Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Thirty days to write 50,000 words.
One year ago today, I met some people who would soon occupy my every waking moment. Sometimes my sleeping ones, too.
They showered with me and ran with me and I felt bad when I had to do horrible things to them.
But that’s how it goes.
Because those people? Were my characters. I spent the month of November obsessed with my heroes. I’d stay up way later than I should, trying to get my thoughts on the page. By the end of it, I had over 86k words.
That was just the beginning.
I have spent the past year revising, editing, revising some more. I’ve written more first chapters than I can count on one hand. Maybe two. I have added and cut and changed the entire ending – more than a few times. I’ve agonized over words. I’ve wondered what more I could do, how I could up the tension, how I could make my characters more real.
I learned a lot. Mostly, that I have a lot to learn.
And now, on the eve of NaNoWriMo, my manuscript is complete. Ninety-two thousand, six hundred words.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to start again today.
I need time.
Time to read. Time to ponder. Time to leave my manuscript as is and wait and see if someone – and by someone, I mean a literary agent – thinks it’s good enough to sell.
I’m okay with that. I don’t have the pull of it I’ve had over the past year, the constant deep-seated need to tinker and craft.
It’s time to move on, to break up with my characters.
To find new ones with whom to have an affair.
I have a few ideas. Maybe even resurrecting the story I played with my first time around with NaNoWriMo.
Just not this month.
Monday, November 28th, 2011
Can we talk about how much I loved NaNoWriMo this time around?
For those of you who don’t know, November is not only time to grow a mustache (SO excited to see my aesthetician this week!) but is also National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 50,000 words, the length of a novel, in 30 days – without editing.
This is not something you would ever submit to an agent. It’s basically word vomit. The point is to get yourself used to writing every day.
It took me about two weeks to reach 50k this year. Last year, I didn’t know if I’d make it. I barely crested the 50,000 mark with seven days to go. This time, I’m up over 86k words and have written three different endings. Because I figured I had the time since I’d hit the word goal so soon. And I wasn’t quite ready to let the novel go.
You might have noticed I haven’t been around this place much, nor anywhere else on the blogosphere. The BlogHer Writers conference I attended last month inspired me to really dedicate myself to writing fiction. So for this past month, that’s where I focused my energy.
It was awesome, in so many ways. And, also, terrifying.
I fell in love with my characters. Even when they made really bad decisions or hurt each other or acted like idiots. Which they did. They surprised me and infuriated me and made me laugh – and they also made me cry. They inhabited my thoughts and even when I was running or taking a shower or driving somewhere, I pondered what to do with them. It was as intoxicating as getting lost in a really good book.
As fun as it was to write them, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable to come up with the plot. It is definitely the area in which I struggle.
The truth is, I am humbled by the real writers who keep the plot line and all the sub-plots going throughout 200 pages – or more. I have so much to learn, so much on which to work, that I really see how ridiculous it was for me to think I could just write a book because, you know, I like to write.
Not even. I have no freaking idea what I’m doing.
So now I need to stop tinkering and let it rest for a bit. I’ll send it to a friend or two for a quick read, so they can tell me whether the story and the characters are worth revising and rewriting. I want you all to feel about it the way I do, to love the characters and root for them and, when you’re finished, still think about them. I know this first draft doesn’t come close to accomplishing that.
That’s when the real work begins.
Thanks to all of you who’ve supported and encouraged me through this past month, and for being patient with this blog. You’ll be seeing me a lot more around here.
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
I am deep into NaNo, even though it’s only been two days.
Characters roam freely inside my head, dancing around and doing some crazy stuff.
(Even though Eddie Vedder says “Can’t let you roam inside my head.”)
I have my own head, thankyouverymuch.
I fall in love with my characters.
And then I have to do very bad things to them.
All in a month’s work.
This post is in response to Mama Kat’s prompt, “Do a post in eight lines.”
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Tuesday is the first day of NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.
You might remember I did this last year. I finished with over 50,000 words. Which, technically, was really more like word vomit with an occasional really good passage or two mixed in.
Truth is, I haven’t worked on that story much since then. At some point, I fell out of love with it. Or I realized how much work it really needed and I was overwhelmed. Or maybe a combination of both.
I have decided to try NaNoWriMo again. Different story, different characters. Much more commercial versus literary fiction.
The BlogHer Writers conference really inspired me to want to dedicate myself to writing again. To focus my energies there.
Even though I did NaNo last year, I am still nervous. What if I don’t love these characters as much? What if I run out of story line? What if I decide midway through that the story sucks and I should have totally done something else? What if the fact I haven’t outlined or done any prep work other than in my head totally kills me?
But I will never write a book if I don’t, you know, write.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Every day this month. I am going to write and write and write and see if something brilliant comes out. Even if it’s only for a page or even a phrase or two.
That’s the awesome thing about writing. You’re never exactly sure what you’re going to get.
I am excited to find out.
What about you? Anyone doing NaNo? I’m “CherylR” if you want to add me as a writing buddy!
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Today I am over at my other home, Write on Edge, to talk about five things I learned at BlogHer Writers Conference. If you are interested in what it’s all about, definitely check it out.
I have been spinning my wheels a bit, and this conference really inspired me to rework my priorities. Next month I will, for the second year in a row, participate in NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. Last year I wrote the Brock and Skye story, which still sits in draft in my hard drive somewhere, waiting for me to completely rewrite it.
This year I will work on a different story, the one about the widow and the bartender. I will no longer be posting pieces from that. The only ones I have are the ones you’ve all seen. Which really isn’t much, but thanks to your enthusiastic feedback, I’m going to see what happens to them.
I want to spend more time on my fiction and less doing other stuff, like hanging out on twitter and Facebook and Skype. And yes, I won’t be posting as often here, either. I haven’t worked out a schedule yet (because that’s how I roll) but I’ll still be here a few times a week. I would miss you all too much.
Thanks in advance for your support and patience!