All posts tagged NaNoWriMo

Didn’t post yesterday…

Published July 31, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

…because I preferred to spend that time writing. 🙂

I forgot to mark down exactly where the timer was this morning when I resumed writing, but it was somewhere between 32:10 and 32:15, so that was around 2:10 to 2:15 of writing time yesterday, in which I finished the COVID version of the story I was talking about in the previous post and started in on the 1980s version. :p

I’m still working on that second version, as it’s a bit more work to get it started, since they don’t yet live together and I had to maneuver things around to get Arthur into quarantine in Curt’s apartment instead of his own. So far, I’m having more fun with this one, partially because the “still feeling out this relationship” phase is more interesting to write about than the “we’ve been together for 30+ years and have grandkids” phase. (Gee, I wonder why?)

Sadly, my time today was hampered by, among other things, my stupid chair breaking again last night, even worse than it had broken before. Previously, it was just that one of the support struts had popped out of the hole it was in one on side. This time, a whole freaking leg came off! I have no idea where or when I got this chair, but it was obviously very badly made (it seems to have been held together largely by wood glue) and I am absolutely going to be replacing it as soon as I can.

Anyway, so today’s time was only about 1:05 or 1:10, making the grand total of my July Camp NotNaNo 33:20:28.59! 😀

The last week or so has given me some stuff to reflect on, which I will be discussing at length in August’s IWSG post. (OMG, how can it already be August?!)

More of the same, but also kind of not.

Published July 29, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

So, yesterday, I ended up writing an out-of-the-blue story rather spontaneously.

Today, on the other hand, I ended up writing a variation on something I’ve been wanting to write for months. (Well, starting it, anyway.) Though I still want to write the original version, too.

As you might guess, what I ended up working on today instead of more world-building was more Velvet Goldmine fanfiction. Since pretty early in the COVID shutdown, I’ve been wanting to write a story of a similar quarantine situation for my OTP, with a fictional pandemic probably more closely related to the “Spanish” flu of the 1918 pandemic, since there wasn’t any pandemic in the 1980s that I recall!

This morning, though, I suddenly remembered a series of fanfics that I wrote earlier that brought the characters all the way up to 2016. So if I made it another entry in that series, then I could just have them actually in the current COVID shutdown. (Though I don’t know if perhaps it would be tasteless to post it until years from now when the world has been able to heal a bit.)

Problem is, I still want to do the other version, even after I finish up this one!

Because there are some really huge differences. In the one I’ve already started, early 1970s rock legend Curt Wild, now in his own early 70s, starts livestreaming performances of his music in the recording booth in his house, with his husband manning the control panel, handling the comments from the audience, etc. In the version I originally thought of, early ’70s rock legend Curt Wild, in his late 30s, gets his hands on some radio equipment and starts sending out a pirate radio broadcast (ever see Pump Up the Volume?) of his and some of his friends’ music, both in recordings and performed live by him, and making speeches to his fellow New Yorkers reminding them that they’re not alone, all with his fairly new boyfriend manning the tech side of things.

It’s a very different dynamic, in terms of the leads’ relationship to each other, in how much his message would mean to the people, and in how easily the record label would be able to contact him and/or take advantage of the situation. (Not to mention that a fictional, slightly dystopian 1984 is very different from 2020 because…um…because 2020 is actually worse than that dystopia? Ugh. Can I please have a time machine and a guide to rewriting history?)

Anyway, I haven’t decided if I want to write the other version as well, or if it would be entirely wrong to post either one. (Obviously, I’d have to finish writing one or both before that could even be an issue!)

Today’s time: 2 hours! 😀

Time in July to date: 30:00:24.36

I was going to write a review, but…

Published July 28, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

…whenever I try to write a review, it ends up feeling sloppy and uneven.

The review would have been for the Netflix show Hollywood, btw.  It’s entertaining, but leads to levels of tolerance that only came up in the late ’60s and early ’90s.  In other words, it starts its own alternate history that would have led to a much better world than the one we live in now.  (Also, I have to wonder if Rock Hudson’s estate signed off on it in any way, because their fictional version of him is dumb as a post.  Very sweet, but astonishingly, impossibly stupid.  Like you can see gears turning every time he has to try to think about anything.)  Still, it’s well worth a watch as a pleasant historical AU.

