I write to keep me sane. I write so that my words may outlive my life. I write to find redemption

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Finish Line

There have been highs and lows while working on my NaNoWriMo novel. The novel has three different types of scenes: Nikolas and Simone scenes, flashback scenes, and Simone and Thomas scenes.

The hardest ones to write were the Simone and Thomas scenes. He is her current boyfriend and I wanted to make him seem like a viable option to Nik. I wanted Thomas to be sensitive, attentive, and almost too good to be true. But every time I tried to write him he bored the hell out of me.

What can I say? I was rooting for Nik from the get go!

The modern day Nik and Simone scenes in the early part of the novel were a snap to write. But, far and away, the most fun I had were writing the flashback scenes. Nik and Simone dated in the late eighties. So I got to have them wear acid washed jeans, be huge fans of the song Boderline by Madonna, and sport Member Only jackets. They could say “Totally rad!” and “Like awesome!” The whole thing cracked me up!

The best part about NaNoWriMo is the freedom. I would never write

And then pirates flew out of the butt of the giant green ape sitting in the middle of Times Square.

But I could have if I wanted to! Because NaNo is about quantity and not quality.

And the freedom did give me the chance to throw in scenes of them being overly emotional, cryptic, rude, criminal and whatever else I could dream up without wondering if an editor would approve. I want to write all my novels like I do my NaNoWriMo novels but the internal editor shrieks at me so I end up second guessing myself.

Today I crossed the 50,000 word finish line. It felt amazing. I made my goal and gave myself added faith in my abilities.

If you did not do NaNoWriMo this year I suggest you become a participant in 2007. Like Simone circa 1987 would say, “It is like, oh my god, so totally awe-some!”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Running just as fast as I can

I'm in the weeds!

Do you know that expression? I think it comes from golfing.

Anyway, what I mean is that I am getting behind in my daily words counts and feel like I need to race to catch up to where I should be. I have 34,000 words. At midnight tonight I need to have 35,007. But the gap feels bigger than that. Because I think of how little time I will have to write on Turkey Day and then over the holiday weekend.

I could imagine this convo tommorow at the dinner table:

I say, "Well, if you will excuse me, I must rush off. It's National Novel writing month, you know how it is."

Blank stares.

I add, "I have to write 2,000 more words today to reach my goal."

A well meaning but clueless member of my family asks, "So that should take how long? Half an hour? Go jot down your words and come back for pie."

"It might take a while longer. I have to wait for my characters to speak to me. They're being difficult these days. Simone doesn't want to hurt Thomas but she doesn't love him the way she loves Nik. And Thomas is still in love with Miranda, who is dead. So that poses a different problem altogether. Plus they still haven't told me if Simone chooses Nik or Thomas."

Blank stares.

I hurry from the room mumbling, "Nanowrimo."

They discuss what size straight jacket to order for me.

I will try and explain to my family my need to carve sometime to spend with Nikolas and Simone but I fear it may be a losing battle.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home stretch

Well I am entering the homestretch of NaNoWriMo and panic is setting in. I need nearly 20,000 more words. Three days this week I will be doing the family thing for the holidays. But I want to finish this time! To cross the 50,000 word goal line. So in the moments I can spare I will be stealing away into corners to write, write, write.

Each year I do NaNoWriMo I learn more about myself as a writer. It forces me to buckle down and figure out how to keep my novel going in the moment. I can’t waste months, like I usually do, mulling it over.

At the end of Week Two I finally indulged in the NaNoWriMo forums. What a paradise on the net for me. I feed off all the energy of other writers musing on the craft. But the more I play on there the less time there is to actually write my novel.

Overall I am happy with what I have written. But it is time for me to buckle down and get serious about meeting my November 30th deadline.

One off shoot of procrastinating on my NaNoWriMo novel is that I was thinking about my other story more, the one with an aspiring writer who is at a writer’s conference. And I figured out, I think, how to fix that novel. I like the beginning but the tale stalls at one point. I think it needs another POV character, not just the one I have now. It is to limiting to writer the whole novel from only his POV.

Song Lyrics of the Day

Now I'm stuck inside
a memory

You forgot about our

You buried me,
didn't you ?

Didn't you
love me faster than the devil?

Run me
straight into the ground?

deep inside your water.

deep inside your sound.

O.A.R. lyrics

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What I did for Love, What I did for NaNoWriMo

(Title of this post is inspired by the song What I did for Love from my favorite movie, A Chorus Line.)

