Sunday, November 21, 2010

The end in sight? Nope. Not yet.

I hit 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo!

But I still have about 20,000 words to write.

When I started NaNoWriMo, my goal was to finish a novel. After two failed novels because I didn't plan properly, I thought, "Crap, this is never going to work. I can't finish a novel. How can I be a novelist if my novels don't end?"

The tail end of my novel is here, and I have an outline. I have exactly how I want my novel to end. That's the difference between this novel and the two previous ones. Things keep changing from my outline, but it's all still going in the same general direction.

Now that I'm nearing the end, I can see the holes in the story, I can see that the pacing is off. Fortunately, the spine of my story is strong enough to insert pieces and delete pieces as necessary, but it still doesn't make me feel any better knowing that my goal was to speed through a novel.

I'll tell myself again that the reason I did NaNoWriMo like a mad fool was to prove to myself I can actually end a novel. If I remember this, if I finish my novel, I can pretend it's a victory until it wears off, and I have to go back and gut it.

My goal was to finish a novel.
My goal was to finish a novel.

I'll keep telling myself this until after I finish my novel when a new and more difficult goal is ahead of me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reversing my goals

My approach to writing is constantly changing.

When I first started writing novels two years ago, I thought to myself, "I'm going to write the best novel I can write."

I didn't think about finishing a novel or a plot, even though those ideas are incorporated into writing the best novel.

Enjoying writing is something that's new to me this year, and I've found that trying to power through and just get the ideas down has become more important than making sure that my writing is polished and beautiful--I keep telling myself that's what editing afterwards is for.

I don't know if this is going to work. I'm scared to find that I'll finally finish a novel (yes!) but I'll be too overwhelmed to edit it. I love editing, though, and maybe it was my love for correcting that slowed me down before and left two of my manuscripts unfinished.

My fingers are crossed. I'm closer to the end than ever before.

This is really it, this is the beginning.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I just read the last blog post I made, and it was back in March, only a few months after I was hired by deviantART.

I've since moved to Hollywood, and I walk to work every day. Sometimes run. Or skip. Sometimes I slip on the wet sidewalk and narrowly avoid faceplanting on someone's star. It can be surreal at times to think of where I was and where I am now, but it's even crazier to think that it's just the beginning of so much more.

NaNoWriMo is in full swing, and while I don't advocate writing 50,000 words in a month, I've been using it as a tool to prove to myself that YES, I CAN FINISH THIS NOVEL. 150,000 words and zero endings ago, I panicked and tossed away two novels that were particularly close to my heart. I thought that having an idea was enough, and that if I wrote and wrote and wrote, it would resolve itself eventually.

My first novel took me to 72,000 words before I realized it was futile.
My second novel took me to 20,000 words before I knew I was wrong.
And I rewrote.
And rewrote.

And I gave up.

So here we are with a freshly planned novel, a complete scene-by-scene map with enough room for flexibility and 41,000 words.

I'm feeling pretty good.

Learning that it is all a learning process and that there won't ever be one right way to write a novel was huge for me, and I hope that I keep finding these useful bits of knowledge as I (OH GOD I HAVE TO FINISH IT THIS TIME) finish this novel.