Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Baaaaaack!

So, it's been quite some time since I posted to the blog, and it's all because of Nanowrimo. Every year, some of my students and I take the challenge to write an entire novel - 30,000 words for them, 50,000 words for me - in one month, from November 1 to November 30. In previous years, I've had a really hard time meeting my daily goals and getting to the final number. Once or twice I've even been tempted to cheat, and fallen to the temptation. This year, however, I sailed through with ease, mostly due to a great support system at home, headed up by my beautiful, patient, pregnant wife, who is now my newest editor. Honestly, there was not one day, even through the whole vacation, when I felt like I was under the gun, behind the eight ball, or between a rock and a hard place. (Forgive me, I've been avoiding cliches all month long, and I'm full to bursting.) This year's challenge was the best ever, and I actually think I've got something good here.

The main difference, I think, was writing about my own experiences, filtered through the lens of fiction and imagination, of course, and, although I hate to admit it, a lack of outlining and planning. In years past, I would plot out every scene and sequel from exposition to denouement, and then stagnate about halfway through. This year, on the other hand, I knew what my characters wanted, knew that there would be some key scenes to write, had a vague idea of how it should end, and just filled in the gaps as they came along. Whereas before, I would charge through from one scene to another, following the outline, this time, I find that I really want to get to a particular scene to write, but other scenes keep popping into my head, other events that either need to take place or serve some other narrative purpose.The point is, I think I may have been wrong in my approach all these years.

So, faithful followers, I am back, and with more stories to tell, and while my newest novel is not yet done, 51,000 words and 99 pages ain't too shabby. I will finish it, though, and update on its progress, especially if I can manage to get it onto some of the right desks. Wish me luck.

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