In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Topic: NaNoWriMo Approacheth, Slouching…
* I’m writing again
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quotes of the Day
“It is the writer that creates a story that will sell … if the writer allows himself to be in the story with the character.” Dean Wesley Smith
Topic: NaNoWriMo Approacheth, Slouching Toward Keyboards Everywhere
Forgive me the following. I’m going to get a little snarky.
In an article in Kobo Writing Life yesterday, the author advised writers to “prepare” for NaNoWriMo. The article suggests writers
1. Plot their outline
2. Do a chapter breakdown
3. Write up some character sketches
4. Do any necessary research, and
5. Do any necessary world building.
They recommend all of this immediately after reminding prospective writers “remember, you can’t write any of your book before November so don’t get too in depth!”
That was where I burst out laughing. I mean, seriously? “Don’t get too in depth?” My “Don’t Cheat” persona says they’re advising folks to write their entire novel before the month even begins, albeit in strictly abbreviated form, then write it again, filling in all the gaps between known quantities, in November. And my I’m Too Lazy To Enjoy Doing The Same Job Twice For No Reason self says they’re advising folks to go through all this extra work just to write a lousy 50,000 words of fiction in a MONTH. (grin)
That being said, just in case this is your thing, I linked to the article in “Of Interest.” So have at it.
But in the meantime, do the math, folks. I mean, there are writers and would-be writers across the nation right now all but hyperventilating because they’re going to attempt to write 50,000 words of fiction in a month.
Given a month of 30 days, that means they have to write (on average) 1667 words per day. That’s two hours of writing time, max. (1000 words per hour equals 17 words per minute. Or one word every 4 seconds.)
But I do understand. Many will say “but I can’t write on Xxxx days.” (What that actually means is “writing is not enough of a priority to me to carve time out for writing on those days.”) But that’s fine.
Even if they take weekends off, that still leaves 21 days in the month, so they’d have to write a more realistic 2381 words per day. So two to three hours of writing time per day. But again, they can only do what they can do.
The author of the article even gives a nod in the direction of those who write into the dark: “[O]f course there are some experienced pantsers out there for whom this does not apply.”
Okay, one, I despise the term “pantsers.” I refuse to accept it until they call those in the other camp “plodders.” But more important is that whole “experienced” thing. Back when I first started “pantsing” (WITD with no experience at all) I was writing 3000 words per day every day. And lo and behold, I didn’t have to slow down to check some stupid outline or character sketch!
Still, again, I included the article below just in case you can’t quite trust yourself enough yet to write into the dark. The article DOES include some good tips for those who want to do double the work, telling the story first in an outline and then in the actual story. And it also contains some other resource links.
But as always, I encourage you to hike up your big-boy britches and take a shot at trusting in your own abilities. Because seriously, beyond the sheer fun of being the first human EVER to hear the story that comes out of your subconscious, storytelling really isn’t a serious prospect. And if you’re a writers, WITD is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Seriously, if NaNoWriMo is right for you, go for it. If you need the safety net of an outline, write one up. If you need character sketches etc., write those up too.
But while you’re writing, if the story or characters take a direction that isn’t in your outline or doesn’t align with your character sketch, go with the story and adjust the outline or character sketch later. Don’t force the story into an outline that your conscious mind came up with.
And one more thing — each time you return to the writing, read over what you wrote last time. Allow yourself (your characters) to touch it, correcting spelling errors, etc. so that when you’re finished you’ve written a clean draft. And then don’t rewrite. Trust your subconscious voice. Just sayin’.
I’m writing again, and let me just say up front it has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo. (grin)
I wrote an opening for The Ark (a new novel and probably a new series), and to say it took off would be a massive understatement. The thing flew out of my fingers. Wow that feels good. (grin)
How do I know it’s a novel and not just a short story? ‘Cause I wrote a short story just in the first chapter to get the thing started. No possible way will this be about a “single event.” Feels good to be excited again.
Talk with you later.
See “A Lesson…” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-lesson/. Great advice. I hate it when he starts out with something negative like “But few will listen.”
See “NaNoWriMo: Story Prep” at https://kobowritinglife.com/2020/10/22/nanowrimo-story-prep/. Really, I posted this because it struck me as funny.
See “No, Transient Evidence is Not Evidence Left Behind by Homeless Criminals” at https://leelofland.com/no-transient-evidence-is-not-evidence-left-behind-by-homeless-criminals/.
See “How to Negotiate Your Way Out of a Publishing Contract” at https://www.authorspublish.com/how-to-negotiate-your-way-out-of-a-publishing-contract/. First, hire a lawyer. Second, read this article.
See “Thunder Mountain…” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/thunder-mountain/.
See “Maximizing Your Amazon Author Central Page” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/maximizing-your-amazon-author-central-page/.
The Journal…………………………………… 960 words
Writing of The Ark (novel)
Day 1…… 3196 words. Total words to date…… 3196
Total fiction words for the month……… 7611
Total fiction words for the year………… 342805
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10950
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 161340
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 504145
Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 13
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 50
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 214
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31