Questions I Ask Myself During NaNoWriMo

Hello everybody!  The first week of NaNoWriMo is over, and I’ve stayed above the word-count goal every day so far.  I’ve been to two write-ins and they were both amazing in every way possible.  I love where my story is going [usually].

But I’ve had some questions during the week:

  • How many twizzlers can a normal teenager consume in one day?  (Quite a few, apparently.)
  • Why is it that it takes me an hour to write 500 words when I’m by myself, but only ten minutes during a word-sprint at a write-in?
  • Who invented the whole write-in idea?  Are they a billionaire yet?  (They should be.)
  • Where did the Viking logo come from?  And what does it have to do with writing?
  • What the heck even is happening with my plot?
  • WHY AREN’T YOU BEHAVING LIKE I PLANNED YOU, CHARACTER??!
  • Um, hello.  Who are you?  (Me to a character that just showed up out of the blue.  He’s cool though so I’m keeping him.)
  • How does one spell chauffeur?  (I had to google it ’cause spell check had no idea what I was trying to type.  I know, I’m pathetic.)
  • How does one spell dandelion?  (I didn’t have to google it; I got it right on my first try!)
  • What even is a plot?  Why does my book need one?  They’re not important, right??  😉
  • Why doesn’t every human being participate in NaNoWriMo?  THEY NEED TO!
  • How many times can I complain about writing to my friends before they decide they’re not my friend anymore?
  • Is “teleportations” a word?  My [engineering major] friend said yes.  My spellchecker said no.  So I added it to my dictionary.  HAH, NOW IT’S A WORD.
  • How hard is it going to be to change the first chapter of my story from past tense to present?  (I switched after one chapter, and I like it a lot better this way.)
  • HOW DOES ONE WRITE IN FIRST PERSON?? I mean it’s easy to do, but am I doing it wrong?  I guess that’s what edits are for.  The people at Critique Circle are probably going to tear my writing style to shreds.
  • Has anyone else ever gotten a blister on their finger from typing?  Mine’s mostly gone away, but, like, a blister.  From writing.  [PROOF THAT WRITING IS HARD WORK.  Or something.]
  • Coffee, will you marry me?

The Great Printout

This was quite the momentous weekend for me.

On Saturday, I sat down at the computer in our kitchen, opened my MS, and edited.  Got some coffee and edited some more.  Refilled my coffee and edited some more.

For about two and a half hours.

All the way

To the end

Of the story.

Which means that I’m done.  Done with the big plot-edits.  Done with the trying to figure out where my plot was going.  Done with the first round of edits!

And ready for the next step.

On Sunday, I went to Kinkos with my MS on a flashdrive.

Twenty dollars, ten minutes, and one smiling employee later, I walked out with 135 pages of my soul printed out and hidden inside a little brown box.

I’m so excited that I’ve been able to get my MS this far.  So grateful to God for allowing me to have this amazing experience, to meet so many amazing people, to fall so deeply in love with a hobby.

I mean, look.  Just over two years ago, I had this:  Handwritten Six hand-written pages, the very poor start to a story that I didn’t know the ending to.  I never dreamed the journey it would take me on.  I never dreamed that I’d pour two and a half years into turning them into this:

CollageA hundred and thirty-five polished, proof-read, exciting pages that make up a complete book.

Now, I did have a purpose behind those twenty dollars I spent.  My plan is to go through my MS and mark it up with pen, paying closer attention to pacing, paragraph style, transitions, and even sentence structure.  But first, I’m taking a week off.  I’m letting my brain rest for a week and letting my mom read it.  Then I’ll spend the next two weeks reading through and giving it the second round of edits.  And then, on October 31st, I will share it with some of my friends via dropbox.  I will let my brother and father read it.  I will send it to my aunt.  And then I will write my NaNoNovel in November while my MS is out being read by my friends.

I think it’s crucial to print out one’s work at some point in the process.  Our minds see things differently on paper than they do on the screen.  Plus, it allows me to read it more as a reader than as a writer.  That’s what I’m going for.

I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me – especially if I pursue getting it published – but this is just a really cool milestone.

To see one’s work in print for the first time.  It’s a cool feeling.

