As we near the end of October, it's time for me to stop putting off the decision and either buckle up for NaNoWriMo or for the grueling task of editing the 2nd draft of my mainstream novel.
Every year I make the decision somewhere around October 31st. I usually decide for NaNo in hopes that the competitive nature and supportive community will help me to break through what appears now to be an annual lull in creativity. I'm not sure what it is about October that stalls my writing, but I'm starting to think it can't be a coincidence.
This year I have added stress from household issues, and nothing kills creativity like a boatload of stress. However, I have previously found that writing can also be an escape. I don't get much actual writing done whilst in the middle of editing, so if I'm to find that magical escape, I'll have to shelve the mainstream novel again for awhile.
Methinks I will try NaNo again this year and see if I can jump start my creativity by working on something new. If nothing new comes to me, then I'll go rebel and work on my mystery novel, which is this year's official project.
Who knows? Maybe NaNo will help me come up with my next novel idea, so to speak.
As I read and notate my way through the last ten or so chapters of my first draft, I realize that my misgivings about the ending and the general wrap up of the story were entirely justified.
Some of the chapters are incomplete. Some of the scenes are in the wrong order. Some of them have been partly rewritten and now no longer work with the rest of what was originally written in those scenes. I'm starting to think some of the later chapters also need to be moved around; and a plot line I had decided to drop needs to be put back in, which will require rewriting chapters 38-45.
Overall, I'm still pleased with the way the story is going. It will need quite a bit of work, and I'm not really looking forward to reading through the last several chapters, but I'm determined to get this over with so I can begin reworking the manuscript.
Here's to you, second draft - you have to be better than the first draft(pretty sure it's the law).
Writing has been a struggle this summer, but reading has not. I'm still reading as though books provide me with oxygen.
My sister lent me several romance novels, and while it isn't my favorite genre, she knows how to pick stories that I enjoy. I've made my way through seven of them, plus some library books.
I'm almost finished reading Stephen King's "It," which I've had out from the library for awhile now. I don't get into the horror much, but I like the story telling, the descriptions, and the way he sets things up so that even though you know what's going to happen(because he told you), you still want to read how it goes down.
Meanwhile, my writing goes up and down like a possessed elevator. I either write nothing at all or I surpass my daily goal by half at the least.
I've also begun a read through of the first draft of my novel. I'm pleased with it thus far, and my notes for changes or possible plot holes are few. Another nice thing I realized is that since the first draft is done, I can cross "write a book" off of my bucket list. It may not be anywhere near ready for publication, but it's written. So keep that in mind, new authors: if you've finished your first draft, you have written a book.
It's said that time flies when you're having fun. It also flies when you have a new full time job and it seems like you're always either working, sleeping, or cooking.
This year I have struggled with my writing time. I make excuses of being tired, busy, or a nice mom who lets her kids use the computer instead of kicking them off so I can get to work on my stories.
Summer sneaked up on me and I'm trying to organize things and stifle this annoying part of my brain that likes to jump at shiny new ideas like studying screen writing, while the first draft of Novel #1 is sitting in a virtual drawer awaiting my attention. It may sit there awhile longer as I try to get rid of the cringey feeling I get when I think about the ending. Or until I suck it up and plunge into editing mode.
In any case, since I've finished editing work on other people's stories for now, I'm ready to buckle down and get some things done with my own. I'm going to work on shorties for awhile, writing and editing. That should help with rebooting my daily writing game, which in turn will help with writing overall.
Now, off to write something fun, silly, and short!
My April writing plans went awry when my gallbladder decided to throw stones at me in the beginning of the month. It began with a spaghetti dinner, followed by handfuls of popcorn while watching tv with my daughters. Then came the pain.
Somewhere between stomach cramps and contractions is where I'd put the feeling, plus bloating and eventual back pain so bad I was literally writhing on the floor. There was no comfortable place or position, but it was cooler on the floor. Relief came from being able to throw up after a couple hours of agony. And sleep. Blessed sleep.
Feeling mostly better in the morning, I decided it was probably something I ate, although I had no clue what, since no one else was sick. I ate light and went to work. I was fine until I ate food while on break. Curse you, Hostess Cherry Pies! Twenty minutes after eating, the pain and bloating started again. I was sent home.
The next day was my day off. I had just about decided it was some sort of food poisoning after all, but figured I'd message my doctor about it using the handy-dandy "Patient Portal." That resulted in a phone call from his assistant, who had contacted him while he was out of the office, and an insistence that I see the doctor on call at the local clinic.
I got an appointment with an LPN within the hour, who ran blood tests and had me schedule an ultrasound. Ultrasound was first thing the next morning, where I won a same day surgical consult.
The same day surgical consult resulted in having to switch off with my husband at the dentist's office where one of our kids was getting braces.
As it turned out, I was one of the elite 3% of gallbladder attack patients who had actually thrown a stone that blocked the bile duct. They sent me to Eau Claire for stone removal the very next day.
A week later I saw the surgeon again and we scheduled the gallbladderectomy(not actual scientific term). The surgery was a week and a half ago.
Life without a gallbladder has so far limited my enjoyment of dairy products, except as in ingredient. Tonight we will have homemade pizza. The experiment will be delicious.
So, with most of April taken up by sickness and the most boring bread diet, I found myself writing very little. I'm feeling better now, although a bit itchy. Here's hoping the rest of May will see more words from me.
It has occurred to me that I never announced the next Short Story Genre Challenge genre. Although I failed the challenge in February, I am continuing in March. The genre for March is .....
February was not a great month for me. I spent half of it looking for work, interviewing, etc. I got hired, but then immediately came down with the Flu. It swept through our house, making everyone miserable and postponing our Valentine's Day celebration.
Another casualty of February was my short story challenge story. I had trouble getting into the genre(western) and hardly wrote anything at all during the short month. I did, however, finish another shortie I'd started last year called "The Death of Whip Morgan."
While not a total loss, I'm not sorry to see the back of February. Bring on March and the St. Patrick's season!