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The Rainbows Blog

This is where I'll be able to post about what's happening here at Rainbows and share my writing progress too.

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By Yvonne Green, Dec 11 2017 06:08PM

Things have finally settled down here after my mad writing month of November. The idea was that I would put everything on the back burner during December to concentrate on more pressing issues (like Christmas!) and begin the editing process in January. This I intend to do, but thought it might be good to reflect on what I did get done during November, and what I would do differently in 2018. It will be a reminder for me, and if you're thinking of diving in anytime, it might give you some help and advice too.

1. The most important thing I would not do, is to trial a new piece of software for writing the week before NaNo started. Especially since every review I had read, indicated that it was a 'steep learning curve'! And, my goodness, it was. I did manage to fumble my way through it and found ways to make it do what I wanted to do, but every book will get easier to do from now on. And of course, I did get to my 50,000 word target which was the main aim. This has allowed me to buy a lifetime subscription to it at a lovely 50% discount.

Scrivener is a fantastic tool if, like me, you write (or plan to write) books or courses with lots of information or research, or chapters, or characters etc. in. It enables you to have all that information and more in a 'binder' which shows down the side of your screen so that you can access it easily, move it around and much more. And you can compile your finished book in many different formats depending on which market you're aiming for. And there's so much more to it that I haven't even discovered yet, but I will, I'm sure.

2. I've also found some free (and some paid, but very low-cost) courses which I've downloaded to take as soon as the madness of the season has passed. Check out Udemy.com for courses in all sorts of subjects. I've signed up to a Scrivener one, which I'll take properly in January and then, when I come to edit and proof-read, I'll have much more idea of what I'm doing.

3. One thing I'll definitely be keeping up with, is my writing journal. It's there that I was able to log all the words done in a day, total word count and hours spent. A valuable reference for next time and great for motivation and seeing how far you've got. I also added things for writers to know, such as how many words for the average adult fiction novel, teen novel and more, as well as ideas for other books I plan to write. A definite must-have for me, as my everyday journal is full of things for home and work. Much better to have a separate one for the writing.

4. I didn't do as much 'NaNo' socialising as I could have because I was busy writing and running a business too, but I did manage to catch up with some local people who were also doing NaNo. This was a good thing which I will definitely do again. It's good to share experiences and ask questions. And talking about your novel helps you to focus on it more I think, and reminds you that you actually are a writer. This is something I'll get into earlier next year. I'm also looking at getting a new laptop so that I can take my work with me to the 'write-ins'.

5. I think I'll schedule just an hour a day for writing, instead of doing more hours on most days and then missing a couple of days. I found it quite tiring on the days when there was a lot to get through and setting aside some time just to write each day was one of my goals anyhow, so I'll organise this soon.

6. Although I had the story planned out quite well (it was started 30 years ago now!), I didn't count for what the characters would do, and found that their back-story was integral to the way the plot went. Next year, I'll take more care to cultivate my characters beforehand, so that I'm not having to stop and think 'what would he/she do now?'

I'll definitely have a plot, characters and locations mapped out before I start writing. Then all I have to do is write. I'm not a 'pantser' (flying by the seat of my pants). 'Pantsing' may be something for me to try sometime, but definitely not during NaNo!

7. I'll aso create a map for the territory. This avoids any obvious holes in the plot and I found that the place names kept changing as I went along, and thought of better ones, and it took me time to sort all that out which takes time away from the actual writing.

8. There was a 'dip' in the middle of the process when I thought that the whole thing was rubbish, and being able to go away from it for a while helped. I'm now using Dropbox as my backup drive which means I can access the files from anywhere and just sit and read through in quiet moments, which then helps me get back on track.

So have I enjoyed the experience? Yes. Tremendously. It's great being a part of something that millions are doing worldwide, and it's definitely achieved my aim of bringing me back to novel writing and given me some great ideas for other 'Rainbows Guides to' as well.

And of course the new software and writing experiences I've had will come in very useful for those books, and also for any new courses I may write. I even found some new programmes for creating online courses. That's something for me to look at. I have learned so much doing NaNo, and it's been well worth it, I think.

Will I do it again this year? Well, there's this little cozy mystery novel fermenting in my brain which may just be the thing. Or not - we'll see...

By Yvonne Green, Nov 28 2017 12:47PM

27/28 November. Well, I finally finished!

Yesterday I added a few more words to the manuscript and then decided that enough was enough. So in the afternoon, I went on to the NaNo site and officially verified my word count. (You have to copy and paste your novel in and they turn it into gobbledygook and count the number of words apparently.)

Although their word count was slightly lower than the one that Scrivener gave me, it still came out at an impressive 51,356 words. I wasn't even sure if I could do this, but I'm very glad I did as it's now got Runestone and friends to a stage where I can begin re-drafting and editing, and there is a very good chance that you will be able to see (and buy if you wish) the finished product sometime next Spring.

I'll be writing a 'reflection' on the process next week when my head has cleared somewhat, and I've caught up with all the Rainbows things I have to do. Meanwhile, just so you can see for yourself...

By Yvonne Green, Nov 26 2017 07:40PM

26 November. So here we are again then. To say I'm tired would be a bit of an understatement right now! I did manage to knock out another thousand and a half words yesterday, but in the end, decided against doing the blog as I was ready for a good sit down. Somewhere other than at a computer, and where I could enjoy a cheeky little B & C and a nice dinner.

This I did, and got back to it today. In between lunch, phone calls from family and friends and more than a few cups of tea, I think I've now cracked it. I was hoping to have it finished by Monday so that I could verify my word count then. I don't want to leave it until Thursday, which is the cutoff date, as I know that many thousands of others will be trying to verify their word counts that day, and I don't fancy getting all this way, just to have their system crash on me due to overload!