Right, so, actual post.

I did manage to get some writing done today, because I woke up with a story idea.  It’s just another Velvet Goldmine fanfic, but it’s a short, stand-alone piece I was able to write in one sitting, which is a refreshing change of pace.  And it’s a different angle on the characters than I usually have.  Famously (within the fandom, anyway), back in 2015, someone on Twitter asked Ewan McGregor if he thought his character and Christian Bale’s character would get together after the movie ended, and he not only said (what she obviously wanted to hear) that they would, but even gave some details on the kind of life he thought they’d have together, including that they have kids.  That obviously led to a lot of fanfiction exploring the idea of them as parents, typically by way of adoption (sometimes of nieces and nephews), though sometimes (including in one I wrote) there’s a kid from a one-night stand or brief relationship, too.

Well, this time, I gave Curt (Ewan’s character) two kids by a very different and much more traditional method:  I gave him an ex-wife he’d been married to for a few years, and just had her show up at his apartment because he had custody that weekend and he’d forgotten about it.  It made for a very different dynamic, both regarding his interactions with the children, and their reaction to a strange man being in his bed when they arrive.

It’s not great art — it’s not even particularly good in comparison to my usual work — and it won’t exactly set AO3 on fire whenever I ultimately post it, but I don’t think it’s especially bad, certainly no worse than my usual work.

And hey, at least I was writing!

Sure, my world-building is no more complete than before, but…something is better than nothing, surely.

Time today:  1:39

Time in July to date:  28:00:22.45

The morning was okay, but…

Published July 24, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

…the afternoon got ugly.  (Like, I’m not gonna be able to renew my plates until fall ugly.  Which means no driving after the end of this month.  Because this state is evil.)

Uh, anyway.  I got some random little stuff done today.  A few notes here and there on various things in the world-building template, and a little bit of work on the myths for the France-like country.  And I proof-read the Wonder Woman fix-it fic.

And then because the afternoon was so horrible, I ended up posting two more chapters to the Velvet Goldmine fanfic I’m in the middle of posting, and the entirety of the Wonder Woman fic.  (I have to admit to a certain amount of curiosity if anyone’s even going to read it, let alone like it.  Literally everything else in that fandom that had “fix-it” as one of it tags seemed to be about stupid Steve Trevor.  Ugh.  The entire Greek pantheon is infinitely more important than one annoying dude who’d be dead by the present anyway!)

So…yeah, not really the greatest day ever, as far as my Camp NotNaNo experience goes, but I’ve had worse!

Time today:  59 minutes

Total time in July to date: 24:06:18.26

Waste of a day…

Published July 23, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Like, literally.

I spent almost all day rereading those quasi-YA books of mine. I don’t even know why. (Not that I reread all of them or anything. I was just looking for a few scenes of interest because I couldn’t remember how they had played out and then before I knew it I was rereading the whole of one of the books, and the whole side-story collection where the shades of two of the heroes’ fathers were watching over them in the House of Hades, which ended sort of abruptly so I also had to reread the end of the last book, and then…)

Seriously, I must have spent fifteen hours just rereading my own garbage.

Very humiliating to realize I’d done that.

However, at least I did a little actual writing before that (mostly just writing out a future plot detail for a story I’m sort of stalled on), so at least it wasn’t 100% a wasted day, but pretty darn close. (And I should not have found the idea of “bull tossing” nearly as funny as I did, not matter how much the shades were talking about the time too much wine had given Achilles and Aias the idea to try lifting a bull.)

Time today: 35 minutes

Time in July to date: 23:07:30.46

Surprisingly late to figure this out…

Published July 22, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Today actually started out awful. Like, don’t even want to talk about it awful. (Though in a very petty, insignificant way, I hasten to add. Myriad inconveniences and trivialities, nothing seriously wrong.)

But just as I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself and trying to decide what self-indulgent way I wanted to spend the rest of the morning on, I had a sudden epiphany about the myths for the France-like country.

