DecNoCoMo

Dec. 2nd, 2009 11:40 pm
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
December Novel Continuation Month. I have to write just about 1,600 words a day to end up with 50,000 words for December, which has 1 more day than November. So far, for the first two days, I've written about 2,700 words.

So that's not so bad. I'm almost through the big palace battle now. It's pretty rough but at least it's written.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
A little writing on my break and my lunch... I'm now at 49,450 words.

I'd like to pass the 50,000 word mark by a couple of thousand words, at least. Just so I can feel confident that I'm not off or a little short.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
It's become sort of a ritual for me to use the month of NaNoWriMo to force myself to get some work done on my biggest fanfic story, Girls School.

For some reason, I'm able to focus during November and churn out 50,000-plus words. I wish I could do that every month -- then perhaps all of my various story ideas would finally get written. I had a goal this year of writing at least 500 words a day, and I stopped trying to do that by early to mid January. I've written very little since.

For what it's worth, I've already managed over 5,000 words this month -- over 10,000 if you count what I wrote in the last couple weeks of October as I geared up for the event. I'm on schedule and should add another 50,000 words to my story by December. However, as I've done in the past, I'm jumping ahead just a bit to tell another part of the tale -- meaning I still need to go back to link everything up, and rewrite large parts of what I've already written.

For a story that began as nothing more than an idea, "what if Ranma went to an all-girl's school?", and then became about 3 chapters that I wrote and forgot about for a year or more before rediscovering and deciding to continue, Girls School has morphed into a very long and complicated story that threatens to spiral out of control. I did not start with any ending point in mind, but there are plots set up in the first few chapters that I will naturally need to see through until the end. In the meantime, however, I keep going in other directions. Hopefully it's worth reading. ^_^

Just to help me keep things straight, here's an overview of what I've managed so far and what I'm aiming for:

Chapters 1-19: Published
Chapter 20: Needs some rewriting before publication
Chapters 21-24: written, not yet published
Chapters 25-26: unwritten
Chapters 27-31: written, needs major rewriting
Chapters 32-33: unwritten (estimated 2 chapters)
Chapters 34-42: unwritten/in progress (chapter totals estimated)

Breakdown by story arc and when written, with current word count:

Chapters 1-15: 70,500 words. This is, more or less, everything I had written prior to NaNoWriMo November 2007
Chapters 16-24: 75,000 words. This is everything I wrote in November 2008 (last year). This finishes a major story arc and nearly sets things up for my "magical girl" chapters.
Chapters 25-26: 2,500 words. Mostly unwritten, these are two linking chapters I need to finish before all the magical girl stuff happens.
Chapters 27-30: 36,000 words. This is my Magical Girl Story story part 1, containing the first big adventure. Written during NaNoWriMo 2007.
Chapters 31-33: 18,000 words. Partially written. This is the Magical Girl Story part 2, second adventure. I wrote this in November 2007 but stopped halfway through when NaNoWriMo was over.
Chapters 34-40: 10,500 words. For what it's worth, I'm skipping over my unfinished chapters 25-26 and 32-33, and for the moment I'm working on my Magical Girl Story part 3, the third adventure. This will be a longer arc and would finish up what I had originally planned for the magical girl story arc. I only have some vague ideas of what I might do beyond this point, but that includes....
Chapters 41-42: 5,500 words. These are some half-scenes and notes on another plot that I had in mind, for something I foreshadowed back in the Magical Girl chapters two years ago. I sketched this stuff out in early to mid 2009. To be honest, these two chapters are not likely to happen directly after the Magical Girl stories, but at the moment I have nothing else written this far ahead in the story.

Total written at the moment: about 220,000 words (only half of that published), with some 45,000 words or more expected to be added this month. If I can manage to get everything written up through chapter 42, I'll be over 300,000 words, I guess.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Well for what it's worth, I managed to sit down and write a bit tonight.

I wrote a Grandpa Anarchy story. This is a new one that I thought of only a day or two ago. I still need to work on my Christmas story for our rescheduled Christmas party this weekend, and I still need to work on Girl's School (I haven't even edited the next chapter for publication, I'm at least two weeks late on that now), but at least I did something tonight.

I think my goal for the year should be 500 to 1,000 words a day. I haven't written anything like that for the first 19 days of the year, but anyway it's a good goal. I wrote about 1,500 words tonight, including this story and sketching in another Grandpa Anarchy story idea I came up with.

