Wednesday, November 13, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 13

This was one of those days in which I hit the end of a chapter (13) with my main hero then shifted POV to a secondary hero in order to move time forward.

Only thing was, by the time I reached the end of chapter 14, I realized I'd have to return to the end of chapter 13 and revise how it ended. Or write an unexpected new POV scene with the hero and call it chapter 15.

Ah, the fun of writing into the dark.

I reached the halfway point, word count-wise, today, but not quite the mid point of the story. I think.

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884 total; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672 total ; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going
Day 9: 1,724 (17,396 total; 32,604 remaining)
Day 10: 1,735 (19,131 total; 30,869 remaining)
Day 11: 2,046 (21,177 total; 28,823 remaining)
Day 12: 2,052 (23,229 total; 26,771 remaining)
Day 13: 1,982 (25,211 total; 24,789 remaining)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 12

This is just one of those days in which the writing flowed well, but it's clearly a transition chapter.

Although I love writing in Scrivener, I am using Google Docs for NaNoWriMo 2019. I can bring my Chromebook with me to my office and write anywhere. The known little quirk in Google Docs is the 10,000-word mark. If a file gets a little more than 10K, it starts to go wonky. So I break my stories up into 10K chunks.

I started Part III today. By the end of the month, I'll have at least five of these parts to make up the entire novel. Tomorrow I'll reach the exact halfway mark (word wise), officially two days ahead of schedule.

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884 total; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672 total ; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going
Day 9: 1,724 (17,396 total; 32,604 remaining)
Day 10: 1,735 (19,131 total; 30,869 remaining)
Day 11: 2,046 (21,177 total; 28,823 remaining)
Day 12: 2,052 (23,229 total; 26,771 remaining)

Monday, November 11, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 11

Today brought my first 2,000-word day in a week. Really happy to hit that mark again, especially on a time-limited weekday. The morning session was only 844 words. The groove of the session really kicked in...just as my alarm sounded and I had to get ready for work. 

Which meant the lunch session hit the ground running. Irritatingly, I hit the end of the session without getting to the end of the scene. Oh well, I know where I'll be starting tomorrow morning.

One of the things that keeps me going is my spreadsheet. I thought I'd share it today.

Date
Today
Pace
Diff
Pace Total
Actual Total
Total Diff
Remaining
1-Nov
2,063
1,667
396
1,667
2,063
396
47,937
2-Nov
2,724
1,667
1,057
3,334
4,787
1,453
45,213
3-Nov
2,189
1,667
522
5,001
6,976
1,975
43,024
4-Nov
2,033
1,667
366
6,668
9,009
2,341
40,991
5-Nov
1,769
1,667
102
8,335
10,778
2,443
39,222
6-Nov
1,899
1,667
232
10,002
12,677
2,675
37,323
7-Nov
1,207
1,667
-460
11,669
13,884
2,215
36,116
8-Nov
1,788
1,667
121
13,336
15,672
2,336
34,328
9-Nov
1,724
1,667
57
15,003
17,396
2,393
32,604
10-Nov
1,735
1,667
68
16,670
19,131
2,461
30,869
11-Nov
2,046
1,667
379
18,337
21,177
2,840
28,823


Date - Obvious
Today - Words written on that particular day
Pace - The 1,667 words you need to hit in order to reach 50,000 words by 30 November
Diff - Today number minus Pace. I color code it so I can get my green streak.
Pace Total - The number you get if you only write 1,667 words each day.
Actual Total - The number of words I actually wrote to date.
Total Diff - Difference between Pace Total and Actual Total
Remaining - How I'm doing relative to 50,000 words

Every addition/subtraction field has the formulas built in. The green and red are conditional formatted based on the number.

This spreadsheet helped me on 7 Nov when I didn't reach the 1,667 for the day, but I knew I was ahead of the pace overall.

Do you use a spreadsheet?

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884 total; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672 total ; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going
Day 9: 1,724 (17,396 total; 32,604 remaining)
Day 10: 1,735 (19,131 total; 30,869 remaining)
Day 11: 2,046 (21,177 total; 28,823 remaining)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 10

It's funny how things work out when you're writing a 50,000-word book.

Today's new words close out chapter 10. Yes, I'm finally back on track after having to rewrite chapter four. I really love the chapter number and the date to line up.

But this story's Act I came to a nice conclusion this morning. My tale involves the Hero getting pulled into the main part of the story quite by accident. But by the end of chapter ten, he has done what he thinks is the perfect thing: help the victims along and washing his hands of the rest of the story.

He's happy. Well, he's happy until chapter 11...

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884 total; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672 total ; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going
Day 9: 1,724 (17,396 total; 32,604 remaining)
Day 10: 1,735 (19,131 total; 30,869 remaining)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 9

Despite not having as much time to write as you might expect given it is a Saturday, this morning's writing session was great. I shifted POVs for the first time yesterday, but came back to my hero's POV today. I had to stop writing earlier than I wanted, but it'll make tomorrow's session that much more exciting.

