Wednesday, November 4, 2020

IWSG: NaNo Time?

 

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since we are all insecure and can use all the support we can get, huge thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts, Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

Every month there is an optional question to spark our posts and discussions. This month's question is (stripped of all the explanation you will find here):

Why do you write what you write?

Now for my post...

I'll get to the question in a minute. First, the big question: to NaNo, or not to NaNo? That's right--November is National Novel Writing Month, and many of us like to use the energy of the event to push our work along. So am I doing it this month? 

My answer to that appears to be a great big "sort of." When I first drafted this post on Oct. 30, I was still working on edits on last year's novel, something I'd hoped to have done by the end of May. As my regular readers know, life intervened, and writing, not to mention just getting up and going on each day, has been a challenge. As of November 1, the edits aren't quite done, and that's my first priority.

Still, I have a new story that's itching. 

Well, not so much a story as a character. I want to start a new mystery series with a new heroine. She's taking shape in my head pretty well, but the story has not, except in the broadest sense. And therein lies the rub: I could rush ahead and write a story all unplanned. That hasn't worked well for me in the past. Or I could spend however long it takes to plot the novel, then start. That might make it hard to reach 50K words, but frankly, who cares?

My third option is to spend the month working on short fiction, mostly editing flash fiction into a couple (or 3) anthologies. That is, once I finish the edits on Death By Donut. By the way, I'm still open to beta readers, and I haven't forgotten those who volunteered last month. I expect to finish my edits within the next two days.

Once the draft is off to the beta readers, I can either start plotting the next thing or (much more likely) start organizing my stories for the anthologies. I guess if I'm "doing NaNo," I'm doing it as a rebel. I did log my substantial word count for today, a mix of new text and edited material!

Okay, after all that, I'll skip the monthly question. Feel free to answer it in your comments, though! I'd love to hear why you write!

 ***

Last-minute Tuesday night update: despite obsessing fruitlessly over the election returns, I managed to finish the edits, and the draft will go out to beta readers tomorrow (after I do a little formatting cleanup and write a note to guide readers in their feedback). I'm very relieved to let go of that one for a while!

27 comments:

  1. Awesome that you got your edits done. That's impressive with all that's gone on in your life. I'm doing my own NaNo too. I hope to edit a few chapters and write a few chapters this month.

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    1. This is the first time that I have found editing easier than writing from scratch. Not easy--it's hard to work with no focus, as I'm sure you know :( But it's been good to have a pre-existing structure to work with. And now... time for a long walk in the park, and NOT listening to the news!

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  2. Ooh...a new mystery series from you! Really looking forward to that! I'm so impressed that you're making progress on the writing front considering what you've been going through.

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    1. Thanks! I'm not sure exactly when the story will come together in my head enough to get started, but I'm glad to know the voices are still there :)

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  3. I'm a Rebel Nano this year, too. I am finishing novella #2 in the Rayatana series, and starting the next one. So, I'm in the middle of two books, but I do have a loose outline for them.

    I'm looking forward to reading. :)

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  4. Nothing wrong with being a NaNo rebel. If it helps you be productive, go for it.

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    1. Yeah, I'm really only pretending to do NaNo for the sake of trying to connect with the local writing community. Or for the extra nudge I get from needing to post some kind of progress every day. Just not sure how to list the words edited :D

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  5. Hi, Rebecca! I'm doing NaNo for the first time, and I'm using it to push my memoir along. We shall see. I loved your autumn photos in the post below. That milkweed seed photo is marvelous! Happy writing in November!

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    1. Thanks! I was really pleased with the milkweed photo--it's hard to get that sort of thing all in focus.

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  6. Rebellious NaNo is still writing work. DO it any way it works for you.

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    1. Absolutely. One reason I share this is to encourage others to use the whole NaNo thing in any way that helps them write. Getting caught up in rules and expectations *can* be motivating, but it can also totally miss the point.

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    2. PS--I can't find your blog to visit you back. Go ahead and use the URL here if you want.

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  7. I have so much stuff going on that even the thought of doing NANO gives me hives. Huge props to anyone who can commit to doing it in any form!

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    1. Really I'm just checking in with NaNo and then going on writing exactly as I'd do anyway. Still pretty happy with myself if I work for an hour, and 800 words of new text (what I did yesterday with an unfinished story) is still a triumph.

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  8. NaNo always seems like a mammoth task to me. To be even thinking of it is brave. You've done well with the edits. Good luck.

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    1. I've really enjoyed it in the past, going in with a strong outline and just holing up with the computer and pounding it out. The last two years gave me the last two Pismawallops PTA mysteries. Usually needs about 6 weeks to get the full draft, which means I finish just in time to prep for Xmas. This year--nope.

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  9. Awesome job getting the editing done! I stayed away from news as much as possible the last two days, but kept getting sucked in anyway.

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    1. Impossible to stay away. I'm trying to stop looking, especially since nothing has changed. But I can't stop.

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  10. Intrigued what the new heroine will be like!

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    1. I think you'll love her! I do, though I'm still working on the details, and the actual story is extremely vague.

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  11. You're doing great! I'm Canadian, but I'm glued to the news about your election!
    Good luck getting your story for your new heroine sorted out!!

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  12. Will be looking forward to the new series!

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  13. Congrats on the edits! Sometimes we have a very strong character nagging at us but the story is not quite clear. Maybe it's a case of following where they want to go.

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  14. Congrats on finishing your book!

    Ronel catching up for November IWSG day Achieving Kick-Ass Goals

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