I decided the creator god for it is called the Mother of All; she’s basically a Virgin Mary type figure, because the people from France were among the later people taken to this world, so they actually were taken from the early Middle Ages. They had their memories of Earth wiped, of course, but the mythos they developed still retained much of the same character and flavor of the religion they had practiced on Earth. Of course, I’m not going back on my earlier decision to have only one monotheistic country in this world (based on Akhenaten’s Egypt, naturally), so once I figure out what to call them, they’ll have additional gods similar to Christian saints.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I need to add some questions to my template regarding when the people of each country were taken from Earth (and in some cases, where they were taken from, like for the Mesopotamia-based country, since the individual cities in Mesopotamia were culturally discrete), and possibly any reasons why they were taken sooner or later (or instead of) their neighbors, all of which may eventually come out when I get to the point that the narrative of the native species that kidnapped them all from the Earth in the first place.

Today’s time: ~1:19 (I was so into getting started on the myth that I forgot to turn on the timer for like half an hour. I think I ran it over roughly the right amount of time, but as I hadn’t paid attention to when I started, I can’t be sure.)

Time in July to date: 22:32:28.52 (Might have gone on longer, only my stupid chair broke, and now I have to wait while the glue dries in fixing it. 😦 )

Yesterday was a bust…

Published July 21, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

…but today went well.

Sort of.

Okay, actually, today was terrible because the one thing I absolutely had to do today was go to the DMV and renew my license plates, but I have a condition in my arm that makes driving on warm, sunny days a nightmare of pain, so I try to avoid driving in the summer when the sun is out, and I thought it would be all right today because it was supposed to be cloudy all morning and raining all afternoon only then it was sunny all morning and mostly sunny all afternoon so I got less than a block away before I had to turn around and come home to hide from the sun like some kind of mole-person who’s burnt by the light like a freaking vampire or —


Okay, trying to feign some semblance of sanity here.

What I was supposed to be saying before that rant escaped is that I managed to make up for lost time today, finishing up another template and starting some name generator work so I can dive in and fix up the myths for the countries I’ve already done the template work for. (Since I would rather not count research time towards my Camp NotNaNo goal if I don’t have to.)

I also had a look at a world-building site called World Anvil which looks pretty cool, but is wholly web-based, and therefore somewhat less than convenient for me with my writing being done on a very old internet-free laptop. And, worst of all, its “map” section requires you to already have a map! 😦 There is no mercy in this world for the artistically impaired! D:

Oh, and the Wonder Woman fanfic I wrote the other day to fix the movie’s appalling misuse of Greek myth reminded me of a scene I’d written in my series if quasi-YA novels about a trio of illegitimate children of the Greek heroes at Troy, in which the son of Aias fought a duel with Ares, and I dug out the file to have a look at it. And I think maybe those books were a bit better than I remembered them being, I’m surprised (and glad) to say. I may try to polish them up eventually after all. But this current series of books comes first. Even though I’ve only written the first one so far. Because.

Today’s time: 1:42

Time in July to date: 21:13:53.35

Yay! I’m caught up at last! 😀

Progress (but only in my hour count)

Published July 19, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Yup, it’s been one of those days.

I wrote that Wonder Woman fix-it fic to establish that no, the gods are not dead, especially not at the hands of a swaggering weakling like Ares. (Seriously, just about any other Greek god would be more believable, including Aphrodite. Ares is the loser of the bunch, the pathetic coward who only picks fights with those weaker than himself, and who ran home to daddy when he came up against a mortal stronger than he was (and ended up with a spear in his side!) only to be told that he’s the most hated god on Olympos!)

So, I spent a hefty chunk of time writing, but have not done a dang thing about the world-building process for my novel series.

On the other hand, I now want to go back to my Greek myth retellings, finish them, and assemble them into a book, so…who knows, maybe it was a good day for me in the long run?