My original goal for the Grandpa Anarchy stories was to write one a week. But that was back in August or September, and I've only written six now. Ah, well. I have so many ideas, that's why I want to try and force myself to write at least 500 words a day. Otherwise my stories sit there and never go anywhere. I have tons of fanfiction stories I want to write/finish, I have Tai-Pan stories I want to write, and I have original stories I'd like to write. I'm kind of jealous of my friends Chuck and Gene who are publishing their own original work... sure, it's very small press, but it's cool anyway.

(And by the way, go to Amazon and buy [livejournal.com profile] chuck_melville's story, it's totally worth it and he could use the money.)
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Since I'd finished chapter 24 of Girl Days, I read through and edited chapter 16 and published it to Fanfiction.net. I think I'll publish chapter 17 this weekend, or by Sunday night at least.

Then I took the night off. I hung out in Second Life with friends.

Today I've written a bit on chapter 25. I'm trying to figure out what I want to include in it. It's basically a wrapup or "time moves on" sort of chapter... no major new plot threads introduced that I need to follow up on immediately, just highlights of events that happen over the next few weeks, setting myself up for chapter 26. I want to skip some 5 or 6 weeks, at least, maybe 2 months ahead.

If and when I get through the "magical girl" storyline chapters 25-30 and beyond (I still have -- it must be at least 5 chapters to add to that to finish off those plots, I believe) then I might want to do another chapter like this that skips months ahead. I'm not really sure how I want to end the whole story... whether I want to end with some things unresolved, or whether I want to write out what happens after Ranma and the gang graduate and maybe who winds up with who. I only have one specific plot that I know I want to deal with at that point, involving Soun Tendo, but if I do that I'll probably have other things to touch on as well.

For what it's worth I've managed about 1,000 words in the last 2 days, I think.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I didn't write much over the weekend but tonight I worked hard on my story and fought my way through the big final fight scene. It's late so I'm going to bed... I still need to write a few paragraphs to kind of do a minor wrap up. I'll need to do more wrap up in chapter 25, but I'm at the end of chapter 24 finally. I even read through from the beginining and edited it, and I think it reads pretty well.

Counting from November 1st, I've written 66,000 words. I'm not sure how much of that was just today, but anyway I feel accomplished.

I really need to edit and publish chapter 16 now.

I was looking for a cool way to portray how Mr. Honda banishes the demon... and I went back to the story where Kasumi is possed in the manga. In that, the priest writes "bean" on a ward and uses this to drive the demon from Kasumi's body. You know, this big kidnap plot has been so deadly serious that I'd almost forgotten how silly the original manga is.

So I scrapped the search for a "cool" and "realistic" demon banishing phrase. Instead, I got silly. ^_^ I think that will work, too.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I wrote about 1,000 words last night. That's 3 short scenes. That probably counts as slacking off -- I did spend some time downloading Christmas music, making an ITunes Christmas Imix, and playing a little Second Life. I still have several scenes before the big Chapter 24 fight is over. I thought about breaking it into two chapters with another good cliffhanger in the middle of everything... but eh, I think one long chapter works well too. We'll see how I feel when it's actually finished. I'm going to need to go back through very carefully to make sure the sequence of events makes sense as I jump from one scene to another.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
For what it's worth, I'm still working hard on my story. In fact I did little else tonight -- I did some Christmas shopping, I came home, I exercised, and then I wrote.

I'm at about 59,000 words now, and I've gotten through the first half of the big fight... the part where nearly everyone gets crushed by the demon, before Ranma and Cologne and Kohana's grandfather show up. I also haven't written the part where the demon defeats a group of private commandos from the Honda estate security forces. ^_^ He's a badass demon. I'm having fun though, I think the part of the fight I've written so far works pretty well, and I'm getting close to the end. Sachiko finally gets to show off all her cool shinmei-ryu moves, and Yoriko gets to be a hero instead of just a two-dimensional bad-tempered gangster.

Well... I'm near the end of chapter 24 anyway. I don't have much of anything written for chapter 25, which is a kind of wrap up / epilogue for this part of my story.

Anyway, that's about 3,000 words or so written today. Unlike yesterday it's a lot of finished scenes.

I'm not going to stop to edit and publish chapter 16 until I have at least chapter 24 written, maybe chapter 25 too. Because continuing to write is easier than stopping and starting again later.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I worked on my story this morning. I wrote about 1,000 more words. By my count I'm at about 51,000 words for the month.

I finished off Chapter 23. Chapter 24 should be the end of the kidnap arc, and then chapter 25 will be a wrap-up chapter. I'm hoping I can continue to write and get those two chapters finished within the next week or so. After that, I can insert all of the chapters from the magical girl story arc I wrote last year... that's at least 5 very long chapters, almost 60,000 words total, and still not finished.

