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.

 

Capturing Unexpected Inspiration November 13, 2012

Filed under: writing — Birgit Nazarian @ 11:28 am
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It isn’t lost on me how coincidental and timely my discovery of the perfect location for a scene in the novel I am writing was. It just goes to show you how much serendipity goes into novel writing. I know I am dovetailing this entry with my last one “Season of Spookiness” in Morning Warmup but it has to do so much with my writing and the idea of finding inspiration unexpectedly.

Say, like me, you are writing a scene and it’s okay but you can’t seem to breathe life into the setting. I wasn’t sure exactly how this old abandoned farm on the edge of the woods would look–other than a general idea. Part of what I do habitually is go out for a jog or hike in the woods sometimes somewhere familiar and sometimes somewhere new. I chose to go for a run in a new place and I never expected to find the abandoned farm on the edge of the woods! But when I did the scene got a lot more authentic and detailed. I could see and feel it in the writing because I saw and felt it.

Sometimes you’ll find inspiration in places you didn’t expect to discover. Sometimes you need to go look at places you think might inspire you. I almost always carry my cell phone with a camera and a note app. This is a great idea because should you see something unbelievable or perfect for your story you can document it. Had I know about the abandoned farm I probably would have brought a good camera and maybe made a video as well to capture the ambient sounds and make comments about my observations. Well I could have made a video but I was too awestruck and confused by the coincidence to let that idea occur to me then. But I did manage to get some photographs like the house and others which I put on Morning Warmup.

 

Practice Novels September 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Birgit Nazarian @ 10:04 am
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After the past two years of upheaval in my life I kind of feel like that butterfly. Broken winged. Well, I am working on a “practice novel”. I don’t know if this is the best strategy for everyone else but I was so hesitant to start writing again. This summer I walked away from a perfectly good writing job in which my editors liked working with me very much and the pay was good. I would rather not spell out the details other than throw out the cliche phrase “It was complicated.” 

But anyway, the practice novel is a thriller/suspense novel. A genre I pretty much suck at. But I do read a lot of other author’s suspense/thriller novels. Starting a novel is hard sometimes just because it’s such a large project. It’s deciding to build a jumbo jet as opposed to a paper airplane or a glider or something well, less daunting. 

Saying and letting it be a “practice novel” frees me of worries. I simply begin writing. I can abandon it at any time. It helps me get the novel writing “muscles” primed again, relearn what I haven’t used in the past 5-6 years since I stopped writing novels. I feel the excitement coming back. But I made one rule for myself. No matter how bad it is, I need to give it my best shot and write regularly, like every day if I can. So far I have 4,000 words. It’s going okay and in a way it’s like physical therapy is to an injured athlete, you have to go slowly building strength and agility before you can compete again.