It's been over 4 months since my last post and so much has changed. My daughter J came to live with me in May. I changed jobs. I decided to try acrylic painting (with no success) and have committed to writing a novel this year during Nanowrimo.
The painting and writing come courtesy of a reading with a psychic I had over the summer. I've tried writing novels before. I even bought the MasterClass by James Patterson, which I haven't finished watching. I tried Nanowrimo 2 of the last 3 years, I think. Or at least 1 year when I bought a chromebook thinking that was the answer to my problems. I hated the damn thing and gave it to my dad. Another year I made a notebook to plan out my novel and that was as far as I made it - setting up my idea notebook.
The year I had the chromebook I think I made it about a week, maybe about 30% thru the required word count before I gave up. This year is gonna be different. First of all, I'm gonna write it longhand on paper. What paper is still up in the air. I dream of writing it on 30-hole A4 paper, but I'm having a hard time justifying the expense. I picked up some heavy weight paper spirals and some wireless notebooks from Walmart. I'm using them as a journal and for some prewriting to see how I like them. I've toyed with buying a Leuchtturm or Clairefontaine or Rhodia notebook to use. A4, A5, standard letter... I can't decide. I started my snowflake notes in a cheap $0.50 wide-ruled composition book, also from Walmart. I'm writing in that with a classic orange fine-point Bic 4-in-1 pen I found at Walmart for like $3, after I was tempted to spend the $8-9 they were going for on Amazon. They remind me of my roommate from college who always used them. I'm not sure if I'm going to write with ballpoint, gel, felt tip or fountain pen or maybe even my blackwing pencils when the actual writing time comes.
I've been looking at articles and pictures of people who write novels longhand and decided to embrace my inconsistent handwriting. Compared to some of the chicken scratch I've seen from famous authors, I have nothing to be embarrassed about. The main reason I want to write it out on paper is that there is something cathartic about having a pen in my hand and leaving a mark on paper. I feel like I'm purging thoughts that are overflowing when I do that, in a way that typing just doesn't duplicate. Yes, I will have to type the manuscript again, but that's when my editing will happen. When I can clean up the mistakes or add details that I hadn't gotten down the first time around. But just getting the story out of my head and onto paper is going to be my first draft.
As I mentioned, I'm doing some prewriting work using the snowflake method. It's weird how thinking out the story and trying to broaden the story step by step has taken the story in a direction I hadn't even considered before. My next step is to do the character workup. I will enjoy that part, kind of interviewing my characters in my head. I might even use the backlog of magazines I have piled up from the past year to get some ideas. Or maybe not, as the thought of that is making me anxious. I just know that I need to really prepare for the event this year. The last time I participated, I ran out of steam trying to just make it up as I went along. This year I am going to try to work with a detailed outline so that I know where my story is going from the beginning. The next story might be a longer work where I can daydream thru the writing and come up with something, but a 30 day crash novel needs some structured thinking in order for it to make sense at the end.
So that's what I've been working on lately. I've also been knitting and working and throwing by back out while moving a feather-light Yogibo bean bag chair. That's talent right there.