So basically, I have 73,000 words and 15 chapters of my story already published.

If I finish chapters 24 and 25 I'll have well over 120,000 words and 20 chapters fully written and ready to publish, after editing.

2008 NaNoWriMo Winner

Woo!

*edit* Wrote a bit more... I'm at 55,000 words now. Even if Open Office's word counter is a bit off, I'm comfortably past my goal at this point.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I didn't get much written yesterday but I stayed up late and wrote maybe a thousand words. This morning I wrote maybe another thousand. My sisters and nieces didn't come over today, so I've been at my parent's house all day and it's been very quiet. After goofing off in Second Life for several hours and watching two episodes of Forensic Files, I finally sat down and began to write.

At this point, according to Open Office and based on what the word count for my document was before I started, I'm probably still a couple of hundred words shy of 50,000. However I expect to work on it tomorrow as well... I'm still in the middle of the big kidnap plot, and I want to get that done. So I went ahead and validated... the total document from where I started writing up to where I'm currently at is actually 61,464 words, according to NaNoWriMo's web page.

That would include some stuff I'd written previously, but no completed scenes. So, in combination with what I expect to write tomorrow, I declare myself a winner!
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I spent 2-3 hours this morning writing because I probably won't get the chance to do so the rest of the day. My sister's family just showed up so I'm probably done for the day. But I think I've finished off chapter 22, and I'm on the verge of the actual kidnapping scene. Things are about to get very exciting!

I'm at 46,000 words. I'm averaging about 2,000 words a day so I should finish a day or two early.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Well, as expected I didn't get anything written after leaving work today, what with packing, driving to Longview and talking to my parents for a couple of hours.

On the other hand I got some 2,000 words written while at work, so I'm at about 44,000 words.

It remains to be seen how much I can get written tomorrow before everyone shows up.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I'm at 42,000 words.

That's only 1,000 words more than I said I was at before leaving work... but actually I was rounding up then and I'm rounding down a bit now. It's closer to 1,500 words for the evening since getting off of work.

When I'm at work, I tend to jot down scenes and dialogue fast as they come to me and transfer them to my document pretty fast too. I get two 15 minute breaks and a half hour lunch, and even if I stretch that out a bit I don't really have the time to concentrate on writing an even semi-polished or complete scene. So when I get home, I often spend a lot of time polishing scenes up, rewriting things, etc. I did that tonight -- I deleted at least 500 words or so from scenes that I completely rewrote in a different way. Anyway, overall I'm doing good. For the first time this month I'm ahead of where I should be.

Just in time, too. I was thinking that I had a couple of days still before Thanksgiving, but I'll be heading down tomorrow night after work, so I'm not sure how much I'll get to write tomorrow. We'll see.

I'm not sure how much of Chapter 22 is done just yet. It's still taking shape, but this time yesterday there weren't even any completed scenes and I had 2 or 3 mutually exclusive opening scenes, and they all sucked. It wasn't until I woke up this morning that I knew how to write the first scene of chapter 22 correctly.

The Genma kidnap plot hasn't started yet. That may not start until chapter 23, and if so it may extend into a chapter 24.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
By today I'm supposed to have 40,000 words written.

I have, according to Open Office, 39,000 words written.

I could probably stay up and write another 1,000 words to try and catch up, but right now I'm in kind of a weird spot in the story. I finished off chapter 21, and that takes me through the end of Sunday. I'm now past the point of all of my initial short-term "first week" plots. I want to skip ahead a week or two, but I have a few unresolved plot threads that I probably should try and clean up first. I'm not sure exactly how to tie those in to the other things I want to write to set up the next big plot, the "Genma kidnaps Ranma" plot. In short, I'm not sure exactly where I want to take this part of the story, so it's a bit harder to write.

But still, I'm pretty excited. I was having trouble at several other points too and I worked my way through them. If I get through this part, I can tie eveything I've written in the past to all of my "future" chapters that I wrote last year, and then everything I've written or plotted for Girl's School will be one complete story. One in need of editing, I'll admit, but still, you'll be able to read from beginning to end. That's cool. And it will be some 150,000 to 200,000 words long, making it the largest story of my life. Even Muyami Academy wasn't that long.

Ah, well. I should get to bed for now.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I'm supposed to have 38,000 words done today. I think.

Open Office says I've written 36,000 words.

