Thursday, November 01, 2007

Phoctober the finished

Well, it's all over, our happy time of Phoctobering. Should I still have a blog next October, I expect we can do this again. Looking back at the month, I see that I personally posted more than one hundred images, and provided almost 150 links to other sites' Phoctober entries.

It was a reasonably global event, as well. We had entries from five different continents (damn you, Antarctica and South America!) as well as some ardent posters from right here in America. We were treated to English gardens, Parisian streets, leaves and trees from virtually every place currently experiencing autumn, snow, rain, fog, sunshine, clouds, bottles, whales, paintings, music and scores of other things. It was really delightful how much everyone shared.

Even more inspiring to me personally were the reports from some of the other blogs which seemed to indicate that they had fallen in love with photography all over again as a result of Phoctober. I cannot express how cool I think that is.

Phoctober was conceived as a way to trick myself into blogging every day again, as I used to. I had some nice shots sitting around, and figured it would be a cake walk to fill thirty-one days with images. I was wrong about that. It was more difficult than I could have realized, but having completed the month I feel like I have accomplished something. Nothing big, maybe just a little thing that I find personally enriching. And I seem to enjoy blogging again.

So I want to thank all of you who did a post yourselves, or more than one, or even just came by to look at the pictures. Joiners, lurkers, those who left comments: all of you have made this something far nicer than it had any reason to be.

Next year, I expect we'll have an official Phoctober badge, and perhaps something a little more structured in terms of how links are set up. And I hope we'll have some of you who thought about posting but did not joining in.

We now resume regular blogging. Hope you guys are okay with mostly words for a while.


NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo both begin today. A month of writing for yours truly. I leapt into my NaNo project last night as soon as the bells chimed midnight (okay, there were no actual bells). I speedily spat out five or six hundred words.

They were the wrong words. I am starting again. I may do so three or four times. I know it's all about the word count in NaNo, but I need the foundation to be strong if I'm going to be able to write a novel in a month.

I never got very far with outlining, but I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about what I want the novel to be, what it should say and do. I have answers to some of the questions and none at all to others. Once I have answered a few more, the real work begins. The other questions will answer themselves in the writing.

I am, weirdly, not nervous. Last year I did not get a chance to start until the sixth, and finished in about three weeks. I tend to write pretty quickly, so once the ideas have taken their shapes, I know I can get the words onto the page and begin building this thing, this work, this novel I have inside of me.

It's a genre piece, about people who would most commonly be called superheroes. Specifically, it is the memoir of a formerly costumed man with abnormal abilities, who is now retired from the whole racket. I don't want to say too much, as there are things I do not know about the plot, and also things I would rather not reveal to someone not perusing the actual manuscript. My hope, though, is that it will be fun and thinky and all sorts of good things.

My further hope is that it will be fleshed out and written in a clumsy first-draft by the end of the month.

For others plunging themselves into NaNo this year, I offer a quote from Ernest Hemingway that helped me a lot last time around: "The first draft of anything is shit." Not really a Hemingway fan, but he kind of hits the nail on the head with that one.

NaNo asks for 50,000 words in thirty days, which breaks down to 1667 words a day, or about 70 an hour. This is more than a word a minute throughout the month. Whether you've personally enlisted for this folly or not, I hope you'll come by to wish luck upon me and my Bloggeagues also undertaking this immense, uh, undertaking.


Taffiny said...

I miss phoctober. I had lots of words on my blog today, and they didn't look right at all, so I tucked them in drafts. But not having phoctober does help me focus on my NaNo project. Though by all counts I am behind (though I did 2,000 words typed in for notes today). Thanks for the break-down 1,667. I have to do two more dreadful pre-tasks before I can start my real draft. stalling

Interesting idea for story you have, I am trying to imagine it, concept seems far out, but your writing (as far as I know it) has a down to earth feel, very real, with humor and other elements as part, et cetera, I think it could be very cool, the fantastical elements worked through you, onto page.

Taffiny said...

