NaNoWriMo mistakes and outlook

It’s been silent here in the last week, but fear not, I have gone nowhere.

I spent the last week toying with the next project that tentatively pushed itself forward now that my brain has space for a new idea. It’s not completely new and I really like it, though it’s still very raw and has nothing more than three characters and genre(s). I also thought about how to go about it and how to incorporate it into the blog.

I still like the idea of doing things project style, because in the end, every story is a project.

But before I dive into the next challenge and my thoughts on what I want from it, I want to do a quick review of my “failure”.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo mistakes and outlook”

NaNoWriMo diaries – day #13

I am admitting defeat.

Wow, that doesn’t sound so nice, does it.

I haven’t posted the last two days because the only things I could have written about are the things I’v already talked about on repeat: I am not getting into this, flow doesn’t come, writing is hard.

Today, I’ve taken a long hard look at the last two weeks, at myself, at how I feel while writing and at my story, and realised: this won’t work.

Continue reading “NaNoWriMo diaries – day #13”

The NaNoWriMo diaries – day #10

I almost stopped writing after a sentence today. But I didn’t. Not that I added too much more after it, but well… 328 words it is.

Talked to two friends about why I am not really getting into the grove this year, and while the dialog is starting to get more and helps, there is another aspect that came to mind (I do my best thinking when I talk or write, is that just me, or can someone relate?).

I have so much “real” life stuff going on that I just don’t manage to get immersed in my story. When I sit down to write at night, it’s usually the first time that I think about it. Which is completely different from all my previous writing experiences.

I’ll try to remedy that by creating a bit more space for my story to develop. Listening to my playlist while I am walking to work. When taking my weekend strolls along the river.

Usually, my thoughs naturally gravitate towards what I am writing but I am going through a pretty intense phase in my non-writer life at the moment, that holds a lot of importance for my future and just piles up the things that need doing. So right now, that is where my mind wanders off to whenever it can, ignoring the greener pastures of story telling as best as it can.

Let’s see what some gentle prodding can do to that.

 

(I feel like it’s such a shame that the first NaNoWriMo I am actually documenting is such a hassle. Then again, what good would constant posting of “EVERYTHING IS GREAT!” be in the long run? It’s not as much fun atm as I anticipated, but it is a great learning opportunity and a chance to grow as a writer. So… I guess there’s a lesson here. Let’s see how well I can figure it 0ut.)

The NaNoWriMo diaries – day #9

What a day.

When the election result came in,  I spent the morning unable to get out of bed and crying.  Writing a YA fantasy story suddenly seemed like the most pointless, unimportant thing in the world.

But then remembered. I remembered that I have two strong women in there, who both fight for their beliefs, but will undergo change. Will learn to understand that there is always more than one side to things, that categorial antagonism is rarely the way to go and that most people don’t hold their beliefs out of pure evil.

There is a people who are a minority, marginalized and looked down upon who are resilient and find ways to keep together as a community despite their hardships. Who keep their beliefs and who will see change coming and hope rise.

There are two boys, both struggling to find out who they are, caught between what they (think they) want and what is expected of them. Who will encounter challenges and suffer, but also learn things. Open their minds to different possibilities.

These are the kind of people I root for. These are the kind of people I want to trust with our future. These are the kind of people I want as role models for readers young and old alike.

It’s one of the reasons I write.

It’s not that I want to talk down to anyone or lecture them. I don’t want to pertain a “holier than thou” attitude, but I want and I will make sure that my belief system and my values are openly found in every chapter I write. It’s not about proclaiming them. It’s about making them part of the strucutre of my story, about weaving them into the backbone of my tales, where (especially young) readers can find them and think about them. Sound out their own positions in relation to them.

Not everything I write on the surface is a reflection of who I am and what I believe. Not every indication of moral, value systems or political thought is put there deliberately or a direct expression of myself.  But if you look deeper, at themes and recurring issues: this is where you find me.

It’s why, to me, writing is important. Even on a day like today.

Especially on a day like today.

