Monday, 9 November 2009

Mr Motivator


As I recently posted, I have taken the plunge and joined up to National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo.

Checking out the forums on NaNo it’s clear that there are as many motivations for taking part as there are differing types of writer. I had assumed that the place would be wall to wall wannabe authors, desperate to churn out a publishable novel in the allotted time scale of one month.
I was wrong.

A lot of people are doing it simply for the fun and the challenge. They know they probably won’t end up with a decent book at the finishing line but they don’t care. They love the camaraderie and the community. A bit like the fun runners in a Marathon. It’s all about taking part. Getting to the finish line.

Many others are writing something fairly autobiographical, a memoir, or a story based on their own experiences. Getting it all down on paper is a therapy of sorts. I don’t really get this. I’m from oop north where we don’t have ‘ishoos’, but if those writers are helped along the way, then good on ‘em.

And there are, to my surprise, quite a few like me. Writers who are already published and have had some sort of ‘success’. Some of these authors want to kick start their next book, some are changing genres. A lot are, like me, on a vacation from their usual writing business and enjoying the freedom of a month writing anything they fancy.

Strange then, that given the liberty, I have gone and started another thriller. I really didn’t think I would. I saw myself doing something completely out of my comfort zone, experimental even. The market be damned.

I toyed with something dark and literary, all psychological musings and little plot. But it bored me before I even got underway.
Then I fancied a children’s book. Something my own kids would enjoy reading. But the ideas just didn’t flow.
As the first day came and the whistle blew I knew I had to make up my mind fast and I jumped at an idea that’s been niggling me for ages. A political thriller. All conspiracy and terrorist plans. Wonderfully overblown ideas and canvas.
I guess you can take the girl out of the murder and mayhem, but you can’t take the murder and mayhem out of the girl. If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that this genre is my natural home.

To be fair, though, what I’m writing is still very different.
My main character is a man, which is new for me. And proving hard, I can tell you. And I’m writing him in first person – not done that before for an MC.
Also, and this is very new, I simply haven’t had time to draw up a detailed plan. I know the bare bones of what will happen but it’s all so sketchy. Twice now I have come unstuck because there simply isn’t time to sit and think the problem through. Instead I have taken a committee approach and asked for plot help and setting help. Both, have actually been fun and productive with tons of suggestions flying my way. How cool is that?

So fat I’m on track with my word count and enjoying myself. What will happen this week, who can say.
I’ll keep you posted.

15 comments:

hair salon london said...

A lot of people are doing it simply for the fun and the challenge. but i have been wrote eight blogs...

Samantha Tonge said...

I am enjoying it but am paralysed at 4500, not cos my ideas aren't flowing, but cos after my daughter's feedback i need to rewrite before i can carry one. I just want to fix my kid MC's voice in my head, before i go any further.

But i'm not going to beat myself up about it. I think Nano is a great opportunity to try something completely different. For me writing about werewolves couldn't be further than female angst!

Go on, Helen, throw in a vampire or two:):)

Brian Keaney said...

If it aint broke don't fix it.

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Yay, Helen! Do tell us, at the end, what you learned from the process overall. Just to affirm what your 'natural' genre is sounds very useful. I'm doing an unofficial NaNo in a very small way, with the intention of getting back into writing on a daily basis. A writing friend and I are cheering one another on with nightly phone calls. GO-GO - NA-NO!!
Susiex

Helen Black said...

Susie -I think that might catch on :)
HB x

Debs Riccio said...

I still can't break out of the 'edit before you carry on' cycle I'm used to - I'm not a person who can 'float' easily, which is the whole point of NaNo - so this will be a l-o-n-g month!

CarolineG said...

I'm just full of awe for anyone who can do NaNoWriMo. Best of luck everyone!

Sam, couldn;t you just tweak the rules to suit your needs? Especially as yours is an 'unofficial' Nano?

Samantha Tonge said...

Yeah, i am Caroline and through editing/changing i have added a on few hundred words today, so that is something!

Roderic Vincent said...

Good luck to all nanowriters.

(Sorry)

Karen said...

Good luck with it - I had a go last year and really enjoyed it. Found it very hard to turn off the editor though :o)

Derek said...

As a fledgling thriller writer, I wish you every success with your endeavour. Whatever happens, you will have given yourself an opportunity to try a different way of writing and that's got to be a positive, however you look at it. Stuck as I am, on my own non-NANO thriller, I confess to being juvenilely amused by your typo: 'So fat I’m on track with my word count and enjoying myself.'

Samantha Tonge said...

I think we'll all be fat by the end of november, Derek:) Too much parking of arse.

Derek said...

especially in this cold weather ;o)

Fionnuala Kearney said...

My word count is dreadful because I just can't switch off the editor. Having said that, though I've remained 'in genre' I am writing something completely different and loving it.

Helen Black said...

Derek - if you check out my pic you'll see this was no typo LOL!!!
HB x