Tag Archives: editing

NaNo No No No DON’T DO IT!

I do not recommend NaNoWriMo to any writer who has been writing for a while, whether published or unpublished to partake in NaNoWriMo unless they are used to writing more than 1700 words per day under pressure.  In fact I would even stretch to say, unless you are used to writing at least 2000 words per day, because when you do NaNoWriMo you become obsessed with having certain amount of words rather than good quality work.  This can be especially true for those writers out there (and I am one of those writers) who are highly competitive outside of writing in every other thing – this feeds my competitive nature far too much.

The work I have done on NaNoWriMo is shockingly awful; it is the worse stuff I have ever, EVER done.  It will take me much longer to edit the first draft than would have been usual for me.  I am dreading to re-read what I have done and for the record, no, I haven’t won NaNoWriMo and I will not by Wednesday, simply because I stopped writing the novel altogether last week at 37,504 words.  I am disgusted at myself for the quality of work I have done; I am not used to creating that kind of garbage.  With that said, the novel in itself isn’t too bad an idea; there are many wonderful things that have happened during the NaNoWriMo challenge, some of which are pleasantly surprising and helpful to enhance the richness of the plot as a whole, but in practise, the story is unemotional and I missed several key points in my plot because of the word count. 

I suppose the speed of NaNoWriMo assisted mainly in the brainstorming phase of my writing; I certainly had a brainstorm for something interesting to happen in the novel outside of my key elements as often as once every ten paragraphs approximately.  However, simply sitting back and doing my daily journal does that if I concentrate purely on the current novel I am working on; something of which I hadn’t had the energy to do throughout the challenge.  I had no energy to do any other form of work in writing or art; it was starting to burn me out.  I had no energy to read books or even update my personal diary and morning pages. 

The entire challenge zapped me; it absorbed me and ultimately slowed me down.  I wrote less per day than I would normally, ironic because of the word count obsession, but it did indeed; slow me down by 800 words per day.

I think I could have kept with the challenge despite the shoddiness of work, if there was more support.  However, my region seems to be a ghost town, hardly anyone has been seen on any of the forums or the chatrooms provided, the only support I had got were from people who were not doing the challenge and were writers who look at the challenge with a sympathetic eye.  I spent ages sitting around waiting for someone to talk to from the NaNoWriMo site, even trying to seek out NaNoWriMo writers from twitter and other places to come up against a social brick wall.

NaNoWriMo although was a terrible experience for me, was still fruitful in its way.  I brainstormed through the toil and was provided with small gems to make my plot as a whole sparkle.  But I have a lot of extra unnecessary work to do, when editing comes around.  Let me put this into plainer terms… The first chapter of the novel will be completely deleted and replaced with only a nice, neat three paragraphs and that is only the first chapter.  Something I am not used to doing, I am not used to creating that amount of rubbish.

I am bored with the novel at the moment, I won’t continue with it perhaps until way after New Year.  Meanwhile I will start reviving my blog again and work on the other two novels I wanted to do during the challenge, without the panic that I shall be a failure unless I reach 50k for just one novel in 30 days.

As I said before, I wrote more outside of the challenge, than I did within it.

So, will I be taking up NaNoWriMo challenge 2017?  You must be joking?  Of course I won’t.

 

 

 

 

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You can survive NaNoWriMo

 

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, this is going to be my first proper attempt at NaNoWriMo this year.  I have researched this a lot and I have been preparing for it a lot in the last three weeks, so I am more than raring to go!

I have a whole novel mapped out and planned to precision, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too many blocked moments.

The aim of NaNoWriMo is that from the 1st of November to the end of November (the 30th) you aim to write 50,000 towards your first draft – it encourages you to actually complete your work.  You will receive lots of help and make lots of new friends that help encourage your on you way to completing your 50,000 words.  The concept is that this is how a successful best-selling working writer lives, they accomplish on an average around 50,000 words of something a month.  It’s to get you realising what life as a best-selling author is going to be like, if you wish to be someone as prolific as say Stephen King.  Now to accomplish 50,000 words in just one month, you will need to write 1,670 words per day.  Stephen King claims he doesn’t leave his writing den before he has finished writing six pages in any one day – that equates to about the same length we’re expected to write at NaNoWriMo and I must also say, his minimum is just six pages, it’s not what he does every day, he admits sometimes he writes more, but six pages is his daily goal.

