Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This

A writer is a world trapped in a person. -- Victor Hugo

We're four days out from the finish line of NaNoWriMo 2014, and hopefully everyone has made some gratifying progress toward their writing goals. I know some of you are thinking now that you won't make 50K, and that's okay. Really.

Making the big goal is nice -- very nice -- but you aren't a loser if you have to deal with life instead of writing, or the story you chose to write isn't working for you, or whatever else keeps you from stepping into the official winner's circle this year. Losing Jak, one of my beloved rescue cats, kept me from finishing NaNo back in 2010; as it happens when I reached the end of the month I hadn't even make the halfway point. Still, I was very proud of what I did manage to write that year, and it helped me through a horrible time.

Earlier I was cruising around the NaNoWriMo forums when I found in the You know you're a writer when . . . topic one of those so-true-it-hurts comments:

"Every song is about your characters." (posted by crossing)

Every song is, actually -- I can't listen to music without applying it to a character in some story I'm writing or have written or want to write. Even music I don't care for eventually becomes theme songs for my antagonists. Same goes for art; I'm always thinking which of my people would own this painting or that sculpture (I once had an epiphany about Lucan from the Darkyn novels while wandering around a glass-blower's booth at an art show; that's where his Shatter talent was actually born.)

It doesn't stop there. When I cook I think about recipes that would please my characters, and when I shop I check out the latest fashions to dress my younger, hipper crews. In reality I can't cook or shop for them (that's the line into Writer LaLaLand I won't cross) but thinking about it is natural. My characters are with me everywhere I go, as they have been since I was eight years old and wrote my first story. They may not be real, but they're mine and I'm the one who knows them best and they belong to me as nothing else in life has.

Which is why all the songs are about them, and all the art revolves around them, and everything that teases my imagination in some way goes to them. Because I belong to them, too.

Any last thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2014? Let us know in comments.

7 comments:

  1. I rolled over 50K last night. Still haven't 'verified' for the site, but I've still got writing to do, so I may wait until Sunday. Last thought for this year's NaNo? Win or lose, keep writing until you finish the book. There are enough unfinished NaNo novels out there already (including the ones on my own hard drive.)

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  2. November had it out for me. My mom got sick, was in hospital for almost 3 weeks, a huge book event where I sold some of mine! and had people from Anne Rice's book signing play follow the indie writer to my booth to get mine as well ( I consider this an epic win), and between toddler, and prep for two shows for my other work, november had other ideas on what was getting done. I still got around 20k written, and a recharged brain and a slew of new readers so Nano-something happened.

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  3. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I always feel relieved when I hit 50K (on Sunday) but sad too because I loath editing and my first drafts are... pretty drafty.

    Any writing done, whatever the month, is always a win to me.

    Ron B

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  4. I was fairly hopeful of crawling over the finish line on Sunday. Now, not so sure, mainly due to Thanksgiving. And who picked November for this challenge, anyway? US folks should get an extra day handicap, though that just prolongs the agony, doesn't it... ;D

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  5. Keita Haruka3:20 PM

    I finished yesterday, and verified. The story isn't even a third done, so the writing will continue, but only after December's editing. This story really, really needs it. It's unbelievable, the utter tripe that can emerge from your keyboard when you switch off the internal editor and just go for it! All that lovely world-building I did prior to starting? Yeah...wave bye-bye to that. When it became time for the characters to actually inhabit the world, I found that a lot of it simply didn't work. At what point in the writing did I find this out? About 15,000 words in. The internal inconsistencies are staggering as a result, but it's still savable.

    Regarding every song is about your characters...I can relate to that! I do exactly the same thing. Good to know I'm not crazy. Or if I am, at least I'm in good company. We live vicariously through them in a way, and they through us, because it's our experiences and insights and bring them to life.

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  6. I'm not a writer (I wish I was but I can't get the thoughts to stop colliding into each other and the walls of my brain).

    I really miss the Darkyn and Kyndred. I keep scouring the bookshelves and internet for a new release. I miss my characters. I'm in limbo.

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    1. I do have some Darkyn and Kyndred stories in the freebie section, Donna, but I doubt I'll ever publish any more books in either series. Seventeen was a very good run all together, though.

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