Time today: 2:01

Time in July in total: 19:31:44.39

World-building process slowing down

Published July 18, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

So, I’ve gotten to a point in the process of trying to define the entire world’s cultures for my novel series that I’m going to have to change how I approach things.  I’ve already come across several questions for the France and Germany-analogue countries where I had to just leave them for later because I wasn’t going to be able to answer them without writing the country’s myths first.  But for those two I’m using historical periods I know pretty well as my inspiration, and I’ve already had to write a lot about them since they’re such near neighbors of the country in the first novel.  Once I’m done with those two, I’m going to need to do much more serious research before I can even answer the questions, let alone write the myths.  And I think I’m going to want to write the myths before I try to answer the questions, because they give me such a better feel for how I want the culture to develop.

Now, a few of the remaining ones I could probably try to muddle through without doing the research first, since this is all just world-building in-my-own-head stuff, and very little of what I’m writing now will actually make it into any of the finished products, novels or game alike.  I may know enough about the real cultures to work with the ones inspired by Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Meiji-era Japan, and possibly even the Persian Empire, but…I think it would start getting very generic.  Technically, I might also remember enough from my classes on the Aztecs, Maya, Inca and Moche, but again, I don’t want to start getting generic.

Of course, since I’m counting any time working on a writing project, including research, that won’t have any impact on my Camp NotNaNo hours.  In fact, it might actually improve my time! But it’s much less personally satisfying than writing.  Though at least once I’ve done the research I’ll get to write the myths!  (And after what I went through today, I am definitely making one of the countries address cramps in their myths, making them specifically a curse caused by a particularly unpleasant and misogynistic deity.)  Of course, I still have to finish up the myths for the British Isles and France inspired countries; the former needs a replacement for the Arthurian saga, and the latter needs everything that’s going to accompany the Arthurian saga, which of course needs all new names.  And I haven’t written the Teutonic/Norse-inspired myths yet, either.  I probably want to brush up on my Norse mythology before I try that one.  (Also need to brush up on Irish, Welsh and Scottish myths before I try to finish those myths…)

That’s why I may take a detour (as it were) and work on a fanfic I had abandoned a long time ago.  It was a fix-it fic for the Wonder Woman movie, trying to repair the horrible, glaring problem with the first five minutes of the movie.  And since I’ve been reading a (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) book about Greek mythology since last night, I suddenly have that on the brain again.  Even opened up the file to have a look at it briefly.  It would be pretty cool if I could finish it and post it before the sequel opens.  (Though who knows when that will be!  I doubt enough theaters will reopen this summer for any studios to be willing to allow their new movies to open.  Certainly they’re not going to want to open new movies before California and New York are back online.)


I feel like I had something I actually wanted to say, but I don’t know what it was, or if I’ve already said it.

Guess I’ll just hope I did, and close off the post for the night.

Today’s time:  ~49 minutes

Total time in July to date:  ~17:30:42.89

(They’re both approximations because I accidentally forgot to start the timer when I first sat down to write, and although I tried to run it after that to about the right amount of time, I’m not sure if I ran it long enough.  I am quite positive I didn’t run it for too long, though.  So I may be closer to 55 minutes than 49, but…eh, not a huge difference, y’know?  Either way, I didn’t even go a full hour, let alone catch up to where I should be.)

I can’t believe I forgot to post, again!

Published July 18, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

Man, this is embarrassing! I even made good time yesterday!

(I blame my terrible plumbing; it takes so long for my bathtub to fill that my bath took more than two hours, by which time it was 11:30 at night and I was too tired to remember to post my daily time log for Camp NotNaNo.)

Anyway, I didn’t accomplish much in terms of writing (though I did move on from the France-like country to the Germany-like country (well, actually it’s more like Prussia with some Bavaria and large dash of Scandinavia), but I spent a long time working on the map.

Which might have anyone who actually reads these boring updates thinking I’m being a hypocrite, considering how I rail against the new NaNo site for thinking we’re graphic designers rather than writers, but my results make it super-duper clear that I have less than no skill in the graphic arts.

Having at one time tried to sketch out a world map on my own, I realized I needed some kind of map generation program. I found a couple of good ones, though I never got them to generate a whole world map, just a continent or two. So I saved a whole bunch of these randomly generated maps and tried to fit them together as one…. Read the rest of this entry →

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