Showing posts with label NaNoWriMo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NaNoWriMo. Show all posts

Monday, November 2, 2020

GHOST STAR Scores a Kindle Book Deal


ON SALE this month for $0.99! Ghost Star scored a Teen & Young Adult Kindle Book Deal from 11/1/2020 through 11/30/2020! #spaceopera #adventure #spacemarines #military #kindlepress

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Not This Year
Although I really wanted to do it, I'll be taking NaNoWriMo off this time around. I'm so close to publishing Dragonfriend (doing one last read-thru of my one last proof copy) that I want to focus on making that happen and doing it right.

Side note: Surprisingly, the errors I'm finding are far and few between (yay!) and seem to be of the formatting variety -- things like a lone hyphenated word appearing in the middle of a line ("mat-ters") and some missing italics. Super minor mistakes that can easily be corrected.

Also, I'm very close to finishing the first draft of the second book in the Leonard the Great series: Giantkiller. I want to jump on that as soon as I get things squared away with the first book. As any author knows, building your backlist is incredibly important and is directly connected to building your reader base which is directly related to someday supporting yourself with your writing. 

As a bonus, last month while I was still thinking I might do this year's NaNo, I came up with a really fun premise for the third Leonard book. So there's NaNo, inspiring me again, even though we're not going to the dance together this year.

I'm relieved and disappointed by this decision -- relieved my head won't explode during November and disappointed because, even though it's a lot of work, NaNo is a blast.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hit 50k Today!

Technically, I "won" the 2010 NaNoWriMo today at around 10am. Huzzah! Practically, I'm a little over halfway finished with my manuscript but still, 50k is 50k. All that's left to do is put my manuscript into the "word count validator" on the NaNo website to make the win official. Authors can start doing this on the 25th and receive (along with the praise and adulation of their peers) one of those nifty winner's badges.

Here are the closing stats for this year's effort:

As of 11/24, I have written 50,257 words. That averages out to 2095 words a day and leaves me with a 193 page MS Word document (double-spaced).

Althought I could continue adding to my word count until midnight on the 30th, I'll be taking a break because I have lots to catch up on elsewhere in my professional career(s) -- including some more animation writing that will hopefully be coming very soon.

PLUS...I want to go back to the beginning and pound out some structural and character issues that need to be fixed. Right around 30k, I realized that I had a problem in my set up that would only get worse if I didn't do some serious re-thinking. Nothing insurmountable, but it would be better to fix these issues early in the game instead of piling more plot on top of them.

In general, I am very pleased with how this year's challenge went. I really feel I'm getting the hang of it as, with the exception of a day or two, the writing went smoothly and was a lot of fun. Thanks for the motivation, NaNo, you're the best!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Home Stretch

Broke through the 40k barrier today (cue fireworks and marching band). Oddly enough, due to day job related distractions (aka auditions - a good thing), the bulk of the past 10k was written after dinner between 7:30 and 11:00. I say oddly because I'm usually a morning writer who likes to split my word count into 1k+ before lunch and the rest of it anytime during the day when I can squeeze it in. This night writing has been focused and quite enjoyable so, who knows, maybe I'll switch things around for a bit.

One thing I do know is that I get a little nervous I won't hit my word goal when I start late. Maybe that's why writing at the end of the day seems to be working for me. Go fear! Whatever the reason, I'll take the words.

According to my stats page, I'm averaging around 2200 words a day and at this rate should hit 50k on Tuesday 11/23. See you then!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Feelin' Good at 30k

Hit another mile marker after a very comfortable day of 2431 words. Broke it up in chunks throughout the day so it didn't feel like I was pulling teeth to reach that number. Today's work included a big action sequence that was a hoot to write -- humans, a wizard, and several mythological creatures all squared off for a classic sword and magic smack-down. 

Onward to 40k!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What He and She Said...

Author John Scalzi scores again with his blog post in defense of NaNoWriMo putting published anti-NaNo snobs on notice to just chill. A quote:

"So if you’re a pro novelist or whomever wringing your hands over NaNoWriMo, remember that hands are for typing, not for wringing, and get back to your own work and let the kids have their fun. If you’re a NaNoWriMo participant and you’ve heard the grousing of the pros, ignore it and enjoy your experience of banging out words. In the end, no one cares how or why or under what circumstances a novel has been created, they care about the words on the page. Readers don’t read process. They read novels."
Go over to his site and read the post in its entirety, then visit published author Mary Robinette Kowal's blog to see the (also) excellent post which inspired Scalzi's spirited defense.  

