Debs and Errol, First drafts, Inky Girl, Kristen Lamb, NaNoWriMo, Plot Whisperer

NaNoWriMo: It’s Over

It does feel pretty good. The challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days was worth the tinglings of carpel tunnel and bruised fingers. My goal was to stop myself from continually self-editing and just write. Follow an idea and see it to its end point. Do what I said I was going to do. Finishing the challenge was like finally losing those 15 pounds I’m always saying I’m going to lose, and actually losing it.

I have to tell you that it was an exercise in freedom. How? I had the freedom to write without thinking whether I made sense or not, whether someone in my critique group would judge me, whether my characters emoted properly, whether I used a comma correctly or not. I had the freedom to just write. Now the lack of  freedom was totally self imposed. I had been a writer who took three strokes forward one back, four strokes forward  two back until I exhausted myself with the keyboard cha-cha.

The NaNoWriMo freed me from my self imposed writer’s cell. Everyone started on the same day and everyone had the same rules: write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s it. Along the way I learned that I didn’t have to have a detailed outline before I started or I could and make my writing life easier. But I did have a germ of an idea and I kept going until the idea lead to another one and linked to another and so on.

When I felt stuck I read blogs written by Kristen Lamb for inspiration and re-read the Plot Whisper for advice on plotting. I listened to Debs and Errol’s music extravaganza’s dedicated to NaNoWriMo writers. I discovered Inky Girl comics and read how others dealt with the stuck times and the ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ whining. And I kept on writing without backtracking and editing myself.

Thirty days later I have 50, 501 words and 202 pages of a Young Adult novel. It’s 80% finished and I’ll keep on keeping on for the next seven days until I complete the story. After that I need to find a new group, maybe a JaNoReMo (January Novel Revision Month) so I can work through revisions. If not, I know what my New Year’s Resolution will be.

NaNoWriMo, Plot, Plot Whisperer

Progress in NaNoWriMo

It’s day seven of the 30 day National Novel Writing Month. I pledged to complete the challenge: at least a 50,000 word novel by November 30, 2011. That breaks down to roughly 1,666 words per day. By end of today, that’s11,662 words and I’m at 9,043. Unfortunately, blog post words don’t count.

My story idea is about fifteen year old Jacqui Browne who debates whether she should go into drug dealing to finance her Catholic school education. She believes the school is the ticket to getting to an Ivy League college. A one time drug deal is supposed to get her caught up on her unpaid tuition until the local drug dealer blackmails her into more drops. That’s the gist of the story, right now. It may change before it’s done.

The 50,000 words is  a daunting task when there are three kids living at home, all working or in school. That means a lot of errands and rides to work. It gets done most of the time without too many problems. I lie, most days there’s drama going on about why someone can’t use the car anymore, because someone didn’t put in the gas they said they would into the borrowed car.

But that hasn’t been the problem with making my daily words. The problem has been my back. I tweaked it somehow, probably here typing all hunched over, and it’s been a pain in the &ss, literally. Aleve sucks, doesn’t work. Ice packs work, but only for an hour. I tried typing on my side, laptop next to me. Sucks worse.

I’ll stop complaining, since I can use this time to do more words before I have to go pick up my daughter from school. I wonder if I can wrap the ice pack in a towel and belt it around my waist during the thirty minute round trip?

But I digress. At 9,000 plus words, I’m about 2K behind. I’m ‘supposed’ to be at the End of the Beginning Scene, per the Plot Whisperer. She’s right you know and she wrote a terrific post today about that subject. I do have Jacqui and her sister walking by El Lobo’s bar and spotting the “Waitress wanted-must be 18” sign. I dunno, she’s fifteen and needs to be older to get the job. She or her sister will come up with something, I dunno, but I have to get going too.