Now for someone who is new to the idea of becoming a writer, or for someone who struggles putting pen to paper and is intimidated by that fearsome blank page, this idea can be very daunting – but hang in there!  NaNoWriMo members are there to talk you through it, give you tips on how to survive this and what’s more, it will help make you feel like you’ve achieved something.  Your first draft isn’t meant to be perfect, some authors have to redraft their work twenty times before it’s prime enough for publication – don’t be too hard on yourself, or your first draft or baby you won’t survive.

Simple tip for getting 50,000 words at NaNoWriMo, just write, forget editing, just write – it’s your first draft, it’s not meant to be perfect!

 

 

 

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The Artist Way & The Cosmos

I believe a lot in cosmic ordering and I have been trying to learn myself how to use cosmic ordering to my own advantage for the last two years, by reading various books on the subject to get a wide view point from many individuals who use it.

Julia Cameron uses some of the techniques of cosmic ordering in her book “The Artist Way”.  I have been reading the artist way for a while now, because I think it helps with my creative recovery, despite some of the tasks she sets before me, being brushed under the carpet as for me; they are impractical for my way of life.  Such as the artist break, I never go anywhere on my own, let alone go on holiday by myself, I wouldn’t want to; however, the occasional trip to a local café or the library with a note pad in tow, is something that I do enjoy from time to time, so the artist date isn’t ignored entirely.

Another thing I ignore in the Artist Way is the week in which she says that we should avoid all kinds of reading, do anything but read.  I am sorry, but I don’t do reading deprivation.  If I am not reading stuff online, I am reading magazines, newspapers or books.  I have never ever experienced doing without reading – for me, like silence, it would kill me.

I can live with a rule such as – internet deprivation, but reading deprivation, dream on baby.

Also, by using the rule of reading deprivation, I can’t do those precious morning pages she wants me to, I can’t do my art, because in order to do my main form of art, I need to write and with writing comes editing and what is essential when editing a writer’s work?  You’ve got it, reading!

I won’t stop writing any more than I would stop reading.  I wanted this book to help me write more, not encourage me to stop what I feel are essential habits for me to work.

Anyway, getting away from my point a bit; The Artist Way contains many techniques similar to other books for cosmic ordering.  In my opinion she assists in that she helps us identify why we are not as successful in our chosen artistic careers as we would have liked to have been.  She delves deep in our sub consciousness, digging up long forgotten memories that helps answer how we’ve lost our path.

I found out that I lost my original creative path by using her techniques, by remembering that as a child I had a huge interest in fashion and drawing, but I was pushed away from this and put into writing.  Everyone had agreed for me that writing was my talent and to Hell with any other talent I might have.

I have trained in psychology and social sciences in the past and I have used some of the techniques learned there, with various self-help books, cosmic ordering stuff and I have realised that a lot of my current pitfalls as an adult, is not self-inflicted but are actually reactions against something happening that I didn’t like when I was younger.  When I was little I loved fashion and loved drawing dresses and playing with Barbie.  However, I didn’t get my own Barbie doll until I was around 11yrs old.  I wasn’t encouraged because my mother was a tom boy and wanted me to be the same as she was.  I noticed by the time I reached around 8yrs old I became a very obese child, but I didn’t give up on the whole idea of fashion and drawing until I was around 10yrs old and each year I was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it finally happened – when I was around 12 I told my mum that I would love to go into fashion when I am older and she simply said to me “with your weight, you’d be eaten alive in the fashion industry, you won’t survive”; so with that I thought lose weight or lose the dream, I tried to lose weight but every time I had an interest in fashion again, she’d bring out the doughnuts and McDonalds and remind me that it’s a foolhardy dream for someone so large.  Every time she gave me a treat and I ate it, she said it was my fault I wasn’t thinking about my dream, that I should have more self-discipline.

So by the time I was 14 I had literally totally forgot my dream.  I remembered it because in The Artist Way, Julia asks us to think about people we are jealous of and identify why.  I happen to be jealous of a lot of young girls I know who are professional dancers and are in the fashion industry.

When I realised the reason for the jealousy, I was then asked to search deep as to why that would affect me.  I remembered it all lead to fashion.  I also realised this because my favourite non-fantasy and non-horror movies and TV shows, happen to be focused around fashion.  “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mean Girls”, “Are you being served”? “101 Dalmatians” any shows featuring Gok Wan, and so on!