In other news, I broke through the 25k barrier by cranking out a satisfying 2029 words today, ending up with a total of 26430 words on the 11th day of the challenge. That's over halfway to 50k! Go me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chugging Away Past 20k

Surprised myself by hitting this mile marker a little bit earlier than expected. Not complaining in the least, mind you, just surprised. Here are my personal stats thanks to a stat thingy they added to my Nano stats page:

Today's Stats:
Words Written Today 2476
Words to Write until 1667: 0
Suggested Daily Word Count 1667
Cumulative Word Count 20147
Total Stats
Current Day 8
Suggested Cumulative Word Count 13334
Average Words per Day 2519
At This Rate You Will Finish On Nov 20
Days Remaining 22
Total Words Remaining 29853
Words per Day to Finish on Time 1357

I find this kind of stuff to be interesting. Then again, as mentioned in a previous post, I'm a "geedork". I'd really like to keep up this pace and "finish" the challenge on the 20th. As always, we'll see.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Some Get It, Some Don't

Here's a snarky anti-Nano article from a snob at Salon who doesn't get it, and here's a well-reasoned response from an editor at Orbit Books, who does.

Bottom line, while we all hope our NaNo project gets picked up by a major editing house and sells a bazillion copies, the main reasons we do NaNoWriMo are:

  1. It's fun.
  2. It helps improve your writing.
  3. You meet some very nice people through the forums and elsewhere online. 
  4. It forces you to get off your butt and give writing a novel a shot.
  5. It helps you learn what it feels like to write on a regular basis. And,
  6. It's fun.
That's good enough for me. What do you think?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ten Thousand Words and Counting

Hit the 10k mark today, a full day ahead of my personal goal of reaching that number by Friday. I must say, I'm really enjoying this round of novelling craziness -- we'll see how I feel about it in week four.

This is my first time writing a sequel and I'm liking that, too. It's an interesting challenge to find the proper balance between reminding the reader of what happened in the first book and not laying those reminders on too thick. I think I'm doing okay with that. In the back of my mind I keep hearing the voices of my then grade school aged daughters as they read out loud the later books in a series about a certain boy wizard. When they'd reach such a "reminder passage" they'd invariably sigh and say, "But I already know that!" I'd explain the (brilliant) author wanted to make sure everyone remembered that important bit of information, but the memory of their impatience has stuck with me and guides me. I try my best to "remind" only when it is absolutely necessary.

I'm also having fun spending some time with my characters from the first book. I feel excited about sending them off on a new adventure and even though they're entirely fictional, I sense they're excited about that, too.

In other news...I got nuthin'.

Look for the next NaNo update when I hit 20k.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The New Widgets are Here!

Okay, so I'm a geek. And maybe a dork. A geedork? Anyway, it's just not NaNo until I can slap a word count widget onto the top of this page. There it is on the right in all of its minimalist glory. During the month of November I will update it daily through my NaNo homepage. As you can see, it keeps track of the cumulative word count, percentage toward completion, and the number of days left in the challenge. Feel free to stop by and mock me if I start to slack off.

Boy oh boy! Things are going to start happening to me now!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moving Along Nicely...

...on the road to 2010 NaNo-dom. Just finished a rough outline for my next effort in the "month of writing dangerously." This year's novel is a sequel to my 2007 NaNo, Leonard the Great: Dragon Friend (still in editing hell). The working title is Leonard the Great: Boulderhead.

The outline itself is five full pages, divided into nineteen chapters. Most of the descriptions are two or three paragraphs long (per chapter). A few are five paragraphs long, others are only a sentence in length. The idea for this first draft is to get the very vaguest idea of what's going to happen in my manuscript. I have succeeded on that count and am pleased with the overall direction of the story.

I'll spend the rest of October going through this version, revising and expanding the notes I've made. Right now, the story mostly makes sense. Hopefully, it will completely make sense by the end of the month. No guarantees!

I'm not a rigid slave to my outlines, delighting in discovering plot and character elements along the way that I had no idea were coming, but a decent one really helps to get the ball rolling. Although some writers claim they can start writing without an outline, I can't imagine starting something as large and complex as a novel without having a pretty good idea of where I'm headed. Yay, outlining!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tick Tock

In less than a month, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins. If you've ever fantasized about writing a novel, now's the time to get your rear in gear and finally do it. I started my outline today and hope to have something coherent enough by the end of October to propel me through the month of November.

The goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month. My daily goal is 2k a day which gives me a little pad in case I have to miss a day or two during the challenge.

This is my fourth year of doing NaNo and I've had a blast doing it each time. It's harder than it sounds and easier than it sounds at the same time -- and very satisfying once you reach Nov. 30th.

Come on, you know you want to do it.

Here's the link to my personal page.

Roger Eschbacher's NaNoWriMo Page

Stop by and say hi after you sign up.

Monday, June 28, 2010

So Far, So Good

Began the rewrite on Caden Brave, my new (2009 NaNo) middle grade novel. To quote the great Mel Brooks, I'm finding it to be "surprisingly not bad". I'm only a few chapters in, so hopefully that trend will continue.

Back at the end of the first draft, I'd had just about enough of Caden, and pretty much hated it. But I also know how these things go for me -- I get really sick of the manuscript, set it aside for a month or so, and then breathe a sigh of relief upon discovering that (amazingly) there's something I can work with. It's my novelling circle of life -- and yes, I know "novelling" is not a real word but I like it so there! (sticks out tongue)

In other news, thanks to some help from a graphic designer friend of mine, I've got an "almost final" book cover for Leonard the Great. While not ready to go public yet (I'll share it when I get closer to publishing it on Createspace), I will say that I'm extremely pleased with how it's turned out. I'm waiting for one more set of notes from an author friend of mine and then, it's go time!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


How I currently feel
If any of you were wondering where I've been for the last month or so, I've been writing and writing and writing (and writing) -- slogging my way through the last few chapters of my 2009 NaNo effort, "Caden Brave". Well, today, I did it. I typed the closing words of my first draft. FINALLY!

Mind you, this is only the first draft, but now the hard part is over. I'm going to file it away for a month or so and get caught up on the skillions of other things I'm working on to get work. Then I'll pick it back up and start with the fixes, the part of writing that I truly enjoy.

The first draft closing stats: Caden Brave, A middle grade space opera, 66553 words/307 pages.

One more time...FINALLY!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Awesome Screenplay Now Available for Bidding War!

Uh, yeah. Sure. We'll get back to you on that.

Anyway... just completed an exhaustive rewrite of last April's Script Frenzy project "Nick of Time" and sent it off to the agent. I put a lot of work into getting it as close to "just right" as I could and in general, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. As I've mentioned before, I think it would make a fun flick -- either as effects-laden live action or as an animated flick in the style of "Howl's Moving Castle". It's kid-centric sci fi. Anybody know anyone at Studio Ghibli?

I should probably participate in next month's Frenzy, but the act of just having "finished" a screenplay and the desire to concentrate on completing the first draft of my 2009 NaNo manuscript are making me hesitate. You can also do TV scripts, comic books, and stage plays as part of the challenge so maybe I'll try one of those. We'll see.

In other news, Popcornopolis' Zebra Chocolate is the new crack.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Novel News

Got a nice bit of good news the other day. My novel "Leonard the Great" has moved to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award thanks to this pitch:

"If you think it was all good deeds and fancy ideals back in the days of Camelot, think again. Most people don’t know this, but for a time things went seriously bad; Arthur was imprisoned, Merlin had vanished, and a vile demon had taken over the throne.
Young Leonard Albacore would have been shocked to learn any of this but right now all that concerned him was where his next meal was coming from. As page to Sir Ronald, a poor but kind knight, events at the castle took a back seat to a rumbling stomach.

Oh sure, he held a secret dream that one day Sir Ronald would take a seat at the Round Table, but seriously, that was about as likely as Maid Glennys seeing him as anyone other than the dirty page of a low-ranking nobleman. Not gonna happen.

Everything changes when Leonard meets Mantooth, a seriously depressed dragon who’s looking for a knight to end his misery with a swing of a broadsword.

Wait a minute. If the dragon will allow Sir Ronald to slay him, his misery would be over, Sir Ronald would surely get a Round Table invite for such a brave deed, and Leonard might even climb a notch or two in the eyes of Glennys! Everybody wins, right?

Wrong. Leonard’s plan backfires horribly when, on the day of the battle, Sir Ronald is arrested for “bravery without a license” and he and Mantooth are dragged off to Camelot’s dungeons. Now Leonard must do whatever it takes to free his master even if that means doing battle with dangerous monsters, trying to outwit Camelot’s dark overlord, or even taking a bath!"
Next, the judges will read manuscript excerpts from all those who made the cut and choose some to move on to the Quarterfinals. It's a huge long shot, but hopefully they'll like mine.