Word Perfect says I've written 35,000 words. I'm going with the Open Office interpretation for now. ^_^

It's a bit hard to know exactly how much I've written because I'm working on an existing document. Even though I chopped out the first 15 chapters and set them aside as "Girls School part 1", the document I started with was about 23,000 words long already. A lot of the scenes I've written were partially written or sketched in with a few lines and bits of dialogue. In some cases I'm really spending time reworking entire existing scenes, which is supposedly a NaNo no-no: editing as I write. But I can't help it. If I get truly desperate in the last week, I'll just start writing pell-mell, but until then I think I'm perfectly capable of editing as I write and still meeting the overall goal. After all, I started off almost a week behind before I really got going this year, and I'm nearly caught up now.

If I go by the Open Office word count. ^_^ If I get to the end, and Open Office says I've written 50,000 words and Word Perfect says no, then I'm still going to declare myself a winner. After all, I'll be validating with a document that is going to be closer to 70,000 words...

Oh, and I ended Chapter 21 on a triple cliffhanger! Woo! Go me! Ranma facing a snake demon, Akane almost getting kissed, and Nabiki being forced to go on a date!

And I got quite a bit of Chapter 22 done as well! This is shaping up nicely. I think I'll do a Chapter 23 and then launch into the big Genma plot, which ought to be at least 2 chapters, maybe 3 with a follow-up for the aftermath. And then... finally... I can insert all of the chapters from the "magical girl" storyline I wrote last year....
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Bleah.

I played City of Heroes last night. I slept in late today. I played more City of Heroes. I went shopping. I read three volumes of manga (aside: one of the mangas that [livejournal.com profile] skyoxford recently lent me was La Corda d'Oro, about a girl with a magic violin. I liked it, but not quite enough to go out and buy more volumes... until last night when I was at Half Price Books and found volumes 2, 3, and 4 for 4.50 each. So... I read all of them today. Waste of my day!)

Anyway I'm supposed to have... eh, about 36,600 words written by today. This weekend is my weekend to finally get caught up too, or else I may run out of time. But as of tonight I'm at about 32,000 words, according to Open Office. I don't really trust it's word counter and it's an annoying program but I decided to stop using Word Perfect because I only have Open Office at work (or Word, which I refuse to use) and the constant switching between two programs was causing bigger problems than Open Office creates on its own. It still likes to add formatting to every new line and keeps switching me to 10 point type when I'm not looking (I'm trying to use only 12 point Times New Roman type, I can't for the life of me figure out how to stop it from changing to 10 point type seemingly at random).

I'm working my way through chapter 20, in which Ranma fights a demonic serpent in Harajuku while dressed as a gothic lolita girl, Nabiki moves across town to Ukyo's new restuarant, and Akane takes a motorbike ride with Akela and Rin to Hakone, a resort town two hours South of Tokyo, where they get into a fight.

I might not be able to fit all of that into a single chapter, we'll see.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Well. Today I'm supposed to be at, oh, 33,200 words or so.

I think I'm at about 29,000 words. So... still catching up. I wrote about 4,000 words today. If I can do that tomorrow that would be... 33,000 words, less than 2,000 off where I should be.

I need to catch up this weekend but so far my track record for writing on the weekend when I have a lot of extra time has actually been pretty abysmal.

Ah well. I'm having fun. I've got a lot of Akane's bike trip with Rin and Akela sketched out and partially written. I haven't worked on the other two things happening at the same time -- Miyuki, Sayuri and Ranma in Harujuku, and Nabiki moving across town to live with Ukyo. Well, I've written two scenes with Nabiki and also I have three scenes to set up my upcoming Genma plot... all in all it's falling together pretty nicely so far.
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
I should have 31,600 or so words done today. After wrestling with formatting problems all day (have I posted enough about that yet? :D ) I finally managed to wrap up my big fight scene and close out chapter 19. It really is a big fight scene, too... Chapter 19 is a very long chapter.

I've written about 25,000 words. That's... oh, I don'tk know. Only about 1,500 words for today. Unless i calculate using Open Office, in which case I suddenly gain another 3,000 words. :D I'm going to try and write a bit more before going to sleep, but... while i didn't get as much written today as I would have liked, I'm in a position now to write fast and furious as I introduce some new plotlines.

I'm excited! Ever since I started working on this story in earnest, i've been planning to write my way through the first week of school, and that included, from the very beginning, having a big fight at the end of the week. Now I'm past that point! Woo! Onwards and upwards!

For Sunday I have 3 or 4 new plots going. Ranma goes on a "girl's day out" with Sayuri. Miyuki tags along, and I think there's going to be a random demon fight at some point. Akane goes on a long motorbike ride with Rin and Akela and I get to develop those two characters some more. Nabiki moves out of the Tendo house and in with Ukyo. And Genma sets in motion his big plan to win Ranma back and marry him to Akane once and for all. :D :D :D I have no idea what hapens after that... two loose plot ideas I have floating around involve some of the new characters visiting Ranma and Akane at home, and Akane discovering something about her past that she'd completely forgotten, and maybe the second big challenge from Nabiki, although I could leave that off until later. Then the Genma plot! If I'm lucky I can get through that one by the end of NaNoWriMo, but I don't know.

