NaNoWriMo Launched!

It’s that time of year again. When I resign myself to writing 50,000 words in a mere thirty days. When I actually take the time to write. Make excuses FOR my writing, instead of against it. Every year the process is horrifying, daunting – overwhelming. Yet somehow, by the time fall hits each year, I’ve forgotten the pain and can only look towards November and NaNoWriMo with anticipation.

My past two years were a… failure? Year One, I abandoned pretty early on. I didn’t like what I was writing coupled with the fact that I was using someone else’s personal experiences to write the story. It was all just wrong and devastating. Year Two, I plodded along full steam ahead until about 35,000 words. I only quit because of a different, more lucrative opportunity. Year Three? I’ve finished editing the gargantuan ms. I’ve moved to a new place – a happier place. A place more conducive to my creative exploits. I’m taking writing classes with women who foster my creativity. And – I have a decent idea. I think I’ll make it.

Yesterday, East Line Books hosted a launch party. Launch party it shouldn’t be called, actually. Because a few people showed up expecting a PARTY and were a little more than disappointed to find us all silently working at our tables. How is this fun? Seriously, though. How did I have so much fun?

For me, it’s wonderful just to be in that environment. Surrounded by other writers who are silently working, silently struggling, silently hoping. It’s universal. And not only that, to write in one of the most gorgeous  bookstores I’ve ever been in, surrounded floor to ceiling by books! The smell of them! How could that not be fun?

—-

Excerpts from “A Kentucky Love Story”

One I love:

Tobacco mixed with saliva in his mouth. Instead of aiming for the rusty tin can which had been set next to his rocking chair for just such an occasion, Brent Engell chose to careen the sloggish brown mixture toward the bushes at the edge of his porch. The spit hung precariously from a barren branch before slowly stretching itself thin and falling to the ground with a satisfying plunk.  A lone fly, quicker on the uptake than its brothers who buzzed incessantly in Brent’s ear, alighted from the can and hovered over the freshest dropping. Brent grunted and continued to clean his rifle.

It was hunting season in Kentucky for the muzzleloaders.



And another not so much:

A hawk took off into the sky from somewhere deep within the woods. A smaller bird fretted around it, seeming to fight off the larger, more dangerous bird. Brent watched as the hawk soared high and away from its tiny prey. The smaller bird settled back into the treetops and the hawk began to circle, giving the area where the bird had disappeared an extremely wide berth at first, but gradually coming in, ready but willing to wait. To lull its prey into a false sense of security as it burrowed safely back into its warm nest amongst the already changing leaves.

Ugh… how do you even fix that? But that’s what so freeing about NaNoWriMo. I stared at that for a while and started to try and edit it. But I thought, NO. I’ve written it. It counts for my NaNo count and that’s that. When November’s over and done, then I’ll edit. Move on. Keep writing.

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Are participating this year? What are some of your strategies for staying on task?

Visit my profile if you’d like to be writing buddies. I’d love to hear about what you’re working on!

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4 Responses to NaNoWriMo Launched!

  1. Jamie says:

    Wish I had the motivation to participate.

  2. Tim Cheng says:

    advice from my boy, Kurt Vonnegut: 1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. 2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. 3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. 4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. 5. Start as close to the end as possible. 6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of. 7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. 8.Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

  3. Nicole says:

    That's amazing. Thanks for that. I'm sure, over time, it will definitely succeed in giving me a complex.

  4. Peggy Strack says:

    I'm going to copy Vonnegut's rules — fantastic.I, or people I know, show up in most of my characters. In my first novel it was like I dissected my personality into my three leads. I wasn't that aware of it until I read the final product.

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