Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Pressing on...

Well, we've passed the midpoint of November, so of course I should have nearly 30,000 words written so far.  I don't. I'm a little behind.  By about 12,000 words.  However, the good news is that I'm feeling better, I actually have about 45,000 words written in my story, I've passed the midpoint and I'm getting into some good stuff.  So even though I'm dreadfully behind, I am choosing to stay positive and believe that I can still finish this thing by the end of the month.  I've been wrestling with a particularly difficult plot element for some time now and I think I may have a solution for that.  Last night at church while I was sitting in the class I'm taking on worldviews I had a moment of inspiration (completely unrelated to the class topic) that provided a possible way to deal with my problem.  I'm very excited about it, even though it will require significant rewriting of what I've already written.  However, November is not National Novel Rewriting Month (I think that might be December, unofficially), so I'm going to move on with new words and fix my existing words later.

This is also a good time for an announcement: If you usually read these posts when they magically appear as a note on Facebook, this is probably the last time you will be able to do so.  Facebook has announced that they will no longer automatically import blog posts into notes.  So beginning with my next post, I will be sharing via a link on my Facebook page and I would be so happy if you would follow those thinks and continue reading the random meanderings of my mind.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNoWriMo: 10,000 Words In

When I started National Novel Writing Month 10 days ago, I anticipated there would be some obstacles I would have to overcome in order to finish.  I did not expect to immediately get sick with a lingering respiratory infection or hit a wall (figuratively) about 5,000 words in, but so far that is what has happened.  In spite of those things, I have reached the 10,000 word mark.  I'm a little over 5,000 words behind my target word count at this point, but I am comforting myself with the knowledge that I have never written 10,000 words in 10 days or less at any other time in my life.  Also, I'm not hopelessly behind.  I'll just have to step up my game a bit in order to catch up.

One thing I have learned so far is that writing is hard.  It is one of the most natural things in the world for me to do, but it isn't easy.  I confess I often read books and find myself thinking, "I could have written this better."  It's one thing to see ways that an existing story could be improved, but it's quite another to invent a story completely out of my own head.  It's a challenge, but it's a fun and exciting one, and I am loving it.  Most of what I'm writing right now is pretty bad, so none of you will be reading it any time soon (and you can thank me for that, trust me), but I'm confident that it will improve in the rewrite process.

Now that I'm starting to feel better, I'm looking forward to charging ahead and getting caught up, and then finishing this thing.  10,000 words down, 40,000 to go.  Obstacles?  Bring 'em on!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Challenge Accepted

For most people, November brings to mind images of family time, a chill in the air, football, and turkey. I have recently discovered that for the writing community, November means National Novel Writing Month: a totally insane writing frenzy during which both first-time and experienced authors take the plunge and attempt to write a novel (or 50,000 words of one, which really isn't enough words for anything but a children's novel) in one month. It's exhilarating, scary, and exhausting...or so I hear. Although I had heard of NaNo before, I had not participated because honestly, it was too scary. But then last month, the writer's chat that I have recently joined picked NaNo for a topic, and I was intrigued. Then I was excited. Then I was terrified. Then I was hooked.

I have been writing for years - mostly in secret, because apparently writing is not something that rational people do for a living - but I have never finished a novel. It's sad but true. Recently I've realized that starting in on a story, then setting it aside for a year or two, then coming back to it and deciding I have to rewrite it before I can continue, then setting it aside again, then starting back and rewriting it again was really not getting me anywhere. I got over that and decided to start a different story. Now I'm 30,000 words into it, which is more words than I've ever written in a single story before. So here's my confession: instead of starting again with a totally new story, like you're supposed to do in NaNo, I'm going to start from where I am in my story and finish it. 80,000 words should do nicely. When I first started thinking about doing NaNo, I was going to follow the rules and start fresh. But I like this story, and I really just want to finish one before I start on something new. I think in some ways it will make the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month more difficult, because I'm already dealing with some plot hang-ups and wondering just exactly where I'm going to go from here. Still, 50,000 new words is 50,000 new words, and that's what I'm going to do. I wrote 1,000 this morning. Only 49,000 more to go. Wish me luck!