One of the best things about writing into the dark, not knowing where the story is going is both scary and fun. I get to be the first reader. Dean Wesley Smith wrote about that in today's post. Have a read and remember how much fun it is to write stories!

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going
Day 9: 1,724 (17,396; 32,604 remaining)


Year of an Indie Writer: Week 45

One thing dominated my non-day job time: NaNoWriMo.

Like I mentioned last week, I'm getting off my novel-writing snide by participating in NaNoWriMo 2019. But for every creative type, when you start doing your art again, you are rusty.

While I'm ahead of the overall pace for the 50,000-word month, not every day this week was easy. I bested the 1,667 daily average every day but one, but some days it was like pulling teeth.

But if there's one thing I've learned over my years of crafting stories, it's this: Trust the Process.

I have a day job and a family so my writing times are time-limited. An hour or so in the morning before work and around 55 minutes at lunch after a daily chat with my wife. But the other twenty-two hours of the day, story-wise, is time for the subconscious to mull over ideas and next scenes. Sometimes your subconscious hasn't figured out where to go next.

Then there are the days in which it does. Then, you just hold on because your fingers fly over the keyboard and you curse the end of writing time. It was a breakthrough, at least for the near term.

That's what happened yesterday. 

Later on last night, when I read my new words to the wife, she guessed on where the story was going. "No, that's not what I wrote...but dang it I wish I had." Still, I'm going with what my subconscious came up with. We'll see how much fun it'll be.

Trust the process. Always.

Friday, November 8, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 8

For anyone struggling with a story, there are many ways to overcome the challenges, but there's one piece of advice I have come to accept as foundational: Trust the Process.

I have a day job and a family so my writing times are time-limited. An hour or so in the morning before work and around 55 minutes at lunch after a daily chat with my wife. But the other twenty-two hours of the day, story-wise, is time for the subconscious to mull over ideas and next scenes. Sometimes your subconscious hasn't figured out where to go next.

Then there are the days in which it does. Then, you just hold on because your fingers fly over the keyboard and you curse the end of writing time. It was a breakthrough, at least for the near term.

That's what happened today.

Of course, tonight, when I read my new words to the wife, she guessed on where the story was going. "No, that's not what I wrote...but dang it I wish I had." Still, I'm going with what my subconscious came up with. We'll see how much fun it'll be.

Trust the process.

Can't wait for tomorrow morning.

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day
Day 8: 1,788 (15,672; 34,328 remaining) *Breakthrough on where story is going

Thursday, November 7, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 7

An odd day, all things considered. 

I started out at the end of chapter 5 where our Hero meets his first adversary face to face. Nice way to end a chapter because it immediately makes starting chapter 6 easier.

What kept me under the typical daily pace of 1,667 words was tiredness. I woke up tired. I came home and grabbed a 15-minute nap. It rained all day and was cloudy the rest of the time. The day job slammed me like it hasn't in a long time. Lots of mental energy spent doing the day job. I ended up at only 1,207 words for today. I'm still 2,215 words over pace for the entire month so I can afford a sub-par day.

But it's actually mid-fight in chapter 6 so it won't be like "Where do I got next?" in the morning. I'll be able to come out swinging.

Literally.

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4  
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining) 
Day 7: 1,207 (13,884; 36,116 remaining) *First sub 1,667 day

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 6

After the re-write of chapter 4 yesterday, I ended up with a new final sentence.

But I didn't like it. Had I gone with the zinger in my revised chapter 4, I would have kick-started the story into a chase. Plus it would have revealed the truth about a separate character. Okay, so I know that's vague, so let me be clear.

One character calls the main character asking for his help. Had I gone with my ending of chapter 4, the reader would instantly know the situation of the caller. I don't want that to happen yet (partially because I don't know yet), so I rewrote the end of chapter 4, moved on to chapter 5 with the mystery still in place.

My morning session was a little slight, earning me only 753 words. I rallied at lunch and ended up with one word shy of 1,900 words for the day.

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4 
Day 6: 1,899 (12,677 total; 37,323 remaining)

I Finally Watched Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

Way back in June 2019--only four months ago as I write this--I made a decision: I wanted to watch this movie when it was released. In order to fully appreciate Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, I would have to watch the previous twelve movies in the Kevin Smith filmography. I did and reviewed all the films. Last week, I ranked the existing twelve movies as I liked them, with a unique choice at the top. All of which serves as an introduction to the review of this, Smith's thirteenth film.

Getting to the Theater


I bought my ticket to Reboot back in July 2019. At the time, the Houston Astros baseball team was in the middle of its best season ever. Who would have dreamed that the evening of 30 October 2019 would coincide not only with the Houston premiere of Reboot but also be the day of Game 7 of the World Series. My choice was made in the heat of the summer. A lot of other folks made the same choice, but the number of Astros jerseys in the  crowd meant we were fans of both franchises.

