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Writing: NaNoWriMo, The Second Week

Commit yourself to the process, NOT the project.  Don’t be afraid to write badly, everyone does.  Invest yourself in the lifestyle … NOT in the particular piece of work.  ““ Frank Conroy

So here we are, my friends, in week two of our NaNoWriMo undertaking. I find that the above piece of advice from Mr. Conroy is striking a few chords with me at the moment. The whole point of NaNo is the process ““ writing for the sake of writing, be the results “good,” “bad,” or “otherwise.” In previous years surrendering to the process hasn’t been a big problem for me. This year, I find myself tripping over the quality of my output.

I abuse the words “really,” “definitely,” and “afterward,” which I insist is spelled “afterwards.” I’m pretty sure I produced an entire chapter that reads in the following manner: “Nico stood up. Nico walked across the room. Nico smiled. Nico sat down.” I don’t write in a linear fashion, so I have a while bunch of story that exists somewhere in the (possible) middle of the novel but I have no idea where it all began. Sometimes I worry that the dialog all sounds like one person talking to themselves in the mirror.

Clearly, I have not yet given myself over to the process. But I’m getting there. I might cringe when I realize I’ve used the word “really” for the 5th time in as many paragraphs, but I’m not lingering over it. I haven’t wasted any time rewriting. When I can’t think of the right name or the correct phrasing of something I’m trying to say, I just change the color of the font and stick in a place holder. The differently colored text will make it easy to spot during revisions, when I can spend some time groaning over it. The revisions, I constantly remind myself, that don’t begin until December.  I’m hoping that the rhythm of writing takes over sometime soon ““ and now that the distractions I mentioned last week have returned to their own homes, it should ““ because that’s how I stop fussing over the “good,” “bad,” and “otherwise.”

As always, I want to hear how everyone else is coming along! What are your word crutches? How’s your word count?

Fun stuff ““ WriteTrack is an online word counting tool that is not exclusively for NaNo, but is hugely helpful during the process. Set your word count goal and the calendar generates how many words you should be producing a day. For us NaNoWriMoers, that’s 1667.  The handy bit of this tool is that you enter what you’ve actually written per day and the calendar auto generates a new daily target goal that will get you to your final count on time. I found it incredibly useful last year.

Bonus Tracks: Actual, tangible novels that began life as a NaNoWriMo project.

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of powderroom.jezebel.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at slay@persephonemagazine.com.

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

11 replies on “Writing: NaNoWriMo, The Second Week”

I’m at 20,009. But I haven’t written anything today and, after this evening, I don’t think I’m going to be able to. I’m going to have to use tomorrow and Sunday and Monday to catch up!

I’m at a weird part in the book anyway. I’m trying to advance the plot but the stupid characters keep wanting to have ~moments~ together.

I’m having the hardest time with this.  I have an outline.  I have a great ending.  I know what I want the  middle to look like.  I even have a few thousand words.

What I don’t have is motivation to finish.

I write Bones fanfiction and the new season just started and that’s all I want to do – write more Bones fanfiction.

Since this is my first attempt at something totally original, not to mention this NaNoWrMo thing, I’m trying not to feel like too much of a failure.  :-(

 

First, I will say you’re not a failure. This is the part of the process that tends to be the hardest, when you’re past the excitement of starting and lots of other things start to seem way more appealing than keeping your head stuck in your own thoughts for another 20 days. My only advice is to push through the temptations. Take a night off if you need it, but don’t let it stretch into two or three in a row, because then the momentum goes away, and you’ll end up watching all the Bones. All of them!

Good luck!

18,280. Goal is to hit 20k today. I upped my goal to 2000 words a day on Tuesday and it’s really helped. I need a nice big cushion before Thanksgiving rolls around the house and the family comes.

My big problem is that I haven’t yet fully figured out the arc of the action, so I have a lot of little scenes that are just random things happening. I keep having to ask myself, what are the consequences? And then what?

I also don’t tag my dialogue nearly enough.

“My big problem is that I haven’t yet fully figured out the arc of the action, so I have a lot of little scenes that are just random things happening. I keep having to ask myself, what are the consequences? And then what?”

Yep, that sounds like me too. I have a lot of vignettes and not a lot of connecting threads. I think in the end I’ll be satisfied if I have a lot of decent little scenes that give me the heart of the story, and then I can go in and play with the story arc in the revision process.

 

 I think in the end I’ll be satisfied if I have a lot of decent little scenes that give me the heart of the story, and then I can go in and play with the story arc in the revision process.

Yup, this is my goal too. It’s tough having to keep going “it’ll be better with editing!” (especially because I know there is going to have to be a LOT of editing; maybe in a few months I’ll do JanNoEdMo)

me too, didn’t do a thing today (work, then drink) but keeping up with and hopefully of getting ahead of my word word  count.

I told a friend tonight that I was doing NaNo, and he;…wanted to read it and shit. Can we say  no to that?

 

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