Are You in for NaNoWriMo 2012?

NaNoWriMo 2012

I want to know!

I haven’t been planning on it — I really need to finish my current project before starting work on the next. Plus, my two and only attempts at Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) have failed miserably.

But I’ve been thinking of doing a pseudo-NaNo to slather on the word count along with other somewhat insane writers.

Did you know —

there are some crazy people out there (you know who you are — glare) who consistently add anywhere from a 1,000-3,000 words to their WIP a day. A DAY. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I hate people who can finish a 60,000+ words manuscript in 4 months. But I also secretly love them because they are proof it is possible!

I recognize that this breakneck pace isn’t for everyone, but is definitely doable for me in my current situation. As a person currently between jobs (cough), I really have no excuse for not spending my plethora of extra time hunkering down and really fattening up my manuscript. Add to that the fact that I’ve set a soft deadline for completion at the end of November (a hard deadline for the end of the year), and I realize that I really could/should be doing more.

The minimum daily word count to stay on track for NaNoWriMo is somewhere around 1400 (probably, I’m too lazy to look it up right now), and that’s probably where I should be setting my minimum daily wordcount, anyway. That’s the kind of discipline and habit I want to develop.

So, I think I will join in, unofficially, and commit(ish) to writing 50,000 words in November.

Even though my last two attempts at NaNoWriMo fell ridiculously short of reaching 50K words. Even though I have a mountain of job applications I should probably fill out and send, instead. Even though my house is already messy and neglected as it is.

But even though I was far from succeeding, both times I participated in NaNoWriMo was a great experience, and taught me a lot about how I write. They were great, fun, and infuriating experiences. And, funnily enough, the current project I’m working on had grown from the seed of my first NaNoWriMo attempt in 2010.

So yep. Add 50K words. Write every day. This is happening. In a very unofficial, not-really-NaNoWriMo kind of way.

Who dares to try NaNoWriMo this year?

Are you outlining? Pantsing? Want to share your awesome premise? Comment and let me know! I’d love to be part of your NaNoWriMo support team :)

Misplaced Writing

There is a scene that I know I wrote. Though I originally decided not to include it, I’ve been wanting to add it back in and see how it fits now that I’ve made a lot of plot changes.

The only problem? I can’t seem to find it, anywhere. I’ve checked every file on Scrivener. I’ve scoured my Google Drive. I’ve even thumbed through a dozen legal pads and notebooks — it simply isn’t anywhere to be found.

Now the debate is: do I rewrite the scene? Wait for it to show up later. Wait until revisions to see if it’s even needed? I’m leaning towards the last option, but I am sad that I can’t find it. Frustrating!


In other news, I did finish this: a long-form outline/synopsis of my work in progress. Yay!

Four pages, 4000 words, one whole story. So excited to finally feel good about the overall arc of the story.

How do you keep track of your ideas and writing odds-n-ends? Ever lose something you were sad to see go?


Writing Log: Synopsis & Plotting

I’m still working on the book I started working on in earnest back in, oh, January. I got stuck in the plot, bogged down in the mire of not knowing how to make all these loose ends work.

Recently I opened up the first chapter. I scrolled the end of a scene, hit return a few times and started rewriting the introduction to my character.

And it was like magic.

The scene was suddenly alive. It actually showed what the characters were about. It raised questions, created a setting. It got them going, got them doing something — which was really needed.

I went back and revised a lot of what I’ve written up to this point. It just felt like what needed to happen. Sadly, this dipped my wordcount below 20,000, which is depressing considering I’m expecting the completed first draft to be in the 80-100k range. An honestly,

I also took the time to write a more complete synopsis of the plot. Before, I’d written outlines, with each bullet point being a scene I was going to right. But a lot has changed in the plot, some of it has changed back — it’s all pretty different.

A lot of the 19,000 words I have will need to be edited down or taken out. A lot of it still needs to be parsed and updated to match the overall plot. But I do feel that I know better now what my plot is doing and where it’s going, and as I go along and edit or rewrite, a lot will need to be added, too.

My goal is to finish a first draft by the end of the year. I’d like to shoot for the end of November, so I can give the manuscript a rest and start on revision first thing in 2013.

With the new synopsis, I’ve actually been making pretty good progress. I’ve averaged between 1000 and 1500 words a day. If I’m going to be done by the end of November with an 80K word manuscript, that’s about right on target — though I’ll probably have to push it to the higher end of things.

How’s your writing project going? Have anything you’re trying to finish before the end of the year?

A Writer is Someone Who Writes

writing a novel, becoming a writer, writing inspiration

Ok. I’m going to say it. Just…just promise not to laugh, ok? And promise not to roll your eyes.

Here it is: I’m writing a novel.

Whew. Glad to get that off my chest! What a relief.

And I don’t mean I am writing a novel, vaguely. I’ve decided: this is the year. I’m going to finish my novel. I’m going to rewrite it to death into the best possible version of what I can make. And then I’m going to start the publishing process. I’m committed.

I guess I’ve had a bit of a turning point in the last six months. When I was younger, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a writer. But I was unconvinced of it. It was always what I wanted to be as an adult, not what I was going to be. And even as a (sort of) adult, it remained some hazy idea that I was unsure I could solidify. I didn’t know if I could make it happen.

So what changed? My attitude, I guess. I started thinking about writing more, in large part thanks to NaNoWriMo. It slowly started to seep into my consciousness in a solid way that the only think that separates authors from aspiring authors is a bit (okay, a lot) of time, sweat, and effort. The only thing that keeps me from being a novelist is, well, writing a novel.

The words of a favorite creative writing teacher I had come to mind, again and again: “A writer is someone who writes,” he said. And it’s stuck with me, because it’s not, “A writer is someone who writes 2,000 words a day,” or “writes for 78 hours a week,” ” has written a novel,” “is published,” or, “has written a best-seller.” Nope.

A writer is someone who writes.

To me, that means that mentally committing yourself to the act of writing makes you a writer. Committing to my writing, as something I’m going to make a priority: that makes me a writer. Sitting down and taking the time to write, no matter how long, how often, or how much, makes me a writer.

I get to decide for myself what being a writer means. Do I need writing snacks? Do I need to write first thing in the morning? Is my writing time blocked out by elaborate routines and rituals? I dunno. Maybe. If that helps. But my writing efforts will look different than others’. It will be unique to me. I’ll have my own crazy writer moments. And all of that is okay—as long as, ultimately, I keep writing. As long I am someone who writes, I’m claiming the title of Writer.