NaNoWriMo Update: Done (sort of)

13 chapters.                                                 
142 pages.
50,144 words.

I am not going to think about the reworking, rewriting, revising just yet. I probably won’t even look at it again for another month.  I learned a ton about my writing process and how the people I live with view my writing. At least I think I did. I just need to step away from the whole thing for a time to gain some perspective.

NaNoWriMo Newbie Update: I'm a Plantser

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As I write this post late Monday evening, I have 37,000 words down and 13,000 words to go. My purpose in participating in the NaNoWriMo challenge wasn’t to become a published author, although who wouldn’t like that? I wanted to try on the feeling of being an author of a book. And right now it feels like a full-time job. Trying to balance family and school and book writing is much harder than getting the words on the paper. I think it helps that I’m more of a pantser than a planner. I think I am a plantser. I am a planner in that I have an overall road map of where I’m going and a general destination. But I do fly by the seat of my pants and let characters lead me. I also try to hit the suggested daily word count goal. The NaNoWriMo site allows you to create a profile and add your daily word count and graph your progress. For me, this has been motivating and essential in helping me to manage my time. And I'm learning a ton about what it takes to write long and strong. One of the best parts of the challenge has been to receive pep talks from other writers about writing. I found Chris Cleave’s to be particularly inspiring.
My writing buddy is sleeping on the job. :)

NaNoWriMo Newbie Update: Ignorance

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It is a darn good thing I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to participate in this challenge.

NaNo Poem

Day 8
13,342 words
Losing some steam
Day 9
15,004 words
Doubting my characters
Day 10
16,628 words
Lots of interruptions
Day 11
16,628 words
Don’t wanna write
Day 12
18,184 words
Still plodding along
Day 13
21,106 words
Grinding it out
Day 14
23,475 words
Almost half way

Newbie to NaNoWriMo

I didn’t start the NaNoWriMo challenge until the third day.  I first considered participating in the challenge last summer. I sat down and tried to write 1600 words about a potential character in a single sitting. I wanted to see what it looked like and how long it took me. Writing at least 1600 words a day was the only way I  thought I could achieve the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I don’t have too much fear of facing a blank page so I shamelessly barfed a character up onto the page. It took a good 90 minutes for me to write 1600 words in a fairly coherent manner. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the character or my writing but I figured that part of the experience of writing a novel in 30 days was about trusting yourself and just going for it. I didn’t think about it again until the beginning of October. I never really decided not to do the challenge but I never made a firm commitment to myself either. After giving presentations at school on the first two days of November, exhausted and relieved, I went to the NaNoWriMo site and signed up. I didn't begin putting words on paper until the next day. I started my writing by thinking about a character I liked enough to write a lot about. From the character I determined my audience and purpose. My novel is geared toward a YA audience but also boomer parents who might like YA too. It is set in the 1970’s which might even qualify as historical fiction. Seriously, I’m not even sure.

After 12,000 words, I have begun to adore my characters. And for me, this is a absolute shock. I never expected this to happen. I think about them before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning to write before I go to school. My process for cranking out this novel is very different from writing a blog post. But all those weeks of writing SOL’s and playing with snapshots, dialogue, and explode-a-moments has helped me tremendously. And blogging and sharing with the TWT community has given me confidence. I’m looking forward to seeing if I end up completing this novel in 30 days and what will happen after that. Whatever happens, I’m good with it. For me, it is more about traveling than arriving.

Yes, this is a messy plan but at least I have one, sort of. :)

My list of ideas for chapters or scenes for my nano novel. Just
 saying that I'm writing a novel cracks me up. It feels good
just to try!

Have Some Cheese with that Whine

I am an early riser. My body likes to go to bed before 9:00, if I can manage it, and get up around 4:00 am. As soon as I get up, I feed my cats and put the water on for the tea. While the tea is brewing in my preferred mug, I scoop the litter and wake up my laptop. I keep all the downstairs lights off except the task light by my computer and the light from the stove hood. As I sip my tea, I check school and home email and Facebook. And I write. Lately, I’ve been writing a lot in my journal. It feels like I’m in a cycle of complaining. Complaining about stupid little crap that doesn’t matter. For example, did my husband have to put the trick-or-treat bowl overflowing with Reece cups, Snickers, and Butterfinger right by my computer. He knows I can't stay out of it. Did both my kids have to lose/destroy their phones on the the same darn day? Really? On the same day? And why does my daughter keep dyeing her hair and piercing things? Geez, Diana, move on already.

This is Roxy, my proofreader (explains a lot), crit partner, and
loyal fan of TWT. She is sick of my whining too.
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