Tag: nanowrimo 2014

Nanowrimo, Christmas Music in November and Other Silly Rules

First I just wanted to announce to all of you I have finished the Nanowrimo challenge.  It was a tougher book for me to write than any of my other 3 and I’m proud of the basic story I was able to develop.  The prose is rough but the story I really like.

1508173_10152619833772239_8048249337604887857_nIt ended up being a story about a woman who has never fallen in love who loses her job which leads her into the path of an ever-growing group of people including a girl who ends up pregnant in a domestic abuse situation.  The more people she allows into her life the more she grows as a person.  It went darker places than I expected and I really enjoyed writing it.

I hope you are all having a blast with your writing and your projects! I look forward to having a bit of my life back after being kind of obsessed with nanowrimo.  I’m that way.  I get focused on one thing and shut other things out.  I would like to change that but it seems to just be part of me, so I work around it.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about the silly rules we set for ourselves that seem important at first but when you really think about it they are kind of dumb.  For example, for a long time I said ‘no Christmas music before Thanksgiving’.  This year I kept turning on Christmas music on the radio and enjoying it and then turning it off because of my rule.  It finally occurred to me ‘why?’.  If it is making me happy than why not listen to Christmas music?

Most people set such a rule because they don’t want to tire of the Christmas music.  Well, I do not tire of things like that.  If it is something I like I like it on listen 1 and listen 1000.  I just don’t grow weary of music, movies, food the way other people do.  Not sure why but it’s true.  So the rule may be helpful for other people but for me it was silly.  It was denying me of joy for no reason but to obey some rule.

It’s made me wonder what other silly rules I have that are unnecessary? Do you have any?

Well, I am exhausted so I will sign out.  Let me know how you are doing on nanowrimo.  Finish strong my friends!

Nanowrimo Update and First Drafts

Hi guys!  I just wanted to give you a little update on how things are going here in Nanowrimo land.  Well, as you can see from this photo I am happily engaged in the project.

rachelMy story ended up taking a darker turn than I expected with my character who has never fallen in love meeting a girl at school who is in an abusive relationship.  It was my first time writing an intense scene like that and it was quite draining!

Even with the intensity I’m really enjoying my story.  It is a combination of About a Boy, Erin Brokovich, 40 Year Old Virgin and a bunch of other stories.  It’s a good mixture of comedy, drama, friendship and family and characters that really aren’t much like me which is new.  Branching out I guess!

Some people question the value in all this writing.  I mean shouldn’t you edit as you go to produce something good?  The surprising answer is No.  We are creating a first draft of your story and stopping can be anti-productive in developing the first version of said story.  That’s what makes Nanowrimo so effective it gets you to get the story out on the paper and then the multiple versions and rewrites that inevitably come with publishing a novel would come next.  That’s the tough part.  The fun part is the power of creation.

Chris Baty the founder of Nanowrimo started it with 20 of his friends who just thought writing would be fun to do together and it grew, and grew to 500,000 worldwide participants in 2014.  He was recently interviewed on NPR and I really enjoyed the whole broadcast and his comments about first drafts.

A Washington Post article says about Baty and the program ”

“We wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twentysomethings start bands,” Baty writes on the event’s Web site. “Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do. And because we thought that, as novelists, we would have an easier time getting dates than we did as non-novelists.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to 50,000 words. They discovered the writing process was fun, something they hadn’t expected. It was like watching TV. “You get a bunch of friends together, load up on caffeine and junk food, and stare at a glowing screen for a couple of hours,” Baty writes. “And a story spins itself out in front of you.”

I can really relate to that (except for the date part!) but the excitement of creating something and helping others get involved.  This year I’ve enjoyed encouraging a number of friends in their stories and that is so rewarding.  I keep telling them it’s not about the publishibility or a section being good, it’s just keeping the story going.  I tell them ‘don’t edit.  That’s for December’. What a freeing thing!

wordsSo I’m loving the process and hope you are too.  Let me know how it is going for you.  And Happy writing!!!