So after catching up for a while on Camp Nano, I fell behind again … because I and my wife traveled back to Greenville, South Carolina to assist my mother’s rehab from knee surgery, and frankly that’ more important than any amount of word count. The good news is, she’s doing very well, and came home from the hospital yesterday … the even better news is, that my wife and my mom patched it up after eight years of not speaking to each other, a feat which I didn’t think was even possible. What a wonderful trip!

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I lost my momentum the moment I hopped on that plane, and after that it was tough to get it back when I was caring for Mom – you can see the dent in the schedule around the 20th – and getting back on track after that required a full court press. But, in the past several days, I was able to do just that, and managed to pump out 2000+ words on all of the past five days, and double that on three of those. As of tonight, I am caught up.

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As for now, there’s two days left, which I could tackle at a normal pace—though I’ll likely try to finish by Friday so that I can chill out on Saturday and have a nice relaxing weekend.

Wish me luck.

-the Centaur

Reality intervenes, but …

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

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… we may still pull it out. We’ve been in worse scrapes …

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Er … well, no we haven’t, but it’s still clearly possible. More news in a bit.

-the Centaur

Now it’s starting to feel possible again …

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

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I was literally dreaming all night about the chapter I wrote today – I got up several times with tears in my eyes, as one of Dakota’s enemies unexpectedly turned into one of her strongest allies. Fascinating what a fictional world can do to you. But the upshot is, I got 4,000 words done for two days in a row … and have a clear path for what I need to write tomorrow.

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We may win this one yet! Assuming I survive this weekend’s craziness! Which I can’t tell you about, but … aaaa!

-the Centaur

Now that’s what I’m talking about …

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

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4200 words today! Keep that up for 3 more days, I’ll be more or less back on track.

And then I’ll still have 18,000 words left to write this month. AAAAA!


-the Centaur

Briefly …

Monday, April 18th, 2016

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Is the novel back on track? NO. But am I up to speed? YES.

Of course, I know I’ll lose more days, so really, to finish, I’m going to need to do even more than the—hork!—2750 words per day that my spreadsheet predicts I’ll need to do to get back on track.

But I’ve gotten a much better groove, the story is starting to dovetail nicely, and some sections which felt out of place have, after a few moves, found a nice home in the story.

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The rocket is taking off, but there’s a long climb ahead.

Back to it.

-the Centaur

The good news and the bad news

Sunday, April 17th, 2016


The good news is I wrote ~2800 words yesterday, more than I needed. The bad news is I wrote 900 of those words by hand in my notebook (so as to not disturb the other diners in the dark and quiet restaurant with the typing coming from my glowing laptop), and took most of this afternoon’s writing session to get them all typed in. Argh! Still, I’m happy with the results …

“So,” Avenix said. “We have begun to seek out, in all our holdings, other threats—”

I raised my hand. “Hang on,” I said. Filling in the blanks, this ghost had to have been a fae hunter; that’s why they called me. But Avenix wasn’t saying that outright: he seemed to be feeding me my own lines. “You feared a threat to your realm … started a search for dangerous use of magic … then called me to deal with the problem. Did I get that right?”

“Well … yes,” Avenix said.

“Don’t lie to me!” I said, slapping my hand on the table. “What’s your real goal?”

“I am not lying to you,” Avenix said.

“Why would he lie to you?” Nyissa asked. “It’s a reasonable course of action—”

“Are you all insane?” I said. “Do you have no memories? Ten years ago—ten months ago—you’d have all been tearing each other apart, lashing out at everyone in sight, blaming anyone you could get your hands on to deal with your problems. You’d have been at war with Sidhain just because this happened on her doorstep—”

“Not likely,” Avenix said, shuddering.

“Save it! She has a real bad attitude,” I said, “but she’s pretty damn inoffensive for an alleged apocalyptic horror, and I’ve seen you in action against witchhunters! You can’t expect me to believe you’re all playing nice just because I came along!

Sounds like Dakota and Avenix are going to have it out. Onward!

-the Centaur

Back in motion, but not yet on track …

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

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Several times in the past few days, I’ve finally gotten up to speed on Camp Nanowrimo. Only problem is, because I got so far behind, I need to go 50% faster than I’m already doing … and to catch up this weekend, even if such a thing was possible, I’d have to write eight times as much as I’ve already written today. Aaaa!

Still, onward!

-the Centaur