Update from Face In The Blue: This is the End

It’s late in the day, November 27th, 2010 (Editor’s Note: Apologies for the late posting). My word count sits at 30,000ish, and I’m okay with that. This was my first NaNoWriMo. I had a lot of fun with it, but when it comes right down to it I didn’t make this the priority I said I would at the start of the month.

My work is more important to me than getting to 50,000 words in 30 days. When my job required 10- and 12-hour days, I put in those hours gladly. I got the results I needed, and that means more to me than this particular story.

My personal life is more important to me than this project, and when that demanded my evenings, I never gave a second thought to dedicating my time towards that too.

Finally, my leisure time took priority. That was my great failing on this particular NaNoWriMo: When my work and personal life took its toll on my creativity, I came home and vegitated. I needed to unwind. I didn’t get into the headspace to write, and my faltering attempts on those days of recuperation resulted in 500 or 600 words of gibberish and dreck that I would never dream of sharing with the world. Continue reading “Update from Face In The Blue: This is the End”

Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)

Editor’s Note: Yesterday we featured the first half of Chapter Four from Life Loves Death, Geoff’s ongoing NaNoWriMo project. In it, we witnessed the passing of the ice age and saw our hero take up trade as a bronzesmith. Read on for his first-hand account of the emerging age of metal and the importance of tin. (I happen to know that Geoff wrote a paper on the subject of tin as an undergrad, and it was deemed Masters-worthy by his professor.) Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)”

Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft)

This is Chapter Four, Part One of Life Loves Death, the unedited first draft. If you haven’t been following along, get started with Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. When you’re finished with this, move on to Part Two

The fourth chapter I dislike for its lack of a character piece. It is as difficult as it sounds to cover six thousand years in five thousand words and still have meaningful character development. In the end, I just had to make it my narrator’s story. I hope there is some human emotion and empathy towards the end, but I can’t be sure.

For the remainder of the month, I need to work very, very hard on this. Fortunately, I believe that is in the cards. I will also be travelling on the 28th, 29th, and 30th to Calgary for work, so hopefully there will be a lot of time in airports and planes and hotels to make the final sprint to the finish line.
Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Four (Unedited First Draft)”

Life Loves Death, Chapter Three (Unedited First Draft)

If you haven’t been following along, get started with Chapter One and Chapter Two of Life Loves Death

Here’s the unedited continuation of my story so far. I’m not as far along as I would like to be, I’m afraid. I’m currently at 26,000ish words. I’m hoping to pick up steam now that my story has passed from pre-history into recorded history after these two new chapters have elapsed.

I have a couple of observations about this update. I am disappointed in the tone and tenor of Chapter Three, as I now need to build forward several other encounters between my narrator and the backpacker off of this rather flat beginning. I had hoped to ‘get it in editing’ without really editing, but a couple of cursory passes have convinced me I’m not going to get it right without taking the whole thing apart and starting over, and my quest for 50,000 words in 30 days has been hampered enough by recent events at work and within my personal life. I cannot justify scrapping a couple of thousand right now for the sake of tone.

Happy reading, and good luck to all my fellow writers! Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Three (Unedited First Draft)”

Update From the Half-Way Point

I wanted to post a quick update from the half-way point to confess I have been otherwise occupied for the last several days. My word count has stalled at a little over 17,000 words. Hopefully I can get things moving again over the next couple of days: Even two or three great days will have me back on track.

A few of things I’m pretty confident of after two weeks of plugging away at this thing:

1) I’m not funny, or satirical, or humourous. Where I can provoke a smirk out of a reader, it’s when the obvious ‘straight man’ unexpectedly cracks wise. My original intention was to use the conversations between a narrator who has lived for millennia and a physical incarnation of Death as a light-hearted framing device between episodes of historical fiction. I’ve been trying that for days now, and I cannot convincingly make that work. Not in 30 days, anyway.

2) As such, my admittedly provisional title is probably not long for this world. If I can’t create a spark between the narrator and the backpacker, Death is just going to have to be demoted from title-worthy down to conclusion-driving device. We’ll see if I can still work in a bit of character development: I haven’t lost all hope here. I’m just admitting things have not evolved as I would have wished.

