The Finish Line is Where?

It’s the final days of NaNoWriMo. Is your word count on track or are you playing catch-up?

I’ve been in your shoes; both of them. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my post, here.   It’s ok, you’ve still got time to pull your word count up by the boot straps and cross the finish line.

Although we’ve slightly fallen off the normal posting wagon, missing the Guest Book Review, I’ve scoured the inter-webs for some really good inspirational photos to help bring that word count up.  Here’s the first one:

If that didn’t work for you, there’s this one:

Or this one.

At least one of these photos should provide some interesting words.  If your main character doesn’t fit the photo, perhaps a secondary character?  Or heck, make up a new character and shoe horn it in.  All words are good words at this point.

Of course, if none of these photos inspire some new words, you can always join @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter.  They have some very interesting challenges.

See you at the Finish Line!

Write-In Worries?

Are you worried about going to a Write-In?  Afraid the people you meet will be a little wild and crazy, not serious about writing?  Not sure you want to join this strange and, to be honest, slightly overzealous group?  Don’t worry.  We’re nothing like the characters in Errol Elumir’s NaNoToons. At least, not this year’s set.

Day 11

See?  We are positively normal compared to them.  Victoria excepted of course (the curly red head).  Sure we have folks who enjoy visiting and some who use the time to just get out of the house.  But we also have seriously competitive writers who can’t wait to do the next word war and hike their word count that little bit more. We even have writers using pencils and paper instead of a computer.

You don’t have to do word wars. You don’t have to log in to Chatzy and you don’t even have to talk!  We’d love it if you did, but this is your NaNoWriMo.  We simply want to help you write (and win!).

Take a break and read through Errol’s comics, then come out and join us.  You might be glad you did!

Get Out While You Still Can!

What’s that you say — “It’s too late, your story has you in its grips and you must continue writing”? Well, if you must keep writing, at least be prepared for what you can expect during the coming days.

As we prepare to wind up our first week of novelling (2 Ls like grovelling, or only 1?), you may have found yourself waging a battle on two fronts: at times fighting the Real-World Monster (TM) and at others locked in mortal combat with the Isolation Monster (TM).

“When writing a novel, that’s pretty much what life turns into: ‘House burned down, Car stolen, Cat exploded.’ Did 1500 easy words so all in all it was a pretty good day.” 
~ Neil Gaiman

(Did you notice Neil needs to up his output? 1,500 per won’t earn him that coveted purple bar come November 30th.)

It’s still early in the month, and even for those of us who keep returning year after year, the rest of our lives haven’t quite gotten the message that in November, we write. We don’t have time to attend to mundane housework, volunteer to feed the homeless (Nota Bene: This would be a great off-season project for the Spokane River Writers), work overtime or tackle an extra-credit project. We write novels. Usually one each, although a few of us have been known to attempt multiple projects. Even those of us who won’t manage to complete an entire novel are still engaged in getting as much of our story told during November as possible.

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.” 
~ Roald Dahl

Paradoxically, during those periods when you’ve vanquished the Real-World Monster, you might find yourself feeling disconnected and adrift. This is the work of the dread Isolation Monster who has pounced, causing you to wonder if you’ll ever have a conversation with a human who doesn’t reside inside your own skull. When your most brilliant repartee is encased in quotations marks, and you realize that sunset that is so vividly before you consist of words on a page and not color in the sky, you know that the I.M. is near.

Fear not brave Author! If you insist on continuing on your literary journey, we can help you battle the November Monsters. Luckily, both the Real-World and Isolation Monsters are readily vanquished by a simple tactic: there is strength in numbers. Attend write-ins to escape the chores that await you at home while simultaneously grounding yourself in the company of other authors, connecting with those who truly understand the challenge you have undertaken this month.

If circumstances prevent you from traveling to a write-in in corporeal form, you still have two other opportunities to connect with Spokane authors. This year we are running both a Chat Room and Google+ Hangouts during our write-ins. To enter the chat room you will need the room password, which may be gained by sending a NaNoMail to one of your Municipal Liaisons. If you prefer to hang-out instead, simply add the Spokane River Writers to your circles to ensure you receive the invitations when the limited participation hangouts commence (limited by design to 10 people per hangout, and by invitation only – these are not public hangouts just anyone can join).

Not sure where and when we’re meeting? Bookmark the Spokane Calendar of Events (or subscribe and receive updates whenever there are additions or changes to the schedule.)

“There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just heard that his brainchild is a deformed idiot.” 
~ L. Sprague de Camp

Hey! You won’t hear that from me. I’m continually amazed at the support and encouragement that NaNo particpiants have for each other. This year there are over 300 local authors signed up to write in November, with more signing on every day. Not all of you will finish your novels (some won’t even start), but the numbers keep growing, and sometimes it’s nice to scale back and connect with a more manageable number of people. To make things interesting, we’re dividing the Spokane crew into 12 teams this year. Keep an eye on the Spokane Regional Forum, for an announcement of which team you have been assigned. There will be some friendly competition between the teams, with periodic prizes to keep things interesting. But mostly, the teams are a way for you to connect with a few dozen Spokane authors rather than a few hundred.

After all that, if you’re still determined to continue into Week 2, here are some ‘Noveling Musts’ to increase your success this November:

  • magical writing totem
  • reference book(s)
  • music &/or noise-cancelling headphones
  • chocolaty snacks, over-caffeinated drinks & sweet goal awards
  • Monster Tattoos (available in team-matching designs from your MLs while supplies last)

Good luck!
Your bravely venturing forward MLs