All NaNos’ Eve

October 31st. 

All Hallows’ Eve.  The night when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is lifted, and spirits come to visit.  The night when people honor their dearly departed with lit candles and dumb suppers.  Men and women hold hands around tables across the world to call upon the dead.  Girls gaze in mirrors to see the faces of their future husbands.  Children bob for apples and play Trick or Treat. 

For some, Halloween is a solemn occasion.  For others, it is Samhain, the Celtic New Year.   The beginning of the dark time of year.  The time of ends, and new beginnings.   And for others, it is simply a fun time of sticky sweet candy and staying up late watching Bela Lugosi.

And then, for a small group of quite nutty (but harmless) others, it is the beginning of a fervent time called, NaNo. 

Yes.  National Novel Writing Month is here again.

I did my first NaNo in ’07.  My second in ’08.  Everyone has their own reasons for participating.  Mine was to teach me discipline.  I wanted to approach writing as a professional.  I wanted to develop the discipline to sit down at the keys when I didn’t feel like it and when the Muse was off shopping for a new dress.  In that, I succeeded.  Ever since I won my first Nano- writing everyday  has become a natural part of my life and I’m pleased with the results of such effort.

So today, I wondered- Why am I doing NaNo again?   What lesson can I gleam from it this year?  And then the answer came: abandonment.  I want to stop thinking so much of the novel I have out on submission.  I want to simply write and have fun.

So, here’s to 3o days of wildly clicking away at the keys.  Total banishment of evil inner editors.  No reading professional blogs about the dire state of the publishing world.  I’m going to write in total, wonderful, ignorant bliss.

For those of you doing NaNo- what are your reasons?

And Happy Halloween, everyone!

Writing: Evil Inner Editor’s Return

Observant readers may notice my avatar is different.  It’s still me, err, Mrs. Lovett, but I’m looking a little haggard after NaNo.  Plus, there’s that whole deal with blood stains on my collar.

Red Smith once said, “Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter, open up a vein, and bleed it out drop by drop.”   Who am I to argue?

I finished my draft Friday at 8:00 a.m.   Oh, what a Beautiful Morning, Ode to Joy, Supercalifragilistecexpialidocious!

Aha!  But wait.  That means it’s revision time.  And that means it’s the return of …. (cue creepy horror theme music.  The Omen will do, thank you)….. The Evil Inner Editor.


Over the weekend, I dug out my key from its hiding spot and unlocked the closet door in which I’d thrown Ms. Evil Inner Editor.   Ms. E did not glare at me or even smirk.  She is above such things.   Ms. E knows she is needed as much as she is despised.   She walked by me, took a seat at the table, stared at the 250 typed pages and three different colored pens, and set to work.

“Bring me tea and play music.  Nothing with lyrics.   Rachmaninoff,” she said.

Ms. E is following author Holly Lisle’s One-Pass Revision Method that another blogger was kind enough to mention on her blog.    The method is brutal.   Ms. E must go through every single scene, one at at time, searching for different elements.  Some of these elements must be deleted out with a huge X.  Other elements must be added in.  Hence, all the pens.  Ms. Lisle says,  “Your final clean pages  to scribbled on pages ratio is probably 1:2, 1:3, or even 1:4.”

Har! Ms. Lisle obviously never attempted this against a NaNo first draft.   Ms. E is on page 60 now, and there is not one single page not splashed with ink.

It may come as no surprise that Ms. E is absolutely loving this.

NaNo- Week One Report

Hey there,

So- the first week of NaNo has passed.  Word count: 18,955

I’m totally gushing now, because these  7 days have been a total blast.  Back in October,  I  posted about how much I wanted to return to the simple joys of writing when I was a kid.  Before I got caught in that web of, “I want to be published.  So I have to follow this rule and this rule but this other agent says don’t follow that rule, do it this way…ARGH!”

Well, NaNo came at the most perfect time.  I locked the inner editor in her closet and hid the key.  The story is flowing out of me.  Sure, the actual writing is horrid- but the story itself is tons of fun.  Not at all stilted like it felt when I spent eons trying to perfect one darn sentence at a time.

My novel has taken some interesting turns.  Now, instead of two protagonists- I have three.  A male character who had been written out in previous drafts has made a startling return.   My ghost who was twelve years -old  is now fifteen.   Instead of winter- it is now springtime.  I want the scenery to be as breathtaking as possible.  Lush greens in sharp contrast to the bleakness inside the household.

Today I had a ball with my fifteen year-old heroine (living- not the ghost) going to visit a Mesmerist.  And now she is searching the library because she thinks there is a secret passageway in there.

What are your heroines and heroes up to?

Hope you’re all having tons of fun.

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 8:11 pm  Comments (17)  
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