While working on my NaNoWriMo novel I realized just how much information on widely varying topics a writer must know. Thank God for the internet or else my novel would be full of more holes that a crocheted blanket. Here are some of the terms I entered into the search engine:

down, down baby. children’s song
candle lit restaurant south side of Chicago chocolate
eighties phrases
pink tights Cindy Lauper
top 100 songs of 1987
hair band
study on imprinting

Sometimes in order to write 50,000 words in a month you must cut some corners and add some filler.
Sins I committed to try and reach my goal:
Never used any contractions.
Wrote run on sentences galore.
Had hero make up a story ( about soul mates) and tell it to heroine.
Mentioned a lot of different songs that were playing on radios in the car, at parties, or dance clubs.
Lots of flashbacks!!! ( These were my favorite to write. I loved going back in time and trying to recapture that flavor.)

Overall I am having a blast with NaNoWriMo. Knowing thousands of writers around the world are slaving away at the same feverish pace I am gives me a sense of community that warms my soul and infuses new energy into my spirit.

I see myself tackling National Novel Writing Month for the third time next year. Will you join in? Hope to see you there!

Word Count update- I am at nearly 24,000 words now. Still nervous I won’t make it but I will type, type, type and push it till midnight November 30th.

Song Lyrics of the Day

She grew up in an Indiana town,
Had a good looking momma
who never was around,

But she grew up tall
and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on an Indiana night...

Last dance with Mary Jane.
One more time to kill the pain.

I feel summer creeping in and I'm
tired of this town again...

Oh my, my, oh hell yes
Honey put on that party dress

Buy me a drink, sing me a song,
Take me as I come 'cause
I can't stay long...

Last dance with Mary Jane
One more time to kill the pain

Tom Petty

Friday, November 10, 2006

NaNoWriMo Blurb

The trick to getting your heart’s desire is to be able to force your heart to resist desiring what it can not ever hope to obtain.

For Simone DuPont that's rapidly becoming an impossible proposition. On her hand she wears an engagement ring from Thomas. Yet, her heart never relinquished it’s craving for a different man. To purge her soul she writes a novel about her love for Nikolas but when he reads her words he can’t stay away.

With one look Nikolas may ruin her plans to marry Thomas unless Simone can manage to curve her lips into the hardest word of all to say when looking in the face of the one you desire: No.

To read the first page of this story go here

UPDATE- I hit 20,000 words on November 13th!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tagged- Collecting People

My writing friend Kelley, from the blog , tagged me to participate in project that aims to tells other writers about your background so that they can turn to you if they need expert information for their stories. Check out Kelley's October 31 entry to read about her 5 areas of expertise.

This is supposed to be posted by each person that participates

Message from Sharon: "PLEASE LEAVE THE FOLLOWING IN ALL 'PEOPLE COLLECTION' POSTS:Remember that it isn't always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it :-)"

1. I live near Chicago. So if you set a story there I can tell you all about the streets, Lake Michigan, the Taste of Chicago, the pizza, the way we eat hot dogs, the proper way to pronounce words if you live here, and everything that makes that big city seem like a small town.

2. I am a huge soap opera fan. You need to know anything about the ABC soaps I can fill you in for the last 10 years or more. Your soap obsessed character will be very authentic if you turn to me for the low down.

3. I grew up in a big family that lived in the slums and the burbs. If you are an only child or grew up privilaged one thing you need to keep in mind if you write a character that is like I was as a kid- broke in a close knit family- is that people like that are, first and foremeost, loyal to each other. When there is nothing else there is still the desire to fight to the death to stay together and stand as a force against the outside world.

4. Have you heard of the new trend toward mega churches? I go to one. So I can tell you what makes it different from the church you grew up attending.

5. My life is boring but I will bug the people I know if you need questions answered about: living in Africa, sercurity procedures in national corporations, having fibromyagia, PCOS, living in a trailer park, living in a mansion, living on a farm, car repair, NASCAR, and alcoholism.

I will tag

Brandi Ashland
and Novelist in Training

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Avon FanLit Conclusion

For anyone who wondered how the Avon FanLit competetion turned out here are the names of the winners

I didn't ever submit a chapter to the project. I was not interested in writing that genre.

Anyway, for all you NaNoWriMo participants I hope you are keeping up with you word counts. So far I am doing great with it. Last year the first week was the hardest for me. It took days to figure out a story idea and then I ditched it and went with a different one. Now I am happy with my Nikolas and Simone concept and hopeful I can keep up this pace.

My word count now is just over 9,000 words. Check out my author page here