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#790619 - 11/01/12 09:53 PM NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress  
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If you're writing a NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel, post your daily progress here! That way we can all encourage each other.

I'm aiming for a chapter each day, with me actually going to the location first to get a "real today sense" of what the place is like on that very day. That way the weather, bird sounds, temperature, etc is all exactly right. So I can't really "write ahead".

Today I went out to the forest, which is where my heroine finds the body. I got back and started writing at 4:30pm. I finished at 5:30pm, so an hour, and my first chapter was done. It's 2680 words. So I'm on my way!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#790714 - 11/02/12 03:06 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day two and another quota met. I'm not calling them chapters at this point. I'm going for a complete scene for each day.

Now I'd better get something written for School Reform!


Maeve Maddox
School Reform
#790746 - 11/02/12 05:42 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Lisa, that sounds like fun to go right out to the very atmosphere you are writing about. That type of research must add quality to your story.

#790747 - 11/02/12 05:45 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Maeve, sometimes you might have a scene or two and other times a chapter or just a long outline of what you want to write next. It's interesting what you come up with during the writing time.

You might end up writing a letter to your best friend just to get something down and the next day you are off and running again. Just don't get discouraged if you don't write stellar prose every day. As the found says, December if for editing. Just keep writing!!!

#790748 - 11/02/12 05:50 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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This is day two and I got about half way through today and kept getting interruptions. I'll have to finish up later this afternoon and post how I did. Yesterday was a good start with about 1700 words.

How are you doing?

#790774 - 11/02/12 08:16 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Maeve Maddox-School Ref]  
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Maeve -

That's true, they aren't necessarily chapters, they could get rearranged when I'm done. They are more like scenes.

That is great that you've met your goals each day! Nicely done!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#790775 - 11/02/12 08:18 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Edie -

I'm lucky in that I can simply close my door and ignore interruptions smile. I start, I keep writing, and then I can end. Is there any way to "train" your environment to leave you in peace? Maybe this would be great training to help you with all your projects!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#790777 - 11/02/12 08:20 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Today for me was Day 2. So in my story my character wakes up upset, does yoga, talks with the ranger on the phone, and uses the internet to learn more about the victim.

So I did all those things in real life. I woke up, went down and did yoga, pretended to talk with the ranger, and then did a check of the local paper on the internet to see what it was talking about.

So then when I sat down to write it all flowed out of my head quite smoothly. I could talk about the red-tailed hawk I saw during yoga. (I do yoga facing out the back sliding glass door, overlooking my back yard). I could talk about how the paper's webpage was obsessed with the upcoming election. I could weave that all into my story.

So that was 50 minutes of writing, and another 2175 words. So I'm at 4855 total.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#790805 - 11/02/12 10:03 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Today I went into the second session knowing only that my protagonist was going to meet her niece for the first time. I had no idea what a charming young girl was waiting in my imagination. Writing is soooo cool.


Maeve Maddox
School Reform
#790807 - 11/02/12 10:11 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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That is *awesome* Maeve - good for you!! That is definitely so true, that releasing one's mind from critical thought can be liberating. The words and thoughts finally have their chance to flow onto a page!


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Low Carb Forum
#790945 - 11/03/12 09:39 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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I wrote 2226 words today for total of 7081 total. Again I wrote for about an hour today.

The suspect field is being laid out . I have a dead body and have introduced the names of the three main suspects. I've also introduced more fully the couple who are my "helpers" in the story. I'm trying to be cautious to introduce people slowly so readers can relate to them.

Going forward the heroine will meet each suspect, one by one, to start examining them.

My thought, with this being a series, is that the elderly couple will be recurring characters, as will be the ranger. So I want to make sure I spend time on them and have them become "known".

I do still have at least two more fairly main characters I want to introduce - the dead man's best friend, and the dead man's son. So I'll be tackling those tomorrow I think.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791256 - 11/06/12 04:50 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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I didn't post for Day 4 so I'll do that now.

My son James came over for a surprise visit so Sunday was busy. I spent time with my son all day. Then at 4:30 I had to go running out to make it to dinner with my mom, as her birthday was recently. Then I drove back home again and spent an hour writing up the storyline for the day.

I had dinner with my mom in Newport, RI - a lovely historic town on the ocean - so I incorporated that into my story. I also added dialogue with my ranger on the way to and from the restaurant, to move the story along.

I enjoyed it immensely, building in the lovely sunset and the bridges over Jamestown into the storyline.

I wrote for an hour, and wrote 3,266 words. My total is now 10,347 words.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791259 - 11/06/12 05:02 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day 5 was another challenge for me. The forums had issues I needed to take care of. Normally I'm a night owl but recently I've been on a "reasonably sane" schedule and going to bed about midnight. So when I had to force myself to stay awake until 6am to do forum repair I was beyond exhausted. Then I woke up at 2pm still very groggy, and having to do more coding and fixing. It was rough work. Finally at 6pm things were falling into place and I took another nap. When I woke fresh at 9:30pm I was starting to feel human again. So I set aside an hour for the writing.

