On a Roll

Not that kind of roll.

I’m on Day 12 of NaNoWriMo and have written 18,790 words. That’s better than I’ve done in the last several tries, and I am actually excited about this story. Considering the fact that I just sat down and started typing without any plan or focus, or even the glimmer of a plot in mind, it’s actually coming together well.

At least in my head. The words that are going into Scrivener are following the head-story nicely, so far. It’s working.

Of course, “It’s working,” means from my own perspective. I know that when I’m buried in a character’s head and following the story from that character’s perspective, I may not be writing something that anyone else would read and enjoy. I do know that I’m going to have to set the book aside, once that first draft is finished, for a little while. I’ll then have to look at it again through rested eyes, and hit the rewrites. I am fairly sure those will be considerable (they always are).

I already know that there are inconsistencies that have to be fixed. That’s fairly natural when you’re writing a story that is taking form as you progress. As you write, an idea that was a glimmer on page twenty suddenly takes full form on page eighty-three, and you know that things have changed since the glimmer. You’re going to have to enrich characters, change some settings, fill in and alter back-story, and very likely cut out whole sections and add new ones. You’ll be moving things around, shifting scenes, upping the action, increasing the tension.

That’s what telling a story is all about, after all.

I do think, however, that this book has potential. I have a dear friend and a family member reading through the first few chapters, just to let me know, “Is it going to work?” It’s not in any way ready for anyone else to read. I am thinking tentatively about looking for a critique group.

Wouldn’t it be fun to dig up some of my old cohorts from the ’80s? I miss the days of the writers’ forums on the good old GEnie and NVN networks (that was way back before the days of “The Internet”). I got to know some great people on those forums, including well-known children’s writers like Jane Yolen, Bruce Coville, and Josepha Sherman. I was surrounded by a group of good friends, who worked together to help one another polish manuscripts and get them ready for submission.

It was during those days that I was first officially published, in Spider Magazine for Children. My story, The Songdog, was something that made me so incredibly proud. It took a wannabe writer and made her Real. Pinocchio with a word processor.

Now, in my twilight years, I’ve shifted my life focus, thanks to this book, and this year’s NaNo. Before November 1st, I was frustrated, “trying to make time for my writing.” Other things would take me away from it. Now, I am writing first. Nothing else is done before the writing. I feel like a “real writer” again. I’ve created an Author page for myself on Facebook, and have been echoing these posts, and sharing other things there. I have seven whole followers so far. ::chuckle:: Okay, “best selling,” maybe I’m not, but I’m writing every single day.

I’m a Creator again. I’m making worlds and bringing people to life. It’s a kind of magic that only a writer knows how to weave.

I’m loving it. I hope I can keep this momentum, and continue to be a writer first. I know I have other responsibilities, but it feels good to put the creation of words first in my daily to-do list.

Today, I reached 18,790 words. I know I have many more words inside me, that want to come out and build the rest of this story, and many more.

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