Nanowrimo Day 22: Get a move on

I was going to do a Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part 1 post today, and then I realized that Thanksgiving is in four days. So instead, I’m doing a hurry-up-and-get-some-writing-done post because I need to get a word count jump before I head into the inevitable food coma, and decorating-fest that usually comprises my Thanksgiving weekend.

And I suggest that you do as well.

This is the time to push yourself past what you’ve already been doing. The good news is, now that you’re coming to the end, your options have considerably narrowed. There are so many possibilities at the beginning, but at the end, there are only a few things your character can do to get that redemption, or foil that villain, or beat that opponent with mere seconds to spare.

This is the most exciting part of the book when the plot moves along at warp speed as everything comes to a head. If you’ve done your job, many things are hanging in the balance and all you have to do is weave their solutions into the Exciting! Earth-shattering! Stupendous! conclusion.

It’s the most exciting part of the book. So it should be the most exciting to write.

Which means you should be able to get it done quickly, right?

Right?

Go!

[Image from: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSQq3SFb2M-x4l8e7cK7KaUwI0klah0g3GSQYfh3Sz2rQZ_ALRA]

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Nanowrimo Day 17: Choose your own adventure

My NaNoWriMo novel has taken a turn for the weird. Not bad, just weird. Plus, some main characters are being left out of this huge middle chunk and they’re jumping at the edges of the page shouting, what about me? So I know that when I re-do this draft, Major Reworking will be necessary. I’m not worried. I don’t consider this draft a real one anyway, more like an exploratory draft.

Exploratory draft. Those words take the pressure off of writing. It’s like saying, I’m not trying to hit it out of the park. I’m just trying to get to the park.

Right now, my manuscript resembles those choose your own adventure books with several different avenues for the reader to follow. I pick a track, follow it, and then go back and write another. Later on, I’ll chose which works best. The outline is my anchor. It allows me to go far afield without missing the major plot points. And things are moving forward. I’m actually very interested in what’s going to happen at the end of this thing, and even more interested in which of these little offshoot tracks are going to wind up working out when I get to the real writing of this novel.

Now that I’ve started thinking of this as an exploration, the writing has become more fun.

Nanowrimo Day 16: Things go awry

Oh happy day! You’ve made it to the 2nd half of your NaNoWriMo novel. Your main character is in big trouble now, and trying valiantly to get out of whatever literary mess you’ve made for them. Unfortunately, their personality, their nemesis, a few fair or foul-meaning minor characters are also getting in their way. Even the landscape and weather seems to be against them! Woe is [name of character]. So busy hatching plans that they think will make everything better! Only, they don’t. Because if they thought they were in deep doo doo before, now, in this second half of the book, Things Really Go Awry.

This can be a lot of fun for you if you’re a sadist like me. I throw everything I have at these poor guys. Red herrings, deceptive friends, poison-clawed creatures hell bent on driving them to the brink of madness. You know. The usual.

It’s so exciting when all hell breaks loose. It’s a total high to write bullets for my main characters to dodge, all the while wondering how in the heck I’m going to tie this all up. But never mind that. I don’t have to worry about bringing things together until next week.

Oooh! Poison-tipped arrows!

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

[Image of Edvard Munchs “The Scream” from http://www.edvard-munch.com/gallery/anxiety/scream.htm]

Nanowrimo Day 12: Research! (or wasting time)

I wasn’t planning to do another NaNoWriMo post this week, but this is going to be a good ‘un!

It’s week two, so you’re probably  sick of your novel right now. It’s not fun anymore and you’re not sure what in the heck you were thinking when you first conceived of it. You’re also not really sure what it’s about.

So it’s a perfect time to go find some things on the internet that relate to your book. That’s called research, and it’s an awesome time-waster… er… inspiration/information-finder.

For example. My WIP features many Caribbean folklore creatures, like soucouyants and douennes, and Mama D’Leau, who is like a mermaid only her bottom half is anaconda, not fish, and her top half, while female, ain’t pretty. Like. At all.

So, I found these images of a fossilized mermaid. It’s so creepy and gross and I love it. Totally what I need to keep in mind as I write about the  mermaid hunter in the book. This is precisely the sort of image he’d carry around in a journal.

Then I found these pictures of work by a sculptor who puts his art under water. One of the pictures is of a group of people sculptures beneath the sea in Grenada. They’re creepy and gorgeous and perfect. So perfect in fact, that I mocked up a cover using one of the images.

Hey, if this thing ever gets published, I’m going to ask my editor if they can contact this guy for his images.

And now I’m inspired to get back to work with a few images to keep me on track. Only… I’m not sure I’m satisfied with the font I chose for my mock cover… hmmmm.