I was planning on spouting off about tense and POV this month, but got sidetracked by this little writer’s challenge. You know the one, National Novel Writing Month. Maybe you’re not into forcing yourself to put 50,000 words on the page or you’re a firm believer that writing is a solitary job so no group endeavors, like those write-in thingies. Neither was I on both counts. Writing group? I didn’t need no stinkin’ writin’ group! And you can take that fake deadline and…well you get the picture. All it takes is for me to sit down and start typing. Umm, yeah, that worked. Not!
Sure I churned out some short stories, but where was that novel I kept saying I was writing? Most of them are unfinished in a drawer. They’d make better scratch paper than reading material. Then I got this brilliant idea and I decided this is the one. The one I will finish. Yeah, right. I’ve been plunking away at it for, oh I don’t know, a couple of years maybe more. Who keeps track? It kept changing on me, too many directions at once, no solid plot line, a bunch of half-baked characters, in whole a disaster. But something wouldn’t let me give up. Might have been the characters knocking around in my skull. Might have been the wonderful group of girls I joined. Might even have been that I really, deep down believed it could work.
Speaking of those girls…One day I put on my big girl panties and admitted I needed support. The kind of support your family and friends can’t give; only other writers—probably should add editors, agents and the rest of the publishing world-understand a writer’s mind. Family and friends smile indulgently when you drift off into story land and pat your hand when you whine about your characters. All the while thinking, why can’t she just get off her posterior and finish the thing already? Other writers understand. They’re going through the same things. They don’t care when the words coming out of your mouth and your brain go in two directions at once. So think twice about it being solely a solitary activity.
Putting 50k down on paper in 30 days and you can write crap with a capital C. That’s the hard part for me in this challenge I still cling to my old habits. Not as tightly but they’re still there in the background, wincing when something doesn’t sound right. As stated in my last post I promised to finish Disenchanted by the end of the month and as I type this I’m over half done. I started with 30k and set my goal to 80 so I would meet the requirement. From my vantage point, I’ll not only meet that goal but probably over it. That’s what this challenge has done for me, it pushed me, pushed me hard.
Moral of the story? Yes, I need a stinkin’ writin’ group and fake or not a deadline is a powerful thing!