Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Writer's Wednesday: Are You Doing NaNo?

(Hey, I might finally have found an alliterative name for my writing posts that actually makes sense!)

Before I talk about NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), I want to share a blog post I found helpful and inspiring. Aliette de Bodard wrote this as a guest post on Chuck  Wendig's "Terrible Minds" blog: Cannibalizing a Draft. Take a look.

Okay, now that we have a link to something to help us when we finish that crappy NaNo draft, are you participating? Tell me why or why not!

I'm doing it again this year. I'd like to think that I'm fully capable of preparing and writing a draft in a month or 6 weeks without any outside motivators... but the truth is, that community of writers, the little word-count ticker, and just the idea that there's a deadline does a lot for my ability to prepare well and write hard.

It's all about deadlines, I think. I am motivated to work on my outline/writing plan for Death By Library because I know I want to start writing on November 1, and that I don't want to spend my writing time floundering around trying to figure out where to go next. Nor do I want to end up like my last NaNo novel: getting to the end, and finding that I don't really know who the killer is, haven't been writing with a clear direction in mind, and have a mess on my hands.

Once November starts, there's something about that graph of my daily words that pushes me to write like I mean it. It's not really competition, except against myself, but I like seeing a steady climb in the word count! Since I don't have an editor, agent, or publisher breathing down my neck (though my brother is harassing me about the next book, which is something!), I'll take whatever push I can get.

So, as of yesterday, my outline (which is more of a conversation than a bullet list) is 8 pages long (3800 words), and I have a firm grip on the beginning and end, as well as a good list of red herrings. I'm still working on motives, lies, alibis, and opportunities for all of those. Then there's the subplots about JJ's life... I know what the main issues are, but just how they unfurl will be a matter of pantsing!

Finally, on Monday I was feeling the need to work on my writing a bit, just something to get my creative juices flowing... so I drafted 3700 words of a story for the IWSG anthology (I have until November 4 to get that polished enough to submit). YA romance isn't exactly my genre, but I put my own twist on it and got something I think I like.
Outlining. It may make your hair stand on end.

11 comments:

  1. I hear you about that word counter! And that sense of community, of all these people across the world writing away. Gives me goosebumps! Or maybe that's just from the scary stuff I hope to write in November. :)

    Good luck for NaNo and for the anthology sub!

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    1. Thanks! And the best to you with your project! Yeah, there's something special about knowing all sorts of people are doing the same thing you are. And this year, for the first time, I've actually connected with local participants, and may even do a write-in :)

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    2. And bother! I forgot to go print out my outline, for easier reference and the scrawling of notes.

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  2. I don't NaNo. I could meet the target if I had the time and space to do so (I once wrote 40,000 words in a long weekend for the 3-day Novel Contest), but my schedule is so inconsistent right now I can't commit to that kind of daily word count. Falling farther behind every day would just stress me out too much.

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    1. If it would stress you, then no point in doing it. A little pressure is good for some of us, not so much for others.

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  3. Glad I can provide some motivation!

    Was thinking about Gorg after your previous post - maybe don't try to tie together what you've written previously, just take the character and drop him into a new quest/environment?

    And, no, I have no intention of NaNo-ing. I am not Mork.

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    1. How many words do you write each week for your sermons? :)

      I need to take a look at the Gorg MS. After I finish this new mystery (finish the draft).

      Nano nano, Mork.

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    2. Hmmm... Looks like I typically write about a thousand words or a bit over for my Sunday message outline and another 500-800 for Wednesday Bible study, so probably close to 2,000 a week - not quite up to NaNo standards!

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    3. You just need 30 weeks instead of 30 days!

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    4. I was thinking about the Gorg collection rather than the story, as well.

      There's two great minds thinking alike :)

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    5. I see a couple of choices: Just make a collection, or wander as far from the stories as I need to. At this point, I can't even remember what I did or how far I got in making a book. Maybe I can do both!

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