Tuesday, November 4, 2014

NaNoWriMo, time to write a novel

Report from Atascadero, California: Call me crazy, but I have started a new novel even though I didn't finish the first one, yet! It's national novel writing month. Yes, there is such a thing! And though I was tempted to revise and complete the novel that I started last November, I just had the faintest idea for a new one and decided to go for it. 

So, even though we are on tour, and my days are wild already, I am going to do this thing because I am already enjoying it. 

NaNoWriMo, the folks that put these strange novel-writing notions into the heads of thousands of people each year, has a term for people like me. I am a "pantser." This means that I am writing the novel by the seat of my pants. Well, I am literally, because novel writing involves a lot of sitting still and concentrating on one task - not checking facebook, not checking email, not making a tea, not wandering into the kitchen for a lovely piece of Irish soda bread made by Anet . . . no, no, no (to quote Ringo Starr). Pantsers made no plans, did no research, outlines, flow charts, before November 1. We just sat down and wrote the first sentence and then, like someone pacing off for a duel, we put another sentence after the first and prayed that we would not be vanquished by the third sentence, and so on. 

Even though we had two concerts this past weekend, I have managed to eek out 2007 words of the 50,000 word goal which means I am behind, but not desperately so. 

As a pantser, I find great solace in this quote by E.L. Doctorow: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” I once had to do this kind of driving for my Mawmaw Ann up on Smith Ridge. She has a large buick; we did not go off a cliff; we got home and ate some sherbet cake to calm our nerves.

This gives me courage to keep on going and see where Chip leads me. Chip is the name of my protagonist and she will be my companion for the next month. 

Winnie-the-Pooh has also agreed to help out. He's very quiet and doesn't mind when I talk to myself.

It's not too late to go ahead and sign up to write a novel, too. We can be writing buddies! I know you'll write something wonderful, come along!


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