NaNoWriMo’s End

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It is the thirtieth of November and the end of NaNoWriMo. I decided I would challenge myself to finish MIND MATTERS in the month of November as part of that group. Each day I would track my word count so that each evening I could record my progress on the website. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

To be fair, I did learn quite a bit from the NaNoWriMo challenge. I learned I am not able to force my writing. I write what is flowing at the time and no matter how I try if I force myself to continue when I’ve reached my end I write crap. They tell us on the website not to edit, it is a form of procrastination.  This is a challenge to reach fifty thousand words in a month. That may sound off-putting, but my first novel totaled 103,459 words before my professional editor, the wonderful and kind, John Hudspith, removed supercilious fluff and repetition. We are not quite done with LIGHTED WINDOWS my first novel, but I can tell you the word count is in the mid-90s. Yes, I am most repetitious.  🙂

I did manage to reach forty thousand words in MIND MATTERS by the end of November and while it may seem I gave up too soon, I think I also learned that trying to hit a word count causes me to dither. Now, I can dither without a deadline as my one hundred thousand word first book will attest, but when merely reaching a required number of words per day is the aim, I tend to “over-egg it” as Mr. Hudspith would say. Let’s face it I was in sales and I can keep talking until you are blue in the face and will say yes to just about anything just to get me to shut the hell up! My mother was Irish and while she disliked me in general, she did give me the gift of gab. But just because I can write lots of words does not mean the words are worth reading.

The final lesson I took for NaNoWriMo, well, maybe one of the last lessons, is that word count is all well and good, especially if you are getting paid per word, but quality must not suffer on the altar of numbers. I would write some days even when the story seemed to be drifting. I used to focus on a page count. I felt five or more pages a day was a good target. I was shocked and saddened to find five pages is about eleven hundred words. Wow, just a little over a thousand! And I used to think I was really churning it out. So the lesson here is humility. While I can write lots of words, much of what I write is of no consequence. If I cannot write from the heart, I simply can’t write worth a damn.

Thank you for reading my drivel, kind and gentle friends. Please pardon the profanity. As you can tell, I took this all very hard, well hard-ish  :>

Love Light Laughter and darlings I wish you Chocolate!

 

 

 

 

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On Writing and NaNoWriMo

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I decided I would join the National Novel Writing Month challenge and committed to finishing my second novel, MIND MATTERS in the month of November. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m quite good at procrastination and forcing myself to finish this work should forestall my usual dithering.

Today being Friday the 13th seems like a good time to face my mistakes, well, some of them anyway. The list is long, so I’ll just admit I’m not progressing well on my writing challenge. What was I thinking? Finish a book I was only on Chapter Twelve of in the space of one month??? Madness, sheer madness! I’m actually writing here to avoid the pages of my story. It’s not that I don’t know where to go with the story. I have it all mapped out in my head and up until now, it was flowing rather well. But now I have a deadline. Holy Crap! Why am I Blocked?? Why is a deadline so daunting?

If you have read this far you will note that this is all in my head, such a mess. I set myself a deadline and then choked. All the advice from authors is to write and write every day. Well, I’m not built that way. I write when the story forms the words in my head. Sounds totally crackers when you write it down, but some of my best work, according to my editor, John Hudspith, has been when I am lost in my own story. My characters become real to me and their journey is what I must record. I’m still reading my first book, working on clarity and that holy and sacred point of view elephant in the work.

Enough drivel! I admit I’m flawed. I can’t force the words onto the page. If I’m not with my characters, I can’t tell their story with the heart and soul they deserve. These novels are a collection of real people, some I’ve known and some I only wished I could have known. So I will stop now and get out of my own way. My first novel, LIGHTED WINDOWS is nearing final edit and I will be releasing it soon. My editor has many kind words for the work and sooner or later I must let it  go, just as I must embrace my new characters. They deserve my full attention. Their story is something that will flow if I can simply get out of the way.

Rain & NaNoWriMo

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Yes, I realize these two things don’t go together but it is that time of the year and I’ve made a commitment to finish one of my novels this month. Today being the first of November, I sat down to write and watch the rain. I love rain and here in parched Northern California it is a blessing beyond mere words.

Speaking of words, I did manage to advance MIND MATTERS, the novel I’m striving to finish this month, by about five pages. Some folks are going on word count but since my darling editor, John Hudspith, will cut a great deal of my ‘fluffy’ writing, I’m setting a goal of pages. It is an effort to move from scene to scene regardless of word count.

It may not have come up in national news, but Beverly Hills not only did nothing to save water, those privileged folks actually used over one hundred percent of their normal water usage. The State Water folks are fining them for the abuse. Somehow, I doubt Beverly Hills and the other wealthy offenders will care. It’s only money. Green lawns and golf courses are far more important.

I think we may have gotten at least half an inch of rain here in Folsom. I don’t think it will make Folsom pond back into Folsom Lake. I do think it will make leaving this state so very much easier. I now own a house in Kentucky and it is lovely to see all the water passing through my next and I hope, last state of residence.

The thing about writing is, you don’t need to be in any particular place. Jack Kerouac managed to become famous for not really belonging anyway in particular. While I love to travel, I’m a little picky about where I sleep each night. Don’t take that wrong because I have spent many wonderful nights in a tent, traveling in the U.S. and in Europe. I am, however, getting on in years and require a bed for the night or at least a comfy air mattress. 🙂

So now I have made my commitment public (4 whole people and yes, Zanna, I still love your red hair). I am going to stop now. The next five or six pages need some thought. Oh, a Thank You to Nancy Loderick for her kind grammar assist. Naturally, WordPress doesn’t have a grammar check or even the ability for someone to correct their brain fart. (pardon the language 🙂

Until next time, I bid thee Adieu, darling fans  xx