National Novel Writing Month [Day 4]: The Struggle is Real

Buddy and MacBook

This is not a staged photo.

I am currently typing this one-handed.

Buddy–clearly not a patron of the arts.

My workaround for now is just listing notes for each of my characters in MacJournal.

Day 3 consisted of printing out material I’d prepared–outlines, etc., catering to his majesty’s every need, going to the Oregon State-USC football game...and deluding myself that I would easily catch up on word count today.

National Novel Writing Month [Day 2]

Folks, feel free to click right past. These updates are an accountability tool for me. As you can see, I’m well behind pace right now, but I’ve made up deficits before.

My less than specific story description [excerpt from an email to Sarra of heartbreathings.com]: I keep messing with my plotting strategy in my head. Part of me wants to avoid heavy dialogue because it really slows down the pace, even without the annoying punctuation. Part of me is considering working from three directions [characters] who will converge at various points in the story. Who knows?

National Novel Writing Month 2018 Tally Sheet

The journey to a 50,000 word novel…

starts with one word…

graffitti journey to 50000 words

Because I have 50,000 other things I should be working on…

I’m going to do NANOWRIMO this year and, like 2006, 2008, and 2010, I’ll finish.

I promise! [That’s me talking to me. I’m pretty sure you folks won’t lose sleep over it.]

–I’ll take my own prewriting course over the next few days prior to Nov. 1. Just to see if I know even a nano-iota of what I’m talking about [i.e. stealing from smarter, more experienced writers].

–Plus, a little inner dialogue as I venture ahead…

Critical Me: So, why are you even doing this?

NANO-Me: I need a deadline. I want to do push ahead on a new project. I want an excuse to not look at the clutter in my garage. I have to prove that I can still crank out words, since I promised my wife that a dog would actually make me more productive. [Of course, I wasn’t serious, but it was well worth the good laugh.]

Critical Me: Do you want this to be, eventually, a marketable product?

NANO-Me: Since I’m not great a Round Two Writing, that’s not even on my radar.

Critical Me: Do you have a plan for your story?

NANO-Me: Why yes I do, smarty-pants. In fact, I have a chronology all set up in my mind, a sequence of 180 mini-chapters, if you must know.

Critical Me: And you really think you’ll finish all 180 mini-chapters?

NANO-Me: I mainly want to finish my 50000 words and see which comes first.

Critical Me: What do you like about NANOWRIMO?

NANO-Me: I like the freedom to inject all sorts of detours into a story depending on your mood on a given day. And I like Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem book.

Critical Me: What’s so special about that book?

NANO-Me: Well, it’s like this. He’s the guy who started it. And his fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants suggestions are worth the read. And it is just that devil-may-care [am I using too many hyphenated expressions?] approach that inspires me to spend my words like a drunken, well, not Hemingway, because he didn’t waste words…spend my words like a drunken Tolstoy, how’s that?

Critical Me: First of all, yes, you are sucking the well of hyphens dry. Thanks for noticing. Care to share any gems from Baty’s book?

NANO-Me: Sure. I’ll put them at the end of this. I wouldn’t want them drowning in this sea of blather. Time for a break, right?

Critical Me: What for?

NANO-Me: For lunch, that’s what for.

Gem #1 from No Plot? No Problem

“Having an end-date for your quest through the noveling unknown is like bringing along a team of jetpack-wearing, entrepreneurial sherpas. These energetic guides not only make passage easier through the myriad formidable obstacles, but they’ll fly ahead and open coffeeshops and convenience stores along the route.”