Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaNo Day whatever it is + other stuff

So Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer came out this week, and well, there went any plans to spend my free time writing until I finish it.  I did hit the 50,000 goal, and I do plan to spend some time finishing up the first draft in week four after I’m done reading, but man, I can’t put this book down.

Anyway, to the real reason for this blog post:

I deliver mail to a man who came up to me yesterday and gave me a change of address form.  He is being deported, which somewhat shocked me.  It shocked him somewhat more than it shocked me, unfortunately.  His parents were Vietnamese refugees fleeing the war in Vietnam.  They fled to a US Army base, and were rushed onto a plane, which landed in California.  He was born on the plane, in the air.  When the plane landed, he was given a California birth certificate, and his parents were told to be proud of their son, because he was an American citizen.  He grew up in the USA.  He’s spent his entire life in the USA being told that he was an American citizen.  He has a freaking California birth certificate, a social security number, and all the other bells and whistles.  The only language that he speaks is English.  He served in the Army during the first Iraq war, and was awarded a bronze star for dragging three downed men to safety under fire.  He owns his own business, which employs twenty-seven other people, who are now going to lose their jobs.  He’s very active in his community, coaching children’s sports, and was the one who set up their neighborhood watch program.  He votes in every single election no matter how big or small, because he feels that it is the most important thing an American citizen can do.  Six months ago he recieved a notice that his citizenship had been downgraded from citizen to refugee.  Last month he was informed that he had exceeded the legal term in which a refugee could claim solace within the United States.  This week he will be sent to Vietnam.  A country he has never seen, that speaks a language he does not know.  He has no relatives still living in Vietnam.  They all either died in the war, or later in the USA.  All of this because of an executive order that President Trump signed in March.  This order changes the way that refugees are handled by the USA, and the immigration status given to them.  It, basically, stripped him, and thousands of others, of their US citizenship.  This man has spent nearly 50 years as a US citizen, a prime example of the American Dream, and Donald Trump undid it with a single signature, and a complete misunderstanding of the implications of literally EVERYTHING he has ever signed.  This man is a freaking US Army hero for god’s sake, and he’s being deported because his refugee status is being revoked?  Refugee status he never had before march, because before march he was considered to be a fully legal, born and bred, US citizen?  Does that make you angry?  It sure makes me angry.

Look guys, we live in a democray.  Sure, it doesn’t seem like it’s working most of the time.  But a lot of the time that happens because people like you and me don’t use our rights as citizens and our voices.  If things like this piss you off, TELL YOUR CONGRESSMAN!!!  TELL YOUR SENATORS!!!  VOTE FOR THOSE WHO WILL UPHOLD THE THINGS THAT YOU WANT, RATHER THAN JUST VOTING ALONG PARTY LINES SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT!!!  If none of the candidates represent your ideals and way of thinking, RUN FOR OFFICE YOURSELF!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NaNo Day 12

50,000 BWAAHAAHAA. I kind of skipped chuch and just powered through the last 8k words I needed to finish.  There's still two relatively big climactic action scenes to write, and the resolution, but I'm going to take a day or two off to recover.  I wrote 50,000 words in 12 days.  My brain kind of hurts.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

NaNo Day 11

3644 words done today.  Not as much as I was hoping to get done today, but people decided to invite themselves over to my place tonight, because reasons.  I mean, is it so much to ask to text first before you crash at someone's place and watch netflix all night because you're too cheap to shell out the $9 a month yourself?  Anyway, my total for the month is 42,218, so I'm down to 4 digits on my words remaining to 50k.  Woohoo.  And the manuscript itself is up to 68,049 words.  I don't think I'm going to reach 50k tomorrow like I was hoping, but it won't be too much longer.  BWAAHAAHAA.

Friday, November 10, 2017

NaNo day 10

Uhg.  I feel like I'm kind of running out of steam today.  1881 words done.  Writing 40k words in 10 days is really kind of mentally and creatively draining.  On the bright side, I did finish up all of the stuff leading up to a big battle scene.  The battle scene itself should be relatively easy to write, as I've already got a pretty good template to use from the previous version of this book.  It being Veteran's Day tomorrow, I'm off for a long weekend, so I should have plenty of time to write and get through it. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NaNo Day 9

Only 1850 words today.  Not great, but any writing is better than no writing.  Had a follow-up appointment for my surgery last month, and physical therapy for my back, which took up a good chunk of my free time today after work.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NaNo Day 8

3028 words today.  Not bad, considering I took an unintentional nap after work.  Sit down.  Lay back in my recliner.  Wake up two hours later.  Haha.  Anyway, My NaNo total so far is 34,843.  Getting close.  Just a little over 15k left to go for the 50k goal.  And the manuscript itself is at 60,894 words.  So, things are going well.  I hope to hit 50k over the weekend.  It being Veteran's Day on Saturday, i have a long weekend to write through.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NaNo Day 7

6329 words down today for a total of 31,814 for the first week of NaNo.  Over 60% of the way there in one week.  BWAAHAAHAA.  Back to work tomorrow, though, so I'll probably slow down a bit until the weekend.  Hopefully I can hit the 50k by the end of next week.  And finish the entire first draft sometime before the end of the month.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaNo Day 6

