NaNoWrimo: Day Seventeen (and final)

This is my final NaNoWrimo post.

I’m reasonably happy with what little I’ve achieved, I now have the bare bones of two novels and a lot of the preliminary work done so in essence both are good to go.

The reason I’m calling time is that I don’t have the time to do NaNoWrimo this year. I’ve got a 1500 word essay on Jane Eyre due on the 11th December and shit-ton of reading to do. Seriously, the next essay is on Dombey & Sons and I’m very stuck at 200 pages in…the alternative book is Middlemarch. Yeah, not exactly quick reads.

I probably won’t attempt NaNoWrimo again. I will however work on both novels sporadically. You never know, once I’m done with my studies I might have a sudden inspiration and get them done!

Bet you can’t guess which pile is the the ‘read’ one…

books

NaNoWrimo: Day Fifteen & Sixteen

Didn’t update yesterday – novel or blog ;)

Saturday is not a good NaNoWrimo day, two shows an’ all that.

Today I worked on the story I only have a concept for. No words added but I have a nice little outline ready to be worked on. There are eight days left of November when I can sit down and work so unless there’s some sort of miracle between then and now, I won’t be finishing NaNoWrimo. I am determined to finish the novel though.

I also discovered Adventure Time and that my guinea pigs don’t like parsnips. The two are not connected.

NaNoWrimo: Day Fourteen

Words: 1,117 (this brings my total word count to 5267)

Ooh yeah baby – I got 1000 words down today!

I worked on the opening of the second ‘chapter’, linking it more in with the first and establishing that it’s the same location. I ended up losing some of the exposition from story one because it no longer needed. I think I can make story one much scarier now I’ve lost the exposition. I also worked on one of my ‘book ends’, still not 100% sure where it fits the timeline – there’s two possible places but I haven’t yet fixed it.

I also figured out the other bookends and what exactly could be going on in one of my stories.

Feeling good about this.

screenshot1

 

NaNoWrimo: Day Thirteen

Words: 0 (but as I said, Friday is NaNoWrimo day so I was expecting to have anything written today)

Today I went to see the matinee of ‘Urinetown’ at the Apollo Theatre. I originally had tickets when it was at the St James Theatre but because of various circumstances, I ended up having to pass the ticket off to a friend. ‘Urinetown’ has been one of those odd little shows which has been on my radar ever since I was back home studying technical theatre at college (and back when I still liked musicals). I remember reading about it on the old Phantom of the Opera forums at she.net, then somehow I got hold of the cast recording (possibly through the early P2P sites…where someone would have a list and you’d trade them through the post…lots of bootlegs ;)).

I was fascinated by the idea of a meta-musical, and at the time it was my first exposure to such a thing. I would browse the Dress Circle website for hours, occasionally looking fondly on Tower Records (I think it was) who seemed to have all these obscure musicals I was just desperate to hear. One of my first trips on arrival in London (2002) was to the Dress Circle shop where I bought a copy of ‘Avenue Q’ and my musical theatre wishlist promptly became all about ‘Avenue Q’ and ‘Urinetown’.

I got my wish with ‘Avenue Q’.

Never thought I’d see ‘Urinetown’.

It’s a very, very good show and it’s been staged brilliantly. The cast were all fabulous (although I have my doubts over Officer Lockstock’s accent), the set was beautiful and I rather liked the lighting – they could have benefited from followspots though, there were scenes I were I was just aching to put a nice tight head shot on people (that sounds wrong if you’re not a followspot…sorry). Anyway, the theatre had about 80 people in it. Very disappointing for the cast and it’s a show which deserves a bigger audience but one of the biggest problems the show has is it’s not a West End show.

‘Urinetown’ was born on the fringe. It’s very much a fringe musical and I think by putting it in a commercial West End theatre it’s killed the show. It was a hit at the St James Theatre and they clearly thought that the audiences would be the same, they’re not. People going to the West End fringe are going because they want something not offered in the West End, those shows are not the ones the tourists are looking to see.

NaNoWrimo: Day Twelve

Today I went swimming for half an hour in the outdoor pool at the Oasis Leisure Centre opposite where I work. You might be thinking why in hell am I swimming outdoors in this weather…well, don’t worry – the pool is heated and actually it’s quite nice after a swim to be in the brisk air.

The pool is 27.5m long. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but I swam up and down that for 30mins, doing breaststroke. I wanted to do a bit of backstroke and refresh my front crawl but the medium lane was full and I didn’t think my fellow slow lane users would have been too happy. Plus it’s been so long since I swam properly I was having difficulty getting back into the proper breathing rhythm for breaststroke, let alone attempting front crawl!

My plan is keep to 30mins for now and as I get better, extend it to an hour.

This has nothing to do with my NaNoWrimo attempt obviously. I’m going to see ‘Urinetown’ tomorrow so I’ve designated Friday my ‘sit down and do some work day’. I think I have an opening – it’s in my head, I just need to write it down.

NaNoWrimo: Day Eleven

After yesterdays pondering about whether I should start again, I decided to give my steampunk story another shot. After five minutes I had character sheets done for my main lot and a better idea of what one of my bad guys looks like. I’m still very stumped as to why my bad guys are doing what they’re doing.

Then I had a cup of tea and while waiting for the kettle to boil I realised that I’m just not ready to write a novel and that I should expand one of my spooky stories. Then I had a further revelation…one of my spooky stories takes place in an abandoned hotel, the other takes place in a flat – why can’t this be the same building? Old buildings are divided up into flats all the time and hotels haven’t always been hotels, particularly the kind of hotel I pictured in my first story. I know it’s probably against the rules of NaNoWrimo, but I’ve decided I’m going to put together an anthology of sorts. Each of the stories takes place in the same building but at a different time frame.

At the moment I have two stories – one in abandoned hotel, one in a flat. That’s two stages of the buildings life time so what I need now is a story set while it’s still a hotel, one while it’s a manor house and either one set during the conversion from manor house to hotel or hotel to flats. I also need some sort of bookend.

I’m more excited about these stories than my novel and my strengths lie more in short story writing.

My word count currently stands at 4150. On Friday I’m going to start expanding the first story, by Sunday I hope to have that one completed. Sunday I’m going to work on my bookends and do a bit of plotting for a story set in the manor before it’s a hotel.

NaNoWrimo: Day Ten

(or is it day nine?)

I said I’d re-start on Sunday. I didn’t exactly. I looked over what I’ve written so far and looked at the notes I’ve made about my characters and where they fit into the plot. I’m failing on the characters, they exist but they don’t exist and right now I still don’t have any reasons for my bad guys to be bad guys other than the typical stereotypes. I know that they say you should just write but I think it’s important to have a reason, not just writing and then spending ages reading back & editing.

Then I randomly re-read two of the ghost stories I wrote for my creative writing module. I think they’re in a better state than my first chapter, there’s stuff there that could just be expanded or elaborated on. I could add more scares to both of them…obviously not 50,000 words of scares but enough to flesh them out.

Add to that the idea I had for a horror story/film.

I’m not abandoning my steampunk story, I’m just pausing it for a time.

I’m going to spend tomorrow doing a bit of plotting. I wonder if it’s against the rules to write a series of short stories which together make up 50,000? Are there rules for NaNoWrimo? Next year I need to go in prepared should I ever attempt this again…!