Friday, October 26, 2012

If there was a medal.

If they gave out a medal each year to the person who seamlessly patched drywall the worst, I would definitely be up for that medal.

The office is coming along great.  I mean, it's finished sans one piece of drywall, it has a floor, it has paint, it has doors, and it's starting to have decorations.  What it does not have, yet, is very much writing going on.  And by "very much," I mean "any."  That's okay though.  The countdown is on to National Novel Writing Month, which takes place rain or shine, with or without me, every November.

It's kind of a big deal.

So this November, like many Novembers past, I will begin to set my alarm clock for 5am, righteously waking to get a few hundred (a thousand?) words out before the sun and children wake up.  I'm excited.  Like, really excited this time around.

I'm still not sure if I'm sticking with the last novel idea or if I'm going with something new.  A nightmare at nap time yesterday gave me a new idea for a set of characters.  I'd tell you more, but I'm already pretty sure that someone stole the idea for Book of Eli from the inner depths of my mind, along with The Road and Cowboys and Aliens, so I don't tell anything anymore.

Let me just tangent off here for a second to talk about writing and telling.  And let me say a thousand times over, a million times over, don't do it.

Do not do it.

Have you ever watched a movie, only to realize it was drastically different from the preview?  Maybe it was better than you thought it would be based off the trailer, or maybe it was much, much worse.  Either way, please for the love of all things written, do not try to explain to someone what your book is about while you're in the process of writing it.  Write yourself an outline, if you want.  Write your own synopsis of how you think it's all going to play out.  But trust me when I say that there is no worse feeling than to spend twenty minutes trying to explain to your husband/wife/best friend what your book is about, only to have them left with a blank stare at the end of it.

And they'll try to be "helpful."  Oh God, will they try to be helpful.  They'll try to help you fill in plot holes.  They'll tell you that something should just be a little tiny bit different.  And it will completely ruin your mojo.  Seriously.  Dead in the water.  It has happened to me twice.  My husband means well, and it's my fault for not learning the first time.  He likes Adam Sandler movies, okay?  He is not the judge over what is good literature and what isn't.  I love him to death, but this year, my lips are sealed.

You want someone to be as excited as you are about what you're doing...and they will be.  AFTER you've finished.  You have to finish first.  Then, when someone asks you what your novel is about, hand them the draft.  Let them work through it, each and every word.  Don't try to summarize your work.  Fifty different people are going to give you fifty different synopses of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Things that are important to some people, therefore earning a spot in the synopsis, are not going to be as important to others.  Remember that.  It might be the most time-saving advice I've ever given.  I have two novels written in about 30,000 words, and once you get discouraged by the reaction of someone else--especially someone close to you--you aren't going to go back.

There.  Now that all of that garbage is out of the way, it's time to start getting organized around here.

Til next time,