Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Live Blogging: Extreme Deadline Edition

I made a bet.

A crazy, crazy bet.

I bet another writer friend that I could finish 15,000 words and a short story in one week. That was last Thursday. I took the weekend to write the short story. Monday I wrote 5k words, and Tuesday I wrote 1,600 words. That leaves me with today, Wednesday, and I've got...8,400 more words to write.

Eight thousand four hundred more words to write.

Today.

Will I make that goal? I have no idea.

But I decided last night to try a live-blog. For you new kids, a live-blog is where I update a post (this post) regularly throughout the day with the status of what I'm doing. Typically, this helps me keep track of how much time I end up wasting (for example, online) and is also often hilarious as people watch me flounder around under the microscope.

SO: Come back throughout the day to see how far I get!

8:15am: Wake up. Stay in bed for another 15 minutes to avoid work.

8:30-9:15: Breakfast--leftover pasta from last night, a diet Sprite, and an episode of How I Met Your Mother.

9:16: Start working on this live-blog

9:16: Realize that working on this live-blog = working on the novel =  I have to do some actual work.

9:26: Oh, look! The shiny internet has neato things!

9:30: Best. Kid. Halloween costume. EVER.

9:48: Crap. I should, actually...you know...work.


Current word count: 0.


10:18: Coffee made: an espresso shot with hot chocolate and three melty peppermint candies. Sweatshirt: on. This one. Thank goodness it's a cold, rainy day.

Current word count: 0.  I know! I know! Quit pressuring me!!!

10:51: Finished up the chapter I was working on last night. The problem--and this is the reason why I've been stalling, and why I'm using this live-blog to kick my butt in gear--is that I know what needs to happen in, oh, fifty or so pages. I've got that, all the way to the end, nearly figured out. But to get to those fifty or so pages away...that's where I'm struggling. And I'm not the kind of writer that can just skip ahead fifty pages and write the scenes I know. I need to write the next fifty-ish pages to get there before I can really get swinging in this story...

Current word count: 571. 

10:54: Oh, look, the internet's out! Which means I can't update...but I guess this means I can't goof off online, either....

11:17: I was right. No internet is preventing me from wasting time. I have noticed that after I hit a stopping point--the end of a scene, the end of dialog, heck, even the end of a paragraph--my default reaction is to click onto the still-open internet window. But my connection is completely dead, and so instead of spending five or ten minutes goofing off, I go right back to Scrivener.

Current word count: 1387


11:23: Of course, even without internet, I'm still opening up this window every five seconds. (Exaggeration.)

11:28: Five minutes. I went five minutes between checking online and writing and checking back online. Ugh. That's pathetic.

11:32: When I get 2000 words, I can break for lunch. That's the deal. Also, then I'll connect to the internet with my phone so I can actually post these updates...yeah, that's why...

11:48: Oh, coffee, I can feel you kicking in. *jittery legs while typing too fast and misspelling every other word*

12:05:  I hit a bit of a roll there, rounding out a final chapter. Heh. Maybe a lack of internet + an increase in coffee = words. I'm pretty sure that's a solid foundation in a scientific theory. That discovery's as important as E = mc2, no?

Current word count: 2801


12:06: I earned lunch! Yay!

12:11: But before that...I sent a DM to the author I made the bet with. All it said was "Be afraid. Be very afraid." hehehehe...

1:25: That was...a rather long lunch. But the rain is holding, and my internet isn't, so that bodes well.

1:28: WHAT IS THIS FRESH HELL? I return from my leisurely lunch to discover that... STEPHANIE PERKINS HAS, INDEED, BROUGHT IT. Oh, it is ON NOW, PERKINS. You realize, of course, that this means WAR. 


(I get irrationally pumped up about competition. Have I mentioned this? It's true.)

(Crap. The dog is being cute and demands scratches.)

1:34: I am bringing it.


1:52: I am so NOT bringing it. (a) Had to call my father. Then (b) Dog decided to play. Then (c) Kiersten White decided to TURN ON ME. Proof 1. Proof 2. WHY KIERSTEN WHY?!

1:55: That does it: going offline so I can TYPE LIKE THE WIND.

2:14: The siren song of the internet (and the Twitter War perpetuated by Kiersten) draws me back online. *shaking my fist at Al Gore* Why did you invent the internet?!

Current Word Count: 3047/8400  (which, for the weekly goal = 9647/15000)
Stephanie's Word Count: 212/15000


2:36: There was something I cut in A MILLION SUNS that I think I might be able to bring into Book 3. Off to search for it.

2:43: Found it. Also found this. *sigh* Internet, y u so addictive? *pets the shiny*

2:59: New coffee acquired. *cracks knuckles*


3:20: It's quiet around here. TOO QUIET. *stares at Steph's live-blog* *frets*

Current Word Count: 3626/8400 
Stephanie's Word Count: probably a gazillion


3:40: Had to pause to do a little bit of research. This is unfair. All of Steph's research is kissing based. Mine's just boring ol' science...

4:15: You know what's not boring ol' science? Twitter. Twitter, twitter, twitter.

4:19: The Steph emerges! This fuels me even more. Because...the Steph never sleeps. She will probably start lapping me near the end of the night....

Current Word Count: 3964/8400 (10,664/15,000)
Steph's Word Count: Just Wait Until Tonight.


4:47: Supper's cooking in the CrockPot (Meals of Champions! ...also Meals-of-not-spending-much-time-cooking) but I still had a snack break. It was necessary. Fuel for writing!

4:51: I probably need more Sprite, too. Dang. Lookit the clock. I'm winding down, but I have a feeling Perkins is winding UP...

