Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/24/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone! With just over a week left before NANOWRIMO I am enjoying what free time I get, because I know that soon it will be all gone and out the window. I'm also super excited because I'm going to see Rifftrax Live: Birdemic, Shock and Terror tomorrow, and if anyone's seen those before, you know it's bound to be amazing.

Last week we talked about how to listen to your body when it comes to writing, and how if it starts hurting maybe you should take a break. That's good advice for all times, not just when it's about to be a month full of writing insanity. Right now though, it's coming to the wire when it comes to planning, which means frantic timeline and/or outline construction/hoping everything will come together and your head won't explode time!

Let's say you have your idea for NANOWRIMO, right now it's a beautiful and unique snowflake you are excited about and want to write more than anything else in the whole wide world. It's going to be full of action, suspense, drama, and all those wonderful things you love so much. Now then, jump to November 1st, you sit down, pull out your laptop (or sit at your desktop, or grab a notebook if you want to hand write some 2000 words a day) all ready to begin the new whirlwind adventure, when suddenly...disaster strikes. Not the kind of disaster where there's a massive power outage and you watch your writing medium explode (which again, if you're hand writing and this happens, you have some very volatile paper and should probably switch notebook brands), but more the kind where you realize all those scenes you've come up with aren't from the beginning. No, they are from somewhere in the middle, but then you realize you're not actually 100% sure where they're going to go, and then panic begins because now you have to spend time figuring out how to actually start your project rather than use what precious free time in your evening going after the daily word quota.

Never fear though! That's what I'm here for! As I've said before having a plan of action when it comes to writing is super important, and this is especially important for NANOWRIMO because of the limited amount of time you're actually going to have. Well, it'll be a limited amount of time for those of us who also have full-time jobs that aren't work-from-home. I believe previously I mentioned how the first sentence is the most difficult. That's because a lot of writers have their overall plot in their head, but sometimes the smaller details get overlooked, and the first sentence or even first few paragraphs are often sucked into this sad black hole.

Now luckily I'm going to be starting a sequel for my NANOWRIMO project, so the actual beginning has been stuck in my head for a long time. However I know that there are a lot of people who don't have that option. For all of you who will be participating this year, I'd like for you to think about your project, and start thinking now how you'd like it to begin. Do you want it to open with action? Exposition? Dialogue? Those are really your options, and each one of them has its unique benefit. Action sucks the reader in right away and sets the pacing for the entire story, so if you go that route keep that in mind. Exposition tells the reader about the world and gives them a quick  introduction to how things work. Dialogue gives at least a small sense of character introduction, or even a brief idea of what the central conflict is going to be. If there is another option, please someone let me know, because that would be great!

Once you have your first, let's say paragraph down, hopefully the creative juices will have begun to flow. For a lot of people just starting a project is the hardest part, but once it gets going everything seems to flow a lot smoother. There are a multitude of reasons for this early onset writer's block, and they range from a sort of self defeating mentality to anxiety. Everyone has their reasons, and what's important is to keep a support group around and also remember that your worst critic is yourself. That may sound cliche, but it is absolutely true. Go back and look at something you wrote two years ago and tell me that you think it's a work of art. Chances are you won't, and that's just fine, but don't let that stop you from jumping into NANOWRIMO and getting to that word quota like the boss you are. Remember, this is the first, first draft, and the purpose of that is to just get the idea out of your head and worry about editing later.

I hope this helped, at least a little bit. I'll be back on Friday for my normal review. Barnes and Noble STILL doesn't have the new edition of 'The Light Rises' up and I am getting a little miffed. If I don't see it updated by Friday I'll see about contacting Smashwords, since it originally said it was digitally shipped on the 12th, then said it was shipped again on the 18th. I hope you all have a good rest of your week, see you later!

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