Archive for category NaNoWriMo

Capturing Inspiration

Inspiration is a tricky thing. I’ll always remember the night I finished my first novel. It was a meandering, unplanned, angsty beast I spent most of my high school career working on, and I really had no idea where I was going. Then, one Friday night, I watched Empire Records for the first time. As soon as the credits started I turned off the TV, walked over to the computer, sat down, and finished my novel.

That ending took me nine hours and came out to about 15,000 words. By the time I finished, the sun was already shining on Saturday morning. I went to bed, woke up sometime in the afternoon, and realized with a feeling of great accomplishment that, after four long years, my book was finally done. Read the rest of this entry »


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Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Part 2

A few weeks back, I talked about experiencing a surge of motivation caused by the pressure of writing fifty thousand words in thirty days, aka NaNoWriMo. Today I want to share with you the flip side of that intense commitment – the mid-month slump.

Inspiration versus Hard Work

In the beginning, I was writing in a mad frenzy of excitement, following my synopsis, pounding out words like nobody’s business. But there is a much-feared thing that puts dread into the hearts of all NaNoWriMo participants. It’s known as: Week Two (dun dun DUNN).  Along with many other writers, I experienced a case of the Week Twos, but for me it hit somewhere around Day 12 or 13 (and continued throughout much of Week Three as well). It happened when I reached a plot drop-off, the place I’d been stumped in my pre-writing. It was the end of my known outline.

But while I was (temporarily) out of material, I knew one thing for certain: I couldn’t stop writing. I couldn’t afford to waste any time sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for inspiration to hit. Somehow, I had to work through it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Part 1

An Undertaking of Astronomical Proportions

I made a commitment with almost two hundred thousand other writers all over the globe to do something crazy in November – write a novel (or at least fifty thousand words of one) in just thirty days. A novel in a month sounded pretty insane, but in an amazing, I-dare-you sort of way. I couldn’t pass up the challenge. So I joined a crowd of strangers and small group of friends and plunged ahead into a ice-cold lake of uncertainty, as we let the water shock our systems into producing something in a high-intensity, high-pressure endeavor.

I worked on outlines and character analyses for over a month beforehand, preparing as well as I could. I warned my family and friends that my other activities would be scanty for the month and not to worry if they didn’t hear from me for a while. I prepared myself for high levels of stress and writing roadblocks along the way. And then at Midnight on November 1st, I held my nose and jumped overboard. Read the rest of this entry »

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