challenge, donate, give, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo2011, National Novel Writing Month, Office of Letters and Light, postaday2011, postaweek2011, Word count, words, Words and Writing, Writing, Writing Exercises
NaNoWriMo Report: Currently at 28,531 words. Goal for today: I will reach 30k before this day is over, and be right on track to finish the month with 50k. Will they be 50,000 good words? Well, that remains to be seen. My novel is a bit schizophrenic at the moment, wandering through different time frames and mixing genres, and my characters… well, they are being a tad rebellious. I am being lenient, and letting them lead the way for now. They can run wild all they want this month, so long as I get some words written down, but come the first of December… well, we will just have to sit down and have a conversation about their actions and outcomes. December is the time for editing. Characters, consider yourselves warned.
As with anything, it is all about the journey. Whatever happens to these words that I am writing this month really doesn’t matter. What matters is what I am discovering in the process. I didn’t know that I had it in me to write 2000 to 4000 words in a sitting. I’ve been writing all my life, but not writing fiction. The process has been fun, and enlightening. Here are some things I’ve discovered:
If a story wants to be told, it will be told. Scenes reveal themselves – I can begin to write what I think I mean, and inevitably it changes to something entirely different. Seemingly unrelated bits of text combine into cohesive bits when I least expect them to, and other bits of text suddenly and randomly become irrelevant. Who is writing this thing, anyway?
Characters have their own identities, which unfold of their own accord. I recently discovered that I can interview my characters and get really surprising answers. Who knew??
When I sit down to write and there is nothing there, that’s where I begin. If I write that I have absolutely nothing to say, and I keep saying that, then out of the blue I began to say things. Sometimes relevant, sometimes not, but in the world of quantity over quality, that’s all just fine and dandy. It’s ok to write junk. There will be time for cutting and editing later.
Timed writing sprints rock. One night, I hooked up online with other nanowrimo-ers and we set up sprints: write for half an hour and come back and post a word count. Over and over, we did that, and whaddaya know, I wound up with over 5000 words that night.
Topic challenges are fun too: in the next half hour use the color red, or have someone eating noodles, or some other goofy prompt. It’s amazing how a random prompt can take a story in a new direction, or give it a bit of fullness that might not be there otherwise.
One thing that I have discovered is that other writers struggle with the exact same things I do. That is encouraging in an ‘we are all in this together’ sort of way. I’ve met people here locally who are also participating in NaNoWriMo, and just to be able to share struggles and offer and receive support has been fantastic. A big shout out and thank you to Olympia NaNoWriMo-ers. You people are awesome!
And speaking of thanks ~
We should all thank the organizers of NaNoWriMo. All this craziness comes from a non-profit organization called The Office of Letters and Light. In their words, “The Office of Letters and Light organizes events where kids and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to reach their creative potential.” I applaud their efforts and I am a big believer in supporting creativity in all of its many forms.
I am issuing a challenge to other NaNoWriMo participants: Will You Give More? Come on, I want to see that halo show up on your NaNoWriMo participant photo! (yes, really, if you donate, you get a halo. Gotta love it 😉 You can see my happy halo here) We are all writing because we love it – let’s make it possible for young writers to have this opportunity as well.
If you haven’t already, head on over to the donation page at NaNoWriMo and help support the efforts to bring creativity back into the schools. And if you don’t have cash, donate another way! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a NaNo participant to donate. I suspect they would like your donation just as much even if you are not writing a novel. 😉
Meanwhile…. my characters are running rampant… must get back and see what trouble they’ve got into. Until next time…