Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I Survived NaNo - Or Did I?

You know when you're in a language class and the teacher asks you a question that you simply don't have the vocabulary for?

You fill the air with words, so that instead of saying something as brief as "my grandfather lived in France" you start blabbing.

"My relatives on my father's side two generations back used to reside in France." You use 'backside' instead of 'back' and the wrong conjugation of the verb reside. And if you don't cut yourself off, you sink into even deeper mires of wordiness.

That's what the last week of NaNoWriMo felt like for me. There were certain scenes I knew I needed, but every time I drafted them they came out shorter than intended. I know the book will grow when I go back to add everything that's missing from the drafts (namely any and all description and dialogue tags - the thing looks like an overblown screenplay at the moment), but for now I feel like I've staggered across the finish line, and just want to catch my breath.

I've got a couple of pages still to type up. Then I've got to turn back - and edit Out of the Water based on beta reviews. It feels like a lot of work but hopefully won't require much stress. Or should it? Is a novel not worth it unless all your blood, sweat and tears goes into it at each stage?

Author Sam Sykes had a morale-boosting take on why writers shouldn't despair, just this week: "Your writing moves the way it does. You can nudge it along, you can try marketing techniques, you can try holding your breath and whistling Dixie if you think it'll make your moustache grow quicker. But the only way to succeed at being a writer is to write, no matter what else happens."

For now, I've got this:

Meanwhile, it's Mark Twain's 176th Birthday and Google has a Doodle:

And the awesome Claire Legrand is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the announcement of her second book!

How did everyone else do? And if you're not doing NaNo, where are you on your ROW80 goals?


Joshua said...

You made it! Congrats!

Lady Gwen said...

Congratulations! Nice job! Well done! Way to go! You rock! Did I forget anything? LOL. But seriously - what an awesome accomplishment:)

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on NaNo! I babble all the time. It's one reason I prefer writing to face to face communication. In writing I can go back and edit. Not so easy in conversation.

Zan Marie said...

Congrats, Deniz! As a slacker who didn't do much of anything this month, much less NaNo, I'm in awe. ; )

Ryan King said...

Congrats on NaNo :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Yay, Deniz! You made it! Congrats!

You must feel so relieved. I didn't do NaNo, but I have so much respect for all of you that have.

I am beginning to query my latest novel... I thought I had a publisher interested, but it wasn't the right fit for them. Oh well, that's a writer's life .... Right?

I hope to start the sequel soon.

Al said...

congratulations on getting through.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats for making it through NaNo!

All my drafts turn out much shorter than I hope, so there's no worries. It's all about adding later. :)

Good luck with the edits of OUT OF THE WATER too.

KarenG said...

My drafts always come out too short, with too much of dumb stuff and not enough good stuff. Thankfully I know how to revise! Congrats on finishing, that is just so cool.

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations! :)

L'Aussie said...

Hey Deniz. Great that you finished and I know what you men. I don't know about going back to put in dialogue tags.I need to know if half the dialogue's really necessary. I got over 50K written so am happy although so much rewriting to do.

Interesting that Talli's book's in present tense. I read that young-uns like present tense, first person. I like to write like that but am always told readers don't like it. Well...I've got Build a Man on my huge TBR list. I've no probs reading a ton of print books but still don't have a dedicated kindle so it's either pdf or sit up at the computer, urgh! I've been dithering about what to buy and you still can't get Kindle Fire in Oz, grr.

Just a reminder that RomanticFridayWriter kicks off again this FRiday if perchance you need some writing practise, hoot, hoot. I'm pretty excited to get something done for the house in the snow and to read everybody else's stories/poems.

There's been some excellent guest posts over the hiatus. Linky's up now.


Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats!! :) I survived nano successfully too!

I haven't added a word of description either - and even with 50k, I'm only about half way done the story line. Still a lot of work ahead! :)

Tracy Krauss said...

lol! I found myself wading in this kind of wordiness at times as well, desperate to get the day's word count up. If I do decide to revisit this year's NaNo project, it will need a whole lotta changes!

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE your header. Great blog too.



Wendy Jane said...

I know what you mean. I can see a difference in between my NaNo writing and my usual writing. I can't say that I like that. But, that does mean I can go back through and keep what I want, and dump what doesn't work. Congrats on the NaNo. Everyone did great and I am so glad we had such a good turn out!

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you so much everyone! We did it!
Will try to stop by soon, Denise :-)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

way to go Denise! I didn't sign up, I always thought that was just for crazy people. But I surprised myself with 60,000 words this month! That was shared between two different wip. Yikes!

Theresa Milstein said...

Congratulations on the certificate! Bask in that for now.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much Theresa and TerryLynn, and congratulations on your word count Terry!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • secret beta read 2
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • (Subterranean collection) John Scalzi
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
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