BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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To Nano or Not to Nano? 2016 Version

NaNoWriMo is coming up… soon. Before we know it November 1 will be on the calendar and National Novel Writing Month will be upon us. It’s a beautiful thing, this challenge to write a novel in 30 days, and it can be done. I know. I’ve done it.

Well, sort of. I’ve written a draft of a novel. The whole thing, beginning, middle, and end. There are characters, settings, conflicts a plenty, and even a resolution. But is it done? Not be a long shot.

When did I write this manuscript? crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafb

2013.

Gulp.

Yes, it’s been three years. It was a glorious time, really. The ideas were flowing, the words jumped out of my head and through my fingertips onto the screen. Not all days were like that, but overall it worked! I tracked my progress diligently, and worked hard to deliver those 1,600 words per day. Some days I didn’t make it, but other days made up for it. By the end of the month I did it. I finished!

Now I’m in revisions. Still. To be fair, I didn’t touch it for a long time, but also to be fair, I’ve been really slow about revising. Good thing I belong to a terrific writing group which forces me to bring material for review from time to time, or I might not be working on it at all. So why do I keep doing it?

First of all, at this point I have a lot of time invested in it. Sure, I haven’t worked on it every minute of the past three years, but it’s been part of my life for that length of time. I’d hate to just cut it loose and say that it doesn’t matter.

Secondly, and more importantly, I think there’s something to the story. Each time I work on it I’m surprised by how much I actually like the story. My writing group is encouraging (and they are NOT a smile and nod type of group, they tell it like it is), and frankly if I can figure out a little bit of a plot hole I think I could be done with it soon(ish).

The problem is that plot hole seems like a canyon at the moment. When I wrote the draft it all made sense, but when I reread that section (a very pivotal scene) I realized that the motivation for the characters actions was completely missing. The action simply doesn’t make sense without some type of explanation, and silly me, I forgot to include it. At the time I know why he did what he did, but now for the life of me I can’t remember, and it’s causing a problem. I need to figure it out so I can move on!

All that leads me to November. Am I ready to start a new project? I have ideas, and I think I could commit the time, especially now that the boy is in college. It might be the spark I need to get me going creatively, and maybe as a result I’ll come up with a stellar solution to the plot hole in manuscript number one. Maybe.

What do you think? Is this a challenge I should face or a burden I’ll regret?


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Building Bravery One Word at a Time

Here we are, halfway to the end of November. Actually, just past halfway. So far I’ve managed to keep up with posting each day, and it feels good.

I like having a daily writing habit, and NaBloPoMo has been the nudge I needed to get back to it. On top of that, I’ve been writing with two writing groups. One of them just wrapped up with a public reading, and I got brave and shared my work. It’s the third time I’ve done a public reading, and each time it feels slightly more natural and slightly less intimidating.Public-Speaking

November is a perfect month for stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s the month where I reflect on all of the good things in my life (Thanksgiving, anyone?). When I think about all of the supportive people I have around me, and all of the positive experiences I’ve been able to enjoy, it gives me confidence. I feel loved and capable, so why not try my hand at something challenging? Besides, what’s the worst case scenario?

In terms of the reading, the worst case scenario would be a heckler, but really, it was held at a small gallery, and the whole audience was comprised of the writers’ families and friends. I doubt any of them would have booed me away from the podium. Even if they had, at least three people in the crowd would have scolded them. It’s that kind of group.

I need to keep this attitude of “what have I got to lose?” and “what’s the worst case scenario?” Bravery can be cultivated, I’m sure of it. It’s time for me to work on building mine.


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Happy November!

imagesI love November. It’s a transitional month here in the Desert Southwest, with temperatures finally cooling and Thanksgiving on the way. Apparently it also marks the start of the Christmas season, as the grocery store was filling it’s displays with their Christmas items this morning. Sheesh.

Another thing I love about November is NaBloPoMo. “What’s that?” you ask. Why, National Blog Posting Month, of course. It’s sponsored by BlogHer, and it’s a wonderful incentive for bloggers like me who sometimes get lazy about posting their gems of wisdom. In November I take up the challenge to publish a blog post every day. I’ve been successful the past two years (the life of the blog), and I have every intention of doing it again.

I love the community that’s involved with NaBloPoMo, and I love the challenge of putting something out in the universe every day. I’ve found that it helps me to stretch my creative muscles in a way that writing without any structure doesn’t. I also enjoy clicking on the links to other bloggers’ sites, often finding incredible inspiration. Stop over to BlogHer to see what I mean.

Happy November, and I hope to see you tomorrow!