Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

SATURDAY POST!!!

Five Days!

That’s it!

You have five days left!

(I’ve just used my allotment of exclamation points for all the novels I write next year.)

How’s the writing?

Are you going it? Succeeding with NaNo?

The truth is, I’ve done my best.

But I still have several writing days left.

So I’m going for it. ;0)

Here’s what dear Bruce Luck said about making it this last week or so:

Mired in the middle of my story, Carol’s wonderful Throwing Up Words post last week was timely.

Of special significance was her suggestion to list the scenes that still must come. Did that and a zillion ideas floating in the brain gained clarity. Boosted the word count, too, and Carol says that’s legit.
But how to order those scenes? So I took it a step further and created a document titled Writing Backwards. It starts with “the end” and lists events in reverse order. It looks something like this:
TE-1 (the end, minus one) final scene in which the MC reconciles with grandma
TE-2 MC visits grandma in hospital
TE-3 MC locates Angela
TE-4 etcetera, etcetera
That walked me back to where I am now. Well, almost. Middles are notoriously mirky. And mucky. It’s going to take a slog to get to the path toward the end, but at least I know which direction to head.
Thanks, Bruce. A perfect post to help us these last days. As is this one:
Says Gatanathoa (Your slightly rum soaked and piratical ML) who reps Utah County for NaNoWriMo:
You don’t need to have hours alone, you only need 10 minutes. If you can take 5 or 6 ten minute breaks through out each day you can easily get the daily word count. Everyone can manage that.
Good luck, Everyone!

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Filed under CLW, writing process

Three Thing Thursday on THURSDAY!

Cheryl:

I watched an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda recently where he spoke about being invited to the White House to perform years ago.
“Actually,” he told them, “I do have something I’ve been working on. It’s a rap about Alexander Hamilton.”
They all laughed. “Wait,” they said after a moment. “You’re serious?”
Little did they know that the song he sang that night would go viral and lead to him writing a Broadway musical that would be nominated for a record-breaking total of 16 Tony awards.
It reminds me of that quote by Jules Feiffer:
“Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid.”
For 7 years, this is what Lin-Manuel Miranda did. He painted the sky red and ignored everyone that called him stupid. “You can’t write a rap song about Alexander Hamilton,” they said.  “It just can’t be done.”
And they were right…until he did it.
What is your red sky? Are you writing it yet? And if not…why?
Me:
So, I am behind on NaNoWriMo, just as I expected I might be. However, this time I’m just going to move ahead. Not panic. Have fun. Write!
Don’t give up if you fall behind.
No matter what, if you try you’ll be that many more words ahead. The first forty pages on a novel is the first forty pages of a novel. 20,000 words is 20,000 words, even if it’s NOT 50,000.
And if you write consistently, no matter the number of words reached, you will begin to make writing a habit.
(Still–I’m headed toward 50,000!)
Good luck!
Me again:
Answer these questions: What is it the stops you from sitting down and writing?
How will you conquer that in a month?

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Filed under CLW, three thing thursday

Tomorrow . . .

we begin.

How many of you will participate in NaNoWriMo?

Once again, I shall try. And we’ll see if I make it past week one. Or day two. Ha!

I have lots of questions for you to consider for tomorrow and I have this awesome quote from a NaNo leader here in UT.

Gatanathoa says, “Every word you write counts unless you delete it. Make the planning part of your writing. Have two docs, one for your musings and one for the outline. Every thought you have put in the musings doc and everything that makes it into the story put in the outline. In no time you will have your novel all planned out and you will be able to start the full story.”

I’d never considered this. But I will use it in my writing over the next month.

Now, a few questions to consider as you brainstorm.

Can a free write help you get started?

How can that free write play toward your novel, so that it not only counts as numbers totaled, but is a useable scene?

Who is your main character?

Who is her enemy?

Write a scene between the two.

Do you know the climax of your novel yet? Do you have an idea? If so, can the scene play toward that?

What does your character really want?

Name ten ways you’ll stop her from getting that ‘thing’ she wants.

Can any be expanded into a scene?

What is your first great line?

Who is the love interest?

Write a scene with him/her.

That should get you started.

Good luck!

Oh, and here’s this: WIFYR will be hosting a reward party! Our group goal is 400,000 words OR, if you’re in the middle of a masterpiece, a second group is editing 2000 pages (8 pages a day per person). All who meet their goals are invited to come to the reward party. Whether your goal is 20,000 words or the full 50,000, or you’re editing 8 pages a day or 15, this month is a good time to reach your goalsClick here to join the group or email us at wifyrdoesnano@gmail.com.

 

 

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Filed under Exercises, First Line, writing process

Three Thing Thursday on Friday. Again.

CHERYL SAYS: I remember the story of a speaker at a conference I attended. She related the tale of a man who had married an incredibly beautiful woman. A few months into the marriage, he came to his mother, feeling like he was at his wit’s end.
“She doesn’t work, she doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean, she doesn’t do anything, Mom. What should I do?”
His mother responded, “You married her for her looks. Go home and look at her.”
Do you have sentences and paragraphs like this beautiful wife? If they aren’t pulling their weight, you have to cut them loose. Every sentence needs to move the story forward. Never, ever, alter your story to make your prose fit. The story is king. Everything supports the story, or it has to go.
For me, it’s easier to save these little darlings in another folder, telling myself that someday I’ll find a home for them. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But I know that my story is stronger for having dumped them.
I think part of the reason that it’s so hard to cut these sections stems from fear. What if I never write anything this beautiful again? What if this is the best sentence in the entire novel? What if I’ve already peaked?
Get rid of these thoughts. Every time you write, you become better. You are stronger, you are wiser, and your words will reflect that. Not only will you write something as good as the lost prose, you’ll write something better.
CAROL SAYS: So that idea of planning for NaNo? For sure, I am a pantser. (WordPress wants me to be a panther. My girls want me to be a cougar. But I am a lowly writer who never plans.) It’s hard to plan out what I’m going to write. I just don’t want to. The thought of deciding what goes in chapter one and being smart like Caitlin Shirts?
So here’s what I am doing. A Carol Plan. Easy and not restrictive.
I’m jotting down every idea of what COULD happen in my books.
Everything.
Night before last I couldn’t sleep.
Wrote thought after thought of what could happen to my Wrasseling Gals. The more I thought about it, the more possibilities came to me.
The truth is, I know I won’t make it in NaNo without forethought.
We’ll see if this helps.
AND:
Martine Leavitt‘s YA novel CALVIN has won the Governor General’s Literary Award of Canada in the category of literature for young people.

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