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Showing posts from November, 2009

Feeling festive yet?

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It seemed that no sooner had the Hallowe'en decorations and fireworks disappeared from the shops, than the Christmas cards and paraphenalia were put in their place. In past years, this has thoroughly depressed me and I've lived in denial until at least the middle of the month, only admitting that the holiday break was about to arrive when I celebrated the winter solstice on 21st December.

This year, however, I have to admit that I'm feeling fully festive. I keep catching myself humming 'Let it snow' and 'Santa baby'. I actually started my Christmas shopping in November this year (a miracle in itself).

I've come to the conclusion that what has depressed me in past years has been the amount of money that I felt had to spend on Christmas - presents, food, outings. This year, we're concentrating on spending less but enjoying more.

Having lost a little weight, I will be recycling my Christmas wardrobe. I can now fit comfortably into a 1950s vintage dress t…

Writing the old fashioned way

When I was preparing for my November Nanowrimo writing session this year, I decided to write my novel with pen and paper, rather than type it up on my computer.

There has always seemed something luxurious and magical about writing by hand. I find myself becoming so involved in the story that I don't stop to think 'what next' which fits in perfectly with the Nanowrimo ethic of 'just write'.

The temptation to read back is less, partly because of my ornate handwriting which becomes a mesh of loops when I'm writing quickly, but mostly because by writing the words down by hand, I've lived the experience of what I've created and it stays with me. There's no reason, therefore, to read back at this stage. Editing will come later.

The other delight in doing this, especially if like me you use a hardback pad to write in, is seeing your book literally unfold. It's not just a computer file to click on, it's a physical, graspable object that you can flick…

The 'No but' Monster

As you know, November is my month for Nanowrimo - that is, writing a novel in a month. The premise is that you don't hold yourself back editing (re-editing), worrying over chapter plans, character names or anything else that might distract you from the actual process of writing. You just go for it, ploughing ahead, accepting the nonsense and cliched with the possibly brilliant writing too.

Last night, armed with a pen and an A4 pad against the beastly 'No but' Monster and with several cups of coffee, I produced just short of 1,000 words. This was actually the first chapter which my voice of writing reason tells me is too short for a chapter. Ignoring both the monster and the voice, I drew a line under what I had written and tonight will start on the second chapter. I'm behind the daily word count target set by Nanowrimo at the moment but there's still plenty of time to catch up so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Begone ye beasts of procrastination and doubt. My pen…

And we're off!

Nanowrimo starts today. I know what I'm writing this year and have the first five chapters planned out of a fantasy novel called 'Open Haven'.

Good luck to all my fellow Nanowrimers. Bring it on!