Prayers, positive vibes, and finger crossings on Leonard's behalf are more than welcome. Thanks!

Update: Leonard didn't make it to the third round of ABNA, but he did get farther than he did last year so I can't complain.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh, So This is What He Looks Like!

I asked my very talented resident artist Molly to come up with a visualization for the title character of "Leonard the Great". Happily, she agreed. Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Your Face, 50k!

Well, I did it! Checked the counter shortly after midnight and found that I was at a nicely balanced 52052 words -- a couple of days beyond my personal goal of 5ok by this past Wednesday, but I'm not complaining. All in all, I'd say this year's NaNo was the most fun to date -- a couple of slow days here and there but that happens. It was fun, challenging and, dare I say it, easy all at the same time. The "easy" part doesn't come from me thinking too highly of my rather workman-like abilities but, rather, from the fact that I was lucky enough to have an idea that I really liked and a pretty good outline. It's a lot easier to keep going when you have at least some idea of where you're headed.

Now, have I finished the novel? No. I just beat the NaNo 50k in a month word challenge. The finishing part will come in the months ahead.

Here's where I stand as of 11/28/09:
  • 52052 words. I'm guesstimating the first draft will top out at around 75-80k.
  • At the start of Chapter XV (out of XXIII).
  • Our hero and his intrepid crew have just been captured on board the archfiend's flagship while attempting a bold rescue. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was curtains for them.
I'd really like to finish up a first draft by the end of January (my daily word count seems to drop off dramatically after the 30th, for some reason) but we'll see. I'll let you know when I reach that goal. The cool part is that I'm well on my way toward producing a manuscript that I can try to get published -- my foundational motivation for partaking in the craziness that is the National Novel Writing Month.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Big 40

Hit the 40k mark in my novel late last night. A day behind schedule but that's okay. I'll try to catch up and spread the "lost 2k" out over the next few days and still try to finish on Wednesday.

Here's where I stand as of last night:
  • Finished Chapter X (out of XXIII) for a total of one hundred and seventy-two pages so far.
  • In the middle of an exciting escape sequence where the protagonist has been seriously injured by minions of the evil arch fiend. The cad!
  • Greatly enjoying myself. Ideas are coming fast and furious which is infinitely more fun than the alternative. I'm not a big believer in writer's block, but I have experienced extended chunks of "My brain is full of molasses. I don't want to write." Never fun to slog through that condition. It certainly helps that I really like my idea and, like I've mentioned, have a good outline.
In other news, I'm getting my third Scooby assignment on Monday which is very exciting for me. I'm having a blast writing these too and needless to say I am very grateful for the work.

I'll check in again when I hit 50k.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Halfway Home

Passed the 25k mark on my NaNo novel yesterday and feel pretty darned good about it. Some of my "buddies" are cranking along too, with several of them already past the 50k mark! That's impressive as you know they had to throw in some 3, 4, and 5k days to get that far that fast. My "2k a Day" goal is plenty for me. I can get it done in a couple of hours and not burn myself out -- helps me approach each day's writing with enthusiasm as I know my brain won't pucker and I'll have plenty of time to do other stuff. You know, have a life and what not. Definitely going all tortoise in the word count race.

On a side note, there's a woman who does NaNo every year who regularly posts totals of 750k - 900k by the end of the month. Seriously. Now assuming she's telling the truth (if you cheat on this challenge the only person you're cheating is your own moronic self), that would mean she has to average at least 25 - 30k -- every single day of November! I cannot even imagine how that is physically possible as just reaching her daily count took me two full weeks of writing. The cynic in me wonders if any of her stuff is remotely coherent but if it is -- damn! I'm triply impressed.

Here's where I stand at just a little over 25k:
  • Very near the end of Chapter VII (c. 107 pages so far).
  • No longer worried I'll come up short. Now worried I'll go too far past the standard word count for a middle-grade novel (50-60k). This is a great worry to have as things like "too much" can be fixed in the edit.
  • Still pleasantly surprised with how smoothly it's going (more knocking on wooden head). I think having a fairly well thought out and detailed outline helped massively in this regard.
I'll touch base again at around 40k. See ya!

Eater of the Dead: A Dragon Friend Excerpt

Just in time for Halloween! Check out a featured Dragon Friend excerpt on the BestSelling Reads blog: "The spooky season is upon us! H...