Saturday, 26 November 2011

Scribbling Saturday: NaNo Report

Including today, I have five days of NaNoWriMo left, and seventeen thousand words still to write. I have to make the decision: do I abandon everything and write like crazy to try to reach fifty thousand words, or do I live my life and settle for what I can get?

This year has been a difficult one. My historical novel did not go well - I fear it may be irredeemable drivel - and I am not inspired by my scifi novel. I think my creativity just gave up on the first and won't revive for the second. Oh well, that's life. To be fair, it has also coincided with having the decorator in, with mess and noise making concentration difficult, and I am having driving lessons in an adapted car, which has been nerve wracking.

Memo to self:
1. Clear the decks next year so there is little going on to distract me.
2. Plan the novel in much more detail.
3. Define the main chacters in detail so that you really know who they are and what they feel.

Memo to other NaNoWriMos:
Learn from my mistakes!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thinking Thursday: The World Needs People Who...

The world needs people who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who don't hesitate to take chances;
who don't lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as they are in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hard-heartedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not afraid to stand for the truth even when it's unpopular;
who say "no" with emphasis, even though the rest of the world says "yes".

Ted Engstrom

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scribbling Saturday: NaNo Panic

Twelve days into NaNoWriMo, I have written over sixteen thousand words, which is no mean feat. But it has not been easy. I want to offer some words of encouragement to anyone who may be struggling, or who is afraid to try.

I am trying to turn historical fact into historical fiction, and it is much harder than I expected. I didn't realise how much research I would need, and I keep having to stop and look something up. There is so much I can't make up. So my 1700 words a day is taking several hours, and other important things are getting left out. I have reluctantly decided that I have to limit my writing time, because some other things are important.

Does this mean that NaNoWriMo is too hard? No!
Does this mean that I am a failure? No!

NaNoWriMo is a means to an end: it gets you writing, and writing lots. You always end up with more material than before. Material you can re-work, add to, adapt. Material that is not intended to be fit for publishing, but that you can make something out of that is fit for publishing. Last year I didn't make it to 50,000 words, but I ended up with 32,000 words of a novel which I didn't have before.

So, unless a miracle happens, I will not be making it to 50,000 words this year. But I'm still excited about what I will achieve!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thinking Thursday: A Prayer to Jesus

Lord Jesus, what can we say to someone who has done so much for us? Who has done everything for us that really matters. A man who saves a life is a hero, but you have done so much more. You have saved us from ourselves. You have saved us from the eternal wrath of God. And to do that you had to leave your Father, leave your glory and majesty, and become a man. Praise you, Lord, for such humility.

You lived among us so that we might see God in a way that we could understand. Praise you, Lord, for such clarity. You lived a perfect life that you might represent us before God with no sin to mar the way. And then you went to the cross and took all our sin onto your shoulders. Praise you, Lord, for such sacrifice. How could we ever imagine what that was like? How could we ever thank you enough? Our whole lives would not be enough, but that is all we have. Take our lives, Lord, and use them for your glory.

You did all this for us, and then you rose again, and conquered death itself, and brought us a promise of eternal joy. And now you sit with God the Father, pleading every day for his mercy. Praise you, Lord, for your unceasing love. Help us by your Spirit to submit to your loving guidance, to be transformed into your likeness and become your instruments for good in this world.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Scribbling Saturday: NaNo Immersion

It's quarter to eleven on Sunday night, and I see I haven't posted for over a week. I want more followers, but I'm not going to attract them with no posts. The reason is NaNoWriMo. I'm six days in, and a little behind on my word count (900 words behind, actually).

Take my advice: if you're going to take up an intensive writing challenge, you need to clear your diary. This week I have been so busy, by this weekend my writing was like pulling teeth. The week to come is clearer, so I hope I can catch up and get ahead. I have also discovered holes in my plot which have been hard to fill.

Because it is a true story, I have all the facts, but what do you do while you're waiting for the next event to happen? And how do all the characters react to what's going on? I am starting to work it out, but it's hard.

Harder still when you're not concentrating properly. Ever tried writing while watching tv? And the last episode of Downton Abbey. Not recommended. I'll probably look at it tomorrow and find it's a load of rubbish. But this is NaNoWriMo and there's no time to edit!