Tuesday, November 01, 2011

happy nanowrimo

here's to castles in the air
Today is that very auspicious 11/1/11 day. It is also the opening bell of this year's NaNoWriMo. I just wanted to give a shout out to all my buddies who have pledged to write their hearts out this month--and I am visualizing the fantastic stories that are not yet written, but will be in 30 days. It really is an amazing thing, the idea of writing a novel in a month, and I continue to be humbled by those who strap on the boots and the "just do it" attitude.

It's been a couple of years since I participated, and the 23K words I churned out never did not really qualify as "a novel," but the resulting vision and intention and discipline (not to mention the sore ass and shoulders) all contributed to the scaffolding needed to propel me ever-forward in my efforts as a writer.

Last year at this time I finished the first draft of "The Empress Chronicles." Since then, it's been revised three times, and I am now nearly finished with yet another revision (this one based on some fantastic insights by editors). With each version, the book has become cleaner, stronger and more alive inside of me. I don't regret any of the 150,000 words I've written, rewritten and, at last, have boiled down to 60,000.

The secret of NaNoWriMo is that when you're looking down the barrel of it: a blank slate, with nothing but faith and the muse to get you to the finish line, you don't allow December 1 to enter into the picture. First drafts are deliciously free (or they should be) from anything other than the next word. The magic happens when something you seemingly had nothing to do with crystalizes into its own thing.

So, all you WriMos out there, get your Advil ready. Drink plenty of fluids. World-build 'till your heart's content. I'm eager to hear your story.

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