Okay, I admit it. I really wanted to see that 50,ooo word mark. Even though I knew that it was the novel that was more important. I need to finish. And I did. I didn’t have much of a social life and my blogging dropped to almost zero, but I have achieved something I didn’t think possible: a whole novel (well most of it) in one month.
Typically, this process takes about six months and has lots of ups and downs. Most of these are spurred on my my inner editor. It’s nice to know that I can shut that guy up. Even if it’s only in November during a contest.
But seriously, I need to nap.
As I prep for the upcoming culinary storm, I find that James Bond is playing on TV. This really brings me back. The movie is Octopussy with Roger Moore, a flick I grew up with. I glanced over while making breakfast and saw the scene in the casino where James borrows the lucky dice from Kamal Khan.
Here’s a link to the scene.
I love that James rolls the dice and doesn’t even glance down. He knows that it’s double sixes. What’s more, backgammon is my favorite board games, so I get double enjoyment from this scene.
The icing on the cake is the final line, as Kamal writes a check for 200,000 rupees. James has the audacity to say, “I prefer cash.”
Yes. That’s the James Bond I recall.
You know you’re hooked on something when even a debilitating sickness brings you guilt. The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has been so productive and fun that I look forward to it every night after work. I’ve learned that my typical pace, prior to NaNoWriMo was about 800 words. This is when my body felt tired and wanted to quit.
That won’t cut it for 50,000 words in a month. Therefore the first couple of weeks I fell behind. Since then, I’ve discovered that I can easily power out 2000 to 2400 words each nightly session. That is until the nasty stomach flu took hold of me. It was Monday night and I can still recall the conversation I had in my head. “I’ll just write 800 words. Maybe 400 words. I should lie down before I fall down.”
I missed a day. And I regret it even now. I’ve made up the difference in word count. It was the lost experience that irks me. The fact that a virus robbed me of another night of writing.
A tear falls from my eye as I foresee a world with no Twinkies. Forget the Mayan calendar. This is it people. the end is neigh. I mean this was the food Woody Harrelson enjoyed in a zombie filled America. How can I enjoy the little things now?
Zombieland Movie Poster – Redesignby ~ppuntel
In case you haven’t heard, Hostess will close its doors and that means all its tasty snacks, Ding Dongs, Zingers, the whole lot, gone. I survived on this food in college. I mean if you look at the wrapper, a Twinkie doesn’t have that many calories. It was respectable.
What about the Twinkie defense? How will murders secure that not guilty plea with no snack food to blame. This event undermines everything that we call American.
I need to store up on Twinkies. Now.
Writer’s are basically selfish people (and I’m speaking from experience here). We want the world handed to us. Right now. This is doubly true in the querying process. We send out letters or emails and want the reply instantly. Positive of course. Then when it comes back negative, or not at all, we start to doubt, picking at the scabbed over flaws we’ve built into our writing lives: the query wasn’t good enough; they hated my story; I’m not a good writer.
Whoa there fellas, lets step back and take a look at the world for a moment. If you’re querying right now, think about who you’re shooting all these emails of to? Agents or editors who live or do business with New York. Normally that’s the city that doesn’t sleep, but when Sandy came along, it threw the whole town for a loop. I’ve heard of editors and agent’s email servers down for two weeks.
Yes, that means they’re up by now. But don’t leap to query. Consider the lack of progress for two weeks. Whatever projects these literary types were working on, they’re now two weeks behind. Never mind if the agent you query lives outside of New York. I guarantee that he or she has at least one project with a New York editor.
What does this mean for aspiring authors? Well, you could submit your query now and have it fight for attention with paying projects that are behind deadline, along with Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Agents will either scoot your query to a back burner, or they’ll rush to judgement simply to clear out the email queue.
The best solution is to wait. I know that’s a four letter word with us writers. We don’t like waiting. But the truth is your manuscript will fare a better chance in 2013 when things have settled back to their typical frantic pace.
In the words of the great Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.”
I am a rock. I am an island.
Honestly, I think my friends think I’ve moved to a shack in Idaho and am banging away at an old typewriter. Truth is, to make the NaNoWriMo thing work, and hold down a job, and spend some time with the kids, I have to cut corners. That means my social life has dwindled to a pilot light.
I don’t even want to talk (or tweet) about my writing. I feel like that’s wasted time. I just want to write, and then sleep. Even this blog post feels like cheating. I could rack up a few more words. (I’m about 400 shy of my goal today.)
However, my guilt over not posting finally drove me back here. If nothing else, perhaps there are a few other writers out there toiling through the same issues as I am. We can commiserate in unison as we head back to our manuscripts and commence yet another round of typing.
This is my first stint with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I must say I’m loving the process. The thought of missing my schedule kicks me in the butt and gets me typing. I’m down on blogging, but I think that’s the point.
The best part is that the novel, one I’ve tried all the past year to write, is coming together. Each scene flows into the next effortlessly. It is hard to turn off that inner editor, but it’s worth it. I’ve stopped looking over previous pages. It’s all be hammered out in revision. Heck, I’ve taken an existing manuscript and switched tenses and POVs. I know that a draft is just that. Nothing’s sacred. So why not get it done quickly and move on to revising.