First things first - an exclusive for my faithful blog readers. I was going to wait until I hit 250 followers, but 249 is close enough. For ONE WEEK (ends Nov. 16th), I have a coupon offer at Smashwords for A Summer's Eve. The story costs 99 cents and the coupon is for 99 cents off, so do the math. For this week, it's a Free Read. And it's short enough so you don't really need a dedicated e-reader. It's available in almost every possible format, so I hope one will work for you. Just enter Coupon Code BL83R at checkout. (And if you want to use your savings to buy either of my other two titles there, I won't complain.)
Yesterday, we signed the contract with the contractor for our basement remodel. He left, certified plans in hand, to begin the process, which starts with getting the necessary permits. He's estimating two weeks before they're approved, and so we have that long to get everything moved out of the workspace. He's promised that once they start, they'll work "straight through" but with the weather and the holidays, I'm sure there will be delays. But it's exciting to know that in a few months, we'll have a 'complete' house.
The month of November for many writers is the annual National Novel Writing Month, where people vow to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Do I participate? Nope. Why?
Well, first, you're supposed to write a brand new book. Since I was about 60K words into a manuscript, it would be foolish to set it aside to start something new.
Second, it's designed to make participants write in one direction only – forward. If I tried that, I'd need a complete plot outline, and you know how I feel about that! Plus, the focus on NaNoWriMo (or NaNo) is not to stop. No tweaking, no research, no going back and fixing. Instead, they suggest you note the places where you have to do more, and when you're finished, you go back and plug the holes.
That simply doesn't work for me. I may not write as fast, but when I get to "the end" my draft rarely needs a complete overhaul. I fear if I tried the NaNo approach, I'd end up with a tangled mass of spaghetti.
And then there's the pressure. To complete 50,000 words in 30 days, you need to write 1666.66 words a day (nice number, right?). Every day. What happens if life intervenes? Some writers will budget their word counts for a 5 or 6 day week. I decided to see if I could write at the NaNo daily pace but still following my own methods.
So, according to my spreadsheet, I wrote the following:
Day 1: 1493
Day 2: 1792
Day 3: 1491
Day 4: 1790
Day 5: 1884
Day 6: 2034
Day 7: 1318
Total for 1 week: 11,802 or 1686 words per day.
Not bad, and those words include my fixing paragraphs for flow, reading and revising the previous day's work, and making changes based on crit group feedback.
But the next couple of days have much lower word counts. I'm at a point where I need to think about wrapping up the story, and there are still some niggling plot points I haven't resolved. And for those who think, "Well, if you'd plotted it all out from the start, you wouldn't have to slow down now," I say—I'd probably still be thinking about them and wouldn't have anything written." If I were participating in NaNo, I'd be stressing about letting a day go by with only 1100 words. Or what about yesterday, where most of my writing time was spent dealing with the non-writing side of things. Getting another short story ready for Smashwords, which means formatting AND finding cover art. Or updating my Author's Den Page, or my Filedby Page (which was having issues, so I wasted a bit of time there). Or any of the myriad "other" stuff that's not putting words on the page, but is still "writing" in my book. (no pun intended).
And then there's the new wrinkle. My agent emailed me late yesterday afternoon with her comments on my proposal, and she liked my first revisions, but she's asked for one more round. So guess what I'll be doing?
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society