Mastering The Tenets of NaNoWriMo

Gaga says, “Just Dance.” Nike says, “Just Do It.” Faith says, “Write (or whatever your creative practice is)!” I wasn’t sure I would participate in National Novel Writing Month again but since I’ve just written a commercial fiction novel in two weeks I think I should.

Technically, I started on October 28 at around 3am when I woke with a nagging urge to write something down. It was more of a journal entry about something that was bothering me but the idea gave me the incentive to write a story about a young woman’s journey from her teens to her early 40’s. I’ve been waking up between 3-5am with words wanting to come out that I’ve had to respond to so here I am.

While I agree it’s not good to rely on inspiration instead of discipline I found myself more as a conduit to writing this story than having to come up with plot points and character development. NaNoWriMo is simply about writing. The editing and cleanup process happens afterwards.

Since there’s a 50K word goal with a one month deadline I can report that I’ve met that goal in two weeks. I have a complete story arc and am now filling in sections and dialog. That will take some time but when I described the story to another writer last week I got a lot of positive feedback. I still have the story I was working on last year but I need to do some more research to complete.

THIS story is done! It could be total crap but it doesn’t matter. My perfection-seeking ways have been the detriment to my project completion goals. It’s about a woman who has to overcome obstacles (not in the Precious vain) to live her life on her terms. She has enormous career success but has to decide if “love” conquers all, what compromises are too much and when to breathe. Her family life is challenging but she’s taken under the wing of a supportive surrogate family of means. She meets her “true” love as a teen but they must go through a lengthy period of separation and growth before choosing to be together more than a decade later.

In the meantime she seizes the opportunity to marry someone else who is dedicated to helping her achieve her dreams and they gamble their entire future on supporting each others’ goals. Then due to unforeseen circumstances she walks away from it all when she realizes their lives need to go in separate directions. Life and death situations require a reevaluation of what matters most and she has to decide just how important career, marriage and children are to her and in what order.

Many of the themes we’ve discussed at the BWE/BW-IRR forums  come into play about this woman knowing her worth, surviving tragedies, getting the help she needs and taking risks to go against the grain are here. No, she is not a baby momma and there are no commitment-phobe males in this book! There’s international intrigue, interracial and intercultural couplings and a survey of what it’s like to come into wealth as well as the pressures of supporting an existing family legacy. There’s death, divorce, and destiny at stake. I’ve titled it: This Is Not A Love Song.

And since I’m discussing it openly here at this forum and I’ve discussed being a recovering procrastinator: I WILL finish this! Considering I’m working through some personal challenges right now I am very grateful for the flash of creativity. Literary agents and publishers be on the lookout! I need to do an opening chapter outline and anticipate posting an excerpt by the end of next month or beginning of January.

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Why You Should Participate in NaNoWriteMo – Yeah You!

4 Replies to “Mastering The Tenets of NaNoWriMo”

  1. Faith,

    This essay is for a book on sustainability. However, I have been seriously thinking about NWNW from a public policy/community planning perspective. As someone who professionally studies the impacts of neighborhood decline -- caused in part because of fractured family structures, I have a unique perspective on the subject. In early 2011, I have designs on addressing this matter (after I get the sustainability essay out of the way).

  2. Im in the middle of completing an essay that is only 2,500 words (the max word limit) for a compilation that will be published (and I am sweating bullets). With that said, Good Lord 50,000 words! You are a champ. Looking forward to reading it as well.

    1. Vanessa F: Would that perchance be for NWNW? Good luck.

      Sisterlocgirl: Thanks! I'll let everyone know when it's done. I'm doing re-writes and that might take awhile….

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