3) When I get going, I can shoot out 2,000 words as easily as I can whistle a happy tune. When I’m trying to get going, though, it’s like pushing a gold fish across a soccer field with your nose: It’s not an impossibility, but getting it done is a laborious task, and it would probably be a sight to see if a would-be spectator should wander by.

Anyway, I need to go change my laundry load. That and writing are all I have left to do today. Happy writing for some and reading for all. Cheers!

Live Loves Death, Chapter Two (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)

Editor’s Note: Yesterday we presented Part One of Chapter Two from Life Loves Death, the NaNoWriMo project of Geoff Micks. If you missed that, check it out first (or if you missed the first chapter, start there instead) then dive into this glorious second half, which finds our timeless hero in a Stone Age winter. Continue reading “Live Loves Death, Chapter Two (Unedited First Draft, Part Two)”

Life Loves Death, Chapter Two (Unedited First Draft)

Hello again, fellow Stranger Than Truthers. I have an update for you on this glorious first Saturday of National Novel Writing Month. I’m now up to 16,033 words, and not all of them are terrible. I confess I’ve had some trouble getting a good flow going during the work week, but weekends seem to agree with me. It helps that I’m putting off chores by writing.

Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have Chapter Two ready to share any time soon, but I stitched together several faltering attempts I’ve made over the last week, and I’m not totally unhappy with how it hangs together, considering it’s an unedited first draft. I even remembered to insert in a little foreshadowing and reoccuring tropes and themes I want to pick up and use later. Unfortunately, the entry of my backpacker has now been pushed to Chapter Three, but we’ve got some great establishing plot for the narrator in place. If anyone wants to take a look, you’re welcome to it. If you’d prefer to wait, I plan to pubish the full edited manuscript on my own blog sometime in December. Cheers!

Editor’s Note: This is an extremely awesome and quite long chapter, so I’ve split it into two parts. Get ready for part two, coming tomorrow. Also, if you haven’t read Chapter One, make sure you do that first!

Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter Two (Unedited First Draft)”

The least likely ending to a party, ever.

I got an email earlier today from our benevolent dictator of an editor, asking for more copy on this blog to keep giving our readers fresh content. I’m not prepared to put up my next addition to my NaNoWriMo novel yet, but I do have something from my own blog that I’d like to share over here.

This was the first story I ever posted, and it was quickly buried in my backlog where no one ever read it. I always felt it deserved a wider audience. It may be fiction:  I cannot say that this actually happened, but I suspect strongly it did. For a couple of summers I worked in a factory that cooked steel, and I heard this from a co-worker of mine who rarely spoke at great length, and never demonstrated having enough imagination to come up with this out of the blue.

Whatever truth there is to it, I’m sure I have embroidering the tale some, but that is the prerogative of a storyteller. It’s my story now, and I’ll tell it to you just as I would across a table, over a beer, in the back of my local watering hole.

This is the story of a party, a great party, and that party’s ending makes it one for the ages.

Continue reading “The least likely ending to a party, ever.”

Day Two Update from Faceintheblue

I’m up to 6050 words, which isn’t a bad sum for two days of writing. That said, a lot of them need to be in a different order before I’d call them good.

I ran out of steam before I finished my chapter, but I like the direction it’s heading. Anyone ever read about a coup d’etat following a mammoth hunt?

You will soon…

Life Loves Death, Chapter One (Unedited First Draft)

Twenty-two hours into NaNoWriMo 2010, and I’m off to a roaring start with a word count of 2714! A quick trip to my calculator tells me that puts me 5.4% of the way towards my goal of 50,000 words in just 3.3% of my allotted time. I can feel the urge to go back and rework what I’ve done, and I know from past experience that that means I’m probably not going to get any new prose down on the virtual page today. As promised, I’m going to put up the first chapter here—unedited—for the interest of anyone who actually has enough free time to review it. I can’t promise to write the second chapter any time soon, but I imagine I will post other excerpts at some point during the month. For the sake of post-November readers of this blog, the full edited manuscript will be posted on my own blog sometime in December.

I’m feeling pretty good right now. The words are coming pretty easily. I’m sure there are many roadblocks (and writers’ blocks) ahead, but I made a good beginning. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Life Loves Death, Chapter One (Unedited First Draft)”