Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hitting the Wall

Well, I’ve been working on this National Novel Writing Month project. I have been working on characterization of both the protagonist and antagonist. I’ve been using the book, The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within. It has been a wonderful. I love the writing prompts and the process of working on protagonist and antagonist through evaluating their motivations and needs. I’ve been writing and writing. Sometimes the words just flow and I’ve even had flashes of the ending of the story. I’ve seen the end in my mind. I know where it’s going.

I got to the 30 day prompt in this lovely book and I hit the wall. The prompt for that day was “Write the Story”. What!? You were telling me to hold the story loosely. I don’t have a plan. I’m stuck. I came to a screeching halt. My mind went totally blank. I didn’t expect such a response from my internal fear button. I hit that wall and stopped writing. I had the disease-writer’s block.

What’s the story?  What’s the plot line? How do I get here? How do I even start?

So I closed my word processor. I walked away. I was uncomfortable and I was ready to give up. I didn’t know where to go or how to begin. I felt like a failure. I can’t write a story. I don’t have the skill. Wait-what did you just say? Skill- well, a skill can be learned. I opened some books and began to read. The appendix of the The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within was very helpful in alleviating the fear. I am very grateful to the author for showing his process and bearing those first drafts for the world to see. The first drafts from the author were just like I write. He had a ton of telling instead of showing. I beat myself up for that, but hey maybe everyone does it that way. The rewrite was amazing. It showed the first vs. the published version of his story. There was an amazing transformation. I took that lesson to heart and felt the truth of first drafts are rubbish, but don’t stop. You don’t know what you have until you are done.

Now, I needed a plan for how to begin. I went to The Story Template: Conquer Writer’s Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. Yes, I can do this! Each part of the story is listed and brief descriptions are given. I have a plan. I can get a terrible first draft out. Then fix all the problems in the rewrite. Or maybe fix them in the second and third rewrite. Don’t stop. Never give up and never surrender. Look for a path through the darkness.

I’ll keep you posted. Word count: 20,141.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Progress of Sorts

I have been writing fairly religiously on my National Novel Writing Month project. I find that I rarely hit the average word count needed each day to finish on time. (The program shows when I'll finish which will be sometime early next year if I keep to my current rate.) Shut up and write on the novel. Procrastinating here. Yes, yes, I am.

So what am I to do? Baby steps! Keep showing up to the page-of course. If I need baby steps, I will take baby steps. I am feeling the whole internal critic thing happening. That critic, Mrs. Olson, keeps saying that I don't have a story. I have nothing to say. I feel the crush of the negative and fight to keep returning to the page. The only way to tell if there is a story is to actually finish. Don't give up. When you go through hell keep on going...You can make it through to the other side. You really don't know what you have until you put it away for awhile and then return to it.

In looking back over my previous year's work, I see that some of them are actually going somewhere. I could finish them and they might actually be worth editing. If I actually finish a novel or two, that might silence the critic for a day or two before she thinks of another way to attack me...oh I can hear her now. (So what you finished 50,000 words-no one's going to read it) My response will be: How do you know? I can put the work out there for people to see and then I'll know.

Here's to showing up to the page and continuing to believe in my own creativity. See you on the page.

Love and Light!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

National Novel Writing Month

November is the month to write a novel. Now, I have signed up and started many times. My login tells me I have participated for 5 years...oh my. And not one is finished.

So I'm going public. I am writing a novel. This month-November. I will keep the faith and keep plugging away. I will do this. It's only day 6. I can get to 50,000 words. Do these words count?

Hopefully, the fear of shame will keep me writing...see you in December.