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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:26 pm 
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I've done my 50,000 words for the month. My draft of the whole planned story took just barely more than that.

Now in the coming month I'll see what kind of job I can do of revising. I expect the story to gain at least a couple thousand words during that process.

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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Eric wrote:
My completely unsolicited advice: All that research that caused you to hit a brick wall on THE GLOBAL WARNING? You ought not have worried about it. For NaNoWriMo, better to slam through that first draft and worry about all the fine details when you sit down for the second. Getting hung up on that sort of thing is a surefire way to grind yourself to a halt each and every time, as you now know.

Think about it, did you really need to know the exact procedures for a State of the Union address in order for your book to move forward? Was it so big an issue that you couldn't fudge it and return to it later, refining your completed first draft and making it more accurate? Unless the entire plot hinges on the exact specifications of a State of the Union address or what NORAD stands for, the answer is no.

Forget all that nonsense! Just write. Write until your story is done, stick it in a drawer for a few weeks, then go back to it and give it a work over. Your first draft is always likely to be riddled with holes, errors, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies.

And that's fine. It's part of the process. The important thing is getting it done.


Eric (who, let's not forget, is a published writer) is right. I'm starting to learn that the difference between fair (at best) writing and the truly good stuff is revision. The first draft simply blocks out the story, the way an artist uses a preliminary sketch or underpainting. The finish comes later. The whole point of the exercise is to learn how to rough out a substantial story. Which might take more than one try to learn. This is the fourth or fifth novel-length story I've written, and I still feel like I have a great deal to learn. But I've had fun learning it!

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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Congrats to James and DL (and, really, anyone that even attempted this). I'm in awe of you guys.

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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:46 pm 
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Eric wrote:
Think about it, did you really the exact procedures for a in order for your book to move forward? Was it so big an issue that you couldn't fudge it and return to it later, refining your completed first draft and making it more accurate? Unless the entire plot hinges on the exact specifications of a State of the Union address or what NORAD stands for, the answer is no.


Well, dang, now I feel even worse! :oops:


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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:18 am 
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a k a LightningMan, lover of bountiful pulchritude

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I believe NaNoWriMo has two goals: to give people who say they're going to write a novel someday an excuse to do it, and to teach people what it takes in terms of unwavering commitment to pound out a novel. A friend of a friend who recently became a published author said that after she delivers her second book, she is seriously considering not writing anymore because of how much work it is.

You can write a short story out of love or passion. To write something this long takes commitment, the ability to write when you don't want to.

I felt I had an unfair advantage, as having had to write radio ad copy on deadline for seven years I learned how to write when my heart wasn't in it. I imagine in some ways that's the hallmark of a true professional.

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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:36 am 
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J.R. LeMar wrote:
Eric wrote:
Think about it, did you really the exact procedures for a in order for your book to move forward? Was it so big an issue that you couldn't fudge it and return to it later, refining your completed first draft and making it more accurate? Unless the entire plot hinges on the exact specifications of a State of the Union address or what NORAD stands for, the answer is no.

Well, dang, now I feel even worse! :oops:

Don't! You did awesome. You committed to something big, and even if you didn't see it through to the end the experience likely taught you a quite a bit. The best lessons are those learned through personal experience. Next time, whether for NaNoWriMo or for an unrelated project, your head will be in a different place and you'll be better equipped to succeed.

DL's analogy regarding painting is an excellent one, incidentally. Good way to look at things.

Believe me, finished novel or not, you did more this month than most people will ever do.


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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:00 am 
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James C. Taylor wrote:
You can write a short story out of love or passion. To write something this long takes commitment, the ability to write when you don't want to.

That's the hardest part. Dragging yourself to the keyboard when you damn sure don't feel like sitting there but you know you have to do it. Some days I just meet my daily quota and move on, other days a rush of inspiration propels me to triple the quota I've set for myself. Either way, I write. The important thing I've learned over the years is that waiting for inspiration is what you do when you're not actually serious about writing.

Like you, of course, I had a job that helped train me in this. Having to write on a daily deadline, putting out a story or two a day, every day, helped give me the ability to get words on paper even when I'm not feeling it. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're bad, but the important thing is that I've given myself something to work with.


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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Eric wrote:
James C. Taylor wrote:
You can write a short story out of love or passion. To write something this long takes commitment, the ability to write when you don't want to.

That's the hardest part. Dragging yourself to the keyboard when you damn sure don't feel like sitting there but you know you have to do it. Some days I just meet my daily quota and move on, other days a rush of inspiration propels me to triple the quota I've set for myself. Either way, I write. The important thing I've learned over the years is that waiting for inspiration is what you do when you're not actually serious about writing.

Like you, of course, I had a job that helped train me in this. Having to write on a daily deadline, putting out a story or two a day, every day, helped give me the ability to get words on paper even when I'm not feeling it. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're bad, but the important thing is that I've given myself something to work with.


Hadn't thought about it, but in a small way I guess my weekly library column for the local paper has helped to teach me this as well.

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Though our outward self is perishing, yet the inner self is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far greater weight of glory. We focus not on the temporary things we see, but the eternal things we can't see.


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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:35 pm 
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No doubt it did.

I'm a firm believer that when it comes to writing, it's a good idea to obligate yourself to do something, whether you "feel it" or not. Give yourself some pressure, even if you have to create it. Put yourself in a position where failure is not an option.


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 Post subject: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH 2009
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Congratulations to James and DL!!!
:clap:

JR - Don't give up. Learn from this and go on! :thumbsup:

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