Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNo Yes or NaNo No...or NaNo Sort of?

If you've been around this space any length of time, you'll know I've documented my feelings and beliefs about NaNoWriMo before--and if I had bothered to stick one of those widgets with keyword terms in the sidebar (and if I had bothered to keyword all of my posts) you'd be able to find them all. Generally, if you're new here and don't want to scour through all my posts, my position is I believe NaNoWriMo can be a Very Good Thing for people. It definitely helped me get myself going down this crazy path.

Unfortunately, I rarely seem to be able to get it together to do NaNo these days. Why?

(let's hear it for the criminally-underrated Road to El Dorado)

It seems since my last attempt at NaNo (and what a joke that was; I'm not sure I wrote a single word), the stars have not been aligned. I've always been revising. Well, not this year. However, I'm also not exactly starting a new project. AS I mentioned last week (I think), I'm about 22,000 words into a new project, and said new project is going well. NaNo, in theory, is for novels that are started on November 1, though you are free to outline the shit out of it before hand. Still, this seems like a good opportunity, does it not? If I can add 50,000 words to the manuscript by the end of November I'll be around 70,000, and that will mean an end is definitely in sight. So, with that in mind, I'm going to bend the rules of NaNo a bit and throw my hat into the ring. Strike up the band, I'm a....

How about you? Are you NaNo'ing this year?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Double Post Monday!

Schnikies, it's usually all I can do to get one post out on any given day, and here I am with a second. Well, there's news--no, not that news, news that may be good for you!

Agent Carrie Pestritto, the wonderful woman who represents yours truly, is offering a chance at a free critique of your query letter. What could be better than that? Well, if your query is selected, you also have the chance of winning a critique/edit of your manuscript's first 100 pages--and Carrie does a bang-up job, let me tell you.

What are you waiting for? Hie on over to Literary Carrie right now!

Weekend Update: Change Is Good

If you've been reading this space for any length of time, then you're almost certainly aware that I am a card-carrying member of that subset of writers known as 'Wingman'. I am not a planner, not an outliner, not a plotter. I plunk myself down at the keyboard and start writing and just let it flow.

Now, you might also know that winging it is not quite as purely improvisational as it sounds. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking. I'm thinking about my story. Not ALL the time, but when I'm driving to work, or showering, or walking the dog, or washing the dishes. Those are great times for thinking of story. And the way I often think about my stories is to essentially have it play out in my head. When I sit down to write, it's almost like a transcription session, though it often goes off the rails and takes wild turns from what I had envisioned moments or hours or even days before.

My current project is one that has bedeviled (did I really just used 'bedeviled'? I did, by gum, I did) me for quite some time. The idea first sparked more than a year ago. I wrote the intro in my writers' circle the same day and was really taken by it. But I was also busy with a revision of one project and a new draft of a another and on and on and on. I also found that, when I did sit with the intention of writing it, it just wasn't coming the way I wanted, so I left it alone, figuring it needed more percolation time. I sometimes need two strikes of 'inspiration', or whatever you want to call it, for an idea to really get going, and that second strike hadn't happened yet.

At the beginning of September I had a conversation with Carrie about next projects. I had two in mind and we talked them over, and she suggested I work on this particular one--the one that has been giving me fits. We talked over my roadblock with the project and brainstormed some ideas and I walked away feeling a little more fired up, but for the next couple of weeks, I still struggled--and so I changed my approach: I wrote an outline.