30 Nov 2015

NaNo 2015 - The Last Two Days

Pens down!  NaNoWriMo is over!  The Elf's Prisoner has been validated and found to be a winner!

The Stats:
  • Words Written These Past Two Days: 2764
  • Words Written Total: 50 036
  • Chapters Completed These Past Two Days: 3
  • Chapters Completed Total: 38, plus three interregnums.
  • On-screen Deaths This Week: none
  • On-screen Deaths Total: 12
The last two days of NaNo, I had to write almost 2800 words to make the 50 000 word goal.  On Sunday, I did just that.  I split the writing into two segments, the first just after midnight, the second during the write-in.  The break in between meant that I could recharge and see the smaller amount during the write-in, a psychological boost.  There is something about seeing the size of the number of remaining words go from four digits to three.

After getting to the goal, I just stopped.  The story needs to be re-jigged; ideas I wanted to introduce still hadn't been reached.  There's a fight scene coming where my villain first meets the heroes that I need to set up properly.  World building needs to be completed, including working out a rough map and fixing directions in the story.  It's a minor mess.

However, my own pacing was good, barring the three days in Week 3.  I sat down and wrote most days, the exception being Fridays due to prior commitments.  I just need to remain in that practice.  Helping there are the commentaries I post every Thursday here and the weekly Lost in Translation posts over at Seventh Sanctum and Psycho Drive-In.  Posts for the blogs would add another 4000 words to the November totals if I included them.

I did learn that it is challenging to write a fantasy story while building the world ad hoc.  While I had rough ideas for most major locations, the details became crucial in spots.  The dwarven realm was easy to work out, but the trade town outside was a last minute addition, as was the canal used to get dwarven ore down to the coast.  The canal doesn't even have a name right now.  I came up with an impromptu naming system for characters, using real world cultures as the basis for each in-story culture.  I was inspired to do so after a friend started suggesting name for one of the elves, modifying names from her native Polish.  I ran with that idea - Polish for the elves, Cymric, Irish, and Pict for the local human lands*, Indonesian for the islander humans, and Ancient Roman for the villain.  The dwarves were slated for something along the lines of Aztec, Inca, Mayan, or Toltec, and that was before I put on the original Battlestar Galactica DVDs for background noise.

Something that did help was having appropriate background noise.  I don't use music to set the mood for the scene I write.  I use music to set the speed of typing.  Get a good beat going, fast enough to type to without being too fast, and I can keep a decent pace through the length of a song.  "Weird Al" Yankovic is ideal for me, as are instrumentals.  If I can listen to the music and not have to pay attention to lyrics, either because of familiarity or lack of lyrics at all, I can focus on writing while keeping the beat.

I will be putting The Elf's Prisoner aside for a bit.  I should keep writing, even if it's not at the breakneck pace of NaNo.  Unruly keeps returning to my mind, and I have two episodes to work on, one started and the other a natural continuation of Laura's story line.  During that time, I can figure out how to pace out The Elf's Prisoner properly.  The fight with the villain has an ending planned, one that should lead to an element that I really want to get in place.  The main problem there is that the last time I had my heroes travelling, they protested.  Maybe if I chased them there...

* I could have used Saxon names, too.  The names came from the King Arthur Pendragon RPG and supplements, and allowed me to justify having different naming practices in areas so close to each other.  After all, the typically Cymric player characters have to deal with Pictish and Saxon adversaries regularly, all near Stonehenge.

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