Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of Nano - Now What?

Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo!

Although I have been declared a "winner," I am kind of sad that I finished as early as I did. It would have been fun to cross the finish line with so many of you that did so today, and those who are still attacking their keyboards with pure determination! GO YOU!!!!!

So tomorrow is December 1st - time for finals at school, and Christmas shopping? well, yes.... but it's now time for me to dust off my 16 day novel, and take a look at what I have done. It's time to sit down and have an intimate conversation with each chapter, and to weave in the ribbons that will tie the book together.

Am I scared? Absolutely! -- Will I succeed? -- Absolutely!

The rewriting process is not something to approach lightly, and I plan on being completely dedicated to this book.

So what is next for you? A month off? more? Will you be starting a new book right away?

Congratulations Nano-writers - YOU DID IT! and if you didn't -- there is always next month! <3

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goal Complete - but not "The End"

I have a certain ritual when I enter a book section of a store. I walk around and read all the titles, running my hands across the shelf so that I don’t miss one. Most of them,  I imagine starting with a desire – a desire to create a story and share it with others. As I do this, I envision my book sitting on the shelf among the other books, and I feel what I can only describe as a child-like excitement at the thought of being published.  There is a story behind all of these books, and it’s not just the one written on the pages – it is the one about the person who wrote it.  A story that includes planning, endless hours, sweat and tears, rewriting, and finally the anticipation.

This leads me to my conclusion of NaNoWriMo. I passed the 50k mark and finished the first draft of my book on November 16th. Why didn’t I write this sooner? I wanted to bathe in the fact that I made a goal, and I achieved it. I also wanted to let my characters rest. They worked so hard to help me with this story and deserved to take a break.  I almost feel it would be premature of me to celebrate this achievement. There is so much work to be done at this point, and it really is just the beginning.

I did not type the words “The End” when I was finished, because the fact remains that I am not finished. I’ll save those precious words for when I feel the book is truly complete and ready to be sent off.  This is the first time that I have written something that I feel has the potential to be sitting on the shelf with many of the others. I am so fortunate to have met so many people during this journey, and I look forward to continuing these friendships. I look forward to seeing some familiar names on the shelves as we continue our quest to be published, and I look forward to sharing my sweat and tears along the way.  November  is almost over, but my writing will continue.    
So as I soak in this moment, I say thank you for all of your support, and I look forward to what our futures will bring!    

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nano Day 15 - Don't Rush It!

When I reach an exciting part in a book that I am reading, I am forced to pace myself. Yes, of course I could skip the pages and find out what happens to Character A, or even browse over the pages towards the end to know what the result will be.  If I allowed myself to do this, I would feel cheated. I would feel like I missed out on the experience.

As I near the 50k mark of my book, and begin bringing the dramatic climaxes to a close, I am left hoping that I am not cheating my readers. I need to make sure that I am not rushing the answers to them. I am so excited to see the end result that I feel I might be concluding conflicts a little too quickly. So my advice as we all get closer to our goals is to make sure that we are not rushing our scenes.  It is my goal over the next 14k words to really think out the resolutions to the conflicts that I have presented, and to let them breathe.  I will not cheat the ending for myself or my readers.

Do you find while writing that your own excitement might rush the plot?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nano Day 13 - Virtual Writing Space

I am sorry that I haven't written in a few days. Unfortunately, my TMJ is having one of its episodes, and I have only been able to sit at my computer long enough to write on my story, and do my homework. I make sure to take the opportunity when I'm feeling well enough to write, thankfully I haven't missed a day, and the 30k mark has arrived.

Those of you who regularly read my blogs know that I use my Second Life character as my muse. She is also the source of most of my photo's for this blog, and is a great creative outlet. Someone very dear to me created a place where I can take my character to write. It is my very own virtual writing loft, and it is a very happy space. It is the kind of writing room that I hope to have someday. Therefore, I give my most sincere thanks and share with all of you a few pictures to show it off. (Notice the WRITE on the wall - Simply PERFECT).

I sat my character down, tabbed out, and typed over 4000 words tonight. It was exactly what I needed after a very long week! <3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nano Day 9 - Kicking and Screaming

I love the fact that I can get lost while I write. The daily stress can quickly dissolve into the scene that I am writing, and for moments at a time, I can be the puppet-master of my own world.

Lately, two of my main characters have interrupted my peaceful writing. One of them, the youngest, feels that his age is too young. The other, well she can't decide on if she wants to be referred to in her full name, by her last name, or three different nicknames. It's exhausting! I will think that we have settled on an effective nickname, and then along the way it changes. 

The great thing about Nano, is they can kick and scream all they want, but I don't have to change anything right now. I don't have to worry if one character is acting way older than he should, or if another character has three different nicknames. I am confident that by the end of the story, he will know exactly how old he is, and she will have decided on her name. Until then, I will remain calm and peaceful, and continue to lose myself among the river of words. 

Do you find that your characters rebel mid-story? How do you handle it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nano Day 8

I am now at the part of my book where all five of my main characters are together in one scene for the entire weekend. I have been leading up to this part of the book for almost 20k pages, and now that I'm here, I feel a sense of fear. Whose perspective will I tell it from? How will I merge all of these personalities into one house for one weekend? Thankfully, it's only a few chapters, and things will go back to semi-normal. I would love to hear how your Nano books are coming? If you are not participating in Nano, then how is your writing going? Make sure you remind yourself why you started writing to begin with -- tap into that energy! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Late Night Writing - Nano Day 5, 6 & 7

I am starting to notice a pattern with my writing for Nano. I am waiting until the very last part of the day to start. It's not that this hasn't worked for me --I've exceeded 15k and feel like I am at a good pace with my story. Only last night did I fear that I was revealing something too early in the story. I still haven't convinced myself that I didn't, but for now, it will remain where it is.

