Monday, June 18, 2012

How did I do that?

Today's post will be quick because I just wanted to share a realization I came to this week.Mostly I'm sharing it to see if I'm weird as a writer, or if there are other people out there like me.

So, I submitted a chapter to my critique group last week, and I actually received very little negative feedback. This was kind of surprising to me because I was a little bit nervous about this particular chapter. It dealt with a topic or idea I don't feel particularly proficient in, and a style of writing that I have no experience with. In other words, it was out of my comfort zone, and accordingly I thought it would need a lot of work. Hence, the surprise at the comments.

This has happened to me one other time on my other novel. A different topic, a different writing style, but equally unfamiliar. The comments at that point were that it was more detailed and engaging than the rest of the story.

So, two different ways to take these comments, both of which I have vacillated between. First of all, bummer that the rest of my writing obviously sucks because it needs to much work. Second of all, cool that I can write something I'm unfamiliar with well.

But the real question to me is: why? I've been thinking about that for a few days, and the only reason I can come up with is a greater attention to the writing. Most of the time I am just trying to get the story out. And it's an amazing, wonderful, awesome story...until my critiquers get a hold of it, and then I realize how much work it needs. But these unfamiliar pieces I give more focus to. I want to make sure they are just right, and they fit the "genre" I'm playing with, that I spend more time on them.  (If only I could/would spend that same amount of time on the rest of it...or even knew how for that matter.)

At least that's my working theory. Any other thoughts?

Monday, June 4, 2012


Many of you have probably heard of NaNoWriMo, or the National Novel Writing Month. Well, if you haven't, it is a writing movement that promotes writing 50,000 words of crap in the month of November, so that you can use the other 11 months of the year to polish it up into something palatable.

Well, per my friend Jayrod's request/suggestion, I am participating with him on a local level this June. He is working on his novel, Crimes of the Umbramancer, and is behind where he'd like to be. So he came up with the idea to do his own NaNoWriMo. And as it is always easier to complete something like that with support, and he knew that I had a lot to do of my own, he invited me to join him.

So, now it is June 4, and I am just getting started. But I have a good excuse. My family has been on vacation for the last week-and-a-half. So I am getting started late, but I'm going to be strong.

My goals are slightly different for this month. I am aiming for 50,000 words, but that isn't my primary goal, and it is spread across various things. My blog post for one, and then I'll be working on two novels.

I want to accomplish a lot with my writing this summer since I will not have school and papers to correct. I am actually setting aside two blocks of time to dedicate to my writing. My early morning writing will be for blogs, critiquing, and continuing Dazzling Demons. That is my new story that I just started. I have a pretty good idea of where it is going and how I will get there, but I need to get it on paper. That also means I have some interviewing to do this summer for research.

Additionally, I am hiring a babysitter to come three times a week for two hours each day, so I can go to the library for focused, uninterrupted writing time. During that time I will be working on Roses of Chesterley, my medieval novel. As you may recall, a few months back I decided to put off the revision on it until I could focus better. Well, now is the time. So as far as my 50,000 words goes, I need to finish a major plot re-write that I am halfway through, and then revise what I have already done.

I'm excited for JuNoWriMo. It looks like it will be the most productive time for me this summer because I can already see my July filling up, and I don't have much of August until I'm back in school again. So, yes, I am aiming for 50,000 words, but more importantly to me, I am aiming for 50,000 good words. I'll keep you posted (pun intended) on how it goes and what I am accomplishing. And best of luck to Jayrod, and anyone else who is participating this month.