Yesterday I (gasp!) didn't get a chance to update this blog! I felt terribly guilty about it, but DH and I took the baby up to visit family in the country for the afternoon. The day wasn't a complete wash, writing-wise. While my hubby as using the computer last night (effectively keeping me from working on my "Snowed in With a Millionaire" plot, I took my hardcopy of "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant" and made a few key revisions that I had gone over with my Advance Writing Workshop. We will be buying a new laptop soon.
Today I wanted to talk about NaNoWriMo - that's National Novel Writing Month. It's coming up, starting November 1st! The goal for the month is to write an entire first draft - 50,000 words by computer word count - in one month. This year, I'm going to do it! I'm very excited. There will be many other crazy people like me doing the exact same thing, so I'll have lots of support. One of the rules is you can outline and plot all you want ahead of time, but you can't actually start writing until November 1st. So since it's taking me forever to plot "Snowed in with a Millionaire", I will finish outlining and plotting this month, in October, and then start actual writing in November.
Here is some info about NaNoWriMo from their website, nanowrimo.org.
If I'm just writing 50,000 words of crap, why bother? Why not just write a real novel later, when I have more time?There are three reasons.
1) If you don't do it now, you probably never will. Novel writing is mostly a "one day" event. As in "One day, I'd like to write a novel." Here's the truth: 99% of us, if left to our own devices, would never make the time to write a novel. It's just so far outside our normal lives that it constantly slips down to the bottom of our to-do lists. The structure of NaNoWriMo forces you to put away all those self-defeating worries and START. Once you have the first five chapters under your belt, the rest will come easily. Or painfully. But it will come. And you'll have friends to help you see it through to 50k.
2) Aiming low is the best way to succeed. With entry-level novel writing, shooting for the moon is the surest way to get nowhere. With high expectations, everything you write will sound cheesy and awkward. Once you start evaluating your story in terms of word count, you take that pressure off yourself. And you'll start surprising yourself with a great bit of dialogue here and a ingenious plot twist there. Characters will start doing things you never expected, taking the story places you'd never imagined. There will be much execrable prose, yes. But amidst the crap, there will be beauty. A lot of it.
3) Art for art's sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and "must-dos" of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives.
Here's a video I found on Youtube about a girl doing NaNoWriMo. THIS GIRL IS NOT ME. I don't even know her name - but she seems to have a genuine excitement for NaNoWriMo that I find positively inspiring, so check it out.
Today I am going to put my revisions into the computer for "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant", but I'm not sure how much I'll get accomplished past that because we're going to visit family again today and to see a movie (Surrogates with Bruce Willis - I'll let you know how it is.)
Wish me luck and good luck to you too!