Almost halfway there, and a long, long way to go
Little by little, I'm getting closer to my goals. I know some of you are crossing that halfway point, and some of you may have already surpassed 50,000, and some of you may be way behind and thinking of giving up. But don't. Because as long as you're showing up and moving forward, you're winning too.
This challenge is for fun. A low stake gamble on yourself, a blank page playground waiting to become. Become whatever you want it to be. Whatever you create, protect the courage to keep showing up.
Wherever you are in this journey, you're not alone. Behind this screen are thousands (millions?) of us cheering you on. So grab your pen, keyboard, or markers, and keep writing.
Come back next week to see how it's growing and if I get any closer to my projected goals or if I fall further behind. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, leave me a comment and let me know how it's going.
Lastly, if you don't know what a zero draft is, you should check out this link to Alexa Donne's short YouTube video on Fast Drafting Tips and Zero Drafts. Life changing! I've always wrote like this, but hearing that there was a name for it and that others wrote this way too, helped me to let go and write past fear, doubt, and uncertainty. So give it a try. Especially if you're feeling in a slump or stuck at this point, it could be the nudge you need to get back in it.
Ok, until next week. Happy writing, all!
We are one week into NaNoWriMo 2021 and hopefully, if you are participating, your manuscript is growing. For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, that's shorthand for National Novel Writing Month.
Each November, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, flock to this community-powered internet-wonder of-the-world-event with one goal in mind: to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel by the end of the month. I am one of those people.
A bit of a rebel, and not yet the novelist I would like to become, I'm playing a little differently. I started the month with a few story ideas or characters that have been living in my head for the past year or so. Stories usually come to me first as characters, with little to no plot attached to them. And this motley crew was no exception.
Known in writing circles as a "panster," I jump into a writing projects without knowing beforehand what the whole story is about. Sometimes I have a pretty good idea of what I think the character's story is, and other times, I have no idea until I'm writing it. The later was definitely true for these characters.
My goal is simply to get them on the page and write until I find the bones of their stories. And some heart, with a little luck. They each came to me at different times while working on other projects, and were cast away. So November, this is their time.
Are they all connected? Can they live together in a novel? Probably not. But that would be really cool. My guess is I'm working on a series of short stories. Either way, the goal is the same: write 50,000 new words in November.
The Journey So Far
To write 50,000 words in a single month and win, you have to write 1,667 words each day. However, with factoring in my work schedule, family happenings, and time loss due to migraine, I blocked off a certain number of days I know I'm not likely to get any writing in. After scheduling in the times and days I would commit to writing, my personal daily word count goal is 2,275 words.
As you can see from the graph above, I'm a bit behind. Quite a bit behind. Already a four day migraine, a necessary family interruption, and a broken dryer have shown me how wise it was to schedule days and times off. Even with a couple extra writing sessions in, I have yet to meet my daily goal.
What I have done, is consistently shown up, growing those numbers and chasing those stories bit by bit. That has added up to 7,377 words so far. It's not the 11,375 words I hoped to be at, but it's 7,377 more words than I had on November 1.
Each day I show up and write, I add a spiral on my NaNoWriMo tree. Below is a picture of it after week 1.
Each Sunday this month, I'll be posting my progress and sharing a picture of my NaNoWriMo spiral tree. Come on back and see how it's growing.
If you're doing NaNoWriMo say hi in the comments, tell us what you're working on, or find me on the site.
Thanks for reading!
My October TBR (to be read) pile
Typically in October, our household watches a lot of horror movies. To be honest, we watch horror and thrillers all year round, but due to the Halloween season, there's always an onslaught available and we take advantage of that. We also throw in the Universal Classics in black and white for good measure. Frankenstein being my favorite.
This October, I changed it up and decided to try to read 9 horror novels instead. I originally thought 13 for obvious reasons, but remembered this year's mantra of "do less," and thought 7 sounded more reasonable, 9 if I was real lucky. I'm glad I readjusted my overly ambitious expectations, because I forgot just how busy October tends to get.
I didn't make 9, but I did finish 7 and started the 8th. There was not a bad book in the whole bunch, but the level of scary or creepy varied considerably. They all shared dark themes and loads of suspense that kept me turning pages long into the cooling nights.
Here's a quick summary from my journal:
And a quick list of titles and authors and my overall rating. The books ranged from fantasy to thriller to horror so much that I couldn't really rate them by "scariness" alone.
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (5 stars)
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (5 stars)
Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft (4 stars)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (5 stars)
Witches Steeped In Gold by Ciannon Smart (3 stars)
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (5 stars)
Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell (3 stars)
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab... currently reading but it promising so far! I loved the art so much I pretty much copied it to illustrate my spread in my journal.
My favorite of the bunch was House of Hollow because of the characters and overall creepy, unique world Allison Saft created. The creepiest was a toss up between The Only Good Indians and Stolen Tongues. The biggest disappointment was Stolen Tongues because despite the high level of scariness and overall good writing, I didn't like the ending. Still, it was a good enough read that I finished them all and would recommend them all.
So that's all I have for you, ghouls and goblins. Tell me, what horrors or spooks did you read this Halloween season that I missed?
Even though I’ve been writing stories for children and love picture books, I also love a good, scary story! Ghosts, witches, monsters… I love them all and have since I was little.
The Grimm’s Brother’s Fairytales, Sesame Street’s There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, and of course, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, were among my first favorite books.
Growing up, Halloween was big in my family and my neighborhood, and still is. We enjoy dressing up, trick-or-treating, and cozying up for a late-night scary movie marathon. Now that my children are older and off with their own plans and friends, I thought I’d try something I’ve never done before: a month-long scary novel marathon!
The goal: read 9 horror novels back-to-back in October.
I don’t think I’ve ever read that many novels in a single month, but since I know I typically finish reading most horror novels over a couple of days, I think, even if nine is a stretch, seven is attainable. With so many good ones on my TBR (to be read) list, lining up a few extras for a stretch goal was easy.
The plan: Here are the novels I’ll be reading in October.
The results: Pending…
Can I finish them all without losing my mind? Will my hair turn white from fright? I'll be back by the end of the month to let you know. Until then, leave a comment and tell me what you're reading this month.