Okay imagine you are talking to a dumb person.
Then answer this question.
Is the NaBloPoMo an additional post or is it the same as your regular Topples post, just a commitment to do one everyday?

Nova Ren Suma said...

Maht: You have a really good point about the foundation needing to be strong. My start this morning was really scattered and not right. I don't know if I should go back or keep going. Or maybe just keep going and know I will cut what I had from today? Your experience last year is a great inspiration.

I have to say, I really, really like your story idea for this year.

david mcmahon said...

Hope you keep blogging - and posting occasional photographs as well.

Anonymous said...

Maht, thank you for involving us all in Phoctober. I loved every minute of it. :)

Unknown said...

I wish you speedy fingers.

basest said...

best of luck with your novel...i know you're hip deep in some other muck at the moment, so i hope the outside world isn't too distracting from your inside one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Phoctober tribute--I look forward to your words here for the month. I appreciate the advice for NaNo--my scribblings from yesterday don't sit well--I may scrap or just shift direction completely. I feel like I should know more about this story I'm telling--perhaps the writing will reveal the course of travel. Best of luck to ya! (I love thinky stories)

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Already looking forward to next Phoctober, and go NaNoWriMo pro you. You *are* a fast writer, Mr Three Weeks is All I Need. Maybe you should give the rest of us a head start ;)

Love your story idea, and I can't wait to get my complimentary signed copy :)

Anonymous said...

Masked Tappling, congrats on a wonderful Phoctober. I enjoyed your images (as I so often do) and loved others work as well. Thank you for the inspiration and the very visual month.

And good luck in November with the words. Go get em, man!

Unknown said...

Good luck with NaNo.... :-)

Hoodie said...

I'm not entirely pleased with the start of my Nano project, but I think it's good enough that I'm not willing to give up that word count just yet.

I finally got you buddied. :)
Good luck.

Any idea if you can somehow check whether or not someone has buddied you?

The Moon Topples said...

Taffiny: I think my plan to use first-person narration and make him more or less a regular guy who happened to once have this other career will help make the more fantastical elements palatable. Or I hope it will. As for NoBlo, I have no intention of crafting a special post for those guys every day. This is where I blog. To complete the task at the expense of The Moon Topples would be the opposite of what I wanted to do. That said, I now wonder myself if I am expected to do this. If so, I expect I shall resign that one.

Nova: For the first week or two last year, I began each day's writing by going over the previous day's work, editing and changing what I felt needed work. I had to stop doing this at about the halfway point, as it was dawning upon me that I would not finish if I kept taking such care with the words, but it might be a good strategy to help you get on your feet at the onset.

David M: Thanks, and nice to see you. I have no plans to stop blogging, but I appreciate the encouragement. And, of course, pictures will still show up here. I still have my camera with me at all times.

Jefferson: Thanks to you as well: your photography is astounding. So glad you came by and joined in.

Minx: And to you as well. I want another Minxie book to sail across the ocean to me.

Basest: An interesting way to put it. Not sure I would have thought to characterize them as outside and in, although now that it's said it sounds absolutely perfect. I may steal that.

Matthew: I was improvising last year, and the book went in some directions I had not expected. This, to me, is one of the great things about writing: when you can be the storyteller and also a member of the audience. That's one of the things the rigors of NaNo does so well.

Sognatrice: I didn't say all I needed was three weeks. I said that's how long I took last year. The book was, frankly, terrible. This time, knowing at least some of what I am doing, I'm hoping to do better. And the complimentary signed copy street runs both ways.

Witness: Thanks. Very nice to see you again. Thanks also for the support.

Liz: Thank you.

Hoodie: I certainly don't advocate everyone throwing away their first day's output. That way madness lies. It just needs to be the start to the right story, which is why I had to throw mine away. Thanks for the buddying, and to check who has buddied you go to My NaNoWriMo/Writing Buddies and click the "Buddy Of" tab.

Unknown said...

Good luck with the Nanowrimo and the other one... i look forward to the words. I kind of miss the pictures already, but, I look forward to the words.