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But I was bound and determined to do this NaNoWriMo thing. Surely that would fix my head? My heart? Starting a day late, though, I was already 3,334 words behind. That was enough to put a big lump in my throat because at that time I wasn't in the habit of writing regularly. Other than journal writing, which is a very fluid, informal beast for me, it'd been at least a couple of years since I'd put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Hubs hid the squalling children where I couldn't see them (I suppose finding them wouldn't have been too hard but can you blame me for not?) and pushed me out the door so I could find a place where I could hole up and work on my outline. I ended sitting hunched-over in a booth at Denny's, plate piled with cheese fries and cup after cup of coffee in front of me on the faux-wood table, til I'd hashed out an outline in a cheap little spiral notebook. I took three pens with me, ended up using two.
I came home with my heart light. Well, lighter than it had been before I left. I was ready to start my work the next morning, but when I woke all I could do was stare at the blinking cursor on my blank document. The idea of writing a whole novel? Daunting, to be sure. But even the idea of writing 1,667 words per day? I couldn't do it. Outline and all, I felt so...sick to my stomach.
That's where this idea came in. It was like getting my feet wet in writing, and I'd be having the daily reinforcement of people reading my blog and giving me insight. I thought I'd only write five paragraphs at a time, maybe ten. A page, at most.
Meanwhile, I thought I'd feel less scared by sitting down to the computer and writing, so I'd feel more comfortable working seriously on my outlined story throughout the day and evening, etc.
Come to find out, everything's good in theory, right?
My outlined story quickly took backseat to the one I was working on for my blog. I was getting all sorts of fun feedback both on my blog as well as through email and FB. It was awesome, and though the idea of writing an entire novel was still over-my-head, the daily reinforcement of friends and loved ones kept me going.
Blah, blah, there's all sorts of detail in the middle that I'll leave out for lack of time and no doubt interest. The point I'm trying to get at is this:
When I finally got serious with myself and said, "Okay, Deb, you may actually be able to pull this one off..." I took the story off the blog and started giving myself deadlines. Some of my deadlines I've been able to keep, some I've had to stretch. It's all been very much a learning process.
Did I reach my August 25 deadline?
Am I okay with that?
I find comfort in reminding my Virgo-side that, "Writing, then editing, and editing, and cutting, and writing more, then editing...is a bitch, no?" It feels good when you can finally read through a page without cringing, though. So there's that.
Here's an example of how I started:
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Revisiting this scene again, over and over, I realized I didn't like Grayson having so much voice. He's not a huge character, other than his actions get the action rolling, so I needed to cut that whole chunk. Ax it. That was frightening because I knew I wanted the feeling to be there from the break up, but it needed to come in somewhere else. In such a way that the emphasis was completely on Aimee, and not at all on Gray.
Anyway. Here's my less cringe-worthy version. Still not perfect, but...
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So we've got a new deadline. October 31. Why? Because November 1 starts us off on NaNoWriMo again. Just in time for me to find a booth at Denny's to hash out my outline for the demons book/Novel Two.
You going to write your novel this year too?