Category Archives: NaNoWriMo2012

Working Through the Process

Disappointment. It’s such a big, ugly, word.

It feels horrible when you think someone is disappointed in you, but for me, it feels worse when I feel it inside myself.

I’ve barely read through the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo work and I realize I need to sit on it for a while. I’m so disappointed. I really, really wanted to dive into it while it’s fresh on my mind, but I can’t. I printed it, got out my red pens, and was ready to go to work, but immediately got stuck. My mind went into overload after just a few pages. I was already thinking way ahead and I couldn’t stay focused. I know I need to go deeper with my characters’ backstories and  give them more of a voice, and on top of that, I need to find a better way of connecting all my characters together. With four main characters, it’s hard to have individual stories going on while trying to meld them all together into one big story. To say the least, it’s tricky.

So, here’s my plan. I’m going to spend December working on a Christmas story I have rolling around in my head. I have no clue if it’ll be a short story or end up in my novel file, but I’m going to have some fun with it. I’ll let my NaNo story percolate and I’ll continue to develop it, take notes, edit, etc… Then, come January, I’m going to pull out Amelia and finish her story. I have a feeling she’ll benefit greatly from my NaNoWriMo experience.

I know it seems I’m never going to finish Amelia, and now I’ve got my NaNo project to figure out, but please understand the process. It’s not easy. I’m not going to publish a book to just say I’ve published a book. Trust me, I want to see my name on the cover of a book sooner than later, but it’s not going to happen until I’m happy with the words inside the cover. By the way, I’m leaving out the middle stuff that happens once I’m done editing my story and then have to figure out the self-publishing side of this whole business. That blog post will come with a vengeance, when it’s time.

I have to think, when people are strolling through the bookstore, looking for the next word-ly adventure, they don’t think about the process the authors have gone through to get their book(s) on the shelf. As you can tell from my blog alone, it’s a grueling process. Authors REALLY do pull their hair out while coming up with the next sentence. We REALLY do have wadded up paper all around us as we write a hard scene. We REALLY do walk around talking to our characters, and yes, our characters REALLY do talk to us. From start to finish, writing a book has a plethora of emotions, but if you ask any writer, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s within ALL ranges of emotion that we find the words to make a story, which then, hopefully, becomes a novel.

One of these sweet days, you will be cuddled up, reading a novel written by Amy Weaver, and I hope you know much love, sweat, and tears have gone into each word, sentence, and paragraph. It may take longer than expected, but it will happen. It WILL!

With that said, I need to get back to work, and write at least 2,500 words today!

Until next time…

 

 

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Filed under December 2012, NaNoWriMo2012

Winning Is Great, But Learning Is Better!

It’s the evening of November, 25  2012 and I’m so happy to say I’m a winner of NaNoWriMo 2012!

I have no clue where to start with this post, and I’m certain it’ll take me a few days to finish with everything I want to say, but I want to start while my feelings are raw and exciting.

At this very moment, I feel elated. I set forth on a goal and I accomplished it. There was a brief moment where I wish I had people all around me, cheering me, and grabbing the champagne, but I have to think that’s rare for NaNoWriMo’ers. Most of us who are on this journey are in our writing spaces, alone, and when it the word calculator hits 50k, we take a deep breath, and then let out a loud scream. Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but that’s what happened here in my four seasons room in Stowe. Although, I  do have to give a shout out to social media. As soon as I posted it to Twitter and Facebook, my phone was ringing with text messages and phone calls.  People were cheering me on and giving me virtual high fives, which was just as special as people surrounding me in person. You guys have supported me and helped me reach this goal. I may have written the words, but it was the encouragement that gave me the energy to write all 50,000 words. The words sprints I did with Jennifer Gracen, Karen DeLabar, Janelle Jensen, and Andrew Butters were amazing! My very last sprint, the one that took me over 50k, was done with them right by my side and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All I can say is, thank you! I also have to thank my wonderful husband and best friend. With out his love and support, I couldn’t have done this. From the first time I told him I wanted to write a book, he’s been by my side, encouraging me to keep going. And when I told him I wanted to do NaNoWriMo, he immediately became my biggest chearleader. Thank you, Chris.

Okay, now to the guts of what NaNoWriMo has done for me, and keep in mind, this was my first time, so I had no clue what to expect. But, I have to say, I did do my homework. I read the NaNo’s website. I asked people who’s done it before a lot of questions. I read Chris Baty’s book No Plot, No Problem. If I was going to do this, I was going to do everything I could to set myself up to win. If I went into it blind, and on a whim, it wouldn’t happen. I plotted and  planned… plain and simple, but it wasn’t easy. I’ve never had a game plan for a book before. I’ve always written by the seat of my pants, but once I got started, it flowed, and I could see a whole book in front of me. That alone, excited me and I knew I had something to work off of.

