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Monday, November 9, 2009

Weak Sauce and NaNoWriMo

So, I went to the trouble to make a post about NaNoWriMo last week, and I was all excited about all the writing I was going to do. Then, I started reading the NaNoWriMo site, and I thought to myself, "Man, a page a day? A page?! That's so weak."

So that day I began brainstorming. Suddenly, some strange and wonderful ideas that had been kicking around in my head over the years, but had never occurred to me to be story-worthy coalesced into a story outline that looked like a lot of fun to write. The day after, I signed up for NaNoWriMo and began writing.

I'm deep into novel mode now, going ahead at full steam. I'm still behind because of my late start, but I'm hoping to catch up later this week. It's a lot of work, but I'm loving it so far.

You can find my on the NaNoWriMo page, here.

Words written to date: 9341
Goal: 50000 words by 11:59 Nov 30

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodbye October, Hello NaNoWriMo

I popped one last peanut M&M and headed to the bathroom to shave off my pirate beard. I was a little sad to see it go, and it was resistant to my straight razor as well (me being too lazy to hit it with the clippers first). But as the razor stripped each patch of hair, I felt comforted. I had my old face back, and to be honest, I looked a lot less silly. It also signaled an ending, mostly just the ending of October and the Halloween season. But staring at myself in the mirror, I looked forward to November.

November is NaNoWriMo.

I've been writing off and on lately, after taking a break from any kind of extracurricular activities that could be considered "work." Having a new child and holding down a day job and a personal life with variable sleeping hours are mostly to blame, but I love my family, and I wouldn't trade the last few months.

As of October 30, I still hadn't jumped back on the writing wagon fully, however. And I've always wanted to partake in NaNoWriMo. So, on November 1st, I set aside some time for my characters. I wrote pages of prose. They weren't great, and they weren't for a novel, but so what. They exist, and they've given previously-inert pages a semblance of life. Awesome.

My goal for November is to write at least a page of text each day, whether it be for blog, short story, or novel. I want to get into the spirit enough to write for a novel, too, so I'm dedicating at least 15 of those pages to a new novel idea I've been thinking about lately.

The score as of Nov 2:
Blog pages: 1
Novel pages: 0
Short story pages: 1
Total pages: 2

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Writing Life

I have been busy busy busy. Child-rearing, vacationing, and dealing with a household of sick people, with only the occasional time-out to read something fun.

However, I've been writing consistently, which has been something that I've wanted to do for a long time.

My big enemy is perfectionism. It's a nasty beast. It prevents me from writing:

"But how do I start?"
"It won't be any good."
"It's going to be so much work to make it even passable! Why bother?"

Then, when I actually do produce something, it cries in its whiny voice:

"Oh, these characters aren't realistic at all."
"This writing is slack," followed by, "Now it's so brief you can't tell what's going on!"
"Gah, how booooring! No one's even gonna read this to the end!"
"Are you serious?! Even Mister Troll writes better than this! A freakin' troll!"

But I've been getting past it lately. I've been able to do this sporadically in the past, but never for this long of a stretch. It's nice to finally give that little internal critic the kick in the teeth he deserves.

Still, he may be right on some of those things. I'm not the perfect writer. But that's okay.

Just gotta keep telling myself that.

As Mister Troll has told you, I've been putting a lot of my time into my new project, Iron & Ash. I'm happy to say that I'm proud of it. It won't be everyone's favorite, but I hope it appeals to some of you. It's an experiment for me in multiple ways. Not only is it long-form serialized fiction in blog format (an exciting new style for me), but there's plenty of writing there that pushes me into scary territory, makes me uncomfortable. I'm pushing my boundaries on this one, trying not to over-sanitize everything (something I tend to do with this site, which makes the writing more difficult in some ways). And I'm happy to say that it contains some of my best work to date.

If you're interested, go check out Iron & Ash. Be sure to start at the beginning if you want to catch the whole story.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Iron & Ash

It's time for me to introduce (again) Billy Goat's new blog: Iron & Ash. Please check it out!

From the first post:

Kean told me to calibrate the starscopes this morning. A thrill ran up my spine and I sprinted to the north tower. I rushed through the empty courtyard. The kennel flew by and I played my hand across its old fencework, the dogs barking and howling in greeting. I took the footworn steps of the tower two and three at a time, and when I reached the top of that old, leaning tower, my breath had left me.