It’s November 30, the last day of NaNoWriMo. It was a wonderful run for me and my characters. We started out with a good lead, almost 3000 words on Nov 1. The characters were more than happy to talk to me, including Lord Tromadin – the bad guy slated to die at the end of the book – insisted that this story just couldn’t be told without his viewpoint. Turns out he had some interesting things to say throughout the book.
One of the great myths of the creative arts is that of inspiration. How many starving artists are out there waiting for inspiration to start their next project? Too many. Really, if you want to be a not-starving artist, you can’t just wait for inspiration to find you. You are going to have to go out and find inspiration, or learn to work without it. I recommend the former.
One of the rules of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – just in case some of you missed it) is that you aren’t supposed to edit as you go. If you just sort of make it up as you go the way that I do, you frequently run into a moment when you realize something about your plot that you need to go back and add so it doesn’t come off as cheesy. For example in my NaNoNovel this year, I’m about 3/4 of the way through the plot and all of sudden I noticed that the side effect of being a telepath is that you can hear when the gods are influencing people’s thoughts. Yeah, the character has been a telepath from the beginning so there should have been some hint of that before now. Maybe, just maybe, I was brilliant enough to hint at it without noticing. Not likely which means I’ll have to go back and add it in. But that’s editing and you aren’t supposed to do that. Aaaack, what’s a writer to do?
Every year in the Twin Cities our NaNoWriMo group puts on a crazy event called the 28 Hour Writing Tour. As the name suggests, we spend 28 hours roaming from site to site around the city writing our novels. In essence it’s a super long, wandering write-in. A write-in is when writers gather in a library, coffee shop, restaurant or anywhere else for the purposes of writing in each other’s presence.
In case you’ve managed to miss it, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). That is a bit of a misnomer in that there are writers all over the world sitting down in front of their computers, or with notebooks and pens trying to crank out 50,000 words in just 30 days. The “Novel” part is also a bit, shall we say flexible, as some of those writers are composing the first draft of their dissertations or memoirs or even new roll-playing systems. What ever it is that all of us writers are doing, it certainly isn’t hiding in the basement or attic to type away in solitude in the middle of the night.
For every person out there with a goal, there are about ten different measures of success. I’ve discovered this recently as I participated in two blog hops. The first one, Alpha Males, brought over 120 unique page views and 49 comments. The second was Autumn Harvest and just ended on Monday evening which got just over 100 unique page views and 39 comments. So which one was more successful? That depends on how you measure success. That Alpha Male comments were mostly generic, people were commenting only to be entered for the giveaways (which is totally understandable). For Autumn Harvest a much greater percentage of my comments responded to something I had said in my post. In my mind, I reached more people through Autumn Harvest than Alpha Males. My Sweetie (and web designer) was more disappointed by Autumn Harvest though. He sees things in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which doesn’t care if people actually read the stuff, only if they leave links on the site. More comments = more links. More links = higher placement in search results. Or so he tells me.
So here we are, almost a week into NaNoWriMo and I’ve had some developments with my characters.
For those who didn’t read my previous posts about my outlining process, let me just say it is VERY loose – I have a beginning, a goal and some characters. I drop them into my document, shake them up and see what happens. Well here is what I have so far:
This weekend, as part of my personal noveling marathon, I will be joining 9 other WriMos (writers who participate in NaNoWriMo) in a writing retreat we like to call the Jump Start Weekend. It will be a weekend full of just writing, writing madly, and getting a tremendous word count right away at the beginning of the month while will are all still totally hyped about our novels. We are leaving our non-writing friends and families behind – because they are distractions from putting words on the page.
There is something so freeing about being constrained. When you know that you simply cannot go beyond a certain point, it is easier to let yourself go and just enjoy yourself. Think about roller coasters where you spend half an hour securing your seat belts and safety bars for a five minute thrill ride. Once you are that secure it is easy to enjoy the adrenaline rush from plunging 100 feet straight down. Without the safety bar, the adrenaline will only fuel your fear. The same is true in the bedroom. A submissive knows that they can truly let go when they are bound. Then their body is taken care of and they only need to feel the sensations their Dom inflicts upon them. This of course only works when all the safety precautions are taken and respected.
Part of the work of being a NaNoWriter is to make sure that you and your support system in ready for November. Yup, this whole thing really takes more than one month to pull of properly. In December I’ll tell you all about the recovery process.
In October one of the things that I like to do is make sure that the house if ready. I count the house as part of my support system, because it is there to welcome me back at the end of a long day of work and writing. It gives me the resources to get up and go do it all again the next day. That’s the ideal anyway. Sometimes, if I haven’t done my part, it is anything but welcoming when I come home and has nothing to give the next morning.