 

There’s no way to transition over elegantly to my writing performance of the day, so clumsy has to do. Writing was once again not really smooth, but I got a bit of dialog in and I kind of feel like it might really be the key to a better flow.

I’ve heaped more trouble on one of my main characters and left her in a (life and death) cliff hanger situation.

I’ll leave you with one of her thoughts that I feel, applies to most situations in life, not only to those that foreshadow possible physical harm.

Defensive stances have never been her forte. She doesn’t like to be a victim. If someone wants to hurt her, they will do so regardless of whether she cowers in fear or stands her ground.

 

The NaNoWriMo diaries -#day 8

It’s a true drag. Seriously, I would love to report something else, but every word is a fight right now. I’ve never had a story that was so averse to being written.

It’s not only the story, though. I have real difficulties in concentrating on writing, just doing that and not branching out in my mind to other things.

I wasted two valuable hours of potential writing time on youtube today. Not that I regret watching videos of Benedict Cumberbatch’s hilarious talk show appearances of the last month, but that could have waited till December.

I also feel like I’ve lost any feeling for the pacing of my story and am very unsure wether things happen too fast or too slow. I’ve pushed that thought away towards the editing stage, though.

What I can report that I successfully got a scene out of the way that I was dreading, and I think I did a decent job. Still waiting for feedback on it from my most loyal reader (I ❤ Cheffchen! Also, clearly, you. Thanks for being in this with me!).

It’s only 1.1k today but oh well. Better luck tomorrow. I’ll try to get a morning and a lunch writing session in, because I’m out for cocktails in the evening and I am no Hemmingway. Writing drunk usually doesn’t do it for me.

Oh, and before anyone thinks I am not enjoying this NaNo: I do. It’s just unexpectedly difficult and I can’t yet put my finger on the why. I definitely love my characters and I think the plot is at least decent so far. It might need some polishing here and there afterwards but I stand by the basic storyline. Let’s hope this thing is picking up some pace, soon!

(Actually, now that I am writing about not knowing why things don’t yet flow, I have a fleeting suspicion as to why that is: dialogue. I miss dialog SO much. I have had the occassional bit of it, but so far, all my protagonists are still mostly in different places. I can’t wait to get them together finally. Dialog usually writes itself. So. Keep your fingers crossed for this being the remedy, will you?)

The NaNoWriMo diaries – day #7

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here it is. Day one of the “I can’t do this, my writing sucks, everything is stupid” game. Writing was really really really hard today for the most part. It took me about 2000 words until finally, something like flow happened.

I whined to a friend who basically gave the mafia treatment (you know…heave shoes, deep water…) to my inner editor and told me to just go on. Go on I did. I got myself to 3k, which means I managed to shave of 500 words of my deficit from last week.

Lesson of the day? Persistence pays of. (Also, writer friends are golden.)

Mundane office work also allowed me enough brain space this afternoon to get rid of a logic problem in my plot that I fabricated by making things uneccessarily complicated. Just complicated, not complex. There’s a difference that’s sometimes hard to spot but I feel like I am on a good way in that department now.

Wordcount after a week of NaNoWriMo 2016: 16.122

Need for sleep: off the charts.

Bedwards!

 

The NaNoWriMo diaries – day #6

Finally, a writing day after my own heart. This story still struggles to be written, I need a lot more time to pause and think how to proceed than I am used to and much of it doesn’t yet flow in the way I have experienced with other projects.

Nevertheless, half a day of writing yielded a bit more than 5k, which is a substantial amount. I am still 2k short of the 15k I should have in total by now, but if the next week runs smoothly (fingers crossed! I am looking at you, universe. Well and at myself and my time managment…), I should be all caught up by next Sunday.

I’ve brought considerable trouble over almost all of my protagonists by now and intend to continue to do so. It’s fun.

I also spend the evening out with some friends, which means that I managed to ignore impressive heaps of other work piling up here. Which will need doing during the week. As I said. A masterclass in time management is upon me.

I’ll leave you with two pictures I took on my way home earlier: castle in the dark and a gold(en) tree.

 

castle-in-the-dark