When I start a story I am not worried about the word count because I am usually sucked into the story and letting the words flow. But usually about the middle of things I start to wonder whether I will have enough words to make a full novel. It feels like I could wrap up the whole story in only ten thousand words. Is there enough story to fill in the word count? Do I have to add more threads in to make it?
Except the story has already made that decision. If I continue to let the words flow, they will come out to a word count close to what I want. I try to remind myself of the matter every time my mind brings it up to worry over, but it will always come up at some point in writing the story. The best solution is to lose myself in the story so that nothing else matters until it is done. It is hard but so is blocking out any editing voice from my head.
The first snow fall of the season can be one of two things. It can be pretty and wonderful with the way it magically covers the bleakness of bare trees and grey skies. Even with the sun having to come through the clouds, it is bright out and that helps lift moods. A sense of happiness can be filling. And if it before Christmas, it can bring the feelings associated with Christmas.
The second thing the first snow fall can be is a horrible thing to endure. It is slippery, unpredictable, and sloppy. The coldness seeps into the body creating pain. Depending on the temperature, it can be very wet causing anyone who has to go outside to get soaked. Also drivers are the worst during and shortly after the first snow fall because they have forgotten how to drive in the snow, which means it is dangerous to go out on the roads.
Most years I feel the first about the first snow fall. I am excited to see it and can’t wait for it to come. This year I feel the second. My journey from home to school has caused anxiety about driving, so I was really hoping it wouldn’t snow until December. But it showed up the other day. But it has meant that I’ve been spending all weekend inside and getting some writing done. With a mug of hot chocolate and a good story, the snow fall is okay for today.
Most people in the writing community know what November first means. It means the first day of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It means embarking on a major writing adventure. 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 words per day. A fun way to get that novel you have been meaning to write done and in a fairly short amount of time.
I liked the years I participated, even when I didn’t win. If you can make it through week two, it is a great slide. That is how I was writing my Kings of Proster series. If nothing else, you get to meet other writers and they are a fun crowd. My first year of NaNoWriMo led to the creation of a writing group at the Prince George Library that is still going strong today.
Unfortunately, I will not be participating again this year as school conflicts with the writing challenge. Also I started my latest writing project two weeks ago and I’m 8k words into it. NaNoWriMo rules say you should be starting fresh for the month of writing. So, I am going to sit on the sidelines and cheer on all others who are choosing to participate. Have fun! Enjoy the company! Finish your novel!
In the last few months I have been working on a book. I wrote the first book with these characters over the summer. Then they showed up in a short piece in the middle of August. After that I thought maybe I could move on to other projects, as I have many waiting. Then the next book came along before I could get into them. And I have been working on it until Friday when I finished it.
This last while writing the story, I have felt trapped in the story. Working on other things have been a problem. Homework has really been put on the backburner. Things I need to do for my financial situation are taking days longer than necessary. Reading used to be an escape but now I lack interest in picking up a book. Even other stories I’ve started I don’t feel like going back to.
I thought I had gotten free on Friday when I finished the book. The characters don’t agree as she has been telling me the next piece, giving me no choice but write it down.
I have put out a short story collection titled The Best Brownie Recipe. It contains 28 stories of varying lengths and subject matter. I have spent several years collecting these stories and then this summer I put them together in one volume. Some of the stories I like, some stories I don’t really like, and some stories I have no idea why I wrote them.
A few I had written for contests and some were for school. Some were just ideas that came to me and I wrote them down. With the collection, I add in short explanations about how the story came about. I was told I didn’t need to put them in but I wanted to.
Several of the stories are experimental and others are the style I use in my novels. As much as I call myself a novelist, I do find myself writing shorter pieces. Aside from sending them into contests, they just sit on my computer, which is why I decided to publish this collection to share them with people. And I really like the brownie recipe.
