Friday, October 23, 2009

NaNoWriMo is Nearly Upon Us!

(Don't know what National Novel Writing Month is? Click on the Web badge to learn more!)

Once again, I teeter on the edge of the cliff. Last year, I entered NaNo with a good story idea and a rudimentary outline (unusual as a SEG starting maneuver). I'd even 'interviewed' two different characters to take the lead role.

It sounded good in theory, but in practice, I wrote a very small amount. I didn't even break 7500 words. I haven't even doubled that in the year since. To say that I was discouraged and disappointed in myself would be an understatement.

Here I am again, though, preparing to try another Nano with this story and these characters. Yes, it's scary. What do I have this year that I didn't have last year, besides more existential angst?

(Yes, this is a rhetorical question. I figure no one else reads this blog but me, so I might as well talk to myself).

Well, at Bouchercon (pics to follow one day), I got some encouragement. I took part in Hallie Ephron's plot-writing workshop, and she said she liked my story concept. No, I am not going to reveal it here, since we have already established that I am talking to myself, and I already know what the idea is.

I've had another year to work on backstory. Unlike my vampires, who cavorted around in my head for years before I began writing about them, I entered NaNo last year with an entirely new cast and story setting. I'm still getting to know these people.

I also got some hints and advice from people at Bouchercon. Liz Zelvin helped me figure out some questions I should be asking about my character, and several of the panels addressed my story concerns. I also had a small epiphany or two, since my subconscious spent some time stewing on the subject.

These are the positives I must remind myself about as November approaches. I will need them to get past the mental blank-out I experience when I open my manuscript.

Good fortune with your writing!

1 comment:

Peg Brantley said...

7500 words is nothing to sneeze at.

I love the encouragement from Nano emails, but I have to say that I'm taking a pass this year. I'm working on edits and rewrites and well, the timing stinks.

Go for it, Sarah!

(And I hope you're feeling better.)