Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life Post-NaNo


(My view while writing about interplanetary space ships.)

NaNoWriMo is ending today at midnight and I am done my novel. You’d think that I’d want to spend as much time away as possible from the computer now. You know, stop thinking about my story entirely and see if I’ve missed much of real life in that month I spent in sci-fi/NaNo land! I probably should go to that doctor’s appointment now and maybe put a pound or two on my bones. But rehabilitation is not easy and I find myself still clinging to the glory of NaNoWriMo. I come back from the battlefield, bloodied and exhausted, but victorious and hungry for more... or something like that!

So here I thought I’d go more in depth about my writing experience and give some advice if you think of participating next year. Which, if you have any inclination whatsoever towards writing, you totally should. I didn’t know at first if I was going to do it. I had some initial concerns. But now I’m hooked and wished I didn’t have to wait for another year to do this again (my boyfriend is on the other hand grateful it’s over).

First of all, there is no valid excuse why you shouldn’t do it. 50,000 seems like a lot of words, but it’s realistic. It’s feasible. At the end, you’re not going to have a huge novel. You’ll have something you can easily read back in a few hours (depends how fast you read though I guess. I read fast.) Just trying here to put that number into some vague perspective.

Check your perfectionist tendencies at the beginning of the month and tell your inner editor to zip it. Don’t listen to that nagging voice at the back of your head saying that you suck and that you should quit. Yell back at it: “YOU SUCK! Frack off!!”

This is not the time to spend an hour just picking out a name for a character or a place. Use the first friggen name that comes into your mind. You can change it later, you know, when you don’t have a word count to beat in a timely matter. Borrow names if it gives you a feel for a character or a place. I borrowed names of places from the novel Red Mars and one of my main characters is currently named after a WWE champion. Keep that epic villain name that makes everybody cringe because it contains the word “fetish” in it. Remember, this is a marathon of words. It’s quantity versus quality. It cannot be stressed enough. The right synonym is overrated during this month as well. So what there is the same word three times in the same paragraph? Don’t give yourself a facepalm over it. Save that for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month). What matters, is your words and the story. That you know what you mean when writing something is all that matters so you can fix it and polish it later.

Take it easy when ideas are not coming. Writing at times will feel like you’re not doing anything. You’re going to procrastinate a lot while your brain works out the details of your story. Having an outline helps. But if you’re anything like me, you won’t follow that story outline too much and know what’s going on as you go. If an idea seems crazy to you but just won’t leave your head, write it anyway. Don’t fight it. Sometimes your subconscious knows best. Or keep telling yourself that. Remind yourself of NaNoEdMo. I had a few wtf moments during this month, wondering what a psychoanalyst would think if he or she ever read my draft. Whatever, masquerade the weirdness for some brilliance and move on! So what if I’ve shaped a self-destruct mechanism as a vagina? That’s cool! If I’d been a guy, it probably would’ve been a phallic symbol ‘a la Austin Power! I’ll worry if it’s tasteful later down road. I got a couple good sized paragraphs out of it though. In the end, that’s what counts, right?

Just do it! And add me as a writing buddy!

See you again next year NaNoWriMo!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Who's a NaNoWriMo Winner? This girl!!

So I have finally reached today my word count and managed to keep my writing in check and not spill over endlessly over the 50,000 mark like I was afraid I might do. As usual, finishing my novel was a pain. I don’t do well with story endings. Its always been a problem for me. I could build up forever though. In fact I’ve been building up forever now on my other writing project. And I don’t feel like I’ve been quite to the depths I wanted for my finale, but what is done is done and NaNoEdMo can wait!

If I have learned anything during this month is that I have absolutely no valid excuse whatsoever not to finish my other writing project, although now it can wait! I need a break from any intense creative process. I can’t go trough that again, not so soon!

I have neglected myself, my relationship and friendships, all for the sake of this project. I have drank more coffee then I normally would or should. I experienced wrists and neck pains for the first time at a computer. To try and motivate myself to write or come up with ideas sometimes was a pain and a huge part of the creative process consisted in looking at anything but the computer screen in an empty stare. Or check if I had any messages on twitter or Facebook a hundred times over. Holy procrastination!

But it is done!

Next month… Cataclysm!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaNo Break

I'm down to my last 5k on my word count for NaNoWriMo and I thought I’d procrastinate a little. I’m listening to the music that will put me in the right mood for an epic finish. I’ve got my literary blind spot in mind though. You see, my villain’s name is Fetisha. It happens to be the name of a song from one of my favourite bands back in high school, Orgy. I always thought that it would make the perfect villain name (I still do). However, whenever my friends and loved ones read that name off paper or screen, they give me that weirded out facial expression. Ya know? I’m biased of course.

Sometimes I suspect that if I bothered reading the lyrics to the song, my opinion would change (I get this reaction from a fan of Orgy as well). I only get half the lyrics when I listen to a song, any song. But what I do get is enough to give me some vivid mental imagery. That and maybe the whole Candyass album (yes, you read that right) painted in my head my supremely villainous villain, seductive and crazy in the head, rampant and borderline out of control.

Anywhoo… Blue Monday is playing now. Back to writing for me!