Writing, writing, writing

Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

This was originally posted November 21st, 2011, the first year I attempted to write 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month. It is here mainly for historical purposes. I started late and didn’t get 50,000 words done that year, but have every year I’ve tried since then.

I am 10,000 words into my book now, oh… I didn’t mention my book before?  I know, I haven’t mentioned it, sorry, but I had to open this post with something interesting.  I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) event about halfway through November, which was kind of silly, since the goal of the event is for people to craft 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.  Yes, that is 1,667 words a day, a somewhat challenging goal for anyone who is not a professional writer or seasoned veteran of journaling (my spell-check tells me that is not a word, but I know some of you do it).  The idea is not so much to have a “finished” work by month’s end, but to have that pile of 50,000 words to mold and shape into something potentially publishable.  The event is in its 13th year if I count correctly and has produced many published novels including Water for Elephants, a best-seller.

I am not so egotistical that I think that I will have a best seller (although that would be ultimately cool).  I realize that probably 7,500 of those 10,000 words are either passively rendered, misspelled, repeated too often, or just bad prose, but I am plugging on in hopes that I can at least say I tried.

So, I am 10,000 words into my book/novel/whatever.  I have pieces of several chapters, but no completed chapters.  My goal for the end of the month, since there is no way I can achieve the 50,000 word goal of NaNoWriMo is to have at least once chapter completed with all scenes in place.  As I am a complete beginner at this and have no real idea what I am doing, the book I am writing is constantly morphing.  I see where I am overly descriptive and bog down in details.  So I edit and move and cut and modify so that the novel fits my new mental framework for it each day.  If I don’t finish the manuscript it will be because I never quit editing or I get so tired of editing that I finally give up the goal of writing a book.  My attention span is not my strongest character attribute, so I hope that this project gives me a challenge and teaches me to stay with a task until it is complete.

No sneak previews of my book right now.  I will tell you the (working) title is “Opposition” and it is a suspense, thriller, action novel (not sure how much of each will survive the edits) set in present time.  Maybe I will post a snippet of one of the chapters in December.  That is pretty dangerous to do since it could all change before/if it gets published!

So wish me luck on my book if you don’t mind.  I will need it.

25,000 Words and Other Milestones

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This post was originally published June 6th, 2012. While Bradbury actually died on June 5th, I didn’t actually post until after midnight.

The same day that I pass 25,000 words in writing my book, one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, dies.  It is interesting that I reach a (very minor) milestone the same day that Ray Bradbury reaches his last.  “The Martian Chronicles” was one of the first books I ever read.  I have a paperback copy almost as old as I am.  The pages are yellowed and dog-eared, the spine is disintegrating and the cover art is fading into oblivion.  It started a journey in reading for me that covered other giants of science fiction, including Heinlein, Asimov, Clark and Pournelle.  It stirred my imagination, even though I already knew that the events of the “Martian Chronicles” were as much fantasy as the C.S. Lewis Narnian Chronicles I also read around that time.

How many books have I read?  I have no idea.  How many books have I loved and re-read?  A small exclusive group, most of which are science fiction and fantasy – “Stranger in a Strange Land”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, the Foundation Trilogy, the list goes on and on.

I loved losing myself in the imagined worlds of others so much that I want to bring that excitement to a new group of readers.  I aspire to only a fraction of the greatness of the authors I have mentioned and if I reach that goal I will be truly blessed.

The world of sci-fi and fantasy will miss you, Ray Bradbury.