Monday, May 31, 2010

Word Count - May 31

  • Adam Demaniuk: 50,066
  • Ashley Geis: 50,025
Less than three hours to go now...anyone else? Brenda Smith?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I take it by the complete silence surrounding this project since the end of the first week that it's going really, really well for everyone else. I'm starting to think that the rest of you jokers are laughing at me from the sidelines while I hammer out another shitty novel for no reason. But maybe, just maybe, there's at least one other person who's still struggling through this little exercise and will be a little more motivated now that I've finished.

Tomorrow, I'll dedicate my time to a more worthwhile activity. But for now, I'm going to listen to Queen a little bit longer.

EDIT: For the traditional "by the numbers" conclusion:

Words: 50,066
Characters with no spaces: 225,385 (beating the previous record of 222,551)
Chapters: 15
Number of chapters titled "Chapter 3": 2
Longest chapter: Chapter 7 (8,131)
Worst chapter: Chapter 7
Shortest chapter: Chapter 6 (1,034)
Actual time in the contest: 22 days, 27 minutes
Hours worked at my job during the contest: 167.5
Hours slept during the contest: 160.5
Hours spent driving to work: 17 hours
Actual time spent writing: 22 hours, 18 minutes
Procrastination time: 161 hours (6 days, 17 hours)
Longest writing session: 3 hours, 33 minutes on May 22
Shortest writing session: 5 minutes on May 19
Most efficient writing session: 1522 words completed in 32 minutes on May 17 (47.63 WPM)
Least efficient writing session: 1576 words completed in 57 minutes on May 1 (27.65 WPM)
Average typing speed: 38.89 WPM (Most efficient typing session in 2009 came in at 38.75 WPM)
Fuck: 112 (breaks the previous record of 106 in Al's War)
Shit: 45
Ass: 10
Bitch: 11
Number of characters named after Pixar characters: 12 (Wally, Russell, Sally, Dot, Michael, Marlon, Remy, Randall, Shelby, Buddy, Andy, Carl)

Well, I have to say that was a difficult one to get through. For this one, I decided to write in a new genre than the previous three. I would call this one a science fiction/alternate reality story, whereas the other three were kind of existential in nature.

So, we've got a little more than 24 hours until the end of May. Will there be two finishers as I predicted? Perhaps more?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

"I can't...I have to write my novel."

Anyone else ever find themselves uttering that statement? Me neither...not yet, anyway.

Let's have a little week 1 recap. There were 168 hours between May 1 at midnight and May 7 at 11:59 PM. This is what I did in that time:

Hours worked: 64
Hours slept: 48.5
Hours spent driving to work: 8
Hours spent writing: 5.5

That leaves 42 hours unaccounted for. And of course, I've been getting more invitations to go to movies, barbecues, lunches with co-workers, evenings at the bar, send out flyers for Michael Janz, etc. this week than I have the entire rest of the year. That figures. But the most disturbing part is how I'm spending an average of 6 hours every day doing basically nothing, when it feels like all I'm doing is working, sleeping, driving, and writing, with time for the odd meal here and there.

So what is the point of this blog post? I don't know. I think I just wanted to ridicule the quitters about the fact that I can work 64 hours per week and still be on pace to finish. Maybe we would have a higher success rate if the losers and quitters were subjected to more humiliation than they presently are. Who's with me?

Word count, week 1

Adam Demaniuk - 11,770
Brenda Smith - 11,719
Ashley Geis - 6,584
Steve Smith - 6,117 (Exactly where I was last Sunday, at the dawn of a week of unemployment during which my girlfriend was out of town).
Amanda Henry - 4,888
Catrin Berghoff - 4,320
Steph Shantz - 3,744
Richard Casey - 1,940
Krystina Sulatycki - 298
Nadia Rushdy - 0

Sarah Bidanjiri and Dan Kaszor are out. Nobody else has reported.

Well, two of you are on pace to finish. And one of them's my mother, which at least means that I should be properly motivated this week since, while my mother is the one who introduced me to a love of reading and writing and who painstakingly transcribed the stories I concocted and illustrated as a child (Tyranna's Big Day remains the best thing I've ever written), she's also my mother. Nobody wants to be beaten by his or her mother.

Friday, April 30, 2010

First sentence

"In retrospect, the wax statues should have been a tip-off: perfect likenesses of British Prime Ministers William Pitt the younger, Sir Robert Peel, and Benjamin Disraeli, and original Kinks drummer Michael Charles Avory."

