Category Archives: National Novel Writing Month

Clank, clank, clank, clank, …. WHEEE!

I’m sitting in an imaginary roller-coaster car as it is being pulled up that first long hill.  In my mind’s ear, I can hear the clacking of the wheels on the track; in my mind’s eye I see the wide open sky above me as I reach the top of that first drop; my stomach feels the pull of G-forces as we slow, curve over, and start racing down.

ZOMG!  What have I gotten myself into?!

It’s the first of November, the beginning of National Novel Writing Month.  It’s that month where we specifically try to write fifty thousand new words.  Only 1667 words a day  —  every day, day in and day out, for thirty days.  No excuses, no slacking off.

And no prizes or rewards, either.  Just the satisfaction of knowing that you can discipline yourself to sit down and write on schedule.

I’ve been puttering along on one novel for nearly two decades.  I’ve got a couple of short stories in fitful progress, and notes and outlines for a half-dozen more.  I’ve got plenty of ideas, a sweet little laptop to record them into, the entire Internet as my research library, and all the other trappings I could ever think I need or want to become a writer.

I only need to do some writing.  Like maybe 1667 words a day  —  every day.  What separates me from imagining I’m a writer, and actually being one, is just writing all these stories out.  And this is the month when I run out of excuses.

Wish us all luck!  And lots of words….


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My characters are haunting me!

It’s true!

For nearly a year, I’d been working on what I thought would be a horror novel but actually ended at 35,000 words – making it only a novella. Either way, the story is finished, albeit I still have to edit and polish it. It’s done.

Or so I thought. You see, National Novel Writing Month is coming up, and because I finished my novella, I need an idea. I don’t usually try to think of ideas, though. I try to let them come to me. But, none would make themselves known. My characters keep haunting my thoughts, hovering over me, saying, “Jasmine… Use us… Use us!” And then I would say, “What do you guys want, a sequel? What could you possibly want after all that hell I put you guys through?”

Let me tell you, my poor characters are bruised, battered, spooked, and screwed up beyond belief. I think I gave them a fitting end. Still, they come, except now, they don’t just demand that I use them again. They’re throwing possible continuations of the plot at me. Well, great. I guess this means I have to write that sequel. And now I have to go back to my novella and change the ending so that it’s actually open for a sequel.

Welp, guys, looks like you won. And I hope you’re happy.

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by | October 20, 2012 · 3:38 pm

National Novel Writing Month

Naturally, with October partway over and November on its way, my first post had to be about Nano. I’m counting down the days until November 1 on the dry-erase board above my bed (22 days!), and it just can’t come fast enough.

For those of you who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, is a month-long novel-writing palooza in which writers around the world (novices and veterans alike) attempt to write their own 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. And by “around the world,” I mean “around the world.” From Egypt to Wyoming, from Hungary to Ontario to Sri Lanka, writers all over the globe race against the clock to get those stories out of their heads and into a word processor.

(Or onto paper, but a word processor keeps count of the words-so-far for you.)

You might be thinking: That’s crap. And in two ways, you might be right.
It can be stressful, trying to complete a 50,000-word novel while working, going to class, raising a two-year-old, taking care of a Labrador, or whatever. And, let’s face it: Most of what you write at that speed will probably be crap.

But that’s okay, because Nanowrimo isn’t about producing a best-selling literary masterpiece that the critics will love and that will set you up for life. Nano is about actually writing that novel you always said you would write. For the duration of November, duct-tape your inner editor to a chair and throw him in the closet.

You can always edit in December.

You can find the UTWG Nano thread here.
You can add Elizabeth as a Nano buddy here.
UTWG write-ins will be at Biggby Coffee on West Central Avenue at 7:00p.m. on Mondays. Nano kick-off party TBA.

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