National Novel Writing Month has begun and I have begun to write. I feel a bit off, because I just found this amazing blog I wanted to search, and I am already 5 minutes late :-D
Here again - after the good start with 1000 words in half an hour, I don't know what to write. I suppose I might not be a writer after all :-D
I just heard about someone who will write 2000 words a day through whole November... if it takes me one hour to write 1700 words, I should be writing two hours and produce 3000 words.
Oh dear. I write a page and start thinking. I don’t have this story! I don’t know what will happen next! I suppose I should have been writing something I have already researched and thought about, and something I know the story. Sure, I know the outline of this story too, the child happens to enter these people’s lives accidentally, changes everything, and leaves just as accidentally... and changes everything again. It’s about how children do change the lives of the families, but they are not OURS, just visitors who stay longer than a week, and never outstay their welcome... on the contrary. I will be putting in happenings, incidents and substories I have snapped from other stories.
Oh DEAR how I don't want to write!
I also notice that I am spinning something else than I planned on writing. I have slipped back to a fantasy of mine, where my native country has a quite different position in the world history... I am very fond of that fantasy of mine :-)
But - every word is a good word. I have written over 1000 words today. Now I only need to write another 1000 words and I can think of other things :-D
When I say I don't want to write, I don't mean I don't want to write. I do, I just don't want to write my NaNoWriMo :-D
I might want to write a short story for L.Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest.
On the other hand, I just read about the dangers of writing contests, and... well... I suppose L.Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future is legitimate.
If you are living in UK or Ireland, you could try writing a 1000 words short story for Cally Taylor's contest with the theme "Heaven". You could write a 1000 words short story with the theme "Heaven" anyway, even if you are not eligible for the contest. The contest has very nice prizes, but if your short story is good, you will reach there without the help of the contest. Cally did ;-)
I have been reading Louise Doughty's interesting columns "A Novel in a Year".
"The day after my eighth birthday, my father told me..."
It's totally empty in my mind. I try to think back at my 8th birthday...
My father didn't say me much anything the day after my eighth birthday - or after any of my birthdays. I don't remember much of anything anyone told me when I was 8.
My 8th birthday was in 1977. Or perhaps 1976... if one counts my first birthday as the day I was born. I started the school 1976. We were still living in the town. I was 7 years old. If I am 8 years old on my 8th birthday, it was my first birthday after we had moved from town to countryside. I knew no-one, I had no friends, no-one came to my birthday. The day earlier one of my class mates had his birthday, and he had a birthday party in his home, with some other class mates. So, perhaps my father could have told me why no-one came to my birthday party. It was simply because they didn't know where I lived. But, that never happened, and I didn't wonder. I couldn't have told anyone how to get to my house. I was 7 and had lived in the house for just a couple of months, and it was in the countryside, and I barely knew our neighbors.
What could someone else's father have told this someone else the day after he was 8? I really cannot imagine. Adults, especially fathers, don't tell things to 8 years olds. Middle-aged people wouldn't remember what was told to them when they were 8.
This exercise makes me sad about my lonely childhood and about being ignored by people who were older, not only my father, but my mother, my siblings, teachers, neighbors, buss drivers, shop keepers - basically anyone who was older. Also, it makes everything I write about being a child and getting attention from adults second hand information. I could just as well be writing about what it is like to be black, or growing up as a slave. I know just as much of that. I have lived a very boring 40 years, and that is awful. Well... sisters Brontë didn't have that exciting and fascinating life either, but they wrote some interesting books.
I want to write a novel because I like reading novels.
(And I want to get Nobel literature prize, get rich and not need to worry ever again about what I'm going to eat and where I'm going to live tomorrow.)
Also, I want to be a published AUTHOR, and to me that means writing novels. Many novels, not just one. It's not enough to have written some words in a friend's book, or have written children's picture books, or have written fact literature, or have written short stories and articles in magazines. That makes me a published WRITER. To me being an author is something wonderful, admirable, idealistic... it's my biggest dream, my fantasy, my ambition... I want to BE an author, not just call myself one.
I just read Chris' first pep-talk. I loved this one: "...endure a few shameful days where the only thing keeping your word-count afloat is the fact that your protagonist has a habit of reading the dictionary aloud whenever she gets nervous. And she's always nervous. " LOL
But this is the most important message: "There's an adage in noveling that you can revise a bad first draft into a great book. But you can't revise a blank page into anything but a blank page. Take this to heart during NaNoWriMo. In November, all words are good words."
So what if I snatch inspiration from someone else? That's what Dan Brown did, and look at where that got him! It's not so that the inspiration is lost from the original source. He/She has already written his/her book.
Also, it is as Alexandra Sokoloff says, I will be saying the things with MY words.
As Chris says in his peptalk "The world needs your new novel, author. It's time to go get it written."
As said in Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium:
Molly Mahoney: You remember when I was a little girl and I could play Rahmaninov's Second Piano Concerto and everyone was talking about my potential?*sigh* It is scary. But I don't need to be afraid. The worst thing that can happen is not that I write crap, but that I write nothing.
Mr. Edward Magorium: Mhm.
Molly Mahoney: Well, I am 23 now and everyone's still talking about my potential but if you ask em to play the song I know best... I'll still play Rachmaninov's Second.
Mr. Edward Magorium: May I suggest you stun the world with Molly Mahoney's First?