I am not someone who follows fashion though, don’t get me wrong.  I am someone who likes to start off the trends and I usually succeed.  I don’t like to fall into a normal fashion concept, I like to develop my own, I believe in having a bespoke fashion sense and a bespoke home, to match who you are, I believe people should show the world exactly who they are as much as possible.  I think it attracts more genuine people to you.  I am more comfortable with speaking to someone who dresses in alternative fashions, whether they are punk, Goth, witch, or Hell’s Angel, than someone who seems very conservative.  Because to me, those conservative people are hiding themselves for some reason, or have a narrow concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not; I don’t do shallow people.

I am learning about the true me through doing all of this.  I am happier for it and luckier too.  In the Artist Way, Julia Cameron has asked me to do another task recently that is to make a collage of everything I love and everything I want to attain in life. 

This for me is something that I used to do and those things did come to me very quickly.  I got out of the habit of having a collage when I moved in with Paul as I could never work out where to put one in the house that I would see regularly and that wouldn’t raise questions with Paul’s family and our friends.  Recently Paul has suggested that I forget other people’s opinions and do what I want around the house.  So I will.

I am going to enjoy pinning things up on my collage, I am also making a scrapbook collage as well of more personal, secret things.

But the main impersonal things will be put into two locations around the house, so my sub consciousness can soak it all up, and help make it happen through the cosmos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry Kithara

I’m having doubts that Kithara was a good idea, I’ve had doubts from the moment I clicked publish, actually.  I know what I want to write, but it feels familiar to me, like maybe it’s a rip off of something, there’s that nagging feeling.  I know no book is truly original work, it’s really hard to be 100% original, I understand that, I strive to be original and I feel like a cheat at times.

With the story Kithara, I also felt as though it started rather slap dashed and in a way it did, I wrote it and immediately published it on here, no edits.  A big mistake?

I think it was a big mistake, I was very eager in getting a short story started on here and I didn’t want to put any of my previous stories up because I wanted to save them for approaching actual publishers.  I’ve always been told I rush in where angels fear to tread, I am always rushing what I do and too eager to please everybody all of the time.  So, I got into a habit after reading “Stephen King On Writing” to write my stories and put them away for a few months then read them and edit them accordingly, but I guess I was too excited by this blog that I forgot my new rule.

I want to abandon this story and never do more to it personally; but I do too, because this has been idea that’s been floating around for nine years as an actual novel, I thought it would be a good idea to put it up as short story chunks online.  Although I want to stop this story right now and ignore it ever happened, maybe even delete it from site and start re-arranging it as a novel again. I feel I am ripping off my readers, though Kithara hasn’t had any comments or likes, so maybe it’s not something to worry about?

But worry I do, it’s my nature, that’s why I never get anything done.  I suppose, though everybody who knows me say they never see me resting, they never see me do absolutely nothing.  I am always writing or have my nose stuck in a book, gardening or cooking/baking, playing with my son, tidying up, and doing stuff for charity.

I feel like a secret procrastinator, I actually do very little, it’s just other people see me doing something all the time that they don’t see me for what I really am… lazy.

When I write it’s always as short as a poem each time, then I move onto another story or another poem or song, then I research a little, then I get up and tidy, then I bake a cake to avoid working more, then I go back to typing really slowly my stories, reading, re-reading, editing as I  go along, deleting a lot, and as I mentioned in other posts, burning a lot.

I think the only thing I do a lot is, post online, I do a lot of non-fiction posting of a lot of things in various places.  I’ve been told I should write non-fiction as I seem to do a lot of posts based on it, but I can’t do that, I did an Open University course in 2010 and I got very low scores because I can’t reference for the life of me, I know all these great things but forget where I learned it from and I forget to make the important notes, I make lots and lots of notes, but nothing important; so I gave up that course for a while, mainly because my son was starting to crawl and cause chaos.

The course was “Introducing the social sciences”, these days I am thinking about switching to literature or something, that should be easy because I am still signed up with the OU but as a non-participating student and it is an open degree, means I can shift around a bit.

I doubt Kithara will continue for several months actually.  I think any story posted up here will be a touch and go for finishing.  So please don’t get your hopes up with me, the worst thing anyone can do for me is to have any expectations of me, I always let people down.  Just sit back and hope you’ll actually read an ending some day.

Sorry xx

 

 

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