Hopes and Dreams

Not yours. Not your career’s. What are the hopes and dreams for your novel, for the world inside your novel, for your characters?

You all know how badly I want to (finally!) write a story targeted for New York for NaNo. This is taking a whole new process, because usually I start with the romantic tension between two characters, their problems, and go from there.

I’m flying clueless and scared, here.

Worse, I’m also catching up on projects that I’d meant to be completed before NaNo began. I’ve also been writing past planned: the last novella was meant to be 52K, but it ended well over 60K. This one was supposed to end at 48K, but it’s still going steady at 52K. (I’ll probably have to split it in two parts to fit guidelines.) Plus I meant to squeeze in a 20K novella last week.


Anyway, I’m still determined to write a non-erotic novel targeted for New York. This month. But I still don’t “know” it. It’s not “ripe” yet.

One of the tips NaNo gives is, if you’re stuck, to write your hopes for the scene, or your hopes for the book. Not your hopes for getting an agent or getting published or getting a certain advance, but what emotions you hope your scene inspires in the reader, where you hope the scene will take the characters emotionally, how you hope the climax will play out.

What do you want your scene or your story to say? What kind of effect do you want it to have on the reader?

It loosens things up, for sure, especially if I haven’t done enough pre-writing imagining in my head, but I don’t have time to indulge in just waiting longer. I’m getting little glimmers of my story, but not yet enough to know where it begins.

So how do you knock things loose when you’re stalled? What are your hopes and dreams for your current story?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: NaNoWriMo,Writing Craft | Tags: , ,

One Word After Another

It’s that time of year again: NaNoWriMo! 1,667 words a day for 30 days straight. And it’s not just the writing… the group energy dynamic really helps one keep going when the going gets tough.

And this year, I really need your help. For the first time, my schedule is clear of pseudonym’s obligations. I’ve been behind for ages, but come November 1? I actually have time to write a novel targeted for New York!

Yikes. No pressure or anything.

Boy, I am really hoping that some of you will be doing NaNoWriMo this year, because I know the going is going to get tough for me. I am praying for your camaraderie!

Pretty please? Think about it?

I want to do my part, too. Melanie mentioned feeling alone and abandoned by her NaNoWriMo friends by the end. I promise to check in here every day of November, up until the ugly end. (Except the first three days, when I’ll be travelling, but I’ll try to pre-schedule posts.)

What can we do to make this more fun? Chat party once a week? How about writing races? (I can do buddy writing from 7:30am-10:30pm… I’m so there! Name the time!) How about mini-NaNoWriMos for those who want to write every day but don’t have the time for 1,667 words a day?

Let’s get motivated with one of my favorite writer’s NaNoWriMo pep talk. Here’s Neil Gaiman talking about that awful three-quarter point of writing a novel:

You don’t know why you started your novel, you no longer remember why you imagined that anyone would want to read it, and you’re pretty sure that even if you finish it it won’t have been worth the time or energy and every time you stop long enough to compare it to the thing that you had in your head when you began—a glittering, brilliant, wonderful novel, in which every word spits fire and burns, a book as good or better than the best book you ever read—it falls so painfully short that you’re pretty sure that it would be a mercy simply to delete the whole thing.

Welcome to the club.

That’s how novels get written.

I am stopping short of quoting the whole thing, but just short. I am pretty sure I am breaking the rules of how much you’re allowed to quote, but here’s the bit I read every time I’m at the part of my book where I happen to be at now:

"Oh, you’re at that part of the book, are you?"

I was shocked. "You mean I’ve done this before?"

"You don’t remember?"

"Not really."

"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."

I didn’t even get to feel unique in my despair.

So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.

One word after another.

You can read Neil Gaiman’s whole pep talk here. And I’m “spyscribbler,” if you want to buddy me on NaNoWriMo!

How can we make November a big old writing party for you, NaNoWriMo or not?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: NaNoWriMo | Tags: ,

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