Tag Archives: characters

Day 17: Birthday card crowdfunding

April 17

Today is my last day of being 32. I guess I’m okay with that. I mean, what other choice do I have? 33 is still okay. As a matter of fact, I think 33 will be my golden year. I mean, I already got the shoes, the rest is just awaiting the Midas touch.

I’m stepping outside of my comfort zones, my little safety bubble. When you’re uncomfortable, it means you are growing (which is true for both jeans and for the more metaphorical personal growth one experiences with age).

I really feel so very awkward to meet new people but I FINALLY got myself to a local fiction writers meet-up, it was at Starbucks so I mean how could I say no when at least I would get to drink coffee. Of course it was awkward , and yet it was great too. Since there were several others who were there for their “first time” too, it was nice to not be the only new face!

I also launched this IndieGogo crowdfunding for writing campaign. And that’s weird for me too! I don’t really like to ask for help. But sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what you want and going for it even when it feels impossible or when the timing is (financially) just not right, but the will and the creativity and time are all aligning…what would YOU do?

Will I stop writing my novel if I don’t make it? Hell no! I’ll get this thing done, but I feel like this could be really helpful for me to get back into editing gear and really figure out the rest of my plot and strategy for these characters who are speaking to me. They have more to say, I just need to tease it out of them.

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Day 30: And Then NaNoWriMo Was Over.

Saturday, Nov. 30 (or Sunday, Dec. 1, but who’s counting?)

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

Well, I did it (patting myself on the back), and to begin celebrating I did absolutely nothing. I mean, sure I changed my Facebook banner to “NaNoWriMo Winner”, and bragged about the success of it all. But really, it was so nice to call it “done” (even though you and I BOTH know that it is FAR from “done”, if it EVER even achieves the status of being “done” enough to be viewed by the outside world). I didn’t blog. I didn’t eat cake. Or even drink champagne. I fell asleep on the couch maybe fifteen minutes after getting the kids to  bed.

So, how does it feel to be a “WINNER”? Pretty darn good, actually (until Facebook friends get TOO excited about your status update of “NaNoWriMo Winner” and think that you, like, wrote the best novel out of ALL the other people writing novels this month and you don’t want to correct them but feel obligated (after half a day or so goes by) and let them know you are a “Winner” because you finished, which is still a hefty accomplishment but not, like, as good as they assumed, you know?). 2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

Do I think my novel is amazing? Meh. But I think it has the potential to be there if I keep at it. Maybe. Hopefully. It was entertaining for me, at least. And they say, write for yourself not for your audience. So…there (sticking my tongue out because I’m real mature like that).

Okay. So there. That’s it? Feeling relieved that it’s done, but also a little deflated. The excitement. The uncertainty. Would I or wouldn’t I finish? It’s all over. Kids go back to school tomorrow. Life goes on.

Except for my characters. They are stuck in the last moment of the first-draft novel wondering if their Creator will come back someday and bring them back to life. Wondering, is this it? Really? Or is She going to come back and change things around? Some might even be wondering, What is my purpose? Is she going to just cut me completely out of existence? Um, yes to both I’m sure.

Even if I feel like it’s impossible to find the time to work on my writing, completing this NaNoWriMo challenge proves to myself that I can do it, if I really want to. If I make the choice to sit and do something (like write!), I will do it. Of course, this also means there are sacrifices to be made and obsessive behaviors to either let go or adopt (as in let go of the idea of a clean house, and adopting the habit of writing as much (or little) as often as physically possible).day 30

And maybe sprinting is okay in writing. Sure, there should be some regular writing habits (i.e. this blog?), but it’s also okay to just give yourself a deadline and work towards a writing goal in an obsessive sprint to the finish. And then take a little breather.

But the funny thing is, I don’t want a breather. Now it’s like I’m addicted to writing again. And I am ready to jump in and give the manuscript a decent once-over and coordinating to-do list of how to make it better. And in the meantime, without the pressure to write the novel every free second, I can go back to some poetry revisions and submissions.  My poetry manuscript is active again, after rejection from a chapbook contest, and since they wouldn’t allow simultaneous submissions I’d put all those poems on hold. Now, maybe they will find homes while I let my novel breathe (after I obsessively go over it at least once!).

What will my next challenges be? Learning “Flowers in December”, by Mazzy Star, on acoustic guitar? Breaking out the pencils and paper (and typewriter and paints and glue and photography) to do some long-put-aside art projects…mixed media anyone (oh I’ve always wanted to do this!)? Let you know after I take a breather (or obsessively revise my novel for the next couple of weeks, wink wink)…

Day 19: NaNo Land.

Tuesday, Nov. 19

3,452 words written today! Hooray! While my running total is still below where I should be in my writing progress (21,677), I am happy to have passed the 20,000 word mark and feel confident (okay, that’s a lie, I’m still kind of freaking out!) that I can make it to 30,000 by the end of the week. And then, that 50,000 word finish line!nanowrimo day 19

What’s new in NaNo land? Well, my characters are still talking more than my narrator is describing, but I’m making a conscious effort to put in more details. I’m using my trusty (and fairly blank) notepad to lay out some plot options of where to go next. Dead people are coming back to life (or maybe they weren’t really dead to begin with?), and love triangles continue to tangle and complicate.

A big event is impending (why does this sound so awkward?), and I have some thoughts on what to do to make this event a real disaster (but in a good way). Trying to create a ticking clock leading up to this disaster, but it will inevitably happen by the end of this week, as I near that 30,000 word mark. Besides, what else do I have to write about? I need this disaster. My characters need it. My would-be readers need it.

So, what’s been getting in the way? My character has secrets. But who can she confide in? How does a writer deal with characters with secrets? When is it time to reveal? And who does she tell? How does it progress the plot and affect the status-quo of the world I’ve created? What about all these secondary characters (or would they be tertiary?)? Why mention them if they aren’t important? Do I need to go back to Claire or Logan, or whoever I said was working alongside my main character?

So many questions, but not enough time to overthink things. That’s what revisions (and revisions and revisions) are for, right?

As much as I’d like to know where exactly I’m going and what each scene means to the overall story, I am trying super duper (duper) hard to just write. Don’t think, just write (that’s me talking to myself, err writing to myself). Is that strategy good? I don’t know, but it’s a matter of survival at this point. If I think too much, I will (most certainly) never finish this @#$%ing challenge! But then, how good is a novel going to be when the author doesn’t think enough about it’s characters’ consequences and is rushed to finish? (Although it also could be argued that how good is any first draft whether written in a month or a year or years?)

But for now, I will relish in the victory of passing the 20,000 word mark, of not giving up, and making time to keep writing. In celebration I will go pick up some fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, because in November (okay, and every other month) this writer/mom/wife must choose to either write or cook, and since I’m writing right now, cooking is off the table tonight.

Update: This writer is so exhausted (thank you decaf coffee at Starbucks, and yes this was intentional because caffeine makes me crazy), that when I pulled into said Fried Chicken drive-thru, I was amazed and perplexed at why this Fried Chicken “restaurant” started serving a whole menu of hamburgers. Whhhaaat??? Yea. That’s right. I drove through Dairy Queen by accident. Fortunately, no one was behind me in the drive-thru (because, seriously, do people really eat dinner at Dairy Queen?) so I could (carefully, as in <1 mph) back up and go to the correct drive-thru.