Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I Survived NaNo - Or Did I?

You know when you're in a language class and the teacher asks you a question that you simply don't have the vocabulary for?

You fill the air with words, so that instead of saying something as brief as "my grandfather lived in France" you start blabbing.

"My relatives on my father's side two generations back used to reside in France." You use 'backside' instead of 'back' and the wrong conjugation of the verb reside. And if you don't cut yourself off, you sink into even deeper mires of wordiness.

That's what the last week of NaNoWriMo felt like for me. There were certain scenes I knew I needed, but every time I drafted them they came out shorter than intended. I know the book will grow when I go back to add everything that's missing from the drafts (namely any and all description and dialogue tags - the thing looks like an overblown screenplay at the moment), but for now I feel like I've staggered across the finish line, and just want to catch my breath.

I've got a couple of pages still to type up. Then I've got to turn back - and edit Out of the Water based on beta reviews. It feels like a lot of work but hopefully won't require much stress. Or should it? Is a novel not worth it unless all your blood, sweat and tears goes into it at each stage?

Author Sam Sykes had a morale-boosting take on why writers shouldn't despair, just this week: "Your writing moves the way it does. You can nudge it along, you can try marketing techniques, you can try holding your breath and whistling Dixie if you think it'll make your moustache grow quicker. But the only way to succeed at being a writer is to write, no matter what else happens."

For now, I've got this:

Meanwhile, it's Mark Twain's 176th Birthday and Google has a Doodle:

And the awesome Claire Legrand is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the announcement of her second book!

How did everyone else do? And if you're not doing NaNo, where are you on your ROW80 goals?


Joshua said...

You made it! Congrats!

Lady Gwen said...

Congratulations! Nice job! Well done! Way to go! You rock! Did I forget anything? LOL. But seriously - what an awesome accomplishment:)

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on NaNo! I babble all the time. It's one reason I prefer writing to face to face communication. In writing I can go back and edit. Not so easy in conversation.

Zan Marie said...

Congrats, Deniz! As a slacker who didn't do much of anything this month, much less NaNo, I'm in awe. ; )

Ryan King said...

Congrats on NaNo :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Yay, Deniz! You made it! Congrats!

You must feel so relieved. I didn't do NaNo, but I have so much respect for all of you that have.

I am beginning to query my latest novel... I thought I had a publisher interested, but it wasn't the right fit for them. Oh well, that's a writer's life .... Right?

I hope to start the sequel soon.

Al said...

congratulations on getting through.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats for making it through NaNo!

All my drafts turn out much shorter than I hope, so there's no worries. It's all about adding later. :)

Good luck with the edits of OUT OF THE WATER too.

KarenG said...

My drafts always come out too short, with too much of dumb stuff and not enough good stuff. Thankfully I know how to revise! Congrats on finishing, that is just so cool.

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations! :)

L'Aussie said...

Hey Deniz. Great that you finished and I know what you men. I don't know about going back to put in dialogue tags.I need to know if half the dialogue's really necessary. I got over 50K written so am happy although so much rewriting to do.

Interesting that Talli's book's in present tense. I read that young-uns like present tense, first person. I like to write like that but am always told readers don't like it. Well...I've got Build a Man on my huge TBR list. I've no probs reading a ton of print books but still don't have a dedicated kindle so it's either pdf or sit up at the computer, urgh! I've been dithering about what to buy and you still can't get Kindle Fire in Oz, grr.

Just a reminder that RomanticFridayWriter kicks off again this FRiday if perchance you need some writing practise, hoot, hoot. I'm pretty excited to get something done for the house in the snow and to read everybody else's stories/poems.

There's been some excellent guest posts over the hiatus. Linky's up now.


Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats!! :) I survived nano successfully too!

I haven't added a word of description either - and even with 50k, I'm only about half way done the story line. Still a lot of work ahead! :)

Tracy Krauss said...

lol! I found myself wading in this kind of wordiness at times as well, desperate to get the day's word count up. If I do decide to revisit this year's NaNo project, it will need a whole lotta changes!

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE your header. Great blog too.



Wendy Jane said...

I know what you mean. I can see a difference in between my NaNo writing and my usual writing. I can't say that I like that. But, that does mean I can go back through and keep what I want, and dump what doesn't work. Congrats on the NaNo. Everyone did great and I am so glad we had such a good turn out!

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you so much everyone! We did it!
Will try to stop by soon, Denise :-)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

way to go Denise! I didn't sign up, I always thought that was just for crazy people. But I surprised myself with 60,000 words this month! That was shared between two different wip. Yikes!

Theresa Milstein said...

Congratulations on the certificate! Bask in that for now.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much Theresa and TerryLynn, and congratulations on your word count Terry!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
  • The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
  • The Murder Stone (A Rule Against Murder) by Louise Penny
  • Emily's Quest by L.M.Montgomery
  • Emily Climbs by L.M.Montgomery
  • Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French
  • The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien (expanded edition; reread of some)
  • Married by Midnight by Talli Roland
  • Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  • The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny
  • Dead Cold by Louise Penny
  • The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • The Magician by Somerset Maugham
  • Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (skimmed last third)
  • A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
  • Fatal Fallout by Lara Lacombe
  • secret beta read!
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
  • Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman:
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here:
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at