So begins my opus, The Unparalleled Exploits of Larynx Carboxyl, P.I. I've got a good feeling about this one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pre-contest titters and jitters

Attempt #4. Wow. I am really dumb.

As with all other years, I will be attempting the contest with a pretty severe handicap: a full-time job. May is going to be an especially difficult month; I anticipate working 60 hours per week on average. I almost didn't enter the contest until I remembered that 1) I couldn't stay away last year, even after eight days had gone by and 2) Working Title took exactly 24 hours and 30 minutes to write. So if you subtract my working hours, that leaves me 108 hours per week during which I could be writing. Sounds pretty easy, right? Hell, I might just write 4 novels next week...

So taking a look down the list of participants, I predict only two finishers this year: Myself, and Scott Lilwall. I have serious doubts about the rest of you. Hopefully, you can use that to your advantage.

If only there were some metaphor about horses and gates that were apt here

The bad news is that we have only sixteen participants this year, a new low (and marking the third straight year of declining participation). On the upside, it's a really stellar field: the sixteen of us have a combined forty-five previous NaNoWriMo U of A attempts, including thirteen previous successes. Seven of us have won at least once before, and I'm expecting at least two new winners this year. Most importantly,* I expect that we'll all have a lot of fun.

Without further ado, this year's participants:

Justin Benko (Loser: 2007, 2008, 2009)
Catrin Berghoff (Loser: 2006, 2007)
Sarah Bidanjiri (Loser: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Courtney Burr (Loser: 2008, 2009)
Richard Casey (Winner: 2009. Loser: 2007)
Adam Demaniuk (Winner: 2007, 2008, 2009)
Ashley Geis (Loser: 2007, 2008)
Jenna Greig (Winner: 2007)
Amanda Henry (Winner: 2007, 2009. Loser: 2008)
Dan Kaszor (Winner: 2006. Loser: 2007, 2008, 2009)
Sarah Eve Kelly (while I'm not aware that she's ever participated in any kind of NaNoWriMo, she is an agented novellist, making her vastly overqualified for this endeavor)
Scott Lilwall (Winner: 2007, 2008, 2009. Loser: 2006. Has also won some non-U of A NaNoWriMos)
Erin Reddekopp (Loser: 2007, 2008)
Nadia Rushdy (Loser: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Steph Shantz (Loser: 2007, 2008, 2009)
Brenda Smith (No prior NaNoWriMo experience)
Heather Smith (Winner: 2006. Loser: 2007, 2008, 2009)
Steve Smith (Winner: 2006, 2009. Loser: 2007, 2008)
Krystina Sulatycki (Winner: 2009. Loser: 2007, 2008)
Jake Troughton (Winner: 2006, 2009. Loser: 2007)

* This is not actually the most important thing; completing novels is.

Update: Heather's in this year, too, meaning that we now have seventeen participants, of whom eight have succeeded in past attempts.

Update #2: My mother has just signed on for her first NaNoWriMo, which brings us to eighteen.

Update #3: Amanda Henry brings us up to nineteen, including nine past winners.

Update #4: Jenna Greig brings us to twenty, meaning that fully half of this year's participants are past winners. Huzzah!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm number seven! I'm number seven!


hours before deadline: 3
# of chapters: 7
# of characters introduced in first 200 words for fear of running out of plot: 13 (+2 for desperate circumstances)
concept of time/continuity: none
days spent writing: 15
previous NaNoWriMo attempts: 2 (word counts: ~50 and 552)
# of times I forgot/misnamed one of my characters: ~2
# of words written when I had completed my planned plot: 2,000
words written with Write or Die: >45,000
total number of words: 50,008

Labels: , , ,

I'll face it with a grin... I'm never giving in...

Somehow, it just doesn't seem right to finish this bad boy with time to spare.


Labels: ,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Are you going to take me home tonight? Ahh, down beside that red firelight?

Just wanted to pop in briefly to mention to everyone that I totally won last night.

(Ignore the bottom numbers; there's a glitch that delays the updating of the full-document word count. I obviously didn't select more words than there were.)

A by-the-numbers post will come on July 1, because though I've attained the initial goal, this sucker is certainly not done, because my pacing is awful I have a lot of story to tell.

Good luck to those of you still in it. Let's get enough winners to start a baseball team!

Labels: , ,