Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 20 of the 30 DAY nanowrimo Novel Writing Challenge

I have made it to day 20 of the 2012 nanowrimo 'write-a-novel-in-30-days' challenge.  At 38,433 words I am six days away from meeting the 50,000 word target, four days ahead of schedule.

However, I am not really near finishing the story. The way I am sizing up against my initial outlines, I am going to have a 100,000 words novel by the time I am finished, and that means I have to write 10,000 words a day not to be finished by the end of November.

Can you see me heading out to the upcoming write-all-nighters for the Toronto nanowrimo group?  Yep!

Sadly, my video blogs are on hold due to technical issues with video file formats and my camera.  : (

I wish to pay thanks to Natalie Goldberg, author of "Writing Down the Bones" for the crucial piece of advice that put me in the mindset I needed to attempt this 30 day challenge. A nanowrimo writing buddy and dear friend of mine tells me the Anne Lamott has a slightly different take on the same sort of advice. Natalie calls it composting. Anne Apparently calls it writing the shit out.

Natalie Goldberg is the author of a series of books on writing as a zen practice. Anne Lamott is a novelist and political activist and has also written various blogs and articles on writing as a practice.

What made me think that I could really do this challenge was taking to heart the advice that I can permit myself to write 'shit' if it gets me writing. Permission is the keyword there. Making a start was the single most important and powerful step I ever took in this whole 30 adventure. I think I even started my novel this month with something like:

"Natalie Goldberg says I should just start writing down what ever comes out and keep going until I've got something that wants to be told and grows legs. And so here's my shit version of an idea I have for this story.. I suppose my story is about a seventeen year old boy who...."

38,000 words later I am pretty proud of some of the stuff I have gone back to read. I love this story I am writing. I love the characters. I hate the characters. I really love the lovable ones, and really get mad when the ones I hate show up on the scene. I am protective of the ones I love and wish for rude awakenings for those that are up to no good. Then, I get to sit in a room with the villans and make deals about how they can't win at this point in the story, but promise them I will stumble my main characters if they agree to tell me how I can stumble them.

The new challenge is, two thirds of the month is up and I've got less than half a story, regardless of how many words I have written. So, dear readers, I am challenging myself to turn it up a notch. 10,000 words a day might be unreasonable, but 5,000 I can do. Okay, so maybe not. But, I am having fun with it and that the most important thing right now.

Hmm..maybe I am just talking shit now instead of writing it.

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