Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Nanowrimo? More like Pernofinmo…

Ah, Nanowrimo. There is always the annual debate among amateur writers: to Nano or not to Nano? Some love the idea and some are against it for various reasons.


Personally, I like Nano. I like the energy and even the deadlines that push you to get things done whether you feel like it or not. I’ve done Nano eight years in a row and won seven of them…until this year. This year I’m not doing it and it’s your fault.

Okay, so it’s obviously not your fault. It’s my fault or at least the fault of this blog. My usual modus operandi for novel writing has been to write a novel in November and then spend the next year (and more) editing it. However, since I started this blog, I have done much less novel editing and consequently, I have two novels from past Nanowrimos that are fifty thousand words long, but are still unfinished stories. As much as I would love to do Nano again this year, I don’t need another unfinished rough draft sitting on my hard drive. What I need is to finish the ones I have.

So I’m not doing Nanowrimo this year. Instead, I’m doing Pernofinmo (Personal Novel Finishing Month) and honestly, it’s a lot harder. For one thing, there’s more editing and retooling of things, which is much slower than just pedal-to-the-metal rough draft writing. Plus, the story I am working on has remained unfinished for two years for a reason. The main theme of the novel is that the main characters (and the whole world for that matter) are struggling with a intractable situation with no easy answers. The problem is, that I don’t have any easy answers either and I have spend tons of hours over the last two years trying to figure out how to end it plausibly. I’ve been making progress, but it’s still slow. I don’t know if I’ll actually finish the story in November, but I’ll try. I still have 21 left.

I get the feeling this guy doesn't like Nanowrimo

I get the feeling this guy doesn’t like Nanowrimo

Do you do Nanowrimo? Why or why not? I’m just curious.

Assa! (Nanowrimo is over)

Well, it’s done, it’s over, “I’m back,” he said. It may be an arbitrary goal, but I have crawled past the Nanowrimo 50,000 word finish line, more dead than alive.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad, but I need to get out all the melodrama I kept from my story. The story is not quite finished and it’s a messy, scruffy first draft, but it has potential.

I’m looking forward to posting fiction here regularly again. On the agenda: “The Making of the Squid”, the back story Edward “the Squid” Morrison in the Aftermath series.

Also, besides the Open Prompts stories that I have done in the past, I am starting something I, most unoriginally, am calling Semi-Open Prompts. This is where I ask one person to give me a bunch of prompts and then I write a story with them. I’ll probably do one a month or so. The first set of prompts was provided to me by Sharmishthra Basu and the story will be posted within a week or so.

(By the way, if you’re curious, assa (앗싸) is the Korean exclamation for when something really good happens, kind of like Yes! or Alright! in English. It rhymes with the Spanish word casa, but the “s” sound in the middle is really long. Now you can say you know Korean 😉 )

Keeping on Nano-ing Along

Well, I’m not dead yet. It’s going really well, actually. Nano, that is. I just passed 30,000 words today and although I’m not entirely sure how everything is going to turn out at the end, the story shows promise, especially for a second draft.

First Lines

In the spirit of my Monday post on first lines in literature, here is a first line from my Nano novel. It’s not the first line of my novel, but instead it is the first line of a 19th century novel that the characters find that sheds some light on their particular situation. I’m not saying it is a particularly good first sentence, since it’s not necessarily supposed to be, but it is what it is.

“In that long forgotten corner of Byzantium, where once was known and forgotten much of the lore of elder days, stood the great pile of stone, grey and rough-hewn, and in front of it the man himself, the wizard, the sorcerer of living flesh who struck and molded that mind of slave imprisoned, keeping it alive for all his dire purpose.” Heinrich Finster, Travels by Darklight.

Nano Tradition

This is my seventh year doing Nano and over the years I’ve developed various traditions surrounding it. I usually work in coffee shops, since I work better there than at home, and since it’s the season for mandarin oranges in Korea, I usually eat a lot of those while I’m writing. Here is a picture of one of my favorite coffee shops near our house.

I like this coffee shop since it’s the only one I know of that lets you sit at low tables on the floor. It’s a very cozy place to work. I also now have an official Nanowrimo mug, if I want a lot of coffee, that is. It holds 500 ml of coffee. I made it myself (mostly). When I drink from it, it makes me feel like a Viking warrior and the word “quaff” comes to mind.

韓國 means “Korea”

Do you have any special things you do when you write? Do you always write in the same place? Let me know in the comments.

Good Idea, Bad Idea: Milk

Hello friends of blog, greetings from upper chamber of the Green-Walled Tower, where I’ve been busy with Nano for the last few days. It’s been going well and I just passed 12,000 words. Hopefully I can keep that momentum going and keep the story flowing.

Now, as Monty Python said, for something completely different:
Did you ever watch Animaniacs? It was a Warner Brothers cartoon in the 90’s that had a segment called Good Idea, Bad Idea. If you’ve never seen it, or want to watch it again, here’s the complete compilation of all of them.

Here a Good Idea, Bad Idea from my own life.

Buying milk:                                                                    good idea

Putting milk in the trunk:                                          okay idea

Forgetting about milk:                                                bad idea

Leaving milk in trunk for several months:         very bad idea

Discovering milk when it finally eats through its plastic container and then eats through the metal of the trunk and drips on the ground: very very bad idea

Yes, that actually happened. Early in our marriage, my wife and I went grocery shopping at night. We got home and said, “Didn’t we buy milk? Oh well, I guess not.” Literally months later, I noticed something white dripping on the ground. I opened to trunk to find the milk jug mostly empty, a hole in the bottom of it, and a hole in the bottom of the trunk. I guess we hadn’t opened our trunk much, since I’m sure we would have noticed the smell. So there you have it: in case you were wondering, milk can eat through a trunk.


(By the way, if you’re anywhere applicable, Happy Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night. Go burn something for me.)

Nanowrimo: And so it begins again…

It occurred to me that this will probably be one of thousands of posts about Nanowrimo on WordPress today, but oh well.

Well, it’s that time of the year again: November, which for many means National Novel Writing Month. I have done it for the last six years but was debating not doing this year because of other writing and busyness. However, I’ve decided to do it anyway.

Thus, the amount of fiction I will be putting up here will be much less for the next month. I will still post three times a week with either true anecdotes from my life, reflections on writing, or whatever.

I’ve decided to write a full novel version of my story, The Girl Who Could Snee. That story was 1600 words and the novel will be at least 50,000 words, so the characters are going to be more developed and the plot will be quite different. I’ve got a rough sketch in my head and I’m excited.

Back when I was a young thing, I used to stay up until midnight every November 1st to get a jump on the writing. I told myself to be sensible this year, but “sensible” and “bedtime” are not two words that go together in my brain. I started writing at the stroke of midnight and…wrote 109 words before bailing and going to bed.

So, are you doing Nano? Are you tempted to? If you are doing it, let me know and we can be writing buddies on the Nanowrimo site.

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