It’s been a very productive writing month for me on the NaNoWriMo front and I’m on schedule to pass 50,000 words on Wednesday right on schedule. I’m still pretty happy with my story overall, although there are myriad things to go back and clean up, revise and edit now that I have a much clearer idea of where the characters and plot are going. When I get to 50,000 words I will have really just finished part one of the two parts that will ultimately make up what I think the final novel should end up being.
I’m really happy that I ended up using Bazaar-NG and plain text to write my novel the whole way through. It’s going to make revising it and editing it so much nicer down the road. Eventually, when the story is in a little bit more finished form I plan to start formatting it using LaTeX to get it into PDF format for eventual self publication at lulu.com.
On a LaTeX related note, I took a math class back in college that introduced it for the purpose of writing papers, but I hadn’t really paid attention to it for the last 10 years. LaTeX still works pretty much the way that I remembered it, but there have been a few significant changes and improvements in the the intervening decade. For one thing it’s now totally easy to install and run under MacOS X. There are also an amazing amount of add on modules that make it a lot easier to lay out documents in just about any form imaginable (the memoir document class looks outstanding for book creation). Perhaps most importantly, exporting to pdf from LaTeX is totally painless and pretty much the defacto standard for final document distribution now rather than the more crufty dvi to postscript dance we had to go through 10 years ago.
I’m reached the 13 mile mark of this writing marathon and just broke 25,000 words earlier today so I’m right on track. Things are moving along okay plot and character-wise, but I don’t anticipate actually finishing up the story itself at 50,000 words. I’ve come up with a lot of ideas that I definitely like, but there’s going to be a lot of revision work left to do down the road before I’m close to satisfied with the story and consider it close to finished. It definitely continues to be a fun writing exercise though and I’m really looking forward to making it to the 50,000 word finish line and achieving this goal for the first time in five attempts!.
Nanowrimo 2005 is going really well for me and my fellow Spokanites in general. I’m currently sitting on 12,000 words written, so I’m almost a quarter of the way home and right on pace. This year they’re keeping track of a lot of collective stats at nanowrimo.org and the Spokane area was ranked number 86 with almost 180,000 collective words from all its participants. That puts it just ahead of Montreal, Salt Lake City and Cleveland which seems pretty cool to me.
The story itself is coming along okay. Its overall quality is low which is to be expected, but it’s keeping me interested and I think there’s going to be enough good stuff in the end to make it worth going back and revising it into something that I wouldn’t feel embarrassed showing others. I’m definitely happy with the way I’ve been able to shut off my internal editor and just write during the process. It’s made things go a whole lot easier than in past years.
I had my best NaNoWriMo opening day ever yesterday and finished with over 2800 words. Considering average daily pace needs to be approximately 1670 words I was quite happy. My goal is to stay ahead of pace the whole way, but we’ll see what happens. That could be a bit optimistic. In past years I’ve fallen behind a few days before the start of basketball practice and quickly made the decision to just give up.
I actually kind of tricked myself this year by thinking about a completely different type of story to write about for this year’s entry and then completely changed up at the last minute. I think my initial idea was fairly interesting, but a little too close to reality. At any rate my current story is more free flowing fantasy adventure and I’m just running with it this year. My first year I tried to get overly complex with multiple characters and viewpoints and quickly became bogged down. That type of thing works a lot better for novels that are 80-100,000 words rather than the 50,000 nanowrimo deals with. This time around I just grabbed one of my more interesting characters put him in a position where he’s in serious trouble and turned him loose.
On a computer related note, I’m writing my novel in a text editor called Textmate and storing the whole thing in a new python based version control system called Bazaar-NG which I’ve mentioned before (here and here. It’s working really well so far and should make revising and editing a lot easier down the road if and when I decide to do that.