Did 6390 words today, which brings my total up to 25,485.  I'm over halfway there, and it's only day 6.  Woohoo.  The total manuscript is currently at 51537 words, since I did have around 26k already written before the start of November.  It's looking like this book is going to end up right on target between 80k and 90k words.  I've got just a couple more chapters before I start gearing up for the climax, a huge battle scene, followed by some funky time travel mischief.  Which is kind of the opposite order from the original version of this story, but I figured it worked better with the new version to swap them, since I have cut out nearly half the cast.  There's nothing I need those cast members to be doing while the ones I kept are off saving the universe.  Anyway, it looks like I'm definitely going to finish NaNo this year.   So yay for that.  Tomorrow is my normal day off, so I'll try to knock out another big chunk then too.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NaNo Day 5

2276 words today.  Better than yesterday, but again, didn’t have much time today between church and  a family dinner at my parents’ house.  I know it’s probably bad, but I spent the whole 3 hours of church completely zoned out thinking through what I was going to write when I got home.  I didn’t hear a single spiritual word the whole time.  Shame on me XD.  Tomorrow I’m off work for a followup appointment for my surgery last month, so I should have plenty of time to crank out a bunch of writing tomorrow.  I’m getting into an easier section of the story to write, so I should be able to get a least a few thousand words.

I usually find the quieter, more character driven moments the easiest to write.  It’s the larger action-y parts that take a lot of time and meticulous effort, because there are a lot of extra details that you normally wouldn’t care about that have to go into them.  But two characters talking with each other about what drives them, I can do that all day long.  Heck, half of what I’ve already written for this book is characters taling with each other about what drives them.  I usually end up just stretching those types of conversations out to ridiculous length, and then i go through later and trim it down, leaving in just the best, most relevant bits.  It’s usually nice to be able to pick and choose.  I like this line from him, I like that response from her, let’s put ‘em together and delete the rest and there we go.  You can’t really do taht with action scenes.  You have to already have a pretty good idea what is going to happen in an action scene, and exactly how all of the elements come together.  I can spend a whole hour just getting a single paragraph done because I’m having trouble getting across exactly what character A is doing to character B.  I usually already have it pretty well mapped out in my head before I write it, so I usually get them done really fast, but every now and then I hit a snag where something doesn’t feel right, or something doesn’t really gel with the rest of it, and I have to sit there and work through it and it takes a lot of time.  You don’t really get that with character building conversations.

And I’m rambling.  It’s past midnight.  I think I’ll go to bed before I say something stupid.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

NaNo Day 4

1674 words today, got people over to marathon Stranger Things 2 though, so bit busy with other stuff today.  Still hit the daily goal though, so all is well.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNo Day 3

Didn't get as much writing done today as the last two days.  It was a pretty harsh day at work, and I got home pretty exhausted.  1909 words today.  Still above the NaNo daily goal of 1667 words per day though, and at 15,145 total words, I'm at 300% of the day 3 suggested word total, so I'm doing fine.  Still looking good to finish up before the end of the month. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NaNo Day 2

Did even better today than I did yesterday.  6792 words.  Which brings my total up to 13,366.  I’ve passed the 25% mark in just two days.  Nice.  The whole manuscript so far is just short of 40k words. I did use some more text from the other version today, because I felt that one of the action scenes I went through today was relatively well done in the original version.  I did make quite a few tweaks to it, but I still didn’t cheat and count it as part of my word count for the day.  I feel that the action scenes I did today are a lot more impactful in this version of the story, because the characters are a lot more developed in this version.  Which is definitely a good thing.  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to top today’s word count tomorrow, but we’ll see.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNo Day 1

So, November is National Novel Writing Month, a self-competition where you’re challenged to write 50,000 words of a novel in a single month.  I usually try to participate in this every year, but the last few work has gotten in the way.  This year, however, I’ve got a great story that I’m really ready to write, my work load has slacked off a bit, giving me some actual free time to write in, and things are looking good for me to get the whole 50k this year.

So, the book I’m writing this year is a complete rewrite of Spires of Infinity.  Spires had a lot of problems.  I mean a LOT of problems.  As I said in a previous blog post, I took a look back at it, and now that I’m distanced from it by a few years, I could see all of the things that were wrong, and exactly what I needed to do to fix it.  I basically kept the first one page chapter, and dumped all the rest.  I’m basically rewriting the entire thing from scratch, because very little of the old text is really usuable in the new version of the story.  Many characters and storylines have been cut completely, giving me a lot more room to better develop the personalities, backstories, and motivations of the characters I’m keeping.  A lot of the basic plot structure is the same, but this will be a very, very different book in the end.

So, I already had 26,154 words of this rewrite written before NaNo started.  Today I ended up with 32,598, for a first day total of 6444 words written.  The daily goal for NaNo is 1667 words per day to reach the 50k by the end of the month, so I am off to a great start.  I am focused more on writing than I am on formatting, spell-checking, and posting what I’ve written on my website at the moment, but I do expect to start posting some chapters of the first draft of this rewrite sometime this month if anyone cares to read my terrible first draft.  My first drafts usually lack a lot of descriptive elements, are usually chalk full of continuity errors, and lacking a bit in character personality and distinction.  Those are things I usually add in later during the editing process.  I usually use my first draft to get the basic framework of the story put together so I have something to tinker and work with throughout the rest of my editing process.  So, in short, if I do post chapters and you do read them, they’re probably not going to be very good or very well written, because I haven’t polished them up yet.

Anyway, I’ve got big plans for day two.  A nice big cluster of action scenes.  Those usually go by pretty fast and easy for me, so I should hopefully be able to at least match today’s word count.