Sunday, September 21, 2014

Getting Nano Ready

How is everyone feeling about Nano this year? We have one month roughly, to put something together that we can write about for 50,000 words. I know how hard it is to try to come up with an idea that you will love after a month of forced writing. I have been doing Nano for about 5 years now, two of my Nano books have been worth something, one is published, and another is soon to be, but some years the stories are absolutely horrible. Last year I loved the concept of my book but I hated every word of it, I tried to switch in the middle of the story to something more usable but I never finished. A couple of years before that I tried my hand at a YA novel, it just wasn't happening. I have had some years when I hated my characters, and other years when my characters hated me. Over all Nano is a hard, frustrating, exhausting experience, but it is totally worth it! When I tell people I participate in a month long writing competition they think I'm insane, I don't always disagree, but I try to tell them about the value of the experience. It gives me an opportunity not to care about all the technical things. I don't have to wonder if, what I want to happen can really happen, or give all the whys, and or reasons for something to happen. I get to develop my characters and fall in love with who they are. I get to exaggerate and be whimsical. I can enjoy the settings and everyday activities my characters find themselves in. It is a good reason to write with no excuses. Sometimes I think we as writers try to hard to follow all the rules, and it stifles our true voices and makes us afraid to express what we really think for fear of rejection, or that review we dread. Sometimes we need to use exclamation marks and incomplete sentences. Our writing should mirror real life, and there are plenty of times that I exclaim things! My favorite thing about Nano is that I get to be myself. So, if you are on the fence about Nano, my suggestion is to not look at the 50,000 words, or the fact that we need to write all those words in 30 days, but that we get to write at all! We get to vomit words out onto the page and not care if they "flow." We get to stare writers block in the face and tell it to take a hike. We get a whole month of unfettered, uncontrolled, unabashed writing! Use all the exclamation marks you want, and for Pete sake, have a good time!!

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