Thursday, November 06, 2008

NaNo Lessons Thus Far

The book proposal is done (for now) and back with my agent, which means I'm down to just one project at a time and I may be able to focus a little more on the NaNo book, like maybe doing something wild and crazy and figuring out what's supposed to be happening. I have a sense of the general plot, but now I'm at the point where I need to figure out some specific things and pulling something out of thin air won't work as well. I am still on target, actually a little ahead of schedule.

And, in spite of the working on two projects thing and not knowing for sure where I'm going, it's been surprisingly easy. It generally takes a little more than an hour to write those 2,000 words. That means, theoretically, that in one hour a day I could write a full-length novel in less than two months. Add another couple of months for revisions and polishing. So, theoretically, with one hour of work a day (possibly more during revisions), I could write three books a year.

Which makes me wonder why I've been getting about one a year done and still never seem to have any time.

I've also learned that not only can I write before 3 in the afternoon, but I can even write before noon. In fact, it seems easier to just buckle down and do it and get it over with. Yesterday I hit the writing time late in the day because I was wrapping up the proposal and then I had something else due that day, and the don't wannas were a lot stronger when four o'clock rolled around and I finally had time to write. I'm looking forward to seeing how liberating it feels now that I'm down to one project and I can potentially be done with my goals for the day by noon.

Today's going to be another late start, though, since I spent most of the morning judging an elementary school writing contest. I was really impressed with some of the entries, given the ages of the kids involved. I admit I had to read through them all first to get in the right mindset because it's very difficult to go from doing a final, intensely critical edit on a professional book project and then immediately read something written by a six-year-old. I had to tone back the critical part of the brain. A few entries had me laughing out loud (and not necessarily due to the intent of the writer). I noticed a definite male/female divide. The girls tended to write stories or essays about the importance of volunteering or discovering the true meaning of friendship. The boys all wrote either about their moment of glory in an athletic event or about things like the moon blowing up. There was a fair amount of science fiction from the boys. I was quite the girly girl, wearing frilly dresses and the like, but I probably would have written one of the "boy" entries, especially in my major post-Star Wars phase.

The judging was in the elementary school library, and although it was a lovely library, I was surprised by how few books there were -- and this is a wealthy school. There was a lot of blank space on the shelves, so maybe a lot of the books are checked out at any given time, which would make it hard to tell what they really have. I found some of my old favorites, but a lot of the things I looked for, they didn't have on the shelf.

Before I can get to writing, I have to do the grocery shopping and I need to make a big splurge and buy some new pillows. I've had a sore neck for more than a week now and finally figured out it was because my pillows aren't very comfortable anymore. They've been smashed too flat to keep my head at a good angle, and since I'm a side sleeper, that's pretty crucial. I'm sure I'll write much better when my neck isn't sore. I will have to report the results tomorrow.

1 comment:

Angie said...

From a fellow side sleeper, I always find that it takes me a few nights after getting new pillows to break them in to where they are comfortable. Best of luck with your shopping!