Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fiction August

There's nothing I like better to keep me writing than a competition. A writing dare, if you like. Like NaBloPoMo or, NaNoWriMo or, indeed, short story competitions. And this month, I'm going to combine a few of those.

The NaBloPoMo theme for August is FICTION. I'm going to (try to) write a piece of fiction every day - well, in some cases, I might work on the same piece of fiction for a few days. I'm going to use for the first draft, post my progress here every day and for inspiration, I'm going to check upcoming competition and anthology submission deadlines on Duotrope. It's an ambitious plan and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to stick to it (and yes, I'm going to blame the baby if I don't), but there it is. A Plan. Having a Plan is always a good thing. Especially if said Plan turns out to be successful. Like Hannibal Smith says, I love it when a Plan comes together.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Resistance to Writing

Do you know the feeling of having an idea for a story you want to write, planning it for a few days where everything seems to be coming together and then, when actually sitting down to write it, it’s not happening at all? The story is as flat as the screen, the words don’t gel and become something more than mere words?

This is what happened to me with my Summer Novel. I’ve not written a word for it for a week now. Every time I look at the file I feel paralyzed, overcome with resistance to writing. So I don’t write. That, in turn, makes me feel even worse.

That’s where the old Borg motto comes in: Resistance is futile. I’d better repeat it three times every time the resistance threatens to paralyze me. And then I have to follow through. No matter how much I want to resist it, I have to write anyway. Write despite the feeling of resistance, write in the face of it, write through it.

Friday, 8 July 2011

857 words

Here's another thing I've never done before: I never went back and read what I'd written so far while working on the first draft. Last night, I read my beginning and hated it. No surprise there. The surprise came today when I had the ideal way of starting this story in my head without warning. It was all there, and I knew it was good.

I just wrote it down and I still think it's good. Sure, a bit of revision will make it better, but it's got potential. It certainly is much better than the waffle I'd written last week. Yay!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

No More Breakneck Novel Writing?

I've been thinking about my writing process. Why I used to enjoy the fast-paced nature of NaNoWriMo and why it doesn't seem to work for me anymore.

I don't have any definitive answers yet, but one reason is seven months old now and about to start crawling. There was a time when writing until the wee hours of the morning meant I was not particularly likely to produce my finest work in the office the following day. No biggie. Now, I need my wits about me because the baby needs me. I can't disappear for an extended lunch break and take a nap in the park. Writing isn't the most important, all consuming part of my life it used to be. Someone else has taken over that role. I think sometimes it's still difficult for me to accept that. I can't remember a time when I didn't think of myself as a writer first and foremost. I don't think of myself as a mother first and foremost even though right now, that's probably what I am.

So maybe, maybe this is all just a glitch. Maybe I'll be back to breakneck novel writing again once the little one is not quite so little anymore.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Not All That Many Words

519, to be precise.

Maybe I've outgrown the write your novel at breakneck speed phase. This November will be my tenth NaNoWriMo, maybe it's time for a more measured approach. Dunno. But cranking out words in order to meet the wordcount doesnt' make sense to me anymore.

Getting words on the page for the sake of getting words on the page was important when I was just beginning to write. But I don't need to prove to myself anymore that I can do it. I know I can. I think I may reduce my daily quota to 750 words, which is considerably less than 1613. If the writing goes well and I want to keep going, excellent. But typing on just because I decided I need to write the first draft of this novel in one month, after all? No, I don't think so.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

762 words

After last night's post, I actually managed to write another 600 words or so. Tonight, I need another (almost) 900 if I don't want to fall behind. I think I want to fall behind.

Monday, 4 July 2011

1316 words

And I'm officially too tired to write another word.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

2104 Words

I don’t have much time to write during the day. So whenever the baby is napping, I write. I never know how long I’ll get which forces me to keep going as fast as possible.

Not a bad thing if you want to finish a first draft of a novel in 31 days.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

1984 Words

A strong beginning is important for a novel. I used to think that I couldn’t develop my story if I didn’t get the beginning right. More recently I found, however, that I’ll find the best way to start the novel while writing it.

As of now, my beginning is unremarkable. I wouldn’t pick up the story based on it. But it doesn’t matter. The best way to get the story started is in my head somewhere and the best way to uncover it is by writing.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo

Or: I’m totally not going to stop writing this summer

Camp NaNoWriMo starts today (find out more here: and I’ve written 877 words so far. That is more than half the 1613 words that are required every day if I want to have a 50k novel by the end of July. And, yes, that’s what I want.

Well, no, maybe not quite. What I want is this: Write the novel which has been gestating in my head for a while and which made a dramatic leap from the backburner to the forefront of my mind a few days ago. I want to finish the first draft over the summer, then go away for a couple of weeks and come back to it to edit it. I’m not hellbent on finishing it this month, but if I did, that would be an added bonus.

So here I am, 736 words away from the daily quota. Back to writing, then. That is all.