Wow . . . three posts in one day. Out of necessity, I’m sure.
Tomorrow is the first of November . . . November is Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
I’ve yet to decide if I’ll tackle writing another book — or, just writing 50,000 words of short fiction — in November. Sure, I’ve done books before. Three times, to be exact. Really, it’s super easy; barely an inconvenience. I’m leaning toward it, for sure, maybe.
The thing is, I don’t know that I’ll have the time. I know it sounds crazy but — as any retired person will tell you — something happens to time once you retire. It contracts, it slips away, whole chunks get lost somewhere and before you know it, it’s 1:00 am and it’s time for bed because you’re getting up at 7:00 am.
Wait . . . I should insert a random photo for them who only look at the pictures.
If I attempt a NaNoWriMo feat, I have two high-priority targets. First, the SV-1 unfinished project. That was my first attempt at writing a book and it sits — to my shame — as an unfinished work. It would be nice capping that one and putting it to bed. I mean, it’s going on more than twenty years now.
Interesting thing about it: it’s an example of my early writing. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. In many ways, I’ve improved as a writer and that’s good. In other ways, I don’t know if I have the same dynamic and flair when I write.
Let me explain. Until a few years ago, I’d pick up the figurative pen and paper and got writing. Stuff came out and by my account and recollection, it came out good. Sorry, bad English. I mean it flowed with a simplicity that I now envy. I envy it because I’m now more aware of structure, pacing, voice, etc. etc.
Meaning, I’ve learned a few things and those things make me a better writer . . . but it also makes me a more cautious writer. More careful, more hesitant . . . I write less because I know more about the craft.
That, by the way, is the whole idea behind NaNoWriMo. It’s not aimed at creating a masterpiece (although some NaNoWriMo novels — a small percentage of the whole — saw and see publication). Rather, it’s meant to free your inner creative person; the person who just wants to write with little worry about convention and rules. I mean that in a good way. You can’t just slap words down at random.
Surely, no one would enjoy reading something like this:
They broke Camp and Riding west decided east, Were the better direction along with South. As one, they camped anew and Danced until night came and day, followed soon after.
It’s written with abandon and freedom but it don’t make no sense.
No, what I mean is the writer puts down an interesting story without worrying about grammar or spelling mistakes. Without worry about plot holes. Without concern for how a reader might judge them. In other words, the way I normally write.
Seriously, the exercise is aimed at developing a habit. By the way, ProWriting Aid has a few hints and suggestions for succeeding at your NaNoWriMo effort.
THIS post on their blog speaks about establishing a writing habit . . . a bit odd that since it’s published today and NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I assume they mean for this year’s effort to help form the writing habit but the title makes it seem like you would need to do this a month or so before now.
That article also has a link to this free bit of information, a book on writing.
They also have THIS post that talks about plotters and pantsers (I’m a pantser) and how either method can work. Side note: I prefer “pantster” although it doesn’t follow the rules for creating similar words from root words.
I should have shared THIS post a month ago but since I did none of what it says, we’re starting from the same place. But, I couldn’t share it a month ago because I just got it in an email . . . I guess I should follow their blog.
There are other resources out there with tons of information. For instance, Nathan Bransford has lots of posts about the November effort (and he sells a book on it).
Let me be clear: this is a blatant case of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do. I have read none of those resources and don’t plan to. I’m already a messed-up-by-rules-and-hints writer; I don’t need more things to mess with my head.
Yesterday’s writing effort was like my writing of old . . . I just let go, running with a mere wisp of an idea and not minding the potholes and the lack of guardrails along the road I traveled. But, then I edited. Cleaned up a few words. Removed some extra words. All that made the writing cleaner and crisper . . . but, is it better than my conversation-style writing of SV-1?
Thing is, I like them both so maybe it doesn’t really matter which is better. What matters is to tell a story engagedly and knowing a few will like it, most won’t glance at it, and a few will hate it.
What? My other high-priority target? Ah . . . that would be the clippers story (no title yet, so I identify it thus). That’s going back to NaNoWriMo 2016 mid-October post where I mused about all the stuff I could write. Fired up, I was back then . . .
. . . and, in fact, I wrote the Snail Rodeo story just a few days later in response to a writing prompt (the story is password-protected; ask if you want to read it). Not only that, a few days after that, I wrote THIS short story. That would have been a good story for Halloween 2016 but I wrote what I think is a better one. That’s a lot of writing in less than two weeks.
Then came November and I started the 2016 NaNoWriMo effort (HERE); a Michelle Maul story.
Then came Trump. The plan to write 50,000 words worth of short stories went down the tube. The Michell Maul story I had started didn’t get finished until August 2017, (Dead Girls Tell No Tales – also password protected) a full nine months later.
Honestly, I still struggle with writing fiction. I’d rather write words of warning about Democrats and Republicans outdoing each other in trying to bring about the end of the Republic faster than the other. I want to write about the anguish of watching ideals trampled by Liberals and Conservatives and watching this country split into factions with differences so great they will only be resolved with violence.I want to write about ignorance about history, about laws, about the Constitution, about the value of ideals.
I want to write that warning . . . but I see that it’s too late. It don’t matter none no more for we done went and screwed the pooch.
But, the good thing is, I wrote a story yesterday. I will write tomorrow. And I’ll try writing more this month. I might not get to 50,000 words, but I’ll write something. It might be crap, but, as they say, some crap is better than no crap. What do you mean, “that’s not what they say?”
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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