Friday, November 29, 2013

Impending Failure

This is me.
Or at least this is the look I have in my eye as I face my impending NaNoWriMo failure. I've participated several times and always managed to meet the goal by the end of the month, but November 2013 has been my undoing. Too many days off from school for my son, too many other pulls on my time, so I will not reach 50,000 words by the end of the weekend. I'm at close to 40,000 and planned on it being about 60,000 by its conclusion.
Never fear, I am like the steady tortoise and will finish this manuscript mostly because it's pretty good already and I don't like to leave things undone for my characters. I've really enjoyed the research I've done for this book and have learned a lot about costume jewelry, the parts of a bar set up, and how to use ricotta cheese in ice cream.
It's good to fail every now and again. It teaches you perspective. And my perspective at this point is I'd rather be 10,000 words behind on a manuscript than be an angry-looking tortoise covered in some sticky brown substance. No wonder she looks outraged.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let the Writing Begin!

So it's November third and I'm deep into my NaNoWriMo story. November is National Novel Writing Month and there's an online community devoted to encouraging writers to complete a 50,000 word first draft in one month. Now this timeline is problematic for me because of the holidays that fall in November (Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Daylight Savings time, etc.) which means my writing time is somewhat reduced. However, I have always met my word count every time I've participated even though my books tend to run about 20,000 words beyond the requirement.
How do I do this? There are all sorts of guides and tips out there for an aspiring NaNo writer, so I won't go into those. I usually have plenty of ideas for stories floating around in my mind, so once I've set on 'the one', I start a notebook and write out my backstory, plan scenes, and write questions out that I'll need to answer as the book progresses. That starts a month before I begin writing. I also do research on the internet and with the help of the Worthington Public Library system (vote yes on Issue 53 Tuesday!).
This time around, my idea was sparked by a submission call from a publisher. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to end up with a book I want to submit to anyone, or if I'd even submit it to this company, but I've been enjoying writing 'on spec' for the first time.
Anticipation builds and sometimes I can't resist making note of some runs of dialogue. It's a relief when November first arrives and I can begin. So far I'm at over 5,000 words and I'm happy with where things are going and how my characters are taking shape.
I'll post more later about the story, but first I'm going to list a few of the research topics I've explored and see if anyone can guess what I'm writing about.
1. Top Chef Canada auditions on YouTube
2. Hattie Carnegie costume jewelry
3. knives
4. Daytimers