Another week has passed! And I am behind.
I had a few days this past week where I wasn’t able to do much writing at all because of, you know, life happening. I fell to 4,011 words down over the weekend and have been slogging to try to make those words up. My goal for now is to simply try to over-write by a few words every day (and by a few, I mean by a few hundred) so that I can chip away at my deficit instead of creating a larger one.
Since my major NaNo project was my novel, I’m trying to keep up the motivation to edit, but if you’ve ever edited a novel, you know what a beast that can be.
Let’s start with the positives. I’ve done a TON of worldbuilding over the past week, which has been instrumental in helping me get through editing. I’ve done a lot of thinking through about the Veru, which is the race Tamerna is, and how their society works, what’s important to them, and how they’ve been slowly changing over the past few millennia.
I never quite realized how helpful worldbuilding is, probably because I’ve never actually done it before, but once I’d worked out some of these other details, the editing moved so much faster because I knew how to change what I’d written to fit what the reality of this race and region is.
Since the start of NaNo, I’ve added over 3,000 words to the novel, so that’s pretty cool. Most of those words are descriptive words. I’ve fleshed out the scene more, I’ve given the readers an idea of what it feels like to live there – the kinds of sights and sounds and smells and touches and tastes they would experience. In treating setting as another character, I’ve really been able to develop that writing idea and give a much richer indicator of the world.
I’ve written 2 posts since the start of NaNo even thought 3 have published, I wrote this week’s book review several weeks ago in October. I should have held off! Oh well, it’s really no big deal.
I have a new thing planned to do on my blog and that is featuring fellow writers or authors, each on a different part of their journey, once a month. I tossed out an invite in my writing group and had several who were interested, so that’s pretty neat.
I was asked if I wanted to feature an author whose book I’d read and reviewed on my blog and that’s what gave me the idea to feature other writers and authors that I know (or maybe even don’t know). I amy not have a massive following (yet) but that’s no excuse to not try to get some other authors further on their path toward discovery. For all I know, I’ll have a few readers who are interested in these genres and get a few extra followers for them.
These features aren’t anything fancy, but are interviews with authors. Some questions are lighthearted and fun and others dive into the writing process of these other people. My hope is to also provide additional tools for those stopping by. I have my way of doing things, but a different process might be more helpful to someone else.
I’ve really been diving into poetry and have an idea of something I think I’d like to do.
Last week I shared about my discovery of what I call power poetry and I’ve been writing more of it. Truth be told, most of it is pretty bad at this stage, but the beauty of editing is that I can take some garbage on the page and shine it up to be something really beautiful.
I learn something every year with NaNo and this year, it’s all about forcing myself to write, even if it’s crap. I want so much to have the first thing that comes out be beautiful and perfect that sometimes I don’t even bother writing at all. I have a line or a stanza for a poem or a glimmer of an idea for a short story, but I don’t have it all, so I don’t necessarily want to write. I’m learning to push past that, to just get the garbage version of the idea on the page and then go back and work on it.
My editing process is really helping me in the just write it down arena. As I’m going through my novel, I’m coming across quite a bit of terrible writing. Like, downright embarrassing and I’m a bit ashamed that some people have already read it.
That said, at least the idea is on the page. I have something to work with even if it takes a lot of time to go back and refine it, add to it, and make it the experience of reading I want it to be. It also shows me that I can, in fact, write beautifully when I take the time and when I want to. This encourages me quite a bit since I’ve been feeling a bit discouraged about my writing, especially my really bad first draft poetry.
I even wrote a couple extra terrible ones on my twitter feed. Just because I wanted to.
In the NaNo support facebook group I’m in, I’ve gotten a lot of great resources regarding worldbuilding, whether through individual prompts or lists of worldbuilding questions that are often overlooked. An entire worldbuilding website has been introduced, though I haven’t yet taken the time to look at it.
Most of my worldbuilding is focused on my Veru race because they are the only ones we’ve met in the story yet. As we meet more races, I will have to stop and do some extra worldbuilding so I can better understand how my races will interact with each other and how each race acts on its own. I’ll also place one of my races in its home territory and work out the climate of the other race’s known territory. I know I still have a lot in front of me, but since I haven’t caught back up to them in the novel, I’m not terribly motivated to work on them.
So, that’s where I am this week with NaNo. I’m still on pace to not write 25k words in one week (which I’ve been expressly forbidden to do after last year), so that’s my main goal right now. I’m just a few thousand words short of 25k, and now we’re halfway through the month, so I’m close. As long as I can remain disciplined to write every day in the mornings when I make the kids play by themselves and again during nap time, whether they all nap or not, I can stay ahead. I know that I can’t rely on late night writing sessions, though doing a few isn’t so bad. At least that way, I know everyone else is sleeping and I can write guilt-free.
How about you? How is your writing coming along?