5:18: Just finished a rather difficult scene. I kind of want to show you all right now. I'll just say this: Amy has more balls than me.

Current Word Count: 4475/8400 (11,175/15,000)
Steph's Word Count: I FEAR HER. 


5:28: Oh Tumblr, you so pretty.

5:35: Remember that time Steph took a nap? Smart move.

5:35-8:15: I don't even know. Stuff happened I guess. Mah belly's full.

8:16: I will admit: I'm a tad daunted by this. I'm a bit over 4k words of making my goal, but that 4k feels like Everest right now. And while I'm all run-down and the coffee's worn off....Perkins has woken from her slumber LIKE A BEAST.

*rolls up sleeves*  Cover me. I'm going back in.

8:23: The husband walks into my office. "I don't hear the clackity-clack of your keyboard," he says.

"I'm looking at the competition," I says.

I show him THIS.

And then I show him THIS.

He says, "You do realize there's a chance she's going to pull an all-nighter for this."

Me: meep.

He says, "You do realize that she might just win, right?"

Me: MEEP!

He says, "You should consider fighting dirty."

Me: ?

He says, "Find out something she likes, and send her links to them."

But! But! But! I have words that I need to write. NOW! So I can win!! Especially because she's already beating me HERE. (the voting link for that is HERE)

So...*I* can't play dirty and send Stephanie pictures of Hot British Boys. Such as James McAvoy. Or Jim Sturgess. Or even, I suspect, Young Colin Firth. BUT YOU CAN, DEAR READERS, YOU CAN.

Here is Stephanie's twitter: @naturallysteph

Any Hot British Male will do. Your quest, should you choose to accept it, is to FIND PICTURES OF HOT BRITISH MEN. And then tweet them at Stephanie. ALL NIGHT LONG.

Is this cheating? ...maybe... But! But! But! It means that Stephanie will have a cadre of pictures of Hot British Men! HOW COULD THAT BE WRONG?   IT CAN'T BE, THAT'S HOW.

Go forth! Track down the Hot British Men! And distract give them to @naturallysteph!

8:49: Having spent the past 20 minutes coordinating an attack against Perkins, I, er, have no new words to show for it. And she's updating her liveblog in...11 minutes. MEEP!


8:58: I have been staring at the clock, waiting for Perkins update. Why is this psyching me out so much?!

9:21: Let it be known that this is the writing session in which I started killing characters off mercilessly. #desperate

9:39: And....there goes the first person. (Well, not the first. I killed three people off in the first three chapters. But that's just how I roll, yo.)

9:48: Finished chapter.

Current Word Count: 5448/8400 (daily goal). (Weekly goal: 11872/15000)
Stephanie's Word Count: 2190/15000


Do not be deceived, gentle readers. It may look as if I have more words than Steph, but I happen to know that she has pulled the rabbit out of the hat before. Also: she took a nap, and is therefore charged and ready for the long night ahead, whereas...I didn't.


10:03: Just finished a furious five minute run on the Gazelle (it's like an elliptical, but less fancy) while talking to the husband about a plot point. Basically, I figured out that I need to get more people injured and/or sick, then do this nasty thing to the characters, then have Amy do this thing...and basically, I can't tell you without ruining everything, but PLANS I HAS THEM.

10:14: Get totally distracted BY THIS.

10:23: CURSES! My plans...are foiled. (Not by Perkins--see comment below.) It's just that I realized...if I do THAT THING now, then the book will end too soon. I need something else before THAT THING happens...but...WHAT??

*frets*   *pulls out hair*

Current Word Count: No change, dangit.

10:33: Five more furious minutes on the Gazelle. I might have an alternate plan. Problem: the husband will go to bed soon. Which means...I'm doomed.

10:42: So I wasn't working. I am still rather stuck.

How stuck?

Let me illustrate with .gifs:

In this one, the camel is my Muse.


In this one, the fish is my Grand Idea.

Note that it got away.

I am going to pour hot water on my head until I figure this scene out (read: shower).

Current Word Count: 5553/8400 (11997/15000)
Steph's Word Count: *too afraid to look*


11:41: Shower acquired. Ideas...cooking. I'm currently in my cupcake pajamas and wrapped in my Sailor Moon quilt and have a pile of peppermint candies by my side. I've also moved to the couch because my bum hurt. Did you know that this is the longest time I've ever continuously live-blogged in one day? And it's soon to be the next day...

Anyway: sally forth! Onto the next chapter!

12:38: For reasons entirely unrelated, the scene I'm working on now reminds me of a story I heard from a Holocaust survivor. It's making me quite sad to remind myself of the details of her story, but also determined to make that scene, at least, as beautiful as possible.

Current Word Count: 12943/15000 (let's just stick to the weekly goal for sanity's sake)
Steph's Word Count: 4010/15000 (but that was an hour ago, and she writes like the wind)


1:19: I have been writing pretty steadily for...almost twelve hours. Sure there've been breaks in there, but...almost twelve hours.

I'm tired.

I'm tired.


Steph's last update put her about 10k behind me, which...well, it makes me feel safe about going to bed right now. But she IS chugging espresso like mad, and that worries me...but if I wake up early enough tomorrow, maybe I can round out my word count and we'll at least tie...

Speaking of word count...

Total Word Count for Today: 7,174
Total Word Count for Weekly Goal: 13,598 words out of a goal of 15,000 words


Stephanie hasn't updated yet, so I'm not sure where she stands on this...*gulp*

But I know, for me, this is what I'm going to do now:


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