Yes, it’s November 3rd and I’m late posting this. But I am doing nanowrimo again this year. Got a little behind, but I caught up today and I’m just over 5k. Tomorrow is a write in. And oh yeah, I’m ML this year
American Book Review posted a list of the hundred best first lines from novels. While I don’t agree with all of them, and some now seem out of date (does anyone under the age of 25 still know what “the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” was/is?). Still while I may not agree with all of these, it’s a good reminder that the first line does a lot to set the tone of any story you write. What’s your favorite first line?
A very good post today from Mark Evanier on the dangers of getting too attached to work that isn’t yours. This also got me thinking about my own relationship with fan fiction.
When I was younger I did a lot of fan fiction writing. Not the only thing of course, but it was definitely a stepping stone in my process of becoming a better writer. There is some ease in taking characters that aren’t yours and making them into something that is and putting them through their paces, seeing how they react to situations you come up with. I’m not going to say that fan fiction isn’t real writing, because of course it is.
All my fan fiction was done before the Internet was a big thing, so few people ever saw or read it besides myself. Maybe things would have been different if I’d had a wider audience, or maybe not. My fanfic of choice was Star Trek, and I even had some books of collected stories from Trek magazine. Probably still do.
To me, fan fiction of any stripe lets you be creative with a safety net. You already know these people (or think you do). Sure, you can Mary Sue the heck out of someone (and the term itself comes from Star Trek fan fiction), but you don’t become a good writer if you don’t write a lot of bad stuff along the way. But fanfic lets you write something in a familiar universe and explore it in a way you might not otherwise be able to, and that’s an important part of being creative.
Sent off yet another query letter today. In my opinion query letters are the second hardest thing about writing, well, aside from actually starting on writing something. Hit the send button or putting something in the mail also makes me a bit queasy with fear. And unlike regular stage fright which is over in (hopefully) a few hours at most, you get to wait for a few weeks or longer to hear anything back. Still, it’s a good thing, this fearful hope. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never reach your goals.
This has been a hard year, writing wise, mostly dry. Not for lack of time, just for lack of effort. Need to get my rear in gear and start writing something, anything. After all, a muse doesn’t respond if you ignore it.
My friend sent me this comic from Zoology, and I think it’s just about right. Click to see it bigger on it’s homepage:
This is something that was running around the internet a lot yesterday, but something I’m definitely struggling with of late:
One common thread in many of these is letting yourself be distracted. I know for me, sometimes, I find my best ideas come in the shower. Another one seems to be getting up and going somewhere, whether it’s a walk or Tibet. I think I might just take a walk today, I do spend too much time in the house
I was inspired by my friend’s post on the March method here:
In fact, I’ve had that tab open for, well, a week. He’s right though, writer’s write, and it’s something I’ve been very remiss about. I should be writing whether I feel like it or not, and whether I’m in the throes of hot inspiration or not.
I’ve been in a bad rut of not writing, of late. I’m sure that’s part of why I failed so hard at nanowrimo this year; I was out of the habit of writing. I’ve found, from personal experience, that if you can just get back into the habit of writing, then your muse will start coming round again, maybe even bringing cookies.
When do I write best? For me, either first thing in the morning or late in the evening after hubby goes to bed. I’m married to a noise person who always has to have the TV on or music going, when I need near silence to write. And since my writing space is the living room, it’s not like I have the right to tell him to stop everything.
So, that said, I’m putting up this post and pushing up my sleeves. Feel free to poke me and make sure I’m writing and not fiddling around on Farmville.
Here is a contest for either unpublished or self-published novels. The first round is a 300 word pitch due before February 7th. Grand prize is a $15,000 publishing contest. Two categories General Fiction or Young Adult Fiction. Might just send my novel that way. It’ll do good to work on my pitch anyway.
Yep, just like everyone else I’m looking at the new year and looking at what I need to do this year. So, I’ve decided on a word for this year:
By this I mean to take responsibility for my actions. And to act. I’ve a terrible habit of procrastinating and letting myself just drift along in life. I know it won’t be perfect, but it’s a start. Right now I’m on vacation, so, as far as I’m concerned it really starts when I set foot back in my house, but even here there are things I can do. So, hey look, a blog post. I think I might also start posting some of my photography here too, we’ll see.
I know, Guy Fawkes day. But for a nanoer I remember that the fifth of November I should be at 8,335 words. I’m doing fie so far, sitting at 10, 518, but I know that dreaded week two is just around the corner. I’m having a bit of trouble keeping motivated, but word wars help me through. Still have no idea how this story is going to end. Just as long as it ends somewhere after 50,000 words I’ll be happy.
And this is helping me get interested again in my own work. I’d quit shopping “The Unthinkable” around, so maybe I’ll take another crack at it, or else look at self publishing.
How is everyone elses nano’s going?