☰ A Few Thoughts on #NaNoWriMo...



Hi guys!
I hope everyone is well and that things are going smoothly for you, especially if you are embarking on this weird journey otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. November is a special month for some writers because every year, we challenge ourselves to write 50K words.... In 30 days.


The goal to write a novel is daunting anyways, but tack on a time limit and things get crazy fast. Today, I wanted to talk about some of the things that have helped me so far, what I'm working on, and why we should all consider writing like it's NaNo every month...

What? Every month?

That's right folks, every month!

#NaNoWriMo has lit a fire under my ass. (Yeah, I said it.) I didn't think I could get as far as I have so quickly, and now it's making me have high hopes for my future novels. Short story writers are often encouraged to sit down and write their entire narrative in one sitting (yikes!). Here's why: 

1. If you write your short story or flash fiction all in one sitting, writing gurus boast that there's a better chance your tone will remain consistent throughout the entire piece. (Even if you haven't found your voice yet.) And that's really what all of this is about in the first place, right? Finding one's voice, presenting your message and making it count.

2. One-session writing stops you from line editing until you're finished. If you're like me, you write two paragraphs, but somehow edit three. The urge to self edit and polish while you are still in the first draft process can demolish word count and potentially stall your writing completely. (Ugh! That's so me.) 

Anywhooooo, sitting down and churning out a story in one go isn't always feasible, but I feel like #NaNoWriMo helps us write our manuscripts with some semblance of being in the same frame of mind throughout... This won't work for everyone. Some of us have a process that really works; and time to pontificate as we write (and between sessions) is what gives us our power. 

For me, NaNo has opened up a new set of expectations for myself. In participating this year, I've met a lot of new people who are on the same journey, and I'm grateful to know every one of them. The support and camaraderie of other writers going through the same things as me, is invaluable. I highly recommend it! Being a lone wolf is sexy and all (don't get me wrong) but who do you ask when you really need another writer's opinion if you don't have a pack? 

(P.S. If you are a writer, er, I mean wolf, and don't have a pack, gimme a holler!)

Trigram: My NaNo WIP

What I'm working on this year for NaNo is a re-write of an old novel idea. Let me tell you, this novel has put me through some CHANGES.



The first time I wrote this story, I got to page 285. At first, I was like "Yeah!" and "Woohoo!!!!"... then I started reading it. Ugh

*cringes*

After six months or so of failed attempts to correct my mistakes, I decided it would best if I just re-wrote it entirely. For me, as a writer, that was an 'aha' moment. I learned that no matter how much I liked the characters and some of the things that happened in the original Trigram novel, overall, it sucked. I knew I had to move on and try again, this time, with a fresh slate. 

So I did.

My NaNo project is my favorite character's origin story. So there is a lot of pressure for me to get it right, but I can't let that overwhelm me. (Thierry, my MC wouldn't want me stressing over him.) 

As far as details go, too much of the book is subject to change, so I'll save the blurb for a later post...

Okay, last topic, coming up:

What's Helped Me The Most This Month?


1. Short stories: 
I was in a rut a few days ago, so I wrote and posted Cul-de-sac, and it cleared it write  right up (wink). A lot of times, the only thing that gets me through a longer piece of writing is taking a break and writing a Have Tools, Will Travel story or something short and sweet.

2. Not Karen:
My mom and I have a joke. It goes like this: I tell her something (usually something dumb) and she acts like she doesn't care by saying something like, "You must have me confused with Karen, but I'm not."  LOL.

Get it? 
Okay, it's not that funny out of context, but it's hilarious when she says it... Anyway, sometimes when writing, you just have to 'Not Karen'. 

I have a tendency to obsess over characters and story paths. Some days I just have to say: "Just write it. Write it shitty, get it done, fix it later." 
Oddly enough, the stories I think I've written poorly usually end up being some of my favorites...

3. Friends
One of the best things about #NaNoWriMo this year and (writing in general) for me has been the camaraderie and support of writing buddies. 

Simon Thurtle, (you can check out his blog here), is writer, a great friend and an all around nice guy. If you're looking for tips about writing, you're in luck; he just did a post on his top five tips for new writers. Simon is currently penning his debut novel Relative Horizon, and I'll tell ya, I can't wait to buy it when it comes out!

I would also like to thank S.J. Penner and her wonderful tribe of writer friends. S.J. blogs and vlogs about writing, does short stories and speaks on a lot of helpful topics (like Scrivener tips) on her blog/ website, which you can check out here

Last but not least, I would like to thank Hollie Hausenfluck for her support and help! Hollie blogs and runs a really fun chat on Twitter (#WIPChat) on Sunday nights. You can visit her blog here where she recently interviewed her character and posted it! (How cool is that?)

I'm super grateful to all of the awesome authors and writers I've met so far and I'm excited to meet more!

Well y'all, it's been real (as always!). Maybe some of my tips will work as well for you as they have for me, maybe not. I'm a firm believer in the saying "different strokes for different folks". Everybody walks their writing path at a different pace, but there's no need to walk it alone.

Thanks for reading! And Happy NaNo-ing,

Avrin



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Writer. Author. Blogger. Procrastinator... My novel, Trigram, is in the works, but in the meantime, I'll probably be working on short stories such as the ones on Wicked Shorts. (Wink)

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