writing a novel

Sunday Funday round-up

So not doing so good with the weekly blog posts even though I think of things to discuss, like shirtless hockey player controversies.

I made a video this week which took up some of my free time.  C2E2, a new Chicago Comic Con from the people behind New York Comic Con and Book Expo, asked its volunteer applicants to make a video application.  And that’s all they ask, no other guidelines.  So I took it and ran.  Super friend Angie gave me the idea to film downtown on Friday so I did.  And then I came back to my apartment, wrote a “script” as such, made props and used iMovie to record more video, edit and insert music and transitions.  I probably spent about 4+ hours monkeying with the controls and reading the help section but I now have a video.

Check out all its majesty.

There’s another, unauthorized version of that video with a cooler soundtrack.  Email me if you’d like to see it.  Warning you though, that’s all that’s different.

Started revising my NaNoWriMo novel.  After about two hours I have 10 pages done, and that’s straight copy editing and notations like, “OMG” and “WTF” and “really?” and my favorite “?”  Yep, working with quality material here.  Honest though, it’s going better than I thought and I’m getting ideas on what I want to build on, areas I’ll probably rework, vigorously and how to fix my pacing, because it is way off.  I also need to strengthen my conflict.  It doesn’t feel immediate enough.

Now I just need to get through the mountain of books I keep thinking I’ll read.  Ha.  I’m so delusional when it comes to reading.


Writing Wednesday has been moved to Sunday Funday

One of my many goals, not resolutions because resolutions sound so resolute while goals can be evaluated and modified if needed, for 2010 is to dedicate at least one day a week to writing.  After NaNoWriMo I was burned out on my novel but oddly missed the frenzied and terrifying exploration.  So here I am at Starbucks on Sunday evening trying to recapture that old spark.

As you can tell by the title I planned to start this Wednesday, I can’t resist alliteration, obvious or not.  Life, as it does, had other plans so I moved things back.  That and as much as I love snarky, British humor I couldn’t watch another episode of Black Books or Nevermind the Buzzcocks.

I’m starting off easy too, one blog post.  I haven’t posted on my personal blog since I started my new job, which involves writing for three separate blogs.  But I still feel like a hypocrite when a new colleague says how great my blog is.  Then I open the page and see Puppet Van Gogh staring at me, disapprovingly.  So a post to get things started with some other goal exploring.

One of my personal goals, maybe not this year, but in my general professional career is to develop my storytelling skills.  I loved my storytelling class during my last semester.  It was like jumping off a Jamaican cliff, exhilarating, terrifying and incomprehensible how I found myself flailing through the air.  To start off I’m reading Beastly by Donna Jo Napoli.  I read an article this week about feminist fairytales and her work was cited favorably.  Which struck me as interesting since I read a book of her’s and did not care for it.  But I’m willing to be wrong so I’m reading this and also a book by Jack Zipes, recommend in a very back-assward way by Melissa Marr.

Another goal, revise.  I hate revising.  As a former language teacher I know that is blasphemous but I do.  I got through lots of college and grad school without revising.  Sure I would read through for typos or glaring grammar issues but for the most part true revision was something I avoided, or only after a teacher looked it over.  I don’t see the issues until they’re pointed out to me.  Which is paradoxical because I can easily spot mistakes in other’s work.  Not that I have this crazy hubris and think my writing is fantastic and perfect the first time around.  My first drafts are crap, just like 95-99% of all people.  So committing to revise my novel is almost as difficult as committing to writing one in the first place.  I have my story, mostly, well minus an ending.  What I don’t have right now is the why.  Why are these characters in this story anyway exciting? Interesting?  What about this story is fresh or captivating?  One of my crazy out there goals is to publish a novel one day.  You hear about all these first time writers getting books published.  Sure you also don’t hear about the thousands that don’t even get rejection letters but I’m delusional enough to believe that I could do it.  I’m rational, not insane and have some level of taste (sometimes).  So I think I might be entering this revision thing from the wrong angle.  So I started my year of writing off easy, one blog post and then maybe writing an ending to this novel thing.  Oh wait, there’s life calling, wanting to go to Kuma’s.  And sorry novel, you can’t pass up pass Kuma’s.  Tomorrow my pet.

State of the novel part next…

While I’m at a break in tonight’s WriMo’ing I thought it would be a good time to record my thoughts on the writing since last week.

First off, holy interfering characters.  I have a some secondary characters that a few days ago were just names floating around, popping in and out, mostly when I needed a crowd or someone to bounce dialogue off.  But no, one, cute artistic Joe, keeps showing up and doing some interesting things, while slim and mysterious Bethany ended up being the voice of reason and I so want her around more.  It’s like the more control I give up over the story, the more I like what happens.  It’s a weird, unconscious act.

Also I’m getting excited for revision.  There are already areas I’m itching to go back and rework.  I’m not yet because I’m terrified of doing anything to my word count.  I feel frustrated with how fast I can’t write.  Especially when I get going I just want to jump from event to event, sequence to sequence and I can’t keep up.

I am ahead of the prescribed word count so that’s good, in case I get distracted, which could easily happen.  Lots going on this week in the evenings, my preferred WriMo’ing time.   Dinner with friends, Adler After Dark, Baby Showers.  Crazy times ahead.  Crazy awesome.


Cemetery in rural Illinois

Inspiration and setting of my NaNo novel



This is happening…

I’m doing it.  I’ve thought about it since my good friend Rachel suggested it back in July.  I signed up, I have some plot ideas, I’m buying a book tonight, I’m probably crazy but… I’m writing a novel next month.nano_09_blk_participant_100x100_1_png

As of today I’m an official participant in NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month.  The purpose, since 1999 is to write a complete novel, whether it be crap or not, of 50,000 words by November 30th and win.  Win what?  The Grand Prize?  Vacation for Two?  Toaster Oven?  No you win what I like to call at life.  Writing a novel has been a crazy pipe dream of mine since high school and I wanted to move on from angsty poetry.  And NaNoWriMo’s mission fits with my needs, dedicating time to simply writing.  As they say quantity, not quality counts.  I need to do this, I need to break the mantra down that I could do this if I…blah blah blah.  No excuses I’m telling myself.  I’m doing this.  I might start believing myself soon but I’m writing a novel next month.  It will be crap and I will share with you all, and I might throw up and chicken out of the whole thing but it’s happening. 

Not sure how this is going to effect my 100 books in a year challenge.  I just hit 77 so I’ll be in good shape if I take a month off.  I’ll just end the year strong with a string of kids and romance novels. 

If you would like to join me in madness my id is akmargie.  We’ll be writing buddies.  In insanity.