When It All Goes Sideways

As I was making what I thought was some fairly impressive progress on my novel “Requiem for a Laborer,” moving right along with finding research for the opening of the story, I hit a small snag.

Well more of a major disaster, really.

I lost the file where I had an annotated map of the setting for the opening, as well some character notes and plot points. You know that feeling you get when you’re already late and you are about to step out the door for an important appointment just to realize, at that point, you have no idea where your keys are? That is a pretty good summation of how I felt. Just when I was going to start the rumbling engine that is to be my story, somehow I had lost the keys.

NowI know what a lot of you are thinking, “Why didn’t you back up the thing, to begin with?” I have a perfectly reasonable answer for that: “I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking.”

“I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking.”

We all make bone-headed play like that, don’t we?

So after the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and finally coming to acceptance, I thought that what I would need was a little time away from the site of the now key-less story. So that Is what I did. I worked on the house some and the yard a little. I read a good bit, too.

What I am learning, as a writer is to take these inopportune happening and see how I can turn them to my advantage. In this case, I reread my first draft and I am trying a different angle to open Requiem. Although I liked the changes that I had made, I felt that I was still telling more than showing. This had been the demise of many of what might great novel

This had been the demise of many of what might great a great novel. If the writer doesn’t grab the readers’ interest early on, it’s pretty much, “Ya know? I could be doing many more fun things than reading this. Sitting in a dentist’s chair come to mind.”

So for me, this has been a learning experience, Not only will I be saving more often, but also taking the chance during something negative to build something positive.


Day 29 NaNoWriMo 15

So today I did it.

I finished my 50K words, but not my novel. But that’s all to the good too because it keeps me writing beyond November 30th. Right?

So, admittedly I have been thinking about what comes next, meaning what comes after I finish the novel and move on to the first rewrite. And by THAT, I mean How am I going to attack this monster piece of the novel puzzle?

Since my problem leans toward underwriting rather than overwriting, the next step will be to work on the thin parts od the manuscript. That will mostly be in the form of reinforcing descriptions and rounding them out.

After that, I will be going through and looking for plot holes, character issues, etc…

So I guess what I am thinking now is that writing the book just might be the easy part and it just keeps getting harder from here.

At least now that I will be writing less than 1,700 words a day, I’ll be able to get back to my reading.

Words today: 1952

Words total: 50,083



Day 22 NaNoWriMo 15

Does anyone else have problems transitioning into the third act?

The reasonI ask this is because I really am two-thirds of the way through my narrative and I seem to be having some trouble moving from my protagonist identifying his problem and taking the initiative of resolving it,

What am I supposed to do as a pantser, who is trying to come up with the evolution of my protagonist to the conclusion on the second act and moving into the third act?

Oh well, after all I fly my the seat of my pants.

Imsure it will all work out by the end of NaNoWriMo..

Day 21 NaNoWriMo 15

I only got out a thousand words today but…

I think I’ve found a way to close a major plot hole! Yea, me!

I introduced a character early in the novel.Then I set him aside.

OK, I forgot about him

At the same time I realized that I forgot about this character, I came to the realization that I would need a character to turn against the protagonist. Who better than the forgotten character who has a personal connection with the protagonist?

So the point is, as a pantser, there are times when things just seem to work out.

Words today: 1090

words total: 37,124

A Few Words About NaNoWriMo

Trying to explain National Novel Writing Month to someone who doesn’t write is a lot  like trying to explain color to a blind person.

I’ve come to that conclusion the end of this week. I took eight days of vacation away from my factory job for the express purpose of working on NaNo. So When I get to back to work from my escape (also known as “time off for good behavior”), many of my coworkers asked me where I went. I replied that I stayed home.

Then they invariably ask me what I did. This is the point where I cringe.

I tell them I wrote and it’s why I took vacation. I usually get a look something like this:


You’re writing like a book? And you want to do this?

This is why I need to develop more friendships with writers. 🙂

But today is the first day that I feel like I am on the down hill portion of NaNoWriMo. Now I have keep vigilent so I keep on task and finish.



Day 12 NaNoWriMo 15

So I didn’t have the best writing yeterday. I was handed a personal distraction but it one of those things I guess.

That and I had a tough scene to work through but I managed.

As it looks right now, I think I’ve started to set up how the climax is going to take place. At least I think I have…. maybe.

Subject to change without notice.

I’ve also promised myself that I will I surprise me with an award for passing the halfway point today. I haven’t told me what that will be but I’m really excited to see what I’ve found to give me! So tune in later today to see what happens.

So now it is on to writing for the day.

Words written (yesterday): 1511

Words total: 22,321

Day 10 NaNoWriMo 15

Some days you just can’t seem to write and some days things just seem to fall into place. Today was neither of those.

I’m writing a steampunk novel that I’m trying to write a little more technical in it’s approach. I’m at a place in my novel where a steam driven airship has been sabotaged and the protagonist and friends are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the crash and why the airship was targeted in the first place.

The upshot is I spent a lot of time today, (And I do mean a lot of time) paging through my research finding a suitable type of boiler and a means of destroying it. Not such an easy task as one might think. 😉


Yeah, this is most of the research that I’ve printed for this novel.

So paging through my printed articles and looking on the interwebs took a lot longer than I would have hoped, long story, short.

In the midst of all of that tomfoolery that i thought was wasted time of paging through clipped together printed pages and numerous browser tabs, I realized that this is one of the best things about writing the fiction I’m writing; creating an aura of suspension of disbelief.

It’s the challenge that really must be embraced to make writing enjoyable.

I nearly had forgotten that.

Words today: 1812

Total words: 19,215