Chapter 16: about 16 pages.
Chapter 17: about 17 pages.
Chapter 18: about 16 pages.
Chapter 19: about 26 pages.
Chapter 20: In progress as we speak! :D
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
The problem with switcing between word processors is that each of them seems to have their own idiosyncracies. This morning at work I downloaded Open Office and installed it. This in itself was a bit of an adventure because a search on "Open Office" will net you a handful of sites that want to force you to pay to download a free product (if you want to donate money to the people making it, that's different). Once I got it installed it wanted to run plug-in updates and generally acted sluggish... my impression is that, for all its good points, it's still a pretty bloated piece of software. But I was able to upload my very large document and work on reformatting it. One thing I did, sadly enough, is work my way through almosst the entire document replacing all of my tabs for each new line. They were all gone, thanks to Word.

I also had to search and replace some atifacts that Word had introduced... anywhere I'd used three dots (an elipse) and then a period to end a sentence, Word had converted the three dots into a single character that still displayed as an elipse. In openOffice they displayed as little 1/4 symbols. Yay.

Also the text kept switching between Times New Roman and Arial fonts, and between 10 point and 12 point. What a mess. I tried to fix that too. When I was done, it looked good in openOffice, at least.

I only managed to write a few partial scenes, but openOffice tried to tell me that my entire document was 49,000 words long. This confused me, because I've been calculating my word count based on knowing that the original document was 22,500 words long when I started working on it this month. That would mean I've written 26,500 words... or 3,000 words since last night. I knew I'd done no such thing.

I closed it down and then fired it back up, and this time it said that my word count was 48,600 words. Hmm. I got the same number after a second shutdown/restart, so that seemed to be its final answer. Just for comparison I checked with Word; it said 48,500 words.

Where did all of those words come from?

When I got home I noticed that the file was 1,047 kbs. This was pretty alarming -- the WordPerfect file from my computer this morning was only about 650 kbs. I knew my file size would jump or shrink depending on if I'd saved it most recenlty from Word or from Wordperfect, but the difference was never THAT great. What had openOffice added to my file?

I checked with WordPerfect. The very first thing I noticed was a little paragraph marker at the beginning of every single new paragraph. I checked reveal codes, and found that my document was establishing font and format every time I tabbed in to start another paragraph.

I wondered if all of those paragraph and font codes were being counted in my word count. Strangely enough, WordPerfect said my actual word count was about 46,500 words, which is close to where I thought I was last night.

I also noticed a lot of artifacts where there should be quotes. Great, smart quote problems.

I loaded the file into Wordpad to try and fix some of the horrible formatting problems. For some reason it told me everything was in Arial but it was displaying as Courier (ie no font selected). I changed the font again. In Wordpad I could see the smart quotes and did some search and replaces to get rid of them all, then saved again.

When I reimported into WordPerfect, I was down to just over 46,000 words. How depressing. However, this was close to what I expected as my word count.

Reveal codes still showed that there were a lot of hidden switching between fonts, so I did more search and replacing until I got rid of all the junk codes. I think at this point I have a clean document, but I'm afraid to import it back into openOffice. But then, I either have to do that tomorrow at work, or use Wordpad. I think I'd rather use openOffice, but in that case I should probably use it at home too, instead of WordPerfect.

I just want a word processor that does things right. ^_^ I guess openOffice is the best option, but I can already tell it's not everything I was hoping it would be....
miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Bleah. After writing nearly 2,000 words today on my breaks at work, I was really hoping to get a lot more done once I got home... but mostly I spent time fleshing out hasty scenes and editing and cleaning up Chapter 19. I've been staying up so late that by 9:30 PM I was already feeling very tired... so...

For today, Tuesday 11/18/08, (Day 18) I'm supposed to have about 30,000 words written. By my count I actually have 23,500 words. That's about 3,500 words written today, same as I managed to write yesterday. That leaves me still 6,500 words off my pace, but that number is shrinking day by day....

Chapter 19 is almost done. The big Saturday fight is nearly over... well, there's probably still 1,000 to 2,000 words to go on it. It's a very big chapter.

Two volumes of Ouran High School Host Club arrived today... volumes 10 and 11. I read most of 10. :P

Also volumes 5,6,7, and 8 of Click arrived today. I ordered those weeks ago....

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miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
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