Monday, November 7, 2011

NaNoWriMonday (2)

Word Count: 11058/50000
Day: 7/30
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Like many other bloggers, I am participating in this year's National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I thought it would be fun to touch base each week and see how everyone is progressing, as well as cheer each other on!

Well, despite all my careful plotting and planning, this week got off to a slow start. Too much going on in the middle of the week to sit down and write! Fortunately, I got back on track as soon as class was done for the week. I still can't believe I'm in quintuple digits -- I've started many a story before, and never got past a couple thousand words. Clearly NaNoWriMo and I are soulmates.

So, for a few quick updates, my heroine finally has a name! And it wasn't one that was on the list -- go figure. I really appreciate your suggestions from last week, though! They were great =) I finally settled on Aisha, which is an Arabic moon goddess, and seemed fitting for my silvery heroine.

I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a year now, so I had it fairly well plotted out, but when I started writing I had a hard time finding the right voice. Fortunately, things picked up when Heroine met Hero, and their banter helped me find the right voice for her =) I'll have to go back and fix the opening scenes once NaNo is over.

I know there's a lot of talk about Inner Editors, but what about Inner Critics?

I don't find myself itching to go back and fix typos and things, but I DO find myself listening to that insidious voice in the back of my head that says "What are you doing? This is CRAP. What makes you think you can write? Look at [insert fabulous author here], now THAT'S writing." Does anyone else have problems with the Inner Critic? What do you do to banish them to the farthest reaches of the Netherworld?

On a brighter note (and one that perhaps speaks to the previous question) on to this week's helpful tips:
  • A couple years ago, Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier did a whole month of NaNo tip posts, which they've conveniently linked to here for this year's WriMos. Justine in particular did a great post on Zero Drafts and what to do when you feel like a crappy writer that is particularly helpful when you're plowing through 50K words in (gulp) 30 days.
  • The indomitable Maureen Johnson has also turned her Tumblr into Ground Zero for WriMos during the month of November. Ask her your frantic questions and read her fabulous and hilarious answers to other WriMos.

I found this piece of advice from Maureen particularly fortifying:

You, my friend, decided to sit down and give it a shot. And that is the first step in putting the right words in the right order. The next step is to write some words. ANY WORDS. Something has to be on the page. It’s totally okay if what goes on that page are the WRONG WORDS, as long as they are SOME WORDS, because you can work with the WRONG WORDS. A lot of what you are doing at the start is blowing some of the crap out of your head and knocking the fear out of the way. You are PUNCHING FEAR IN THE FACE. You’ve already got it on the floor. Now KICK IT. Seriously. KICK IT.

Why yes, that is MJ signing books and generally being a BAMF at BEA.

And while we're doing quotes, here's the ever-awesome Michelle Hodkin's inspiring advice for aspiring authors (from her FAQ page):

Write the story that only you can write. Write the story you have to write. Finish it. Have passion. And finally, novels are fueled and informed by life experience—so more than anything else, live.

Have I mentioned lately that Michelle is The Best? Because she is.

I'm really excited about this, you guys! It's so exhilirating to FINALLY be doing something I've thought about for AGES. And the NaNo community is so supportive -- really, thank you so much to all the fabulous WriMos on Twitter who are cheering people on. I want to hug you all.

So, where are you guys in your NaNoWriMo-ing? On track? Way ahead like some impossibly amazing people? Are you stuck? Need help slaying your Inner Critic? Let it all out in the comments or in your own NaNoWriMonday post!

Oh, and also?

PS -- If you're doing a NaNo post but it's not on a Monday, you are still TOTALLY welcome to link up in the comments! I want to see what everyone is up to any day of the week =)


kaye (paper reader) said...

I love this post so much, but I just hit 10k myself and my brain is telling me to sleep. I'm going to try and post about NaNo later this week if I can. But I can tell you that I struggle with my Inner Critic a lot, yesterday in particular. I remind myself that The Night Circus and Anna/Lola/Isla have all had NaNo incarnations and then I think that - hey, I can do this.

I'm going to check out your tips for tomorrow. :)

Much luck to you!!

Anne said...

Congratulations on making 5 digits! I did... and then promptly hit a figurative wall. Everything is taking twice as long now! lol

I may do a very short update today, but I did a live-blog on Friday, if you're interested. It's about as recent as it gets anyway, since I was busy all weekend =(

Anne said...

Also, the thing to remind the inner critic, is that you have met many of these authors. You see their exploits on twitter daily, Etc. Etc. Etc. And don't they seem like normal people? I mean, they put their pants on one leg at a time same as you. And if they can do it, WHY CAN'T YOU?

At least, that's what I do with my inner critic. Doesn't always work WELL but it works well enough lol.

Liz Baxter said...

I did Nano last year and really enjoyed it. When I had a bit of a block and I just let my fingers start punching in words and hey presto! Some of it even made sense! I'm not doing it this year -busy with other things but after reading so many blogs about it i wish I was! I'm following your blog now.

Ria said...

Still chugging away at this year's NaNovel. I've managed just over 20k words right now, and not surprisingly, I've hit a block. Fingers crossed that I'll manage to punch and kick through that block, because otherwise I'm rather screwed!

Good luck to you and everyone else writing their butts off this month!

Jessica A. said...

That's so awesome you have so many words down! I am not sure what my count is since I have been doodling them in a notebook. I just started typing them out today.
And thanks for this post. It was most helpful, especially the great links.

Good luck to you!

barmybex said...

you're doing well, but I am shockingly behind.
My post is here:

I need all the support I can get.

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