Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Uppppps and Dowwwwwwnnnnnns

This has been a month of ups and downs. Do you ever feel that it really is true: "When you're up, you're up and when you're down, you're down"? That seems to be the way my writing has gone this month. I have brilliant moments of insight into my characters and I'll get three, four thousand words in one evening. Then, I hit a block. A moment of so much doubt or uncertainty regarding my characters that I find it hard to get even a hundred words.

Today was one of those "up" days. In what seemed like no time, I chugged right along on the NaNo story. Yesterday? Also and up day. However, the three days before that were definitely downers. While I have decided Saturday's "down" time doesn't count: I was exhausted from running my second 5K. Unfortunately, I can't discount the other days.

On the good points? It's Thanksgiving week, I've submitted J.T. to an agent, and I have time to write.

The bad points? Well, I'm trying to be optimistic so I won't get into all of them. Maybe if I act like an ostrich they'll all go away...

Friday, November 12, 2010

The new beginning ROCKS!

It's amazing how a little clarity to the novel makes everything flow so much easier. I kept trying to work three weeks of fairly exciting action into the novel and then I realized...I didn't need to do that! Start the novel three weeks earlier and voila! It works. (Of course, that means I don't get to use my FABOCULOUS (slang term in the future) first sentence that I've been dreaming about in the weeks and months leading up to NaNo...so, since I can't use it, I'll put it here:

I'm not supposed to be alive.

There. Isn't it great? Doesn't it make you wonder who isn't supposed to be alive and why they should be dead? But...a great first line does not make a great book if the rest of it is a struggle to get written.

On the NaNo word count front, I'm almost to 16,000 words...only 3,450 words behind where I should be! After marathon sessions Wednesday night and Thursday evening (Thank you veterans, for more than just a day off school!), I've gotten to this point. It's better than the 8000 word deficit I had on Monday! And, since the evening is still young, I hope to erase that deficit and actually get on the plus side of my word count graph tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And so it goes

NaNo is really kicking my, um, brain this year! Actually, the story is all there in my brain and itching to get out (pounding at times), but then life happens. Tonight's goal: go to the grocery store and then write 2,000 words...of course, there's no school tomorrow (Veterans Day) so I'll stay up and do 3K if possible! Then tomorrow, between the Veterans Day Remembrance Event and the family picture for the church directory, I plan on adding 2000 more!

The hardest part of writing when working full time is chiseling out the time in the schedule for writing. Each day begins with the best of intentions, but then the numerous expectations and needs at work creep (or slam!) into my tiny little breaks. At home, it's sometimes necessary to help somebody study for a test or proofread a project. When you add National Board renewal, Girl Scouts, taxi service, and the children's supposed need to eat a home cooked meal...let's just say it's bedtime before the laptop's been fired up!

However, as long as I keep thinking about the story, planning scenes, getting to know my characters better, talking to my MC, and dreaming plot threads...when I do sit down at my laptop the words really do flow right through my fingers and onto the screen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New beginnings

New beginnings can be so wonderful or stressful or encouraging or stressful or...well, you get the idea! So I'm about 8,000 words into my NaNo (I know, I'm behind and it's only been a week!) and I realize that one of the problems is that I dislike...no...loath...no...HATE the beginning. You would think a book that starts with "I shouldn't be alive" would spark all sorts of energy. Instead, it's BLAH...

So I took a step back and allowed a little inner editor to emerge (totally against the NaNo ideals and principles, but, hey, better a step back than to sink in the quagmire that had developed!) and I realized my problem was not in the story, not in the characters, but in that I had jumped into the middle of an ocean and there was no visible/possible way for me to have gotten there! So I decided to restart the story, keeping my 8000 words in reserve, and incorporate those fabulous words (or, in the MC's vernacular: faboculous) into later chapters as the story truly unfolds.

Once I made that decision, I realized I didn't want to just third person the story as I had been doing, but I didn't want a normal first person story. Now the story is being told in a journal style through the MC's computerized vid tablet (it IS a futuristic novel) with holographic outputs. I'm 1000 words into the new beginning, and I'm figuring it will be another few thousand before the original material gets sucked back into the plot.

Maybe I'll get caught up this week...

Or at least not much farther behind.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The future of books

Sometimes I love technology and other times I realize it may be my nemesis. (Like when the server crashes at school in the middle of a technology based lesson!) Anyway, at the wonderful NCSLMA conference, a national panel discussion had one member who claimed that there would be no print books in school libraries in the next ten years. Really? He claimed that every student would download temporary files of ebooks or they would use e-readers like Nook and Kindle. I love ebooks (and I wish I had an e-reader), but where's the money for this technology going to come from? How many students DON'T have access to the internet at home? I know the answer at my school is A LOT. Anyway, the conference itself was inspiring. Lisa Yee is AWESOME! (and so were the many other presenters and authors in attendance.)