Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: NaNo12

Axis 95/11 print-out from Lulu.com


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




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.


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 ^^

NaNoWriMo 2012: Before and After. Part 1: Before

I haven’t written much in the last six weeks. I am not sure whether that is a reflection of my mood, or if my mood is a consequence of that. There’s NaNo’12 coming up, yes, but try as I might I am not feeling the least bit excited over it.

If you have been paying any attention to the blog, you might have realised that I am working on a new yakuza story. It is my third and for now seems final choice for NaNo. The title is Axis 95/11, and for now
I’m sticking to the original synopsis I started working from:

January 2011. Yamagawa-gumi’s Hiroyuki Sen is getting out of jail after serving two years for firearm and drug possession. He has no trouble integrating himself back into the gang’s lifestyle – it’s almost as if he had never left. Hiroyuki does not believe in the old yakuza codes, he is a criminal and he knows it. Then March 11 arrives, and it is January’95 all over again…

This however is just a small part of the plot. The idea is to build a yakuza universe substantially darker than Osaka Guardians. Want or not, the Shikigami yakuza are a bit on the romantised side, knight in shining armour kind of ploy. Axis 95/11 aims to present less rightful characters that at some points find themselves thrown into a situation where they do good.
Yakuza have been among the first responders for both the Great Hanshin (1995) and the Great Tohoku (2011) Earthquakes, but they are not ‘good guys’ by definition, and the characters and their relationships aim to illustrate that. This is so not a politically-correct story… Never mind the unpleasant trigger, I don’t think the characters will be too likeable. In the end the earthquake factor becomes almost anecdotal, a hiccup in the daily life of the characters.

Outside-wise… motivation is null, excitement as mentioned is MIA and I have mixed feelings about the story. I don’t even know if I should even do NaNo this year, what’s the point? Extra stress? I am hoping it does not come to that and I can just enjoy it in the end as I have done other times.

I don’t know. Will writing make me better or just stress me out more? I got absolutely no clue…

Eight weeks to NaNo’12

It’s September 1st, which means NaNoWriMo is just a couple of months away, and to be completely honest I am not looking forward to it at all. Then again, is not like at the moment I am looking forward to anything in my life. That is not important now though (or well, it is, but I don’t want to talk about that XD).

For the last three years NaNo has been Shikigami territory. It started with The Shikigami of Life in 2009 after all, and somehow I wrote The Shikigami of Chance in 2010 and The Shikigami of Trust in 2011. However, even if this year should be The Shikigami of Blood year… my motivation for it is below zero. I have actually been considering not doing NaNo in 2012, but since I usually have fun doing it, I don’t think is a good idea to deny myself something I enjoy,

I am nonetheless quite seriously thinking about working on something different from The Shikigami of Blood. Upside from it would be having more time to review the previous books and expand my research to fix a few Koreans in the room [link] and reorganise Life and The Shikigami of Night with the corresponding bits from The Shikigami of Power so the latter’s structure is not so weird. To be honest, I think part of Chance could do with some spicing up too, maybe adding up to the time in Osaka. I also have realised that I need more Kyuuwa and Junzo interaction somewhere.

Back to topic. While it has been a bit of a ‘given’ that I was going to work on Blood this NaNo, I have oftentimes caught myself considering other projects for November, which tells me something. My last idea was writing Hyakki Yagyō, but I somehow… ended up doing it this summer. I am at the moment wrapped in a strange but fun still-nameless project. Blood is the logical choice, a universe I’m comfortable in and something I have a rough idea about, but…


There is that but, and the fact is that I don’t think Blood is ready to be written yet. I think that I am not ready to write Blood.

NaNo is to fool around, to experiment, to be silly and chunk out crazy amount of words each day. I think I want to do something different this NaNo, and leave Blood for later, when I feel it is the right time for it.

Which… makes me ask myself a question.

What the hell do I write this NaNo?

Answer… To be determined ^^