Outside looking in

This year marks the first time since 2009 I am not participating in NaNoWriMo. I admit, it’s a bit weird. Then again, 2016 has shaped up to be weird for me anyway. The loss of my job in July has landed me on paths I have not tread since I first started working. I’m feeling out of sorts over it, plus other life-related matters. It’s part of why I’ve chosen not to join the writing frenzy. The other reason has to do with the quality of the content I’ve produced.

With the exception of one story, almost all drafts born from NaNo did nothing but sit in a folder. None were salvageable. Sure, I might have plucked a line or a character or two from them, but overall? Underwhelming. I’d re-read the story and identify parts where I was just writing to fulfill a word count. Now, I understand first drafts aren’t going to be good. I’ve said this to other writers struggling to get words down. First drafts, by definition, ARE going to be all over the damn place as characters and plot lines change. The thing with me is I have a set way of writing: if I suddenly have an epiphany about something, I drop EVERYTHING to make the necessary changes. My brain has trouble adjusting to the ‘fix it later’ mentality needed to complete a first draft. I’m working on overcoming this hangup. It’s prevented me from finishing so many drafts lately. I think I stop, drop, and edit out of some fear I’ll forget the tiniest detail and it will bring the whole story down. It’s stupid because I’m the only one who will notice but I obsess over it anyway. I am my own worst enemy.

Which brings me to the aspect of NaNo I miss most: the community. I really need to start branching out and looking for other readers. I’m going stir crazy on my own. Maybe join a writer’s group. I can’t let the one bad one I participated in color my perception of them all. How bad was it, you may ask? It was run by a guy who pretty much used the time to ramble about the lengthy sci fi trilogy he was working on whether you wanted to hear about it or not. Not exactly a fair exchange of ideas.

I’m still writing, of course. I’m currently working on a ghost love story as I break from updating content for PANDEMONIA as seen on Channillo. I hope to have chapter four up soon. In the meantime, if you’re participating in NaNo, good luck to you, and may we all overcome our personal writing demons to achieve our goals.

 

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NaNo week 1 is in the books

I am nearing 16K tonight. There’s a little part of me that looks at my word count and thinks, You should be at 22K by now what is WRONG With you?! Well, inner voice of dismay, last year I had the luxury of a week off in November. This year’s summer of surgeries drained my available PTO like a thirsty dog on a hot day. The good news is I have two guaranteed holidays (Veteran’s Day this Wednesday and Thanksgiving) so I have that to look forward to. Plus we have set our shows to record (American Horror Story and The Walking Dead) so the distractions have been reduced. Football, however, if life and I make sure I get enough writing in to allow myself the gift of watching big men in pads and tight pants fight and claw their way for yards. It also falls under the research category since my story focuses on a professional football league that more or less owns its players. I mean legit own, like the slaves in Gladiator.

My NaNo has been such a fun ride for me so far. There’s been some great scenes. There’s been some shitty ones. I’ve had great chemistry between my leads, Cassie and Drew. I’ve also had Cassie and Drew share wonky, OOC moments. Cassie goes from uncertain conspirator in Drew’s crusade to AW YEAH LET’S DO THIS. Drew switches between preaching patience to wanting to run headlong into trouble. We are all a work in progress. But hey, it IS progress. I’ll take what I can get.

That’s it from me. My adorable Andrew Luck Pop and I have to get back to the grind. Happy writing, all!

Day 12 progress report

The NaNo train has passed the 30K mark and seems to be on schedule on its path to ultimate glory. I am delighting in the individual character plots so I think I will have to do some reorganizing when all is said and done. The dynamic between one of my protagonists and the main antagonist promised to be nothing if not fulfilling. Scenes have depicted him as having a touch of Jareth from Labyrinth and a little bit of Darkness from Legend.

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This character is a conflict in himself: he seeks retribution for the wrongs done his people while also longing for understanding from the one person who matters a great deal to him. It will lead to awesome and dramatic scenes, that’s for sure. So delish. This is definitely one of my most productive NaNos. May it carry me to 50K and beyond.

NaNo: Days 5-8

I have been going along at a fairly steady clip despite work, going out and a persistent migraine. I am nearly at 17K as I type this. I had hoped to get close to 20K at the end of the weekend, but I think a more realistic goal is 18K. Of course, if I get a burst and write like a madwoman, then sure, 20K is doable. Regardless, I am pleased with my progress. I have had a few bleh scenes that will probably get rewritten or deleted during the editing phase. The important thing to remember is that so long as I get the basics of my point across, the scene serves its purpose. I am building on one such scene now. The narrative is rarely a straight line. There are curves and dips in this road.

I also discovered a funny way to keep my spirits up during this frenzy of writing. Allow me to share the first of what promises to be many Skeletor Affirmations for my fellow WriMos.

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