Wednesday, February 27, 2008


John Stradling's NaNoWriMo Word Count this past year was 518,335 words in thirty days. Math wizards, that's 17,277 words per day. That's a book every three days. Were they good words? I don't know. But it makes me want to up my daily words count nano or no nano.

What to do with your NANO novel? Try NANOEDMO in March.

You'll only get published if you write and edit and date someone in the publishing industry or know Paris Hilton or can channel Ernest Hemingway...


The bear charged.

I shot.

He fell and the mountains heaved a sigh at the passing of the majestic beast that had roamed as a symbol of freedom, uncaring and unafraid for years with an unbridled thirst for life.

I feasted well and imbibed his spirit.

The woman fell at my feet. They stunk, but she didn't seem to care. I drank her lust and the tent shook as leaves in a storm dance before the climax.


FARfetched said...

That guy obviously didn't have a job to go to, or wood to split, or anything…

The last kid paraded the 27th instance of this year's fad Hallowe'en costume, took my handful of candy with a mumbled thanks and a smile from the parental unit, and departed. I closed the door and looked at the big pail of candy that was left over.

9:48p.m. Two hours and twelve minutes to go. I smiled, turned off the porch light, locked the door, and carried the pail to the place I'd prepared in the corner of my basement. A large coffee pot stood sentry near the door to the bathroom; an orange extension cord snaked up the corner and over the top of the bathroom. I knew better than to put the coffee pot and the space heater on the same circult. A daybed, just long enough for me, waited on the other side of the bathroom. A long desk, with a notepad and an aging but utterly reiable G4 PowerMac, completed my preparations.

Two hours and seven minutes. I would need sustenance; I flipped open my cellphone (oops, I'd need to bring the charger downstairs) and ordered pizza. "Bring it around to the back door," I told the girl taking my order.

In the forty-two minutes between the order and the delivery, I brought down the phone charger and plugged it into the UPS as well as several gallon jugs of water and a tall glass. "I'll be doing this quite a bit for the next month," I told the rangy, stringy-haired guy making the delivery. "Just bring it back here every time, OK?" I tipped him enough so he wouldn't forget, and pulled a slice out of the box.

Dang. Paper plates. I dropped the slice back in its empty wedge and brought the stack down from the kitchen with a roll of paper towels. I dropped two slices on a plate and carried it upstairs to watch the news for the last time. The last half hour before midnight I blew on Mario Planet.

My phone alarm chirped at two minutes to midnight. I shut off the Game Cube and TV, trotted downstairs, and fired up the G4. Starting TextEdit took me right to the stroke of midnight. I turned off my phone and started typing.

Rick Bylina said...

Yup!. That's how it is for some people. I never start at midnight, because I'll never win a prize (even though there isn't any) for the most words. I did get 79,000 one year, but it damn near broke me in half.

The novel has been finished, through editing, and rejected over 100 times since then. Sigh.

FARfetched said...

I would love to participate in Nano, but given my job, family members & in-laws who call me first thing when anything goes even slightly wrong, and a major holiday that includes my birthday most years, I'd probably have to average 3000 words/day because there would be at least two weeks when I'd be out of (writing) action. Holing up in the basement and ordering pizza sounds like a good strategy.

Have you considered alternate publishing routes? It seems to me that the mystery market is pretty saturated, and you might need to do something odd to get noticed. There's Kimberly Steele's Forever Fifteen, which she recorded as an audiobook and put up on iTunes as a free download. (It burned onto 6 CDs, which I keep forgetting to put in the car.)

FAR Future is sort of a vehicle like that for me — given traditional publishing timelines, we'd be closing in on 2012 before it hit the shelves and it would be stale, assuming I was able to finish it by then (I'm guesstimating another 100 episodes and two years to finish it, at the moment). It's getting some attention, and it's giving me an incentive to sit down & keep writing. Sometimes, what goes into the keyboard isn't what I'd planned on writing, but who cares? I'll use it somewhere else.

It's marketing.

Rick Bylina said...

No, I'm fairly stubborn. Not ready to give up the traditional method of getting published before attempting the alternative means of book marketing and distribution.