I find when I sit down to write for the day the first thousand words of the day are the hardest to get down. I struggle through the first hundred and the slowly crawl through the second hundred. I’m likely to give up before I get to the third hundred if I don’t have something pushing me to keep going. This can be true of a story I am really into and couldn’t wait to get started for the day. I could be in the middle of the best scene in the whole book and if it within the first thousand words of the day, I struggle. After the first five hundred words it gets a little easier.
But after I hit the first thousand, it is like the muse has decided I am serious about writing and opens the flow gates. It goes from forcing words on to the page to the fingers trying to keep up with the thoughts. The second thousand comes easy. Sometimes I forget the time and when I come back to reality I find I’ve written ten thousand words. Those are the good days.
However, most days I struggle getting to that first thousand. With some many other distractions, a hundred is an accomplishment. But as I writer I live for those days when I can get through those first thousand words and let the rest fly.
There is something about being a writer that means dreaming up things that don’t exist, but you really wish did. I thought up years ago that I really wish existed, but they aren’t inventions to put into books. The first is a machine for letting the doctor feel the pain the patient is in and the intensity. I think it would greatly help the medical profession do a better job of diagnosing illnesses. As someone who gets annoyed at doctors, especially when they don’t listen to me, making them feel my pain sounds like a good thing.
But really the invention I thought of that would be useful to me as a writer is a chair. It is a comfortable chair, but it has a piece that closes the writer in. This piece is connected to the writer’s computer. Only when the writer had completed their set word count will the bar open and let them out. There would be an emergency switch for those times when something comes up, like urgent bathroom break or the fire alarm goes off.
One of the hardest obstacles to overcome when writing is putting the butt in chair and staying there. This invention would help with that.
For my creative writing course I wrote a novel. I have no memory of where the idea for the story came from. I was looking for something to write on just after News Years and that means going through the documents on my computer until I find one I can continue. The first class of the semester the teacher said we were expected to submit five pieces for critiquing, the same as last semester, but this time we could choose our genre. We could submit poems, short stories, scenes from a script, pieces of a novel, and even pages from a graphic novel. Being a novelist the choice was easy for me and even better I was working on a novel.
The first piece I had finished because it was already written and waiting for me. This worked well because I was sick the first week of classes and having troubles getting anything done. The second piece came easy. Then suddenly I couldn’t concentrate on anything else as my mind was caught up in the story. This caused a slight problem with getting other things done, but I passed all my classes. I finished writing it during reading break and parts of the rest of the semester editing it as I received the comments from my classmates on how I could improve things.
Now thanks to my creative writing course I have a new novel out. A Thief in Search of a Baby is available for sale on Amazon.
In September I started a two year diploma at the Okanagan College. It has been fun, but there are several English courses required and English courses take a lot of writing. All those essays and other pieces take a lot of words. Two of the English courses have been creative writing, so there have been extra writing connected to those courses.
I have been able to write some that aren’t connected to my courses, but not much. Even the story that I wrote was connected to my creative writing class, as I chose to submit pieces from a novel for the critiquing done in class.
I am hoping that with the summer break my words can be refilled and I can write on other things. I never truly realized that it was possible to suffer from lack of words and hope recovery is fairly short.
In my creative writing class the teacher has been giving out multiple writing prompts per class. Usually the writing prompts are meant to illustrate the point of the lesson; like writing from a character sketch while talking about creating characters. But many of them, especially at the beginning of the year, were just to get us writing. I know that this is a first year English course and that many of my classmates are not used to writing. However, I do not need any writing prompts, I already have plenty of random bits sitting around my study. Some of it is sentences that came to my head, but all I have is the one sentence. Other pieces are full paragraphs, It was a scene in my head and so I wrote it out, but at this point in my life there is nothing more in my head to write down. On top of all that I usually have a novel that I am working on.
With all the bits I have sitting around I could probably put together a book of writing prompts. I’ve thought about it, but it isn’t high on my list of projects and thus not likely to happen in any time soon.