I will be MIA for the rest of November…probably

nanoThere are eight days left in National Novel Writing Month, and I am around 10,000 words behind where I should be. This is why I did not post this past Monday.  (I honestly lost track of the days of the week again.)  Between kids, work, and writing I’ve been juggling quite a bit.  pooh-and-pigletThanksgiving is next week.  They had activities to celebrate the holiday at my children’s school on Thursday.  Next week I will be joining my family at the dinner table, happy to have good food to share but happier still for the people I will share it with.  I may do a quick post closer to the day, but just in case, I would like to let all who read this know I am thankful for you as well.

magic-book Writers write in private. Without readers our words would never be more than just print on a page.  Writers may sprinkle magic down in the form of words but it takes someone reading it to bring that magic fully to life.  So thank you for taking the time to read my blog and may you all have a blessed November, no matter if you celebrate it with turkey or not.  😉Thanksgiving-Charlie-Brown-Snoopy

 

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21 days until November

0autumn_wallpapers_EA54095We only have 21 days until November.  For some this means Holidays and Christmas shopping.  For others it signals the beginning of a massive creative endeavor, National Novel Writing Month.

Every year thousands of people attempt to write 50,000 words in just 30 days during one of the busiest months of the year.  If you have never attempted NaNoWriMo, I highly nanoencourage it.  It is a lot of fun, which is the whole reason I do it. For fun.  Not to produce a critically acclaimed book that will win hundreds of awards.

There are writers out there who frown and boo National Novel Writing Month simply because when novices take up a pen and produce a large quantity of words, they often think it is the most wonderful thing ever written and must be shared with the world.   50,000 words in 30 days is quite the necronomiconaccomplishment.  It should be celebrated.  But no one really wants to see your baby covered in the after birth…and honestly there are some books written during NaNo that should never be allowed out in the daylight.  (I have written a couple of those myself.  In fact often my NaNo ideas are completely silly things that I wouldn’t normally attempt.)

So while I greatly encourage all to come NaNo with me during the month of November, I ask that you let the word count high settle during December and then re-read what you have written before sharing it with the world.  Sometimes NaNoWriMo produces gems that are usable sometimes it doesn’t.  But always remember that first drafts are diamonddiamonds in the rough.  They need to be cleaned, cut, and polished before they truly can shine.  And for the love of ink slingers everywhere, please please let someone else read your book before sharing it with the rest of the world.  It will save you and the world a lot of heart ache. Trust me on this one.  (As mildly dyslexic and a natural bad speller I am speaking from experience.)   I will probably be posting more on the Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo as the month passes.  Though if anyone wants to register early (its free btw) don’t forget to add me as a writing buddy.  I am thecoffeefox.coffeefox

Motivation

After nanowrimo I am a little burned out with writing.  That doesn’t mean I am going to catbooksstop, but it is a good excuse to kick back with a stack of books…which I just so happen to have.

I know myself well enough to know that I am a major procrastinator.   As a result, I write like mad under the pressure of a quickly approaching deadline.
tornado However, sometimes I need a little bit more motivation.  This November I needed a lot of motivation because life didn’t even give me a chance to procrastinate.  I was tossed around in a tornado of stress and grief which left little energy for writing my nano novel.

I managed to pull it off, but only because I had been smart enough at the very beginning of the month to buy two new books by two of my favorite authors.  I then gave those books to my sister and told her I was not allowed to have them back until I had my word count caught up.
She took the books home with her and guaranteed that I would never see the books again Nick_Fury_Avengersif I didn’t manage my word count.  It was sort of a hostage situation. (It would have been easier to get them back from Nick Fury than Sarah. Trust me.  Fury at least lacks depth perception.)

129161051317775306I had paid full price at the local book store for those two shiny brand new books.  I hadn’t even read the first page on either one.  It was awful to think that I might never get to read them.  So I got caught up.  It took until November 30th, but I did it.

Sometimes you have to give yourself that extra little bit of motivation.  It can be a reward or a threat.  It can be both.  Whatever works to keep the words coming.

Gaiman-motivational-poster-sm

 

On the eighth day of Nano my muse said to me…something I can’t repeat in polite company

So today is the eighth day of National Novel Writing Month. I am attempting a fantasy novel this year.  I would be writing this book regardless but I thought Nanowrimo would help me get it done faster.  (For some reason this makes me feel like I am cheating.) I am still near the beginning of the book and haven’t given in to desperation yet, so we will see how coherent this first draft turns out to be by the end.  (I am also way behind on my word count and will have to write like crazy to get caught up.)

So far, things are going according to plan. Unfortunately, I am also getting to the part where the plan is becoming a little fuzzy around the edges.  This morning I was contemplating today’s worth of writing, trying to figure out if I should give the main character memory loss, and figure out what comes next.  All I ended up doing was starring into space with  my last two scenes replaying over and over in my head.  Then I started mentally talking to myself.

It went something like this:

Okay, so she is still unconscious…maybe I should look up what that much head trauma does to a person

yeah but don’t get too carried away. It is a fiction book after all.  She’s gonna have to wake up sometime, probably earlier than if she were a real person

I know, I know. It’s a fantasy novel. They can heal her with magic or something….

Who can?

I don’t know, some old wise woman or something.

Where does the woman come from?

Look, it doesn’t matter right now okay?  I need to figure out what to do with the guy who’s dad just got killed and who’s brother is on his death bed

Man his life sucks…though the dead dad could come back as a zombie…

This isn’t a zombie book.  And I need to make up someone to deliver some important info to him.

A ninja.

What?

Ninja are good at delivering information.

…I’m gonna go make a cup of tea….

 

And that is about how my morning contemplation of my story went.  I’m not loosing it, honest.  I’m just not caffeinated enough to plot at the moment.

 

 

work and writing

It’s my last night of work. I’m not awake but I am dressed and I have shoes around here somewhere.  I have to leave the house in about ten minutes or so to make it there on time.  If I do, it will be the first time that I’ve made it on time all week.

My writing is also falling behind schedule.  I am doing Nanowrimo but instead of making the 1670 words a day quota, I’ve managed more like maybe 500 or so.  I am enjoying my book so far and I would be writing it regardless of Nano so I don’t feel as rushed.

I don’t usually write outlines, but for the first time I have one.  I write a scene, think about the next one, then lay it down too. It’s nice. I need to get my word count up but other wise as far as the story goes I think I am doing well.