Wildflowersinohio's Blog

From The Write Side of My Brain

Why You Should Nanowrimo October 28, 2013

Filed under: writing — Birgit Nazarian @ 12:22 pm
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I am about to start Nanowrimo again. Years back I didn’t participate because I thought it was an amateurish thing to do. Why would anyone want to just write whatever with only a word count goal to shoot for? I mean all you get is a huge mess of words at the end, right?

Yes. You get a huge mess of words at the end of the month. 60,000 of them or so. But I am a believer now that it’s good. It’s good because within that mess you have gems and probably enough story to go back and mine the gems and polish them up.

Do you hesitate when you write a novel? Get stuck in any phase of the creation, say the planning phase or the middle of the first draft? Nanowrimo is the solution to that. You are FORCED to keep the pace. It’s very much like my running long races of endurance. Parts of it aren’t pretty but damn it you forge ahead anyway. Puking if you have to, but you take in some fuel, mentally pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep going until you finish.

At the end you see, 1) You can do it. 2) You discovered how creative you can really be when you don’t have the luxury to wallow in your self criticism. You don’t have time for that crap. You just go, go, go. Good things came out of that. My passionate scenes for example were less inhibited than ever. Parts where I floundered because research was needed are fixable.

Go with it. Try it out. It’s fun. I promise.

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Home Stretch – NaNoWriMo November 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Birgit Nazarian @ 2:47 pm
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I have less than 5 days and 12,000 words to go before the NaNoWriMo buzzer goes off and I have to take my hands off the keyboard. It’s been fun, productive this month and met some really nice fictional people along the way!

My characters had to develop as I wrote the story so I was getting to know them one scene at a time. I confess I am secretly in love with the main guy, Jack, he is a DEA special agent undercover who rescues Samantha, a trail runner who loses her way during a marathon and stumbles upon drug traffickers deep in the woods in upper Michigan.

I also met Pete, a local volunteer firefighter who hooks up with Samantha’s friend Kirstin during the search and rescue operation that ensues after Samantha doesn’t cross the finish line.

I tried desperately to keep my fictional characters conflicted, on the run, dodging and leaping over obstacles while at the same time showing each other plenty of affection or total lack of — depending on their role. It wasn’t easy!

But then again, a first draft is a first draft, it’s ugly and messy and the details aren’t polished. I have 4-5 more days to wrap up this baby, Jack is on his way to rescue Samantha a second time after she was kidnapped to lure him back to the criminals. Pete and Kirstin have also teamed up in the hunt so it should be a real free for all bang em up when they all converge.

After the bad guys get busted I need to leave a little space for a romantic denouement…See, I’ve read at least 500 romance novels. I know how it’s supposed to end. But sometimes the ending is the hardest part to get right. There will be no sunset beach walks or surprise pregnancy announcements in my ending but someone will get a kitten. Hmmm?  

 

NaNoWriMo Detour November 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Birgit Nazarian @ 8:40 am
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Oh nooooo, I am failing NaNoWriMo! I had over a two week streak of writing every single day and making my daily word goal then, bam! Like I tripped over a log and stayed down for 3 days! Is it too late? Can I possible catch up with the rest of the writers as they make to the 50,000 word goal by the end of this month? I’ve got to write almost 5,000 words by today to catch up! With the kids coming home and Thanksgiving this week, plus my other duties and jobs around here, it’s going to be a tight one! But this cowgirl stays in the saddle and I work pretty well under pressure for a deadline so off to write I go! 

 

Observations about NaNoWriMo Writing November 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Birgit Nazarian @ 9:35 am
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Well, I am on my 6th day of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month and I can already see how it’s affecting my writing. Getting into this I knew I would not be putting out spectacular fiction so I feel a little uneasy about the way I am going about putting out a story but on the other hand, if I remember my own advice in the last post, that not all writing needs to be salable to be important, it’s all good.

Look, EVERYDAY I’ve been in my chair in front of my laptop writing a story! Before that I was hemming and hawing and not sure and flip flopping between ideas and stories and just not diving in and being bold. NaNoWriMo is forcing me to do what I don’t do – JUST GO FOR IT! Who cares if it sucks or if there is a problem up the road into the middle of the story. This is about problem solving, writing your way out of a dead end, keeping momentum going, establishing a habit to write no matter what.

So if you’re one of those writers who can’t decide what to write or can’t stick with a plot when it goes a little sideways it could be a great exercise for you to write a novel in a month. 

I have some words to get down in my story right now before I go and vote. But I’ve been busier than usual writing and I thought I would update you on how it’s going. 

 

Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo October 31, 2012

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In case you never heard of it. November is National Novel Writing Month – that’s right, NaNoWriMo. And Nanowrimo.org is the place to go to sign up for a month long novel writing cram session. If you want to do it, hurry and sign up, it starts tomorrow! The website gives you forums, encouragement, a place to upload your work and just that general kick in the pants motivation you need if you’ve been hemming and hawing about writing a novel.Of course there are critics.

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Won’t a novel you force yourself to complete in 30 days be a pile of crap? Oh, well there’s that. Maybe. Maybe it will. But then again I’ve been on deadlines to write articles of 1 or 2 days and I don’t think my resulting work was crap. Some of those articles were good some were not my favorite, but overall they were decent. And what if your NaNoWriMo novel is crap? So what.

The reason I am going to try out NaNoWriMo for the first time is that I feel that need to have a goal, to establish a habit, a routine. A boot camp if you will. I feel like it will do me good to just jump in and see where the challenge takes me. I have one idea and it might make a decent novel. If it doesn’t I will keep writing anyway and keep trying to work it into a good story.

Yes, okay, in the real world sometimes ideas should be abandoned if they just don’t work – I brainstormed this idea recently that I think will make a good novel length romantic suspense story. Forcing yourself to make something and release the creativity is a good thing! NOT EVERYTHING YOU WRITE HAS TO BE SALABLE!

Sometimes, sad to say for some, writing is practice. A gymnast who is practicing vaulting doesn’t get a perfect 10 the first or even the 10th time! They fall they really mess up a lot, but once in a while – with practice – they get a perfect vault. That’s how I look at writing. I realize most of my work will be just okay. Some will stink. Some will be brilliant. It’s only the brilliant things I intend on sending to a professional editor for consideration.

NaNoWriMo is for people who have an idea they want to turn into a novel but need practice. It’s practice and practice is good. It might even result in a very well developed good idea that needs just a little more work when the deadline of November 30th midnight wraps up National Novel Writing Month. The sense of accomplishment might be enough to just encourage a new author to explore writing further.