Novel Progress Report

Well I am nine days into this adventure and still going strong.   I have written just over 14,000 words.   This is good in that I am on target to finish if I continue to write like I have been.    But when I think about my goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month it is true that I am not very far in the process.  I sometimes wonder what I have written so far, and RangerSir has hinted he’d like to read it.  I have started this process before and not finished each time so am going to write until the voices in my head tell me it is over or the end of the month whichever comes first.   No getting diverted by early editing.

The good part of all of this writing is that for the most part my real life has not gone down the toilet or put on hold because I am spending all my time writing.   I still have a my job and show up and work each day.   I am carrying my load around the house, not letting RangerSir do a disproportionate amount of the general household chores ( I have a white chicken chilli in the crock pot, my last load of laundry in the drier, and manged to go to down and grocery shop before the mega storm arrives).  I still have carved out time to enjoy some of my other creative ventures including teaching a class, making some cards, blogging a little and reading some for pleasure.   Now that it sounds like I am having it all that is not true, my exercise program in almost nonexistent and I have two Christmas gifts to make that are not even started.    Life isn’t perfect but it is damn good and someday who knows I may call myself a novelist.   You just have to write one not publish one to call yourself novelist, but if I get lucky I could do both.

Now it is time to close this off and get back to the business of writing.

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Writer Within?

Yes-No-Maybe

I have always thought that there was a writer within me.   When I was in the second grade my teacher, Mrs. Kromhroy, inspired my fantasy to become an author.   It was that year that I wrote my first book, complete with illustrations.   The book is long since gone, and I am not even sure of the plot  anymore. I can tell you without a doubt that the main character, Chrissy, lived in a house that looked like a huge mushroom. What I don’t remember illustrates why becoming a writer is still just a fantasy, developing a memorable story still eludes me.

One summer I spent researching  a book that never got written.  I read lots of non-fiction about live on the frontier of  South Dakota.   I even took a road trip with a friend to see an abandon orphanage that sat on the wide open prairies of South Dakota.  I took pictures and explored that building and other homesteads long since vacated by families who had moved on.      The pictures  hung above my desk for years to help me visualize my story and inspiration of those who had lived there.

I have belonged to writers group, participated in workshops, took classes at the U and had my work critiqued.  I stumbled then as I do now with that magical plotting outline.   I know the primary characters like they are my best friends; knowing their faults, strengths and deepest wishes.   I know what the conflict is and how it will be resolved.   I can write the jacket cover and make you want to read my book.   What I can not to do is work this in to a book with supporting characters, underlying stories that support the overall story.  Plotting an fully story outline is a skill that is elusive to me.   I spent years in as a systems analysis, this should not be hard for me, but it a hurdle I haven’t been able to get over.

My father’s  first cousin is a Christian writer.   Much of her inspiration, excluding God because that is a given for Christian writing,  comes from history, some of it family, other regional history.  She is encouraging and makes me think about taking some of my family history research and weave that into a story.   Is that the story I suppose to write?  Until then I will keep blogging along.

Tackeling Another of My Life Lists Items

For many years I wanted to become a school teacher and have the summers off to write and paint watercolors.   I long since have decided that I didn’t want to be a school teacher and my painting skills never developed, but I have never let go of that urge to write.  I have decided that am going to take care of my writing goal.   I am going to write a novel.   I can’t  say I am going to publish a book, if it gets published or not is not under my control.  Writing it is.

My inspiration for my first book. Imagine living here!

I wrote my first book when I was in grade school about a girl who lived in a mushroom that looked like the orange canisters popular in the 60’s.   I wrote the story and did the illustrations.   I am not sure what happened to that book.    I don’t remember even a hint of the plot of that book.

I have played the idea of writing a novel many times off and on during my adulthood.  Nothing has ever came of it.  What makes it different this time?  First and foremost I am sharing this goal.  I have also found what I think will be a support system online, National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org).

NANOWRIMO is an online group that gears up in September, to provide a support system of the things you need to do up front.   They support you as you develop your plot and all the other goodies you need to do to plan your novel.  Then in November you put the words to “paper.”  The goal is 50,000 words  by the end of the month.   That translates  to  just under 1,700 words a day.  This is no easy goal.

One of the things NANOWRIMO states is that there is a lot of  “crap” written during November.    Some amazing books that you would recognize have come from this group.  Some folks will go back and edit their book and  attempt to find a publisher.  On the other hand many of the books will never be more than a personal accomplishment.    Is that so bad, a completed personal accomplishment?   I think not.

I am not yet sure what I will write about, but I’ll keep you posted.