The River Oaks theater is a landmark in Houston. Opened in 1939, it shows off that awesome art deco vibe when you walk in the door. It is small, but it doesn't feel cramped. There's a stage in the main theater and that's where Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes chatted up the audience in the minutes leading up to the show. They talked up Audible, the sponsor of the Reboot Roadshow, even showing a few fun ads the two of them created.

The Premise


If you've seen Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, then the premise of this movie will feel very similar. In that earlier film, Jay and Silent Bob learn a movie is being made featuring their likenesses, Chronic and Bluntman. Fearing the worst, in Strike Back, the pair travel across the country to put a stop to the film.

In Reboot, Jay and Silent Bob learn there is a rebooted movie being made about those same characters. And, having been legally stripped of acknowledging themselves as Jay and Silent Bob, they set out across the country to put a stop to the film.

Yes, it comes across as the same story, but Reboot has two distinct additions to it that Strike Back lacked. One was commentary on the world. For all intents and purposes, Jay and Bob have been ignorant of the world changing around them. Why else would they have to have the concept of a reboot explained to them. What this does is that Smith, via his characters, gets to put his own viewpoint out there. No, it isn't as sharp a take as, say, co-host Marc Benardin, but his dialogue on the current state of pop culture is played for laughs. And there are plenty of them, so much so that I actually missed some of the jokes.

The other thing Smith writes into this second odyssey is heart.

The Heart of the Story


Quite literally, Smith's life changed after his heart attack in early 2018. He changed the way he ate, lost weight, and gained a new appreciation for life. As evident from Jersey Girl and Chasing Amy, Smith had already written scripts in which he pulls at the emotions of his viewers.

But he hasn't done it in a movie like Reboot, one of his stoner comedies. In Reboot, one of the returning characters is Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) with whom Jay hooked up in Strike Back. Now, eighteen years later, when Jay and Bob land on Justice's doorstep, the pair learn Jay is a father. Millie (aka Millennium Falcon) as played by Harley Quinn Smith, is a fierce, independent young woman who has understandable anger issues at her departed and never known dad. Jay gave his word to Justice he would never reveal his paternity, but that doesn't mean there aren't moments of tenderness.

Having just seen Yoga Hosers the week before, I was happy to see Harley again in a movie. Frankly, I was hoping Lily-Rose Depp would make an appearance, but she didn't. Leave that for Moose Jaws. In interviews, Smith commented that he'd like to see if he could swing the pendulum from laughter to sadness in a single scene. He does, and Harley is one that sometimes has to pull it off. She does a fine job here.

Chasing Amy Sequel


The big news coming out the Reboot filming was Ben Affleck was back. For reasons I don't know, Smith and Affleck drifted apart. This past spring, they reconnected in time for Affleck to fly to New Orleans and participate in Reboot.

Given the opportunity, Smith did the only logical thing: he crafted a sequel to Chasing Amy. With Joey Lauren Adams along for the ride, Smith wrote and Ben delivered what will already be one of the all-time best Smith-penned monologues. For this fifty-year-old guy who only first saw the Smith films in 2019 and instantly gravitated to Jersey Girl, this sequence was perfect.

Like my comment from Cop Out where I mentioned it would be interesting to see Smith write a buddy cop movie himself, were he to draft a straight-up romantic comedy or family drama, I'm pretty certain he could nail it.

And yeah, the tears flowed here. Only time during the film, but they were so well earned. I'm already looking forward to the DVD release so I can re-watch these scenes. And all those extras that were left on the cutting room floor.

The Verdict 


Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a solid, enjoyable film, made even more special by his and Jay's presence and a roomful of Smith fans. I was very happy to have had the experience.

Where does it rank in the Top 13 Kevin Smith films? Well, if you read my ranking from last week, you'll remember I had Strike Back in the fourth spot and I predicted Reboot would come in at number three or four. My third favorite film of his is Mallrats, after Jersey Girl and Chasing Amy. I've only seen Mallrats once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There's a lot of "old home week" with Reboot and that's the best thing about the film. Giving Mallrats its due, I'm going to slip Reboot in at Number 4, just ahead of Strike Back. Reboot had more heart than Strike Back and, even though I teared up in that one sequence, I'll give Mallrats the edge.

Where you do you rank Reboot?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019: Day 5

After yesterday's semi-roadblock, I ended up re-writing chapter 4. I used some of the same words, but didn't count them in today's numbers.

The bad thing: my days and chapters are off. I tend to write a chapter a day. 4 November = Chapter 4. Now, I'm off. I'll just have to write two chapters one day.

The good thing: the story is better with the revised Chapter 4. The last last was a doozy. Where do we go next?

Day 1: 2,063 (47,937 remaining)
Day 2: 2,724 (4,787 total; 45,213 remaining)
Day 3: 2,189 (6,976 total; 43,024 remaining)
Day 4: 2,033 (9,009 total; 40,991 remaining)
Day 5: 1,769 (10,778 total; 39,222 remaining) *Rewrite of chapter 4