30 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #7: It's not over 'til it's over!

Yes, it's 11:20 a.m. (EST) on November 30th. But that means you have about 12 hours left if you're on the East coast.

So stop reading blogs and keep writing! I'm scribbling, too! I know I won't finish, but I'll at least make a good showing!

Good luck!

28 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #6: the Last Days

We're in the final days of NaNoWriMo.

Can you believe the month is nearly over already? It seems that just last week I was getting excited about my idea, doing a lot of planning and research, and watching the calendar to in anticipation of when I could start writing.

And now, here we are, at the end of the month, and instead I'm reflecting on the experience, thinking about the story I have (and haven't) written, and deciding where my fiction-writing is going to go beginning on December 1.

However, where I am is not necessarily where you are. Because I have a work deadline tomorrow, I know I'm not going to finish NaNo. That's okay with me. I entered into it knowing I wouldn't. I just wanted to know that I tried, and that I could get back into fiction-writing a bit.

So don't let the fact that there are only two and a half days of writing left deter you from scribbling away. Yes, time is short, but you could still finish!

It's these last days that can be the most inspiring for WriMos. You could be writing away, and have your muse whisper something in your ear (or slap your hands or what-have-you) that sets your fingers flying. You could have a breakthrough with your main character or plot or setting that makes your word count explode.

So keep writing. You could be surprised at how well the next two days goes for you. Don't count yourself out yet because it's not over until the calendar says December first.

Keep writing, and good luck!

25 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #5: Thanksgiving Weekend

For those of you who are American WriMos:

Happy Thanksgiving!

While I don't think you should neglect family and friends today as you celebrate, you should take time to write when you can. Perhaps after you eat while everyone's watching football, you can sneak a pad of paper under your foam finger to scribble a few words before dessert.

Many of you have tomorrow off, as well. What better way is there to start a long weekend than by boosting your word count?

Enjoy your holiday weekend, enjoy your scribbling, and good luck!

Happy scribbling!

22 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #4: the Last Half

Yes, dear WriMos, we're in the back half of the month. Ideally, you should be beyond 25,000 words (I'm not.), and well on your way to 50,000 words.

Are you getting tired of your story? Perhaps you feel it's not going anywhere? Maybe you're past the NaNoMoon, and into some of the more tedious writing, which is slowing your word count. So what do you do when that happens?

If you find yourself a bit "blah" about your story, now is the time to spice things up. Add a character. Change the setting. Create a new conflict between existing characters. Do something different with the plot.

Do whatever you can think of to make some kind of change wherever you are in your story. It doesn't have to necessarily fit. It doesn't have to be logical. (That's what editing is for, remember?) All it has to do is get you writing again.

Keep writing, friends. We're nearing the end of the month. It may be a bit scary, but remember there's still a holiday weekend to boost your word count! (Are you fortunate enough to have Thursday and Friday off? In that case, you're set!)

And whatever else happens, no matter what your word count on December 1st, it will be higher than your word count right now, and it will be higher than your word count on November 1st, and it will be higher than your word count on October 31st. Just keep writing!

Happy scribbling!

13 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #3: Approaching Mid-Month

Welcome to the second weekend in NaNoWriMo!

How has Week Two treated you? Was this a week in which you sprinted ahead? Was this a week that kind of kicked your butt? Either way, remember that whatever your word count is right now, it's higher than it was on October 31st and even November 1st.

Something that tends to happen to me around this time is that I realize how, exactly, I'm writing. I think about the words as I'm putting them on the page. I realize the words, phrases, and sentences aren't...great. Well, aren't even good, if we're being honest. It's then that my word count slows. I forget about the just-get-words-on-the-page-to-get-in-the-habit-of-writing part of NaNo and slip back into the every-phrase-must-be-bestselling-list-worthy hang-up many writers experience.

It's the Inner Editor. Mine looks something like a snooty college professor. She reads what I wrote over my shoulder, peeking over her librarian-esque glasses, shaking her head silently, jabbing her ink-stained finger at something that sticks out. As hard as I've tried to banish her to the local library, she finds her way back to my desk eventually. And if she's been away, she's all the more critical of my writing.

She's trying to keep me from hitting 25,000 words. That's the current magical number we all need, isn't it? 25,000 are "due" by the 15th, a mere two days away.

Speaking from experience, let me tell you that once you hit 25,000 words, it gets easier. By that point, you know your characters, you know your story, and you can just roll with a world you've established in the first half of the story.

So keep writing, little by little, as you seek to cross that halfway point.

And if you don't hit 25,000 words by the 15th, it's okay. Just keep writing. Remember: you're not behind. You're just pacing yourself.

08 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #2: Lift your fingers, take a breath, and remember to rehydrate.

Welcome to the other side of the first weekend in November, dear WriMos! How did you do?

I managed to write ahead before the weekend, so I spent the weekend getting other things done (our upcoming move and Bean's surgery are causing me to be quite a bit more organized). I'm at 11,883 words at the moment, and hoping that, once I finish my work today, I'll be able to bump it up to 13-14,000. Of course, that all depends on Bean's nap schedule, too.

I do want to remind you that it's really, really okay if you're "behind" at this point. It's still very early in the month, which means there are three more weekends, including Thanksgiving weekend, to write and catch up. There's plenty of time.

By the end of the week, you should be somewhere around 21,000 words to be on target for the 50,000 at the end of the month. But don't worry too much about that. No matter where you are, your word count is higher than it was on October 31st. And that's worth celebrating!

So get yourself a cup of coffee, maybe dig in to that Halloween stash we both know is still hanging around, and just keep writing. You can do it!

And if anyone asks, you're not behind. You're just pacing yourself.

05 November 2010

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk #1: [insert clever, inspiring title here]

Congratulations! You've made it to the first weekend of NaNoWriMo! Woo hoo!

Each weekend in November presents you with the opportunity to catch up if you're behind--or get ahead before the week starts again--and this is your first chance.

Since this is the only first weekend of November, I urge you to not worry about your word count. Don't look at where you should be by the end of today or tomorrow or Sunday. Instead, look at where you are, and resolve to increase that number. That's it.

Yes, there are people doing NaNo who are far beyond the goal word count. Good for them. But there are also people who are behind. There are people who have not yet decided to participate. And that's okay, too.

What's important to remember is that NaNo is not a race or a competition that promises a prize to the longest or best or first-published novel afterward. It's simply a way to prove to yourself that you can, in fact, make time to write fiction every day.

Of course, your goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month. That's my goal, too. But the bigger goal should be writing every day.

Besides, it's much to early in the month to be worrying about that big end-of-the-month word count. Instead, your first milestone word count should be 10,000 words. If you hit 10,000 some time this weekend, you'll be doing great! If not, that's okay. Keep writing, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, until you get there.

Just write this weekend.

Good luck, and happy scribbling!