As you may have noticed, I haven’t been putting too much effort into this blog for the last two weeks. Despite that I do hope you are enjoying what I am posting. I’m pounding away on my NaNoWriMo novel, which is going according to plan (I passed the 25,000 word mark yesterday – one day ahead of schedule). That means I should have at least 50,000 words at the end of the month.
Considering I work two jobs (at my own freelance proofreading, editing, and translation company as well as as a sous chef at a gluten free vegan restaurant), have a family that includes a five-year-old who is constantly vying for my attention, I’m doing really great. The stuff I am writing isn’t a masterpiece, but it has potential.
This year, I spent exactly two days (just a few hours) preparing. I had a bare bones outline, most of which I’ve scrapped. I knew I was going to have to wing it and that was one of the scariest parts going into NaNoWriMo. But it is also one of the most exciting. I have been able to come up with stuff that I didn’t even know I had in me. I’ve created a whole world that is fun to be in (at least it is for me).
I’ve been experimenting with voice and point of view, so each chapter is written completely differently. I’ve also come up with rules and frameworks for each chapter. Basically, I am having fun and just trying out different things to see how this story will work best. I will have a LOT of rewriting and editing to do, but that is to be expected. I see the first draft as figuring out what the story wants to be. It is only then that I can figure out what is working and what isn’t, what the problem areas are (lack of tension, poor pacing).
While I may not be ready to share what I am currently working on for a while, I do hope it is something I will be able to share some time in the future. I thought it would be nice of me to share one paragraph (How generous of me, right?) that I am excited about. I wonder what you think of it and if it makes you want to read more.
Winter finally came and its silence overtook Nin. The butterflies, Nymphs as my people call them, fluttered almost silently through the cold. Their antennas and proboscises took on a rich gold hue. Their legs were obviously thicker, covered with more hair, due to the cold. Their colors – emerald green, sapphire blue, and golden rod mixed with touches of citrine, ruby, and silver – seemed even richer against the starkness of the white. The winter silence made their noises more audible, at least that is how I felt. I swear I could hear them speak.
Not to toot my own horn, but I love this imagery. I can imagine the colors and the sounds of this place. I can even smell the winter. Do you feel it too?
There are many sucky or sub-par paragraphs, but I like this one. This one gives me hope for all the other ones. Maybe when I reread this in December I will hate it, but I like it for now and I am using that as my fuel to keep going.
One thing I’ve learned about writing is to grasp on the tiniest slivers of hope and just keep writing. If you let yourself believe all the negative talk going on in your head, it will be the doom of you.
That is the point of NaNoWriMo, to learn to block that negativity. Get past it and write. Just write. And keep writing.
My inspiration for this novel
One of the biggest inspirations that is unique to me and my experience is Slavic myths. I have been researching and reading Slavic myths for some time, so I am now using that knowledge, not directly, but more as inspiration.
Another inspiration is place. I am currently living in a really green part of Poland. There are many rivers, forests, marshes. These are all inspiring locales. Local history is also a big part. I hope that these stories won’t seem dated or heavy with history, but life here goes at such a different pace than what I knew in Chicago and I want to bring that into my stories, because it is something I enjoy immensely.
Another inspiration is nature itself, especially the local animals. There are many animals and birds that make appearances in this story.
I love to have visuals for inspiration, so here are some that I’ve found over the years on the net that I am currently using. My apologies to the authors as I don’t remember where I got them.
Music is a big factor in my writing. When I write, I love to use 8tracks to search for the right mood. If you don’t know 8tracks, I highly recommend it, especially for writing. My favorite play lists for writing this November include (click on the title to listen):
- That which rides the wind
- Ephemerality of dreams
- The walled garden
- Faith is a funny thing
- Harp compilation
- In the depth of the labyrinth
- The wild ones