Monday, October 29, 2007

limping along

Well, my track record for this week has not been good. Only managed to type out 1077 words since last week ... that's not even one day's worth according to what I'm supposed to be producing, an average of 1667 words per day for the month of November!

There still might be hope. I fully expected the kids to get sick sometime during the month of November to distrupt my writing goals, but they actually got sick this past week... so does that mean that now I can reasonably hope for a month free of stomach flu, colds, and teething?

I may not have accomplished much "warming up" for the month of intense writing yet, but I have been doing better as far as "spiritual warm-ups". I have been praying more, a lot more! And doing a little better with Bible reading, too. I find it is so much easier to accomplish goals if I first take the time to pray about them, rather than just jumping in... and then quickly burning out. Prayer is definitely the "power bar" to keep you going for the long haul.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I signed myself up for NaNoWriMo (good grief)

Took my revised chapter 1 from last week to writer's group and had my three sympathetic writing addicts read it outloud. There is something about having someone else read your work outloud that really shouts at you, "this is good!" or "this is crap!" Unfortuately, I'm afraid it came out sounding somewhere in between - sophomoric, perhaps. Fluffy, almost. I really need to start out with something with more bite. Yeah, it's a story with talking animals, so that means no matter what it'll be marketed for kids, but I'm NOT writing for 6 year olds here. I am writing for kids who will most likely have read Harry Potter and want something a little edgy, with touches both of light and dark.

Read this in one of my writing newsletters and was intrigued enough to waste a couple hours on the website, culminating in signing myself up:

Yes we're drawing nearer and nearer that wonderful, creative, neurotic month where we celebrate, we laugh, we cry, and wemanically write until our brains melt out of our heads. We spend all night at the computer screen, and the next daytrying to shut off an overactive imagination long enough to accomplish our responsibilities. We struggle with time and energy constraints, over caffeination, sleep deprivation, and sometimes the frustration of a blank space where our thoughts should be. For the writers in the audience they know what I'm referring to. It's the month of frenzied writing. It's the month where we type until our fingers are numb. It's the month we ignore the garish marks of the spell checker telling our inner critic to shout at us, so that we will stop and edit. It's the month we push forward with one goal in mind: 50,000 words in 30 days. Which breaks down to roughly 1,667 words a day give or take a few. Yes, you guessed it. I'm referring to NaNoWriMo - (National Novel Writing Month). NaNoWriMo was founded in 1999 as a way to encourage everyone who wants to write a book, to do that very thing. Why? Becuase it's tons of fun!

Tons of fun? Well, in theory, I can agree. In practice... well, just to see how much I really *COULD* write in one day, I stared writing Friday night at 10:00pm when every one was in bed, and 2 1/2 hours later when I could push myself no further, I had just barely squeaked out 1,011 words. That's still 600 some words short -- and I have to acknowledge there's no way I can stay up past midnight every day of the month of November and still treat my family with any degree civility. But -- hey, even if I only manage to write 500 words a day, or even 200, that's still more than I'm accomplishing now. I did finish section 43 this week (my goal), largely thanks to that intense writing session Friday night.

I know should have prayed about this endeavor before signing myself up. Story of my life: leap first, check in with God later. Fortunately God's still in control, no matter which direction I go galloping off in. But He did make it very clear to me: if you're going to make a commitment to write every day for the month of November, you're also going to make a committment to Me: you're going to pray and read the Word every day, too - BEFORE you start writing. After all, I'm much more likely to succeed (and succeed in not having the rest of my life fall apart during this time, as well) if I'm in direct communication with the Creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A good week

The good news: by Tuesday last week I had not only finished section 42, but also went back and rewrote my first chapter, really working on developing the friendship (and tension) between my two main characters, Selty and Arrasin. N.L., my main critiquer and writing buddy, had said that the friendship between them was not believable; and it was true. This may likely be my 12th version of chapter 1 (or more), but even more likely it won't be the last version. The first chapter has GOT to hook the reader.

The bad news: I haven't written anything since last Tuesday. A little weekend getaway to Glenwood Springs, with my laptop, was supposed to yield much creativity... but instead I got sucked into reading "The Island" by Victoria Hilsap. That book was way too good (now I want to go to the Greek isles). Oh, and it was written in omniscient perspective. Classic storytelling. I'm so envious... why are all the great books, the bestsellers, in omniscient perspective? They tell us newbies to stick to close 3rd person. I guess we're just not ready to handle ominscience yet!
Goal for this week: start & finish section 43 (that's 43 out of 80 outlined sections, roughly 40 chapters. I used the Marshall plan to outline my book)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Time for me to get serious about writing again

The twins are 10 months old now... they are starting to play together, (sort of. Does hair pulling count?) Anyway, time for me to get serious about writing again. Renewed my membership with online writing group. Dusted off the laptop. Looked over my outline. Opened the last chapter I finished and grimaced (but time for revisions, later).
Possible writing times: 6:00 am-7:00am (but, I am not a morning person)
10:00 am 11:00 am - babies' morning nap (if I can avoid the temptation to make the bed, do the dishes, laundry, or any other pressing chore)
2:00-4:00 pm - babies' afternoon nap (might be problematic when kindergartener gets off the bus at 3:00 and wants to tell me all about her adventures)
9:00 pm-11:00 pm - everyone else is in bed. I would like to be in bed, too. But, I am a writer. I can do this!
Today's goal: finish section 42