Reviewed by Cosmic Dancer
Reviewed by Cosmic Dancer
I intend to do a brief resume of the plot-so-far of my new novel “Oak Man” that I’m currently writing. I hope this update will go out about once a week on a free-for-all day :-).
Here is the first …
The accompanying picture is by a super artist-friend of mine, Wendy Davies. The story also uses (with her permission) her teenage adventure of finding three 4000 yr old gold torcs on the farm – again in the Wels Marches – where she grew up.
The story is a mystery/magic/romance … as usual for me 🙂 – and set here in the Welsh Marches, based around the legend of the place where I live.
Every year since 2005, I’ve participate in NaNoWriMo, or for those acronym-challenged folks out there – National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write at least 50,000 words (actually this puts it at large-scale novella) for a novel in 30 days. If the writer wins, they don’t get a prize other than a glowing feeling of self-achievement, a banner for their website and, in the last year or so, order winner-specific t-shirts and get a free proof of the novel from CreateSpace as well.
NaNoWriMo started small in 1999 with a handful of writers, and has grown into a huge phenomena encompassing a similar script-writing month, and the Young Writer Program and over 100,000 participants. They’ve even relaxed a bit and allowed a forum for folks who don’t want to write fiction, but want to ‘rebel’ and write non-fic, or poetry or short stories instead of long. The community is simply wonderful.
It’s amazing. Everyone starts out strong, and watches as the over-eager finish in three days (I’ve often wondered about those people… o_O) while they see their own plots drop out, their muse take long coffee breaks or they sit fantasizing about vacations on sunny beaches. Eventually they either pull it together, or give up to try again the next year.
I won the first year. I was thrilled, I had a novel that was absolutely not finished – only half the story was told – but I had made it over 50k. I participated in the forums the entire month, mostly in a thread that involved horror writers and ‘adopted’ fornits*. My fornit’s name is Danserak, and he used to live in my old computer. My friends and family thought I was crazy, but I was grabbing hold of the fun side of it and making him my mascot. I even bought him a antique Royal typewriter to live in, where he and my muse have since set up house and much to my chagrin, have produced a gaggle of really ugly munits.
NaNo that year was cathartic for me. Things had gone bad in several ways and it felt like my world was crashing in on me. I was fired, I was having legal issues revolving around family court/divorce/custody, I was beyond broke with an ex-husband that refused to pay child support and a daughter who seemed to be having a nervous breakdown. My former bosses and some of the other staff, my ex-husband and his new family, and one or two other people died horrific, nasty, splattery ways in that novel.
I had no problem churning out 1667 words or more per day.
A weight was lifted at the end of that month and I was free of most of the anger I was feeling towards the universe in general.
And then I tried the next year only I was far more cocky. I figured if I could do it with one novel, I was going to do my second year with two novels. I was wrong. I managed to finish one of them, but didn’t have the file formatted for verification in time and just missed the deadline to verify. The sophomore year curse bit me, and bit me hard. I was humbled. Year three saw another win for me, but I celebrated in far more subdued ways, and didn’t share it around too much. Last year, publishing drama had me quit before the end of the first week.
This year I start NaNo with an outline – maybe. With characters and plots and sub-plots and… well, maybe. Like many others, I’ve been through numerous ideas and plots and outlines and I never know if I’ll just ditch it a the last minute. I don’t know if my muse and my fornit are going to be there to share their wisdom and fornus—gifts of sparkly things and bread crumbs will be left out nightly, I’m sure.
So, if you have nothing better to do, or just want to add one more challenge to your day, why not give NaNoWriMo a try? Trust me… you’ll like it. If you are already a member or join this year – I’m Jodi-Lee if you want to buddy up. Good luck!
* Fornits are a creation of Stephen King, and made a starring appearance in the short story “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet.” They are described as ugly little gnome like creatures. Personally, I think Danserak is kinda cute….