Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the final countdown

Three days left to November. Last minute preparations. NaNoWriMo is approaching, and for geek writers like me (over 100,000 of us signed up at the www.nanowrimo.org website), this is the MONTH. The challenge: write 50,000 words, or a short novel, in 30 days (about 5 pages a day). Last year I stormed through the first 3 weeks with amazing success, considering that I had 11 month old twin girls to complicate my life; the last week I got sick and fell about 10,000 words short of my goal. So this year I am determined to finish the challenge.

The twins are now 23 months old, does that make the challenge any easier? Not really. They are still pretty demanding. Another disadvantage: this year I'm starting a new book. I will be starting on Chapter 1, with a blank page, and only a few pages of notes to help guide my way. I had hoped to have a scene-by-scene outline by now, and completed character charts for at least 4 of my major characters. I've only finished one chart so far, and I only have the first 4 or 5 scenes roughly outlined. Last year I was starting about half-way through a second version of a novel that I'd already written once, had the new version completely outlined scene-by-scene to the last page, and had spent the last 20 years dreaming about - I knew my characters really well and I knew exactly where I was going.

So, I'm not nearly as prepared this year. In addition I have commitments at work that will surely be obstacles, and a family that I don't want to lose touch with (though I have already warned all my friends). But I am preparing spiritually, which is, for me, a very important step. I attribute my success for three weeks last November (and to ultimately finishing the novel on October 6 of this year) to taking the time each day before writing to spend time with God first. (Give Him your first-fruits, and He will give you the rest). Sometimes I couldn't get started until 9 pm at night, and I was already tired; it was tempting to skip that fiften or thirty minutes with God and just jump right into writing. But I knew if I did that, the words wouldn't come, or the RIGHT words wouldn't come. Or I'd find out later that nothing I wrote that night would work in the story and I'd eventually have to throw it out anyway. I truly believe that sometimes God just gave me the words, simply because I asked Him for them. After my husband and my kids, I believe God has given writing to me as my ministry. He must want me to write, because no matter how busy my life gets that urge to write is still there. That desire to write a story that maybe, someday, someone will read and learn about the personal relationship with God, through Jesus, that is open to everyone.

Have found a link on the NanoWriMo website to David Niall Nelson's "tips for NanoWriMo" http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vdmludGFnZXNvdWwubWFjYWJyZWluay5jb20vY2F0ZWdvcnkvbmFub3dyaW1v that I had fun reading today, and will hopefully motivate me to work more on my outline, tonight!

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