My family during NaNoWriMo:
Me during NaNoWriMo:
Even though I only wrote about 23,000 words in November this year, falling far short of the 50,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo, I'm still pumped, and I'm still a NaNo junkie. It truly is my favorite time of year. It's a time when I can put off all other things without feeling guilty: the one time of year when my writing comes first, guilt-free.
This was my 7th year, so my family is used to the drill. I don't think they like NaNo very much (probably because of that glazed look in my eyes: either from being sleepy because I was up too late writing, or glazed because I'm far off in novel land, conversing with my characters), but they know how important it is to me and they try to grin and bear it.
As always, the pep talks were inspiring (you can read them all here). Here's a few tidbits:
From Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians.
Let’s say you’re not a writer hard at work on your first novel. Let’s say you’re a Tribute who’s just been selected for the Hunger Games. You’re freaking out because you’re facing almost certain death in the Arena. And instead of a published author, I’m going to be that drunk guy who’s supposed to be telling you how to survive.His analogies between writing and the Hunger Games were amusing and also a little scarily apt!
From Malinda Lo, author of Adaptation:
Inspiration is like that hot girl or guy you met at a party one time—and when you talked to him or her, it seemed like you totally clicked. There was eye contact; there was flirting; maybe there was even a bit of casual brushing of your hand over theirs, right? I know. I’ve been there. At the end of the night they asked for your number and said, “I’ll definitely call you. We should hang out." But then they never did, and you were left waiting for a call that never came, feeling increasingly like a fool. That’s what inspiration is. It’s seductive and thrilling, but you can’t depend on it to call you.Oh, and this one, also from Malinda Lo:
How often am I filled with inspiration before I start writing? Pretty much never. Instead, I usually stare at my work-in-progress with a vague sense of doom.I can so relate to that!
From Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy, some excellent tips:
Pull your favorite, tattered, dog-eared book off the shelves. Find a chapter that leaves you breathless. Start typing it out in a new document, word for word. Don’t just type blindly; think about what you’re writing. For me, something about this exercise helps me see the genius in the other writer’s storytelling, and will stimulate my own writing and thoughts. Be careful, of course, that you don’t end up plagiarizing it right into your novel… but there’s something to be said for drawing inspiration from another.
Write a long list of all your characters. Then, start drawing random lines connecting random characters to each other. Don’t think—just connect. Afterward, look down at your page. Try to figure out a connection between each of the two random characters you just linked—something scandalous, maybe, or something sweet. Something three-dimensional and unexpected. Some explosive scene that throws the two together.
From Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor and Park.
One of my challenges as an author is staying inside the fictional world I’m creating. I have to write in blocks (at least four hours at a time, at least four days in a row) to make any progress. During NaNoWriMo, I never left the world of the book long enough to lose momentum....I stayed immersed in the story all month long.That's what I love about NaNoWriMo, the immersion into the story, staying so closely connected to it, day in and day out. Of course at times that means times of discomfort and disillusionment, but if you push past that, the story sweeps you away to amazing places.
How does your family handle your creative escapes?
Also, I'm excited that it’s time for the 3rd Annual YA Superlative Blogfest hosted by , , , and Katy Upperman. A great way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. Coming December 16-19