Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Justin from IAT: Indie Author Tactics, who does indie author interviews, cover reveals, and more on The Novels network. Justin asked some great new questions that I hadn’t been asked before, so there’s some info you haven’t learned about Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and me as an author. Come find out just how much research AoDH took, the genres I don’t read or write, the difference in my own experience between writing a story and writing poetry, and more. Read it here!
There’s only one day to go until NaNoWriMo kicks off, and I’m finding myself torn. Half of me is really excited and can’t wait to get started. The creative juices are definitely flowing! The other half actually feels nervous, something I never expected. I keep thinking I should have done more research before this point, I should have done more detailed character outlines and just written more out in general. But then I realize I would probably feel like that no matter what.
I think I’m afraid of not making it, of disappointing myself by either not making the 50,000 word count or not finishing my manuscript. I think I’ve been writing short stories for so long now that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten how to write a full-length manuscript, how to draw a reader in and connect them to the story and characters over time instead of within 1,000 words. I’m nervous the details, the forethought, the symbolism I love so much simply won’t be there.
And then I say, “TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE!!” and realize I help authors with these fears and doubts every day through my editing company. If I were a client, I’d tell me that finishing the book or completing 50,000 words isn’t necessarily the point – getting back to novel writing is really the point for me right now. I’d tell me that details and symbolism can come later, it’s getting the whole idea down from start to finish that’s most important. And about the symbolism, that’s something to be tweaked in a second, third, fourth draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect (or even entirely present!) now. As far as research goes, you can research before, during, and after your writing – there’s no limit to how much or when research can be done. I would say to just get inspired and get writing.
So I’m going to take my own advice.
Tomorrow I begin, and I’m going to focus on abandoning my own fears and inhibitions. I’m going to take the advice I hand out when I’m editing other authors’ manuscripts. And I’m going to enjoy myself, because let’s not forget, that’s also what this challenge is about!
I’ve been wanting to participate in NaNoWriMo for a couple of years now, but I haven’t had a second to spare. I know a lot of people say that, and the usual response is, “You have to MAKE time!”, but sometimes there truly isn’t any time to make. I’ve felt happy for the people who participated, enjoyed watching their journeys and hearing how exciting and stressful (the good kind) it is, but I also kept feeling that tug of “when am I going to get to do this?” So this year, I finally put aside everything else, turned down some opportunities, and am participating! YAY!
I’m all set with a novel idea (pun intended) and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve already begun making some notes in a gorgeous, inspirational notebook I’m sure you’ll see on Twitter soon. I’ve started a Pinterest board that has inspirations and historically accurate bits and bobs from the Victorian era I’ll need. I’ll reveal the official title of the book in the next couple of days as well as a working cover (if that’s not a real thing, it will be now). Scrivener is set up with some character information and scene ideas ready and waiting. Research books have been acquired. An entire writing getaway weekend has been planned. I’m really into this.
In case you’re a fellow NaNoWriMo-ist, connect with me and let’s be writing buddies! My name on there is simply Christie Stratos, no unusual screen name, no weird spacing. I’m looking forward to meeting some new writing peeps.
I’ll be blogging about my experience as well as regularly tweeting (@ChristieStratos), so keep in touch there too.
**If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, check it out here and join in the fun!**