Saturday, November 8, 2014

When Writing Your Novel Stalls

Committing to writing a novel is a tremendous joy and a tremendous burden. When you combine it with a full time job and at least three hours a day in the car driving to and from work, it makes for lots of stress. But the rewards are immense. The unraveling of thoughts and the re-weaving them into a coherent story people might want to read is a challenge but it makes me feel wonderfully creative and filled with purpose.

The past week has seen little movement toward more pages of "Safe Places," despite having enrolled in NaNoWriMo and needing to keep up with my daily word quota. But here is a weekend in which to play catch up. So on a sunny Saturday morning I am back at the computer looking at my chapter outlines and getting into chapter eight of writing my novel.

But first a little side trip.

On Wednesday night I held a book event at the Salvatore LaRussa Dance Studio in Middle Village. The event was largely attended by co-workers who came to support my literary efforts. I am grateful to all of them for sharing a part of me they don't get to know at work. I was a great feeling to see my colleagues relaxed and discussing things other than session notes, curriculum and caseloads. It was a pleasant night out, at least for me.

Here are a few pics from the event

I love sharing my writing with my reading audience because that's what writing is all about. We don't engage in this neurotic, solitary activity without thinking ahead to publication and the joy of touching the hearts and minds of our readers.

So off I go to head into the next chapter. Let's see what challenges and joys come into Meghan O'Hara's life as her story continues on the screen of my computer. Will she save the pregnant teenager? Will she get her wish or will it be thwarted by the corrupt councilman? Will the return of an old love be a second chance or a disappointment. You'll have to wait till the book gets published to find out. But that won't happen till I write the novel, so off I go.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

National Novel Writing Month

So it's November, which means it's National Novel Writing Month. I'm a rebel according to the official website, since I am not starting a brand new novel this month but working at adding 50,000 words to an existing ms.

The challenge is simple, um hm, choke, choke, just write about 1667 words per day, which equals 6-7 pages. And by November 30 you have the first draft of a 50,000 word novel. I've signed up for this before and then dropped out. This time I'm going to do it. My goal was to have the first draft done by December 31 so if I can get 50,000 words by November 30 I'll be close to the end. As of today I have 20,052 words of the draft, plus two notebooks of scenes written in preparation to plug in wherever they will fit. I think I can do this!!

The obstacle is time and energy, meaning dragging myself home from work, and now it will be dark out by the time I do get home, and getting in a workout, dinner and a shower before knuckling down to write my requisite 7 pages. It's a chore. But I love it.

And all that talk about plotting? I have the arc of the story and the energetic markers in my head and roughly labeled on a chapter chart. Now I'm just writing by the seat of my pants. By chapter four my characters have already led me in new directions and the scenery is just fine so I'm following them all the way.

Stick around, let's see what happens.