Thursday, November 10, 2011

Of Nor'easters and NaNo

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. Storm, aftermath of storm, recovery from storm, all in time for the month long exercise in creative insanity known as National Novel Writing Month. Last year was my first, and because of reasons above -and others- I had debated sitting this one out.

Normally, I like to have my story notebook all planned out, a detailed outline, sections for hero, heroine, villain if applicable, history, research notes, pertinent pictures, etc. This year? That didn't happen, and in many ways, it feels like I'm doing the detailed outline for my daily words. I miss my blorch.

Blorch is a word of my own creation, and it means the basic slapping of jumbly words on a page, exactly as it comes to me in my mind. Present tense, hither and yon, jumping around in the story timeline, in and out of POV, talking to myself, referencing (warning, do not click if you expect to get anything done for the next several hours)A blorch comes before an actual draft and allows me to then go through it with my collection of highlighters, sticky notes and define and number scenes, which then becomes my outline, and then I write. Life is funny sometimes and this year, all I came to NaNo with was a large spiral bound sketchbook with random notes scrawled freeform in multiple colors of Sharpie.

Hence the image you see above. That's a rough concept design of one of a pair of handwarmers (aka mitts, aka fingerless gloves) and it's appropriate for a number of reasons. I am tackling a pirate story this year, so the skull and crossbones is appropriate. The "Deal," though, that's a reminder that no matter how crazy things may seem, we get through them. Appropriate for this fumbling about in the mist of NaNo and recovering from a whomping nor'easter. So far, I'm making my daily word goal and should hit the requisite fifty thousand words by December 1st. Taking this one day at a time and seeing how it goes. If I end up turning out fifty thousand words of horrible trash, well, nobody has to see it but me, and I'll have done the equivalant of half a manuscript in one month. Pretty nifty right there.

So, the whole "deal" part...yeah, that's the thing. Show up at the keyboard. Open the document. Pound keys until the daily goal has been reached (to get 50k by the end of the month, I'm shooting for about 1660ish words per day, which is again different, since I normally count pages instead of words)- then I get a reward. I have found that I am eminently self-bribable. This time of year, cocoa is good. I don't know exactly where I'm going when I start the day's journey, but I have somewhat of an idea. Most likely, this will turn into the blorch, if I can convince myself it's okay to do that here - yes, I know nobody but me is going to see this, but head knowledge vs heart knowledge, mmkay? I'm getting there.

Are you NaNoing? Would you? Have you?


Anonymous said...

I signed on for NaNo as well, but then came the nor'easter and the power outage. The power came back up ... yippee ... I started writing to make up for lost time ...then went out again. Finally it came back up and then my best friend's father passed away. I decided the universe is trying to tell me it's not my time to write NaNo. You know .. you've got to know when to hold and know when to fold ... and I guess on NaNo, it's time to fold. Gerri Brousseau

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...

Gerri, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! Take care of yourself and your friend. Maybe Camp NanNoWriMo this summer will be a better fit, and there's always BISW.