The problem with waiting until the end of the night is I risk not being able to get my word count in and possibly my creativity is not as keen as it would be if I were to do it earlier in the day. Frankly, by this time of night, my brain is fried from other things. My goal for the next 10K words is to produce them earlier in the day, and then if I want to write later in the night, it's perfectly acceptable. I'm not sure if my fear is that I will sit down and stare at a blank page, or if I am just afraid that I won't be as creative if my brain is fully functioning.

Even today, I sat down to start writing, and now I'm blogging.

What time of the day do you find is the best for your writing?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free Giveaways After 100 Followers Reached!

So why the giveaways?  I will be honest and admit that my blogging is for me, however, there is such a thrill with sharing my words with others. I love getting comments, and knowing that someone else is feeling the same way, or has a story that they can share with me. I spend so much time reading other blogs, and commenting when I can. I love when others recommend a blog to me, because usually I fall in love right away. I want to get the word out about my little place in the blog world, and at the same time reward my followers.  Writing can be a lonely journey, and by having this blog, I don't feel so alone anymore! Here are some of the items I will be giving away. I may add more as my follower list grows :)

Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life        On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft      The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition   2011 Writer's Market

So how does this work?  It's very simple.  I need to reach 100 follower by the end of Nano, which is the end of November. So if you like my blog, and you think it's worth spreading around, then repost and retweet. I will be doing a random drawing of those who spread the word on December 1st or after 100 followers are reached.  Leave your comment here that you have reposted somewhere in your writing world!  Thank you so much, and leave your own blog, because I will be returning the favor! <3 Kristy

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nano Day 4 - Don't Forget Your Imagination!

When I was a little girl, I would create elaborate stories in my head, and sometimes I would be so convincing that I would actually believe they were true. Some would call this compulsive lying, but I like to think of it as an overactive imagination. I always felt like I knew something that others did not. Reading would eventually allow for me to realize that I was not the only one with an imagination, and although I am still growing up (I don't think we should ever fully grow up) I realize that my imagination has caused many different emotions in my life. Here are just a few- jealousy, fear, anger, anxiety, as you can see a lot of irrational emotions pop up.

The power that we as writers have is the ability to channel that imagination, and use it the way it is meant to be used. It is a power that we can unleash onto the pages of our manuscripts, and we can be as irrational or rational as we wish. 

Every once in awhile I have to tap into that imagination, and remind myself that it's okay to let go. It's okay to let my characters feel a certain way... It's okay to be me!

I love my imagination - it is who I am, and it's what makes me the kind of writer that I have always wanted to be. So jump on that hot air balloon, fly through the sky, over the ocean, reach for that sunset, and don't forget the most important thing -- your imagination! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unexpected visit from my muse - Nano Day 3

Meet my MUSE! 

Today was an interesting day. I knew that I was already well ahead of my word count, and a sort of cocky feeling spread over me. "I got this," I said out loud while doing other things, and going about my day. I glanced at my characters for a while, and at one point felt like they might be hiding on me. Perhaps I had overworked them. It wasn't until I started up Second Life, and walked around my virtual world -- that I became inspired. I have been part of Second Life for four years now, and it has always been a source of distraction from the real world, but also an inspiration for my writing. I have gotten so many creative ideas from this world, that I truly believe I wouldn't be where I am, if I hadn't played. 

Here I have been worrying that my Muse wasn't going to visit me at the beginning of my book, and then I realized it was right in front of me (the above picture). I sat my Avi down in the virtual world at her computer, and let her start typing, while I put down the browser and pounded out over 2000 words to bring me to the 10,000 mark. WOOOOT!

Has your muse visited lately?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do you schedule time to read blogs?

I have noticed that my favorite thing to do besides write, is to read other blogs. I can get so lost in the flow of catching up on what people have had to say, and adding new blogs to my subscription list, that before I realize it - hours have flown by. 

I am curious as to how you manage your blog reading time? Do you set aside a certain amount of time, and once that time is up-shutdown? 

Do you only read certain ones? How could you possibly choose?

I honestly have been reading ones that come to my email, and then following links on Twitter, but I know I have been neglecting those that I have subscribed to...

What's your strategy?

NaNoWriMo Day 1 and 2

I had hoped to write this blog yesterday, but I was pretty wiped.  The past two days have been a success. I have managed to get over 6000 words in so far, and I'm still trucking along. I'm getting to know my characters a little bit more, and throwing them into some pretty dramatic scenes. It will be interesting to see how things progress. I am happy with it so far.

If you want to follow my updates - you will find me on twitter at @kphilbrick
If you want to be my Nano buddy - My username is KristyLee 

Things I have learned so far.

**Highlight words that I need to either find a different word for, or fact check - (this has been hard for me to do, but helps to not interrupt my creative flow)

**Be patient - I know what the story is about, and I know how it will end, but I need to be more patient on how I will get there - the characters will guide the way

**JUST WRITE  - This is a big one- I have heard a lot of writers give this kind of advice, and I must admit that it is true. Sometimes it really is just about sitting down and doing the writing. I had a notebook with me today, and wrote a complete chapter by hand. There are no excuses -- JUST WRITE!