Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: Axis 95/11

Axis 95/11 print-out from Lulu.com

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As part of the NaNoWriMo reward program you could send a manuscript to Lulu and get a “free” hardcover first edition out of it, just paying for postage. Here are some pictures of Axis 95/11 as it came out, compulsory typo on the back cover and all XD

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Universe Weaving

You might have noticed on the last post that there was a blank day in 2013 when I did not write. That day I was in Tokyo, more precisely in Hikawa Jinja, and I decided that I wanted to delve deeper into the Hyakki Yagyō universe. To be honest, I had not really let go of that verse and last year I wrote about 7500 words in related stories. However, what I felt like doing that day was adding to the main book, to the original story. I took notes for two new chapters, and when I came back I filed those notes with all the writing material, and sort of forgot about them.


Hikawa Jinja, Akasaka, Tokyo, with awful lighting, I know.
 

I did not really forget about them, if I am completely honest. I just put them aside because I was somewhat scared of picking up the main book again and finding that I could not add to it. To my surprise, it was not that hard – as a matter of fact it has almost been ridiculously easy. The two chapters have been written, and they have flowed rather well – aside from not feeling like writing sometimes due to personal issues. Both chapters have been written, one set in Hikawa Jinja, as planned, the other one set in Ueno Zoo, also as planned, adding about 11,000 words to a 51,000 word story. Right now, I am considering though writing some more within that verse, another marginally-related story, set a few years after the first (and main) one, but I am scared that it’ll get out of hand XD”

On another note, I have been noticing lately my little obsession for weaving universes into each other. I knew that Lifequake and Axis 95/11 belonged to the same universe, but during a recent edit I found myself linking both to Blood Moon. While it makes sense, well, it is strange that the chance was so open and it was such an easy thing to do. In the same way, I am now absolutely sure that The Barman and Shorai are likewise joined – by the dogs, if you want details. Apparently Tamon will be Tadashi’s obedience instructor when he gets his dog Taki in a few years (yes, Shorai should last a few years. And I’m on its sixth month. Urgh.). Then there is also the Retriever universe, which in my mind still lacks a closing with the secondary characters. And well, of course, the Osaka Guardians series…

While I don’t think this is something ‘new’ for me, it suddenly hit me as I wrote the edit into Axis 95/11 that I really like those little insiders. They are fun. I like weaving.

NaNoWriMo 2012: Before and After Part 2: After

Does not work. No matter how much I try it, being social, even e-social is not my thing. I keep getting the impression that the famous NaNo-cheering-mood only works for people with a lower wordcount than oneself. If you have a high wordcount you can’t have problems in your writing, you can’t get stuck. Comments regarding high wordcounts put me off about sharing my numbers or mention that I have trouble.

I think that’s part of why I don’t really think I love NaNoWriMo. I think I enjoy it and use it as an excuse to write more than other times, but my non-social nature kicks in more often than not. While through NaNo I’ve met a few people who are fun and all, I am still more a lurker than a participant.

There’s also guilt. I am terribly prone to guilt and having higher wordcounts than my friends makes me feel bad and not wanting to bother them when I run into trouble. Which is stupid, but it’s the way I am, I guess.

That said, let’s analyse this year. I’m around 20k lower than I would have liked, but life got unmanageable and my body gave me a warning I could not ignore – something had to give, and NaNo it was. Being somewhat depressed did not help productivity either. I wrote two stories. Axis 95/11, a yakuza novel, and The last night of Obon (A Kyoto Tale), a Japanese fantasy short story.

I am a bit torn about Axis 95/11 (67025 words). I think it is quite good, to be honest, and not giving into the self bashing. The characters are very grey, most have their good and their bad, they are heroes and villains in the same person, which is good when you’re writing a story about gangsters. As expected, is much less romantised – while at the same time much more heroic – than the Osaka Shikigami. Maybe after lots of work and in 10 years it’s shareable XD

The last night of Obon (A Kyoto Tale) (13740 words) is a rather silly story regarding the four guardian beasts of Kyoto and the Festival of Obon, but was fun to write. Won’t rant about it now as I expect to post about it soon – it’s about half-written, but needs some organisation.

I started a new short story, but I decided not to count that for NaNo, thus the final count is 80765 words. I would have wanted it to be higher, and I do feel a bit defeated, but I had to choose my priorities and after all NaNo was the only thing that I could reasonably quit. As you can see (click for bigger), the last days I wrote were hard:

As last year, the first and second columns are really straightforward, day of the week and date; the third is the Office of Letters and Light’s official wordcount; the fourth is the cumulative wordcount that I need in my 1500/2500 scheme (column five); column six is the actual cumulative wordcount and column seven is the daily wordcount. Finally the eight column is ‘words missing to 50k’. The graphs to the right are my cumulative count (green) vs the OLL cumulative (pink) on the first row, along with sector percentage to the upper leftmost (halfway through the month is in red for missing, green for done), and my actual cumulative vs my own cumulative count on the bottom left.

And speaking of last year, here you can see the comparison between this NaNo and the previous ones (again, click to make bigger). You can see that it was a strong beginning but that the rhythm fell throughout the month:

I am proud of the 14k mark on day one though, and I think it is a mark I can beat. However, in general I can’t say I am satisfied, I’m a little bit disappointed I did not reach the mark I wanted – by far, but I try to remind myself that priorities are that, priorities. Then again, with everything going on in my life I am probably just down in general. I asked a friend who is good with numbers to guest-post here and make an analysis of what and how I do during NaNo, but I never got a reply from her.

Anyway, that was NaNoWriMo 2012. Congrats to any one who tried, whether they got their mark or not.

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NaNoWriMo 2012: Before and After Part 1.5: In-between

First if all, it seems that one has to make a big shout-out about bug numbers, so here is mine: woohoo, 100 posts. End shout out.

Once we took care of that, let’s move onto more interesting stuff. This post is a bit overdue because I kept thinking about the 100th post and wondering if I should do anything special. I decided not to, and I’m sure you did not really care about the shout-out anyway. As you know, November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo.

In preparation, I cleared up my schedule as much as I could for the first weekend (which also happened to be a four-day one) and tried to push the story as much as I humanly could. That ended up being 14,100 words on the first day, and contrary to what one would think no finger pain. Now wrists, that was another story, but I won’t say “never again” because I did say it about my previous record – 10,003 a day – and I broke it.

Crazy time management had me hitting 50k on the 7th around 10 p.m. Unfortunately, I needed to lower down the rhythm starting that weekend, to tend to other stuff happening, and the managed word count went down. Overall, however, I was done with Axis 95/11 by the 14th (NaNo in two weeks, yet another record for me) with 67025 words and an average of 4787 words per day. Not bad at all.

Originally I was not expecting to finish this fast, but suddenly a random idea took over the writing spree. I’m of course down to a lower average since I need to balance writing with the rest of stuff I got at hand, but it is working, and I aim for about 2k a day which sort of works ^^