Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Did I drop off the planet? Nope. But I have chalked up over 32,000 words on my Nano Novel, Deep Secret. They aren't the words of fine literature, but hey, at least there are 32,000 and I'm 2,000 ahead of schedule my personal schedule and 7,000 ahead of the daily minimum. But it doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging, so I haven't had any words of wisdom from the captain lately.
It's been fun doing the Nanowrimo. I'm a terrible procrastinator when it comes to finishing a novel. Especially if I get stuck. But this time I'm committed to doing it, so I have no choice but to press on. My characters may have weird dreams or strange conversations in order to fill the word count, but there is no turning back. (Also because Dwight, Christine, Laura, Nathan, Carissa, Susan, and Kathryn are all doing this too, and if I don't finish, they'll all get me!)
Posted by Beth MacKinney at 3:17 PM
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It was a dark and stormy night. (Oh great, that's only seven words. What do I type now?)
Thus goes the Nanowrimo. Not to be a word counter, but when you have software that allows you to keep one eye on the word count and one on the manuscript, it can be discouraging. Too late I understand that chapter in C.S. Lewis's book, The Horse and His Boy. During said chapter came a point during Shasta's desert crossing at which no matter how far he had travelled, what was behind didn't look any farther away, and what was in front didn't look any closer. Guess what. That's where I am right now.
That must be why people give up around 12,000 words. That is where I threw in the towel last year. Of course, I wasn't officially signed up, so I didn't care that much. Not having told everyone under creation that I was going to write a novel in one month and then trying to get them to join me in the literary misery, I was easily able to skulk quietly away and wait a year to try again.
2009. The year of a finished novel. This year (sigh) I signed up for real, which in my book is tantamount to a total commitment. There is no cutting out because, quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this. The bridges are burning, and I can still smell the acrid char from my computer keyboard. Only one option remains. Finish by midnight, November 30th.
You also have to understand, this is a big deal to a picture book writer. My manuscripts are usually only about 600 to 800 words. Total. To have to do three times that every day goes against everything in my inner editor, who has been sending me endless telegrams from Tahiti saying that I need to go back and fix early problems. Again, another reason why people quit. If you let yourself decide that you need to go back, you'll never move forward.
So that's how it's going. Any comments from those of you who have left me (the tortoise) in the dust? (That would be Christine and Dwight, who have blasted past me in their word counts.)
I may not be fast, but at least I'm consistent.
Posted by Beth MacKinney at 12:30 PM
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
What would Jesus do?
He'd write a story for Nanowrimo, of course.
Jesus was into stories. He understood how a story could reach a person's heart, providing revelation and entertainment in the same stroke. People liked listening to Jesus! Jesus used stories to make ministry fun. (That will sound familiar if you've ever served in Kids Town at church.)
So here we are on the third day of Nanowrimo. It is a purely secular event, true, but you don't have to leave it that way. Ultimately it's just a lot of people who like to write creating novels in a short time in the same month. It's a great way to finally get around to writing that story you've been mulling over in your mind all this time. In case you didn't start on Sunday, it's not too late!!! Remember, you have a message.
Perhaps you're shaking your head in disbelief.
"50,000 words might as well be as far away as the moon!" you say. "What person in their right mind would even attempt it on day three?" you add.
Not so, my friends.
Consider that when I checked the word counts on the site, one gal is already at over 70,000 words. Many more have already passed the 10,000 word point. They seem bent on finishing this week so they can enjoy their Thanksgivings in blissful quiet while the rest of us toil over a keyboard. Probably none of them home school or have four children (I can hear the competitive Christine saying, "That's not fair!") but it's okay. We will still finish!
And last, but not least, here's a verse for those of you who really want to write a novel this month but just don't think you can.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Posted by Beth MacKinney at 11:48 AM
Sunday, November 1, 2009
This is our first day of Nanoing. (Spell check doesn't think that's a word.) Hit it hard! Now is the time to get those words out there as fast as you can type. I believe that Christians so have an obligation to write a novel this month. There is an enormous void in real faith fiction (particularly for kids) and we need to fill it.
I've got a loaded month, and today I didn't even get to begin typing until well after 3:00 p.m. because of the big Fall Fest at church. Fortunately, the blueberry wound has healed nicely so I'll be typing with my fingers because the aforesaid agile toes are absolutely beat.
The slogan for us all this month is carpe tempus temporis. I'm only a rudimentary Latin scholar, but I think that means "seize the time" or "seize time." I thought it more appropriate since my days don't come in nice complete chunks, but are extremely fragmented.
Don't think you'll have time later. You won't. You must act NOW! I used scratch paper to get going this morning because I could type while I was blow-drying my hair.
So that's my pep talk to all of you. I'm going back to my novel now. I left my protagonist chewing out one of the militant youth under her for daring another kid to go into some dangerous cave systems. All I can say is, she better watch her back, 'cause this other gal is a grudge-nurser and is going to go for the jugular pretty soon.
Posted by Beth MacKinney at 3:45 PM