So, that brings me to the first thing I learned from NaNo… I can plan ahead. I’ve always considered myself as a panster, someone who writes off the cuff and writes whatever comes at the moment. Now I see I can mix the two together. I can plan my writer’s map, knowing once I start writing the story, the panster in me will show herself and will surely take me off the path, but with the map, I can get back on track. I noticed with NaNo I didn’t spend days searching for something to write. Yes, some days were a lot harder than others, but as a whole, the map I created kept me focused.

This brings me to the second thing I learned… when I get stuck, just write, and don’t edit! I’ve finally learned how to get the story written without editing myself every five sentences. I had to repeat to myself, ALOUD, “Don’t worry about it. You can fix it later. Write now. Edit later.” I said those words no fewer than a hundred times over the last 25 days. As soon as I thought about reading over what I just wrote, I’d pull myself away from the computer. I would talk out loud to myself about the plot as I took out the dogs, put away the dishes, did the  laundry, watched a little TV… anything to keep me from editing. Once I was able get my thoughts together, I’d start wherever I left off and made it happen, even if I didn’t feel 100% about it. And by the way, the preparing and reading I did before got me through those moments. Pushing through, and staying on track, allowed me to write freely. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true.

Lastly, I learned the biggest and best thing ever… I CAN!  I CAN do what I put my mind to. I CAN do all the things I thought I’d never be able to do as a writer. I CAN write 50,000 words in one month. I CAN write.

It’s amazing what one challenge can do for you, whether it be NaNoWriMo, or a quiet challenge you set for yourself. When you set forth, prepare, and allow yourself the opportunity to win, you will. You’ll learn more than you think. You’ll appreciate the gift you have inside of you. You’ll know no boundaries and everything is possible. I know it sounds cliche and corny, but it’s true. I’m sitting here, feeling it, and I know I’m not alone.

I want to end this post with a definition of my favorite word, PASSION.

 Pas·sion:

Noun:
  1. Strong and barely controllable emotion.
  2. A state or outburst of such emotion.

Now, used in a sentence: I strongly feel that I can barely control my outburst of writing.

I’ve always had a passion for writing, and in the last four years, I’ve learned so much. I may not be the best writer out there, and I have no clue where this journey is going to take me, but I do know I will always keep my passion for the written word. If I lose the passion, there’s no story. It may not be easy, but it’s worth it.

I thank NaNoWriMo for teaching me so much in just one month and I look forward to seeing where these 50,000 words will take me.

Until next time…

 

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Filed under January 2011, NaNoWriMo2012

Time to Rock NaNoWriMo!

After all the prep and planning, the time has finally come. NaNoWriMo is here. Tomorrow night I’ll be up and waiting for the clock to strike 12:00am, Thursday, November 1st. Let National Novel Writing Month begin!!

I’m ready to pull together all the notes, brainstorms, and ideas, and hopefully, write a cohesive story. The most important thing I have to keep in mind is it does not have to be perfect. One of the objectives of NaNo is to write without having my inner-editor come into play. So I’m locking her up in the storage unit outside and not letting her in the house until December 1st.

It’ll be hard for me, but I’m determined to heed the advice of many who have done NaNo before, and I’m going to repeat this aloud every time I sit down to write.

“I WILL NOT EDIT AS I WRITE. I WILL NOT EDIT AS I WRITE. I WILL NOT EDIT AS I WRITE. “

I have no choice. In order to get through NaNo, and finish , I must keep this in mind at all times.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my story is about. I don’t want to reveal that quite yet, but I will tell you it’s completely different from Amelia. I’m trying a new genre, and for the first time ever, I’m going to try write in the first person narrative, which is going to be very tricky for me. The story concentrates on four characters and there are many subplots and stories within the main story. Stringing it all together will be difficult, and I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out, but I figure if I’m going to do this, I might as well dive in head-first and challenge myself to nth degree.

Do I know what I’m doing? Not really.

Am I biting off more than I can chew? Yeah, probably so.

Am I going to finish NaNoWriMo? Yes.

I will write 50,000 words in the month of November. Period.

I wish all of you that are taking on this challenge a lot of luck, a lot of inspiration, a lot of coffee, a lot of support, and most of all, a lot of confidence that you can do it. Most of us will have messy houses, neglected spouses, friends, and family, ruined diets, and little sleep by the end, but it’ll all be worth it. Even if you don’t get to 50,000 words, it will be worth it. Every word you write makes it worth it!

We can do this! Now, let’s go! Let’s Rock NaNoWriMo 2012!

Until next time…

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Filed under NaNoWriMo2012