Words & The End

Ten Effects of Being a Writer

I’ve been a serious writer for a few  years now, and I’ve found that the deeper I get into this world, the more it affects my life.  Here are ten examples of the effects that writing’s had on my life:

1. I’m taking English 101 at my community college.  When I got a 77% on an outline, I really really wondered if explaining that I was a “pantser” would be a good excuse to my professor.

2. I did, however, get an “A” back on my first essay, and the teacher wrote “I rarely give out A’s on the first try.  But it was deserved!”  Well, thank you teacher!  Believe it or not, I have just a little experience with writing. *wink wink*

3. When we did an in-class “live” essay one day, I was one of the few students who finished the whole essay in the 50-minute class period.  Why yes, professor, I HAVE been practicing writing super fast!  Why? Um, you know, NaNoWriMo and 1,667 words a day.

4. Things like this happen: on aforementioned “live” essay day, we met in the writing center.  I was trying to figure out where I was supposed to be in the writing center, so I went to the lady behind the desk.  And THIS happened:

Me: Hey there.

Lady: Can I help you?

Lady: You’re wearing a NaNoWriMo shirt!

Me: yes!  Yes I am!  🙂

Lady: Oh gosh!  You’re wearing this year’s NaNoWriMo shirt!  That’s awesome!

Me: Yes I know!!! XD

Lady: See what I’m doing right now?  *Points to the papers on her desk*  This is for my NaNoWriMo novel!

Me: Dude.  This is awesome!  *highfive*

5. I personally own no less than fifteen notebooks.  I KNOW what makes a good notebook.  Therefore, when I go to buy a new journal for myself… well, it’s a rough process, ’cause I’m super picky!

6. I own no less than fifty pens.  Therefore, when I go to buy new pens… I stand in the “office supplies” isle for half an hour, stroking the cases, shifting back and forth between one gel pen and another, debating price vs quality…

7. Frequently, I don’t reply to people’s texts.  Later, my excuse is usually this: “Sorry, I was writing….”

8. Some nights, I don’t get enough sleep.  There are three reasons for this:

1) I’m reading a really really good book.  And because I’m a lover of words, I just can’t put it down.

2) I’m writing.  A really, really good scene.  That just can’t wait until morning.

3) I actually go to bed at a reasonable time.  But then, JUST as I’m about to fall asleep, BAM!!!! This genius idea comes crashing into my brain, and if I don’t get up and write it down, it will be lost forever.

9. Coffee.  I’m just gonna leave it at that.  (Okay, I included a pic of my cool new mug.)

10. Lately, I’ve been thinking this a lot: “Hmm, that sounds like fun.  Nope.  Wait.  It’s in November.  Sorry.”

What about you guys?  What are some crazy ways that being a writer has effected your life?

IMAG1440

P.S.  As a writer, I really hope I got the whole “affects vs effects” thing right.  🙂

When Your Mother Packs Your Lunch

I had class today.  Being the amazing person I am, I forgot to pack a lunch until thirty seconds before it was time to leave.

Being the amazing person she is, my mother packed my lunch for me!

And she packed me a Starbucks drink.

(I promise this story is related to writing.)

Anyway, she packed me a Starbucks cold coffee drink.

Being the amazing drink it is, THIS happened:

Me: *strokes bottle of coffee*

Friend 1: What are you doing

Me: Oh coffee, you are going to be my life in November.

Friend: What

Me: You know, for NaNoWriMo

Friend: What

Me: *explains NaNoWriMo*

Friend: So what’s your story going to be about?

Me: *explains the Story*

Friend: coolness

Me: yeah!  But I have to finish my first novel first

Friend: your what

Me: *explains TSOC*

Friend…

Me: *drinks coffee*

Friend: That’s really cool

Friend: Can I read it?

Friend 2 comes over.

Friend 2: I want to read it too

Me: Okay!  Let me finish editing it really quick…

Friends: okay!  Hurry up!

Me: *whispers* coffee you are magical.

THE END

And now I have two new beta readers.

(P.S. if anyone reading this is interested in being a beta reader for TSOC, click the link in the menu above.  No pressure.)