November 29, 2013
I have many things to be thankful for this year, but I will keep this list writing-related.
Completion of rough draft of Part I
I did NaNoWriMo!
Attended my first writer’s conference
Formed a critique group
Began attending freewriters’ group
Lots of encouragement
Met new writers
Yup, lots of writerly things for which to be thankful.
Thank you, God!
November 26, 2013
Last week was one of the most fun freewriting groups I’ve ever had! We laughed so much—well, I did anyway. I also received a great compliment: “I don’t think anything you’ve written wasn’t golden.” So that made my day. Of course, the response to the next freewrite was a look of horror, but even that was a kind of compliment. I may post here sometime what those freewrites were, but I’m too tired to type right now.
Our prompts were interactive. Here’s one to try. Get together with a couple other people. One of you come up with a setting/place, another come up with an atmosphere/mood, and another come up with characters. Then go! We surprisingly came up with matching elements (a dock at a lake with a storm brewing and a grandfather, granddaughter, and a fisherman), but all of our results were quite different.
November 23, 2013
Characters, Epic Novel, Exercises
I don’t like to be mean. I really don’t like to be mean. Sometimes, I just feel so awful about the things that happen to my characters. The first section is about military training, and my goodness! I started to feel tired as I wrote about my MC’s exhaustion! Hopefully that means I’m doing something right.
One problem is that I’ve never been super athletic (my poor father, I think it drove him crazy). So how do I know what running five miles and doing fifty pushups is like? Writing about all this physical toning is inspiring to get out and get exercise, which is most definitely a good thing.
And, when I was tired the other day and not sure what to write, I went for a jog, took a shower, and then wrote five pages. Yippee!
November 18, 2013
So, the first week of NaNoWriMo, I wrote 34 pages at 300 words a page. By the next Wednesday, I’d written another 37 pages. Wohoo! I think I’m getting the hang of this! I had no idea I could write so many words so quickly. I’m really glad I did this because I needed the push to get into Part II. I didn’t realize how challenging it could be to move through parts of the story I’d already written.
My current word count is 28,600, which has me finishing on December 1. Woohoo! I may not win (as they call it) by the 25th. I may not win at all, but for the me, the experience itself has been winning.
November 15, 2013
So, last Sunday, I attended my FIRST EVER CRITIQUE GROUP!! Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuh. It went incredibly well. I was all set to watch the clock to make sure everybody got their time in the spotlight, but we didn’t need it. I learned new things about picture books and folktales. I am clueless about picture books, so I always enjoy learning more.
I also sent the (current) first two chapters of The Epic Novel. I got the most nondisruptive feedback ever. (Meaning revision rather than complete rewrite is in order. Yay!) Feedback received:
Good opening paragraph (thank you thank you thank you!!!!! I worked so hard on it!)
Good allusions to world and character history
But a little more explanation of the world
More background on MC–where is he from?
One my critique partners asked for a map and (gulp) a prologue. :::slaps face::: I’m hoping it’s just ‘cause she doesn’t usually read sci-fi and fantasy. I’ll try to solidify the world a little better.
And apparently I use the word “that” too much.
Now I have one week to revise the next chapter or two. Panic time.
November 11, 2013
As I sat at the dining table reviewing the printout of my current draft, my niece sat down and began reading the pages I had already gone over. She is a speed reader, let me tell you, and read faster than I could revise. When she got to the end, I looked up and hopefully asked, “What do you think?”
About the best answer an author could look for was the response: “It’s awesomeful.”
I decided to dig deeper (she reads a lot and is quite intelligent). I asked her for more detailed feedback. Her response?
Well, she wanted more description at the beginning so she would know more solidly where she was, some of the sentences were a bit choppy, and some of the characters needed rounding out.
Big huge grin! Wow, what a reader! Helpful and encouraging and the age I’m targeting! Woo woo!
P.S. Her comments, while phrased differently, were almost exactly what the agent commented on when she read the first few pages. I have a smart niece.
November 8, 2013
So, as soon as I decided I was totally going for NaNoWriMo, life got busy! I’ve written only 19 pages so (what????). That’s like, a page a day. At least my handwriting has gotten smaller, so I’m getting almost 300 words a page. I’m doing exercises every morning for my wrists and switching back and forth between right and left.
I’m glad I signed up for NaNoWriMo, because the beginning of Part II is befuddling me. What should happen? Where should I go? But, I have to write since I signed up for NaNoWriMo, so yesterday, I sat down and I wrote crap. Seriously not good writing.
But then, something happened. A character did something profound. Another character said something funny. And the village came to life in description. So, SIC really works sometimes! I’m going to have to do a lot of revision, but for now I’m pressing on and ignoring NaNoWriMo’s pessimistic proclamation that at this rate, I won’t finish until Christmas Day (how is that encouraging?)
Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to sit down and write crap! Maybe it will give way to something beautiful.