Monday, November 5, 2012

No No, Nano! Or, Unsticking All The Words

I didn't sign up for NaNoWriMo this year, because I was more than 50k into a novel, but after a big discussion on Twitter at the end of October, I did agree to NaNoFiMo, or National Novel Finishing Month. We proposed that we'd stick to the NaNo spirit of daily writing goals, whether it be a daily word count goal, an editing goal, or critiquing and polishing. Anything that got you closer to finishing a novel would count as a goal. Most importantly, we would be accountable to each other. We'd have to fess up when we didn't meet our goals. It's a great kick in the pants to stick to those goals!

I wanted my work in progress to be on the receiving end of this sort of kick:

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But more often than not for the last week, I ended up more like this:

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I was the dizzy squirrel, running in circles, unable to decide where the words were leading. As you can see, I'm still tying my metaphors up in knots. But I think I finally figured out what comes next.

So now this is me, writing many words, skating across the frozen surface of plot holes, and laughing as I swing like Tarzan across the dreaded Boggy Middle of this book:

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All it took was a week of reading, self loathing, and a five minute email exchange with the fabulous @FeakySnucker. I swear, she should append her name to include the Fabulous. I don't even think she realized how helpful her gentle prompting was. And for the record, "gentle prompting" now includes such phrases as this:

"Either way, someone's going to be getting pounded."

This is why everyone needs a good critique partner. Not just after the writing is done, but for those horrible, horrible times when you get stuck. And as for NaNo, whether you choose to NaNoWriMo from the beginning, or NaNoFiMo from somewhere in the middle of a novel, I wish you many happy unstickings.

How is your November writing goal coming along? Are you NaNo'ing in any way? Need someone to kick your metaphorical patootie? I am available for booty booting, and happy to help!


Tell me all about it: