I’ve been pretty quiet in the blog world lately, due to the high amount of writing that I’m doing. However, I’m doing a lot of tweeting with writing updates, so if you’re curious how it’s going, check out my Twitter page (which has an RSS feed available if you want to subscribe), or see the Twitter stream on the bottom right hand corner of my blog’s homepage.
I’m at the halfway point, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve been pretty strict with my writing schedule, keeping myself to 2000 words a day and taking only Sundays off. It’s worked really well for me. I’m a big fan of taking a literal Sabbath, the kind where you relax, unwind, and rest for a whole day. So the same philosophy that I use in my daily life gets applied to writing as well because, after all, it’s work. Enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.
I’ve had many, many surprises a long the way in this process, as I’ve never made it this far into a book before. Sure, I’ve written short stories, but I’m finding that this is a whole other ball game.
For one, my characters have their own agendas in the story. It’s an odd experience, but as I get to know my characters more, they start taking over more, doing things I didn’t want them to do and acting out on their own time table. I’ll learn interesting things about their likes and dislikes, as well as their history, as we go along.
Also, I’m learning that writing 2,000 words a day isn’t that tough. I don’t mean to sound cavalier about it, but when I first set out to do this, I thought that I was going to spend a lot longer staring at a blank page. But it’s really not that way. I sit down, read a little bit of what I wrote last time, and keep going.
I’m also learning about where I need to grow as a writer. Dialogue is a huge area. I found that I deliver lines in the same way a lot, and it gets a little monotonous. I need to learn some tricks for varying the conversations while still keeping it readable. Thankfully, the writers’ organization of which I’m a member is hosting a writing workshop this weekend on dialogue, so I’m set.
Oh, and I’m also learning that I’m not as deep and complex as I thought I was. I thought I’d be a bit more cognitive in my novel writing, ponderous and drawn out. But no, I default to trite and cute. So it’s a constant battle between me having fun and just going with the flow and trying to slow down to give my characters some brains.
I’m sure this is more than you wanted to know about the experience, so I’ll save the rest for next time.
I do have a resource for anyone else doing the NaNoWriMo along with me. Being the overly organized writer, I created an Excel sheet to help me set goals and meet them. It’s for the month of November, and it lists where I should be each day. But it also calculates where I need to be the next day based on a 2000 word a day schedule, in case I get ahead of myself (which I often do). This could be adaptable for any month and any writing plan. So, I thought I’d toss it out for people who like to have a daily writing schedule. I wrote my Master’s thesis on one, and I’m very glad I did. (Oh, and it’s got my writing tally up to now in it, so you can see how it works).