Tag Archives: nanowrimo 2009

November Activity Results

I finished the month only on a partially successful note. Both ventures were a great deal of fun, and brought me some valuable insights. I even learned from trying to do them in the same month. One thing I took from November’s activities is that they are do–able in the same month.

NaNoWriMo: My Incomplete Success

First the bad news: My novel remains unfinished. I didn’t meet my goal of 50,000 words by November 30. And I’m alright with that. In fact, I’ll be fine with it but not yet—hat’s coming.

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Facing November Week Four

Monday morning I’m
three poems in arrears and some
thousands words behind.

©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers

This is a short Haiku to convey my rising anxiety about the projects I’ve taken on.

I can deal with being three poems behind–on  a regular day. But, because I’ve taken on NaNoWriMo and I’m very far behind, my anxiety is reaching  a feverish pitch.

My writing could well be over for NaNoWriMo, except the characters are still alive in my head. I’ve got all these ideas and twists and I let time get away from me. Well, I let family and events get in the way, cardinal November sin.

Ultimately, I’m not out of the game until November 30th. So, with ideas still to record, creativity still flowing, I need to open their creative outlet. I’ll take these last eight days and make the best of it.

Benefits of Brainstorming

NaNoWriMo 2009 Update

Some people say that they don’t write with an outline. I get that. It was great fun letting my characters meet new characters, and watching them evolve. However, I’m learning what I can and cannot do regarding leaving them their own devices.

In short order I’ve managed to get a good bit behind in my writing. However, I have good reason. I needed to go back and do some mapping. It turns out that these characters with lives and personalities still need some guidance. Especially if I’m going to get them to the point of fulfilling my ideas.

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Listen to The Rhythm

Poets know that poems are songs, but few of us realize that novels are too.

~ from Walter Mosely’s book, This Year You Write Your Novel

Although I don’t hear it quite clearly, I’m definitely going with the flow of something. There are rhythms to the actions of the characters. Even as I try to steer them, they move those individual cadences. So, I have to let them go in hopes of keeping them believable.

Otherwise they are contrived and unbelievable. Contrived characters in stories can be painful to read. Characters that are made to do things contrary to their nature, just to make something else fit, are really annoying. As my story works itself out, I’m on guard to respect the rhythms.

What do you look for as you write a novel? Are there sticking things in books that put you off?

NaNoWriMo: Day 3

It’s three days into the writing projects and I’ve learned some useful stuff that will help me to get through. Being flexible is helpful because the effort is so new to me. Tell me what you think.

The 6 characters I met on the first day, must have been waiting in the wings, because they were not on my first list. One of those new characters emerged as a possible transformation subject, which would make her a major player. Needless to say, it was really nice to meet her. She was very round right off the bat so I’ll definitely let her do her thing.

Day 2 revealed more about the plot and the big news and big secret (yet to be revealed to me).

Day 3 is working out to be a transition day. I’ve learned useful things about my writing process. Some of them I won’t be able to use until tomorrow:

  1. Writing for hours, chasing my imagination across the page is fun
  2. It’s easy to let other important tasks get my attention, (case in point, yesterday’s short progress – only 1,024 words)
  3. It helps to de-claw my inner critic by saying I know this will suck but I’m moving forward anyway
  4. Writing before work requires early rising that I’m still struggling with (should’ve practiced that in October)
  5. I still get distracted by a good Saints football game, (gotta be on guard for that)

I’ve got more work assignments to complete, then get a late lunch before I get to writing. I definitely want to flip this order for tomorrow. When do you do your first writing of the day?

NaNoWriMo: My First Day

This year I’ve gotten a lot more involved with the activities surrounding NaNoWriMo, and it’s helpful. The opportunities to compete and commiserate are encouraging. It’s a solitary job that doesn’t feel like I’m doing it alone.

I’m excited about my first day’s progress! Having written 3,001 words is a good sign. And although the writing still feels foreign, I’m getting more familiar with the characters. They have traits and quirks that are filling out the frames I thought up for each of them. My new character are interesting, too.

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