Nothing is Sacred

This November I’m planning on re-writing last year’s NaNoWriMo novel. I am amazed and terrified to see how many things have changed for this story over the course of a year. I know this is a good thing, because first drafts usually are full of cliches and bad ideas, with a few hidden gems. But it’s hard not to second guess the decision to make these changes.

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I used to write a first draft and consider the story almost done. I cringe to remember how proud I was of some of those first drafts. But they were important stepping stones and there were some great ideas, but I now see that all those stories would need serious reworking before they saw the light of day. I’ve learned that editing is more than proofreading and re-writing a scene here and there. You have to be willing to rework characters, plot arcs, and concepts which seemed essential in the first draft. The truth is that nothing is sacred in a first draft. Everything is subject to change.

Hopefully these changes will strengthen my novel and move me closer to publishing.

I wish all the NaNoWriMo participants the best of luck. I’ll see you at the finish line!

Now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get back to planning for November.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

NaNoWriMo Is Coming!

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Well it’s October, AKA Panic-And-Outline-Your-Novel-Month. November is just around the corner and while the rest of the world may associate November with Thanksgiving and pumpkins and the early start of the Christmas season, we writers associate it with NaNoWrioMo (The National Novel Writing Month) where we lock ourselves away, ignore the world, and stress over our respective novel projects for a month.

I’m not too panicked this year, I’m planning on re-writing the novel I wrote last year. So I at least know what I’m going to write. Still it will be a challenge trying to figure out how to fix the numerous problems in this novel. I am excited to get back to the novel, though. I really want to get it polished.

So who else is doing NaNo this year and what are you planning to write? If anyone would like to add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy my username is Lady_Of_The _Pen it’s always fun to meet new people and encourage each other during NaNo.

Best of luck to all!

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Hard Truths

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I’ve been working on editing and polishing my novel ‘Train to Everywhere,’ which I wrote during NaNoWriMo back in November. When I finished the 2nd draft I was high on writing. I’d never gone beyond the first draft of a book before and I was thrilled. I felt that the end was insight. I just needed to make a few more changes, polish up a scene here and there and I’d be done. I could upload it onto Amazon and show it to the world!

But as I’ve gotten a little distance from the 2nd draft I’ve begun to realize that it still has issues. I tried to deny how much work it really needed. A couple of friends had read it and loved it, but part of me knew they weren’t thinking critically enough. But recently I finally got a critical opinion from one of my friends and she confirmed what I already knew, that the story still needs a lot of work.

Accepting this has given me a lot of freedom. Before I didn’t want to make major changes, so I was trying to patch up problems when what they needed was reworking. But now I’m not looking at the story as a solid piece of work, but a number of elements. Elements which can be changed, rearranged or cut of necessary.

So while I’m disappointed that I still have a long way to go on this novel, I’m excited by the possibilities it allows me.

Wish me luck!

~~Lady of the Pen~~

Book Obsessed

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I’ve always loved books. I was the kid (and still am) who always had a book with her where ever she went. If I was at a social gathering I’d usually end up in a corner with my book eventually and be perfectly happy. I used to get most of my books at the library, but in recently years I’ve become rather obsessed with owning books. I just want to have them close, to keep them near, to occasionally sleep with an old favorite tucked under my pillow. I buy books like other girls buy clothes. My roommate and I joke, because when we first moved in she set up her closet first and I set up my bookshelf. I really can’t help myself and I’m sure many of you know what I mean. I have a huge stack of unread books and keep finding myself distracted by new ones. At present I’m limiting myself to two books: “The Children of Hurin” by J.R.R. Tolkien and “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher. I will finish them before starting something new! And maybe I’ll be able to pass a few days without buying a new book.

Wish my luck.

P.S. “Storm Front” smells amazing! Every time I read it the delicious scent of aged paper and ink fill my nose. It’s an added bonus. I have a think for sniffing books 😉

Very Post New Year

Sad. I haven’t written a blog since before the New Year. I hope everyone is having a great New Year. Personally I’m working on my editing this year. I finished the first draft of my NaNoWriMo story and now it’s time to tear it apart and develop it more. It definitely needs lots of work. I tend to write my first draft with limited planning, so that my first draft is almost like an outline. The second draft is where I figure out more about the plot, the characters and the themes of the story. For me I have to write it before it’s real. I have a hard time outlining, because I don’t know what’s going to happen until I write it. This makes for a pretty messy first draft. Hence my focus for the year is editing. I’ve gotten quite good at writing first drafts, but now I need to learn to get those second and third drafts out and polish the story. 

I hope everyone is meeting their writing goals and any other goals they may have made.

Happy New Year, very belated.

Happy Post Christmas!

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Happy Post Christmas everyone! I hope you had a lovely holiday. 

Mine was great. My favorite gift has to be the Lord of the Rings Lego set I was given. It’s awesome! It’s the pirate ship from the Return of the King, I’m still working on putting it together, it’s quite the job. Some might say I’m too old for Legos, but I’m a writer and a Lord  of the Rings fanatic, so never too old! 

My favorite gift I gave was the Christmas story I wrote and recorded for my nieces. This is the second year I’ve done it and I’m hoping to make it a tradition. It was difficult to buckle down and write another story after NaNoWriMo, especially since I’m not quite done with that story yet. But it was worth it. And now I can get back to my NaNo story. My goal is to finish it by the New Year and spend 2014 editing it. Please feel free to give me a kick if I get off track. 

What goals have everyone else set for the coming year? I intend to make it my editing year, while possibly working on a story on the side. But I really want to make editing my focus, because it’s always been a weak area for me. I need to finish stories and then edit them, not finish them and let them collect virtual dust on my computer.

I wish myself and everyone else the best of luck with their new years goals.

Happy New Year

~~Lady of the Pen~~

NaNoWriMo Debriefing

ImageDespite what you probably think–since I haven’t posted a blog in over a month–NaNoWriMo did not kill me, though it tried its darndest. It was tough one and didn’t give me much time to write anything else. But it was super rewarding and I’m quite happy with what I got out of it this year. I see a lot of potential for the story and am actually excited to start editing it instead of wanting hide the story, in the darkest draw I possess, in the vain hope that it will turn into a pretty, rainbow colored, epic that will become the next bestseller, on its own. (Did that sentence make sense to anyone else?…Oh well it was fun to write.) 

I did learn a lot this year and like a good parent I can see the many flaws in my story, but I love it anyway. And it does need a lot of work. I made it to 50,000 words, but I still haven’t quite finished the first draft. Once I do I will get to deal with my inconsistencies and plot holes. 

Wish me luck!

I will try to update the blog more regularly again.

Merry Christmas Season!

~~Lady of the Pen~~