Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15

"Life can't ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death - fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant."

~Edna Ferber, A Kind of Magic, 1963

"Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

~Gene Fowler

As many of you have noticed and inquired about, there hasn't been a new blog post in a while. If you've looked at my NaNo page, you may also have noticed that while today's "on track" goal is 25,000 words, I am currently at 18,530.

Except for the fact that my main character is totally devoid of all personality, the writing has been going very well. .. except for the carpal tunnel. I didn't write that last post out of nowhere. This NaNo has been one of the most physically difficult NaNo years I've had, with days where I simply seem to be unable to use the computer. Bad times.

But I'm not far enough behind yet to despair! If I can make the hands work, there is still plenty of time... despite the fact that I need to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner somewhere in there. On the other hand, this is the first year that I've brought NaNo into the school where I teach. The kids in my classroom are doing so amazingly well that even if I don't hit 50k this year, I will feel like I have accomplished something incredible by giving them the chance to accomplish something incredible.

Tip of the Day:

Don't worry if you feel like what you're writing isn't quite right. There's a quote from Arthur Polotnik that says, "You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke."

During November, just let it burn. To give you an example, I am already very sure that all the chapters told in Tony's point of view are going to require a great deal of revision once I get a better sense of Tony himself. At the moment, he's a bland character whose responses are wildly inconsistent. However, it's November, and if I go back to try to fix it now, I'll struggle. I won't make my word-count and, more importantly, I will probably lose all momentum in the story.

Notice what I said there: "once I get a better sense of Tony." This isn't just a matter of putting editing off to get words down. Through writing, I will learn who Tony is. Then I can edit. The point of NaNo is to teach you to do it in that order. Write first, to figure out what you want to say. Then you can edit to make it clear to others what you have said.

Tip of the Day #2:

I just realized- when I went to write the title of this post- that today is Day 15. Do you know what that means?


In at least 3 places.

I'm serious. Even if you only have 1000 words, back them up. Get in the habit of doing this regularly, and you'll thank me some day.

Prompt of the Day:

A character (it doesn't have to be your main character) reveals a long-held secret.
(thank you, Sha, for the prompt)


For some reason, your character can't get into his/her house. What does he do?
(thank you, Qara-Xuan, for the prompt)


This one made me chuckle, and is mostly for those who hate something you recently wrote:
Have all of what you wrote yesterday (or last chapter, etc) turn out to be a dream-- now the character has to either do all that again, or progress differently from the starting point
(also from Qara-Xuan)


  1. How about if Tony decided to become a stand-up comedian for the rest of the month? Or a fanatic for some really unusual cause? Or a serial killer?

    (Also, in unrelated news, I just finished watching the most recent episode of Dexter.)

  2. Tony's still struggling with the moral dilemma of whether or not it's okay to steal $20 from your financially well-off friend while you're running for your life.

  3. Are there any nanowrimo updates, as we're coming to an end? I dropped out, myself. Some family issues interrupted my process quite dramatically. But still curious to see how you've done.