Thursday, November 03, 2005

Writing Nano

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Writing NaNo

The first thing that popped into my mind this morning relates to
what I never have enough of. Time. Where does it go? I start out
every morning early and finish late. I’m thinking I need to take a
time management course. Only I don’t have time.

I opted in to NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month. I’ve
had an idea for a novel zooming in and out of my muse space for
at least a year. So I mapped the characters and sketched a plot
scene by scene. I didn’t question whether I could write 50,000
words in 30 days. After all, there’s no editor sitting at a desk
somewhere, ready to send me one of those ‘where’s your story?’
emails I get from time to time. So it's like I hit 'delete' on the
pressure key.

I started writing on November 1. What really impresses me is the
fluidity. Normally, I’ll write graf after graf to get an article sketched
out, until I land on the lead or angle I want. But with this book,
once I let the character through the door, the story just started
running like a marathoner.

I’m not kidding myself that this will be a finished manuscript. I’m
a neurotic reviser. But scheduling 1,667 words a day has merit.
Maybe it’s a result of so many years of meeting deadlines for a
set amount of words. But for the first time, I’m not struggling with
fiction. I’ll know in 30 days whether I can do this. My goal is to
produce a first draft.

Fiction is a whole lot easier to draft than nonfiction or poetry, in my
opinion. Note the emphasis on the word ‘draft.’ When I write
poetry, it’s like climbing a steep mountain one small step at a
time, and I’m wearing flip flops. When I write nonfiction, it’s like
digging a long garden row before you drop the little seeds in the

But with this NaNo project, once I got the main character going,
she took over and began to tell her own story.

Who says you can’t teach an old freelancer new tricks?

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