I ended up writing for 50 minutes, to work on a "burial scene". This introduced another character - the son of the slain man - and reinforced the ones I'd already introduced. So the story was starting to move along now. I had wanted to go out to the cemetery today, but I was just too tired to go anywhere. I'd been there before, so I wrote based on that. I can always go out after NaNoWriMo is done and add in a few more details. But the base is there.

I'm very pleased with how the plot is progressing and the characters are developing. I like my nature-based touches and the atmosphere.

I wrote 2,217 words today, for a total of 12,560.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791267 - 11/06/12 05:38 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Here's an image of what NaNoWriMo displays for tracking. I enjoy it immensely - it motivates me to come back every day!



Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791465 - 11/07/12 04:49 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day 6 was election day. So this held its own challenges. I voted, then we went to a local dairy farm shop, then we went to a local restaurant. The place was *deserted*. We were literally the only people there. But it added extra atmosphere for what I was writing. So that is intriguing. I wrote for an hour and added 3025 words to my story, for a total of 15585.

This restaurant was my "first of three suspects" interview. So the story is definitely moving forward.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791777 - 11/08/12 02:06 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day 7 - a full week of mystery story writing! This has been great fun. Today I wrote 2,512 words for a total of 18,097 words.

Today was a "background filler" day which was slower for me to write. It wasn't about visiting a scene and writing out what I saw. Instead, we delved into the mystery itself, looking for clues on a computer's hard drive.

I incorporated the snow that was falling outside, and the chickadee I saw.

How are you guys doing on your stories? How has the first week gone? How is your mystery unwinding?

I have another "filler" day tomorrow, because then Friday I'm going to interrogate suspect 2 at a local restaurant. So I have that dinner date set up to go and that should be easy, to have an actual interesting location to write up and describe. So between today and tomorrow I have to figure out what tomorrow's chapter will be about. I wanted to do another day of hiking around in woods, but with the snowstorm that doesn't seem likely.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#791974 - 11/09/12 02:59 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day 8 of my mystery story. I'm into plot explanation which isn't what I adore, but of course it has to be done smile. I wove in the birds in my windows, the sushi Bob brought home with me, and references to A Place in the Sun.

I'm up to 20,254 words, and wrote 2,157 today.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792136 - 11/10/12 04:56 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Day 9 was fun - I ate at a local restaurant with friends. In the story, I grill suspect #2 of 3 here. We learn more about the background of the characters and about a tragic accident that happened in the late 60s.

This "fake story" tragedy is interwoven with an actual real-life murder that happened in Sutton in the 30s which was very much like the A Place in the Sun story. That movie was based on A American Tragedy, a novel. And that novel was based on a real murder in New York in the early 1900s. So it's all quite fascinating.

That now makes me wonder how much I should include of the 1930s "real life" murder in my story. Apparently the daughter of the murdered woman is still alive. The murder was covered in nearly all US papers at the time, so it was quite well known. But I don't want to upset the current family members.

Is anybody else talking about real life events in their stories?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792194 - 11/10/12 06:27 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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This is Day 10 and I'm ahead of the game. Yeah! Haven't written anything towards NaNo yet today, but will by the end of the day.

Word count as of yesterday was 18102.

I'm still writing a series of short stories for the challenge and it's really interesting what comes up when I use prompts.

How are you doing?

Last edited by Edie - MysteryBooksEd; 11/10/12 06:39 PM.
#792342 - 11/11/12 09:24 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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That's fascinating, Edie, so are you doing a story a day, or working on a story for a few days then starting a new one?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792343 - 11/11/12 09:27 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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I wrote yesterday's chapter today because it was quite a late night. In it I have a second interview with one of the suspects, and learn more about the history of the tragic accident. I also further the relationship between the hero and heroine. I wrote 2,183 words for a current total of 24,800. So I'm nearly at the half way mark!

Today I have schoolwork to do and then I'll work on the next chapter. I'm not quite sure what I want to do next in the story. I want to include a walk in the woods but it's too late to do that today. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792460 - 11/13/12 02:17 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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OK I decided to hold myself to the hour a day even if life had hiccups. Life always has hiccups! So I'm staying with the terms of my experiment.

Today we did go for a lovely walk, but I forgot it was a holiday for "out-of-the-house-job" people so the park was *packed*. I was able to work that into the story. I revealed an important clue, and moved along the relationship between the hero and heroine.

Now comes a conflict between my real life and the story progression. I have meetings with friends Tue and Wed. But in my story I really need to meet with my third suspect soon so the story can move along from that point. And I want to go to the restaurant when I write it up so I can write it up fresh from being there. That's how I like to write things. Hmmmm.

