The Writing Season

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I’ve mentioned before that I really like fall. One of the reasons has come to be the amazing event that is National Novel Writing Month. This year marks my seventh year of participation in the crazy month of writing.

Although I make feeble attempts at fiction writing throughout the year, the bulk of my creative writing happens each November, when I become attached to my laptop and seek out coffee shops all over town to write my 50,000 words. On the surface, that number seems like an easy feat. After all, it’s only 1,667 words a day. If you are a good typist and know where you are going in your story, that can be cranked out in two hours or less. And yet, many writers I know aren’t able to cross the finish line.

You have to let go. We all want our writing to be perfect, amazing reflections of ourselves and our wit. The dialogue is smarter than an episode of Veronica Mars and the plot is more intriguing than Lost. And in the course of a high-octane writing session in November all of that needs to go out the window. You just need to get the words down. Editing comes later. You need to create what one of my writing professors called “the shitty first draft”.

You might not get past that first draft, even if you get to The End. I’ve never gone back and tried to fix up my NaNo novels, but I’ve read them later on. A lot of it is crap. But there are some good things in there. Character descriptions, soliloquies, an especially smart turn of phrase. I didn’t remember writing half of it, but that all came from letting my inner editor (and as a copyeditor, I have a huge one) take a vacation down to the coast.

Write-in @ Mozart's 1

This year I’m planning on going to the Night of Writing Dangerously. This event in San Francisco raises money to fund writing projects all over the world, in classrooms and other communities. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in the first grade, and while I had some great teachers, I can’t imagine how wonderful it would be to have something like the Young Writers’ Program to nurture that dream. By attending the Night of Writing Dangerously, I can help kids who have the same dream to get their words out there. But I need sponsors to help me get there.

What’s in it for you, I can hear you asking.

$5 – Electronic access to read the novel in December

$10 – Name a minor character in the novel. It could be yourself, it could be someone you make up! If you’d like it to be yourself, please send me a description if I’ve never met you before.

$20 – Name a location to be featured in the novel.

$30 – Name a major character in the novel.

$40 – Electronic access to read the novel as I write it in November

$50 – Electronic access to read the novel as I write it, plus a homemade treat sent to you in December.

$100 – Electronic access to read the novel as I write it, a homemade treat, AND name the novel!

Can you tell I don’t expect anyone to donate $100? I don’t know what I’ll do if I have multiple $100 donors, besides be amazed at all of you wonderful readers.

Go here to help sponsor me today!

p.s. If you’re doing NaNo, drop me a line on the site and we can be writing buddies! My username there is Ciri. Also, if you plan to be in Austin during November, I’d love to see you at a write-in.

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