Saturday, December 01, 2007

What NaNoWritMo Taught Me (this is the last NaNoWriMo post ever (until next November I swear))

Today I didn't write, and it's the first time in a long while. When I went to the Barnes and Noble, the week before Halloween, I knew nothing of National Novel Writing Month. I happened upon a book of trivia, by accident while Leah was looking at puppy calendars.

"Hey, this book says November is National Novel Writing Month!"

Wow. What a long, strange trip it's been. I wrote more in November 2007 than any other month EVER. Don't believe me? Consider this: besides writing my novel, I posted nearly everyday on this blog. That's a TON of words people. In fact, NaNoWriMo helped make November 2007 the first month where I posted 50+ times (making it my most blogged month ever). I guess you write more, when you're actually DOING something (as opposed to skipping class and playing video games).

ANYWAY, I plan on getting right back on the horse tomorrow. While Leah is working a Rams game, I'm going to study for my last Art History Exam (love that modern art...NOT!) and try to get some more work done on my book. I'm thinking another two weeks, keeping the 1,667 words a day should finish it. I used to think that I was only half-way done, but I think I'm closer to 2/3. After that--then what?

Well, I'm going to put THE MOSQUITO VINE away for a while. I guess I'll take a few days off and think up something new to write. Then I'm going to jump in and start working on some new material. Not another novel, maybe just a few short stories. Eventually, I'll get an idea and run with it...and my second novel will probably start the way my first one did--as a failed short story. After three or four weeks have gone by, I'll dust off my NaNoWriMo novel and start the long process of editing it (making it make sense). Once it's fairly readable, I'll print it off and let Leah read it (who I guess is my Alpha reader). If she deems it passing, I guess I'll take her suggestions/edits into consideration, produce a third draft and mail copies off to my "reading circle" who I'll need to pick/contact.

I don't look beyond that, because frankly, if THE MOSQUITO VINE ever gets that far, I'll be surprised. To be honest, I haven't read it, but I don't think this is going to be the novel I "share" with the world. What this book is, however, is a start. I'm more confident about my ability to sustain a narrative. I never thought I could write a book, but I see now that with time, I can do it. My dialogue is still my weakest point, I think. It's really difficult to give each character a unique voice, without reducing it to stereotypes or gross inarticulate nonsense.

Also, my dialogue tag's are also a sticky point. I know it's a sign of weak writing to attach adverbs, but just using "said" over and over seems a bit repetitive to me. Though my Uncle Stevie (King) says this is perfectly fine, and indeed, the proper way to go.

I guess I'll have to work these things out.

The main thing that NaNoWriMo taught me, if nothing else, is this:

I can do anything, all I need to do is set goals for myself. Shoot for the moon/aim high all you want, but take it one step at a time. Baby steps, baby steps...man that's the key!!! 1,667 words a day isn't hard, you can do it...and if you do it everyday for 30 days, it can snowball into a book. Every journey starts with a single step, blah blah blah...IT'S TRUE!!!

I doubt anyone will actually sit here and read all of this gibberish, but if you only get one thing from this post, I hope it's this:

Whatever it is you dream of doing, quit putting it off! Go do it, today! Life is too short, and it'll pass you by if you're not careful. Live the dream.
If you can't catch it, at least try to run after it...sitting on your ass gets nothing done. I've been very lucky, I've had a few dreams, and most of them have come true. But you know what? Everyone has come to pass because of something I did--not sitting around, jawing about it. You have no excuses. If you want to do it, you can. The desire is all you need--if you desire it enough you'll make the time...you'll sacrifice whatever you have to. The time, the money, the energy, your health.

I'm sure this whole thing has taken a few years off my life, but you know what? I accept that. I'd rather die a year early, than live 365 days and never have tired to write a book. That's what defines me, what defines you?

Say goodbye to my "NaNoWriMo" blog-pic, until next year:

1 comment:

The Pondering Tree's Alpha Site said...
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