Archive for the ‘NaNoWriMo’ Category

A Novel Update

In November, I was racing my writing word count for NaNoWriMo against our decomposing pumpkins.  I didn’t win (write 50,000 words) but I did scratch, claw, hunt and peck my way to 20,136 words which is more than I expected in my 3rd week of having the flu. Those 20,136 words are the beginning of the second novel that takes place in the same world as the first.  I made some important discoveries about that world that will help inform the first as well…if I can get myself buckled down to do some serious writing.

But alas, the pumpkins continue to lead the way.

I’m at an interesting place with my novel…I find myself working on the ending while there is still a big, gaping hole of “what happens HERE?” in the middle.  I realized that I was fighting working on the ending because…well just because that’s what was happening in my brain.  Even though I went into this whole novel writing experience without a plan (or a plot), somehow I ended up making up some rules for myself about how writing is supposed to progress at this point.

The pumpkins decompose the way they do because of nature. Laws of nature and all that.  Writing a novel however has no laws and I don’t help myself by making up rules that don’t help me write.  Really I’ve spent a lot of the last two weeks or so not writing all the ideas, images and scenes floating around in my head because they aren’t from the part of the story I thought I should have ideas, images and scenes about.

Bring on an improv moment!

It is time to throw my hands in the air and shout “I failed!” (a classic improv release for my non-improvising readers) and “again!” (another shout-out that improvisors use to embrace failure as a learning experience).  And then to give myself the time and gift of letting those ideas, images and scenes take shape on the page so I can play with them, flesh them out, edit them down, rearrange them or whatever else my imagination gives me to do with them.

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The pumpkins are ahead:

My NaNoWriMo wordcount? 18,516 — exactly what it has been for a whole week now.  Sometimes life (or rather a relapse of the flu and an antsy 3 year old) gets in the way of novel-ing.  Perhaps there will be more, the month isn’t over yet. (to be on “target” I would have 30,000 words as of today).

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November Challenges Update

Pumpkins after 8 days in the garden decomposing.


My word count after 8 days of obsessive novel writing for NaNoWriMo:


(34,959 words to go!)

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November Challenges

1) National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Last year I thought there was no way I could possibly write 50,000 words in a month.  Signing up (and being public about it) was the best and loudest YES to doing the impossible I could think of.  It was a great and crazy ride and I made it…finished the month with 50,050 and have slowly been working on editing and revising over the year.

It was truly amazing. On November 1st last year, I had no idea I had a novel in me and now it is what I’m doing…writing novels!  Of course I have dreams of being published but in the short term the project of writing a big story feels hugely ambitious, hard and wonderful.

Since I’m not done with that process on my first novel, it seems a bit much to start in on writing the second one (which is a sequel). AND the energy and fun of the process has got me hooked…so I’m in. I’m doing it. Actually I’m 1/10th of the way there as I type this entry with 5, 522 words written.  I’m finding it much easier this year, at least the first few days because I feel much less serious about trying to get it the writing right the first time…a little more able to leap around in the story in my head and just write.

2) Can I be patient enough to allow our jack-o-lanterns to fully decompose in our little yard? I’m really not sure. We have so little space and giving even a square foot over to these three is not an easy choice (nor am I sure I’m willing to put up with all the flies, etc)…AND I think there will be some interesting learning for LP and truth is, I’ve never watched one decompose beyond the early stages. We’ll see…

Here are our jack-o-lanterns on Halloween:

And here they are today in their new location:

What will happen first? 50,000 new words or decomposed pumpkins?

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