Thursday, November 3, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

NaNoIdioNoMoWriMo Turmoil

In signing up for the November 2011 challenge to write a novel in one month, to write 50,000 words in a  month, that's 1,666 words a day--does anyone else find that an ominous number??-- I've once again taken a leap before looking.

I signed up before reading all the rules, I even posted a synopsis of my current project - and then looked at the official rules: You have to start from scratch. Suck.

You have to use a new idea, or if you are using an older, previously worked on idea, you need to set it aside and not look at what you have already done. Start over. New point of view or whatever it takes. Or, if you don't you can still join in the fun, but you will be a rebel.

Now most of the time I enjoy the label of being a rebel. But in this instance, I wonder if I am dooming myself to failure by choosing to be a rebel? ie: cheating in one area is one step on a treacherous slope wherein the next step is letting something else slide, like not getting all my words in and on and on until I've totally sabotaged my writing experience and not gotten what I needed out of it.

Amidst all this back and forth and confusion and really wanting to work on the project that has me the most excited and interested, I finally realized that I need to write out what I want most from the WriMo. It doesn't matter if I choose to restart with the Hana novel, or start out fresh with an unwritten idea like Afghanistan, or even the Gabe story; if I have no idea what I want to get out of it. I need to know what I want for my end result. 50,000 qaulifying words or no. So here they are . . .


~ To establish a regular writing pattern.
   Develop a habit of daily writing – productive writing
~To finish, once and for all the Hana project while it's hot and exciting and in my head.
   Come out of it with a full draft – all the way to the end!
~To find out if I've got what it takes to really be a novel writer.
   Power through, despite all opposition.
~To use this as a stepping stone for the rest of the YA and MG stories that are sitting in my head.
   Write the minute inspiration strikes (carry a notebook and pen/pencil)


~Getting stuck.
    Letting lack of inspiration drive me to inactivity
~Fear of not being good enough.
    The 'I can’t do it' negativity
~Focus on one project at a time.
   . . .  or at least long enough to make some good headway

In the end, I think I've figured that I do need the added pressure of sticking to the rules. Not a single step out of line. Next, Hana and Denton are preying on my mind, I have to get them out. Ergo... I will set aside all I have done previously and start fresh.

Luckily, it is what I'd already started to do, just in case. I needed the word counts each day and I knew I had enough material waiting that had not been written yet. This gave me the extra few days to get my head on straight. Now I just have to resist any temptation to go back and retrieve anything from the previous draft. ugh.

 . . . now for some 'words to ponder':

Am I a writer or someone who just wants to have written.

Do I enjoy the process of writing or do I just want accolades?

Although I do imagine a life as a writer, once I get in the act of writing, I find that I'm obsessed. I am 100% in love with being in the thick of my book's world. I never want to come out. I'm almost more excited to write than read! For goodness sake, I'm an omnivore of a reader, what's this about preferring writing over reading??! Weird. And, for some reason--at least in the picture book writing--I've realized that the revision process is energizing. I wonder if it will hold true through the length of a novel? I get so absorbed with word play and manipulating the world, imagining the surroundings, getting in my character's heads... I could go on and on. The only thing I hate so far is being stuck trying to figure out a path that makes sense, is exciting and works for my characters.

Some Tools to help
(thanks Ann Dee Ellis for the tip)

750 Words
(inspired by the Artist's Way)

Archetype: The Fiction Writer's Guide to Psychology
Book on Amazon / OPL Link

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