If I can't go to that restaurant until Thursday, I need to figure out what my story "does" in the meantime. I suppose I can work in some side stories to help "muddy the waters" a bit and give the reader more red herrings to sort through smile.

Do you guys inject lots of false leads?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792666 - 11/14/12 05:43 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Whatever comes to me. Most have been stand-alone each day. That's okay because the good ones I can expand upon.


#792735 - 11/14/12 09:24 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Dear Edie -

That's a great way to write! That way you write about what is most meaningful to you, and create beautiful scenes. You can always add the connective tissue later on smile.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#792736 - 11/14/12 09:26 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Today I wrote about last night's events - a gorgeous sunset, a beautiful rainbow, and a dinner with friends. I had one of my friends know the third suspect and provide some key details about him. So that way the story did move along a bit. I also could add in some of my musings on nature and beauty and mindfulness with the rainbow and sunset.

So I wrote for 55 minutes today, and 2,252 words. My current total is 30,143 words.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#793047 - 11/16/12 11:18 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Lisa, I wanted to respond to your comment about writing a scene in the actual restaurant the scene was taking place. I did that in a couple of stories I've written in the past. While I often changed the names of the towns and streets, I could see and feel what I had experienced in the past and let that help lead the emotional part of the story. Really helped a lot to "see" the scene I was writing.

#793048 - 11/16/12 11:23 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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This is Day 16 of NaNo and I am pretty close to being on target. One of the reasons I feel like I'm behind sometimes is that I write in longhand, then type the passages into Word. Quite often I'm also lightly editing at the same time. Takes a little longer, but I write fiction better in long hand than I do typing.

My word count as of today is 27296. The NaNo site says that at this rate I will be done by November 29th. Sounds good to me!

How are the rest of you doing?



Last edited by Edie - MysteryBooksEd; 11/16/12 11:26 PM.
#793528 - 11/20/12 09:59 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Dear Edie -

We all have different styles of writing and that's fine! If longhand connects with you, it's worth the effort. However you allow your muse to flow and connect smile.

Congratulations on your progress! That's great!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#793530 - 11/20/12 10:04 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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I had gotten stalled because I really wanted my "third suspect interview" to take place at a particular restaurant. And for a solid week they were closed. So for that entire week I had to write "back fill" story segments, where the characters learned more about the history of the situation.

Finally - *finally!!* - the restaurant was open this past Sunday. So Bob and I went there and could sit down and look it over. That meant I could finally write up that suspect interview scene, and move the plot forward in a more active way.

It was so wonderful when I finally got that done. The next day was today (Monday) and I knew exactly what I wanted to happen next. So writing that up was easy. Today I wrote for 60 minutes. I wrote 3,168 words for an overall total of 43,823 words. I could have easily written more but I am holding myself to my 60 minutes a day limit. I want to help show those watching that this can be done even with limited time in each day.

My mind is already quite ready to pour out the story for Tue, Wed, and Thu. Each day has specific things happening in it, places I will be in real life, and that will become the story. So I'll get to record what I see and the people I meet and then simply "let them flow" out into the story proper. It'll be like writing a diary entry in some ways. The colors I see, the sounds I hear, and so on. I love writing like this.

So I'm expecting at least these next three days to be quite easy. Then we'll see on Friday where I want to go from there. I know where the final "end point" of my mystery will be, but I let my characters guide me as to actual twists and turns in the middle. I.e. I don't have a map of exact dialogue or action. I just let the story flow out of my brain as I imagine what these characters might do next, given the situation they'll be in. So it's a fun surprise for me too smile.

How are you guys doing?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#793936 - 11/23/12 03:47 AM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Greetings everyone! Today I crossed the 50,000 mark, and have met the NaNoWriMo official goal!

I'm still writing through Nov 30th to finish up the story.

Today was Thanksgiving of course, but my writing for today was "of yesterday" and my boyfriend's gig and such. So it was the characters learning more information about the murder.

Tomorrow's writing will be about Thanksgiving so that should be fairly easy. And then after that I begin "building to the final revelation" over the last week. So these final seven days should be exciting writing as I have accusations flying and characters under stress.

How are you guys doing? Are your stories approaching their finale?


Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
#794091 - 11/24/12 11:48 PM Re: NaNoWriMo Mystery Novel Progress [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]  
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Congratulations on making it to the 50,000. The first year I completed the challenge I kept writing as well. I'll finish up tomorrow, Sunday, November 25th. I, also, will keep writing until the stories are complete as I am also on a 30-day writing challenge as well.

How about the rest of you? Do not feel bad if you haven't completed the challenge. You still have six more days, or if something happened in your life to slow you down, just keep going after the challenge ends. The point is to write as much as you can toward your goal.

We would love to hear from you and how you are doing.

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