There are more words to add of course, and I may be tempted to try and get some more done tomorrow before I finally give in and finish, but I actually passed the 50,000 words set by NaNo, sometime this afternoon (I was too busy writing to notice exactly when)!

The totals now stand as follows:

Today's Word Count: 2,123

Today's Time Spent: 4 hours

Total Word Count: 50,818!

So there we go. Hopefully, there'll be time tomorrow evening to let you all know what happened and if I got verified okay. Meanwhile, here's a (maybe last) little snippet for you to read.

Tamsin was struggling too. It was still difficult for him to think of himself other than as a coward. He didn’t feel worthy to be in such a great battle. But he must prove himself, ‘Or die in the attempt,’ he thought ruefully. Everywhere he looked fallen Dwarves, Goblins and dogs lay. All thoughts of bravery gone, now making their last journey home.

Vowing to himself that this would not be his fate, he jumped in, feeling fiercer than he had ever felt. Although, he decided, he wouldn’t like to be doing this for the rest of his life, he could feel the blood and excitement coursing through his veins and it filled him with fire and heat, and a desire for vengeance and justice. Perhaps he was not such a coward after all, he thought, bringing his bow down and aiming another shot. It landed perfectly and he felt the great satisfaction that he was at last doing something worth remembering, if not in song, then at least in his mind.

So it's goodnight from me and Tamsin for now. Hopefully, I'll see you all back here tomorrow with good news and a little happy dance...

By Yvonne Green, Nov 24 2017 06:35PM

Wednesday 22 November. Oops! I've been a bit lax with the blogging lately, but you'll have to forgive me, I've been busy at work. I'm not complaining mind, it's been lovely work (Reiki attuning). I've had a fantastic week doing attunements and making some lovely new friends along the way.

I did manage to get in a half-day writing session on Tuesday where I sat down, with gallons of hot chocolate and wrote/edited from about half past three until eight o'clock. Boy, that was a marathon sprint! And, as you can imagine, I wasn't really fit for writing a blog after that, not to mention the fact that I had to then go downstairs and set up for work the following day.

However, I did manage to get a fair bit of writing done, so here are the totals...

Today's Word Count: 5,807

Today's Time Spent: 4 1/2 hours

Total Word Count: 47,352

Well done that woman! Technically, I am only just under three thousand words from finishing. I've officially finished the book I set out to write, but I do know that there'll be more to add to the story, so I'm going back this weekend to do a spot of editing and adding a paragraph or two here and there with the intention of bringing the word count up to 53,000 by Monday, so that I can paste it in and have it verified by the NaNo site.

Here's a small sample of the writing from Tuesday then...

Meanwhile the battle raged on below. Rocks falling, shouting, screaming, there was battle noise so loud you could hardly hear yourself think. It seemed to the Elves that the world was finally coming to an end. ‘Well, if this is to be our end’, said Lachlan to the others, ‘let’s get in there and give it our best’. The others agreed. Warriors that they were, they ran down from their sheltered spot under the mountain and were soon lost to sight, slashing and firing arrows amongst the Goblins and dogs.

Well, it's goodnight from the battle, and it's goodnight from me too. Another of those wonderful cottage pies awaits me, and after a day of washing, shopping and cleaning, and after the busy week I've had, I think I deserve a little evening off don't you? I do hope to be back tomorrow afternoon sometime to do some more writing and I promise I'll let you know when (and if) I eventually get to the end and get verified. Meanwhile, here's wishing you a peaceful and happy weekend one and all.

By Yvonne Green, Nov 19 2017 07:41PM

Woohoo! I'm two-thirds of the way there now. I was just too doggone tired yesterday to write by the end of the day so decided to put it off (never a good idea). However, after a very inspiring meeting at Costa Coffee with some other local NaNo'ers this afternoon, I came back fired up with enthusiasm and decided to have another go.

I'd like to do a few words extra over the whole thing anyhow, to allow for any discrepancies between NaNo's word counter and Scriverner's word counter. Wouldn't want to find myself short on the last day when I finally come to verify my word count! So here are today's totals:

Today's Word Count: 2,666

Today's Time Spent: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Word Count: 41,545

We're heaving towards the final chapters now and this story is getting more interesting by the minute. I know there'll be countless edits and I'm already finding instances where the story plots don't match up, but I'm liking the story so far, and I'm sure it'll eventually be finished off properly, even if it does take a while.

Here's a sample of today's output...

Lachlan descended into the battle, his head held high, for he had learned in that short moment, that, when need arose, he was ready to do what must be done. Taking orders had never been his strong point until now, but somehow he felt safer this way, being directed and shown where to go. And he knew without doubt that if he did his best, then that was all they could ask of him. ‘And maybe there’ll be a good end to all of this,’ he muttered to himself, readying his arrows for flight. He managed a couple of good shots before he got close enough to use his short dagger. The Dwarves nodded their acknowledgement of his presence in their ranks and fought with renewed vigour. He was soon lost to sight, slashing this way and that in his defence of The Elventown, the Dwarves and all that was good and dear to him.

And a very good night to you all. Snuggles on the sofa for me now with dinner and telly and lots of laughs with Ken Dodd on TV later. (Doesn't work for everyone, I know, but has me in fits!) Workies for me tomorrow and meeting the lovely Women in Enterprise and Business ladies in the evening so it may be Tuesday before I'm back here but who knows? Have a lovely, relaxing evening all, and a fine day tomorrow.

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