Posts Tagged ‘nano’
Writing, creating a full-length novel, is a slow process. It is for me anyway. When not under-the-gun, like during November’s National Novel Writing Month challenge, each scene percolates, trickles through my mind before words form on the page.
Developing the “stuff” – introducing the characters, establishing writing style and getting the main characters to the pivotal point of the story – each scene, every action or thought anyone has and all words spoken or heard – for everything there is a reason, a purpose – to move the story along.
According to the experts, however, the first draft should be written under the “fast draft” method…. rush rush rush through it, get it down on paper (electronic or tree-based), then begin editing & revising, tweaking through several revisions, filling in where previous notes indicated more research or development would be needed.
It’s hard for me to do this.
I was chatting with an author friend, Erin Cawood, and discovered the fast paced writing process also kills her mojo. When I asked her to explain what “mojo” is, she gave this perfect response: “The enthusiasm mixed in with a passionate flow that allows to you to really create magic with your words.”
Yes, the key is enthusiasm – the love and passion of the story, the process of creating the magical words to express it just right. This process, at least for Erin and I, takes precious time we are willing, and anxious to spend.
Multiple rewrites and edits will follow, but only after a slow simmering initial creation!
This is how I achieved writing 50,000 words over a 16 calendar day period! Maybe something here will help you reach your goal!
Had a game plan going in using the FreeMind mapping system rather than the previous “pantserism” writing style.
Never opened TweetDeck
Rarely checked Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email accounts
Wrote only a handful of emails to family and friends over the sixteen day period (Thank you for understanding)
Never played music with lyrics (only “had” to play one cd one time to cut out external noise)
Set times to achieve various word count goals throughout the day. Sometimes the plan didn’t work, but not because I didn’t try!
Wrote without using contractions… this was not (wasn’t) cheating!
Rarely washed dishes
Rarely cooked dinner
Rarely cleaned the bathroom
Never swept a floor
Did have 5 days worth of “life” interruptions causing major adjustments to the daily word count average!
Goal reached, housework will eventually get done, and writing the story continues…
It’s the Friday night before NaNo begins…
The trip into town today provided an opportunity for quiet time. While on the twenty mile stretch of curving country road, I listened carefully to the characters dialogue. They spoke of their interests, their sacrifices, their loves. Morgan and Blake both dropped large chunks of “stuff” in my lap and I didn’t have a tape recorder! I hope I have retained everything they shared.
Once in the store, I recalled over and over what they told me, then I was bombarded again. As I pushed the grocery cart, I turned and walked along a specific aisle and saw much more than the Wal-Mart products flanking both sides… an overwhelming sense of what Morgan is really like flooded my mind.
She’s in my heart totally now. And, now it’s up to me to get her on paper, to capture the heart of everyone who reads her story.
Morgan’s story begins 12:01 a.m., Sunday, November 1st.
The Next Time Around
To-do’s other than forming character descriptions & plotting:
- Explain, again, then again, to friends and family why you will have limited borrowed time to visit while meeting the challenge!
- Print out a November calendar. Annotate things such as:
- doctor appointments
- other commitments
- birthdays (schedule e-mail Happy Birthday’s by 10/31), and
- a *menu for each day
- Plan *menus
- Grocery shop
- Cook & freeze dinners
- Finish reading any and all non-fiction/fiction books you can muster!
- Select/ready “mood” music
- Select/ready candle fragrances
- Select/ready scented hand soap (we all are washing hands often, correct?)
- Select/ready special coffee/tea cup, maybe designated specifically for NaNo!
- Find the perfect glass for drinking that water!
- Locate isotonic fingerless theraputic gloves… don’t want hands to cramp at the wrong time!
- Find a timer to use: one hour max typing, then 15 minute break, then back to creating the story!
- Repeat over and over: I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing.
What do you do to prep for NaNoWriMo?
Things to do before 12:01 a.m. November 1st!
Create one MS Excel that contains:
- Worksheet for each main character (pictures, vitals)
- Worksheet for major scene locations (pictures)
- Worksheet listing major secondary characters (pictures, too!)
- Back up Excel!
Complete character profiles:
- Alice (and her twin girls)
- Flush out secondary characters and develop mini bio on each.
- Back up profiles!
Finish briefly plotting storyline
- Back up plot!
Explain, again, then again, to friends and family why I will be on limited borrowed time to visit while meeting the challenge!
Print out a November calendar and annotate:
- Doctor appointments
- Other commitments
- Birthdays (schedule e-mail Happy Birthday’s by 10/31)
- *Menu for each day
Cook & freeze dinners
- Marc McCutcheon’s The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters
- Linda Edelstein’s Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, in addition to all the wonderful blog articles others are posting!
Select/ready “mood” music: at least 3 different CD’s: celtic harp, classic (some Bach, Beethoven, Massenet, Gluck, and Mozart), Mason William’s classical guitar, and Yanni (as a standby). IMHO, nothing with lyrics as it will distract from what characters are talking about!
Select/ready candle fragrances: maybe rosemary, white linen, and the soy lavender sounds good.
Ready different scented soaps and hand lotions, to fit the different moods during the writing process!
Locate isotonic fingerless theraputic gloves… don’t want hands to cramp at the wrong time!
Find a timer to use: one hour max typing, then 15 minute break, then back to creating the story!
What else do I need to do?
Always, repeat over and over: I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing. I will do NO editing.
What do you do in prepping for NaNoWriMo?