Generating Words in March

For those readers who aren’t into the masochistic art of writing you might not know that November is a special month known as “National Novel Writing Month,” more commonly called “NaNoWriMo.” During November writers are challenged to complete a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.

Every November I think that this is the year I’ll finally finish my novel. Every year, I fall short of my goal by approximately 49,750 words. Sad, eh? I start strong on November 1, but soon I’m lured away from my computer by thoughts of holiday meal preparations and Christmas shopping and a million other distractions.

Who’s to say, though, that another 30-day month wouldn’t suffice for NaNoWriMo? Why not March? Sure, it lacks the alliterative element, but the math would be the same. I’d still need to average 1,667 words a day to reach the 50,000 mark.

The good news is that over a period of several years, working erratically as the fickle spirit moved me, I have crafted a manuscript that two days ago was sitting right at 25,000 words. (I kept telling folks I was at 35,000–that just shows how long it’s been since I logged into my work. Again, sad.) So, if I can put together 50,000 words in 30 days, I’ll have 75,000 words.

There’s even better news—for the past two days I’ve written right at 1,200 words each day. Of course yesterday I had to pull out about a thousand words that just weren’t working to move the tale along. Those words go into my file titled “Misfit Words” for potential use at another point in the story. Thank heaven for word processing programs, am I right?

Why this burst of activity? Mainly it’s due to the Olli class I’m taking. Our “Fun With Writing” instructor, Heather Whitaker, has given me a figurative kick in the pants to get me unstuck. One technique I’ve found helpful is to interview my main character, or all my characters for that matter.

Ms. Whitaker provided us with a couple of lists of questions to ask characters. One’s the “Proust Questionnaire,” popularized by author/essayist, Marcel Proust as a parlor game. The second list is “Arthur Aron’s” list. Both can be found through a simple google search.

Now, there are a good many questions on both lists, and I didn’t try to ask my character every one. But just picking a few from each list solidified my understanding of the person my main character is. It’s been a game changer. She’s become much more real.

I sincerely hope I haven’t jinxed my current level of activity by writing this post. Sometimes my mind works in counter productive ways, but this feels good. I’m marching onward. Maybe this can be MaMaCoNo or March Maybe Complete Novel. Maybe not. That’s just ridiculous.

Peace, people!

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

31 thoughts on “Generating Words in March”

  1. Wow. So many thoughts on this!! First.. from what you say.. it sounds like November is actually an awful month for writing, what with thanksgiving and christmas right around the corner! Second, March being my favourite month of the year, it is also the month of spring, so it is an excellent month to use for writing. Also, wow wow wow. I have been stuck in a rut for six years – novel-writing-wise, and you have just hit on an epiphany. Writing exercises to boost creativity and get the writing mojo back! Thanks for sharing, I will definitely google search that list. Never thought of interviewing the main character or any character, it sounds so fun! Good luck, all the luck, and the best of it 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That you are aware of ‘…working erratically as the fickle spirit moved me’ tells me you know exactly what you are doing, young Leslie even if you don’t realize it. Seriously, all the very best. Providing it’s not a book for small and irksome sprolets I shall be your first English purchaser. You have my word on that. Best wishes, The Old Fool

    Liked by 2 people

      1. A sproglet is a small child…according to Shirl from the land of webbed feet and cider. Small children I find are generally irksome. It’s that or my venture into old age has turned my against them!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, don’t hold your breath! This work has been in progress for years. I could’ve written War and Peace in the same amount of time, and this assuredly isn’t War and Peace caliber.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just had a thought, Leslie. Should it be the case you are thinking of self-publishing then my diamond friend, Rachel Carrera..from Florida and also a blogger on WP…does all my setting up on Amazon and Kindle plus my cover art. She’s a special gal who has never let me down. I think you’d like her even if it’s just getting to know her on WP. I shall leave you with thought.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I wondered if it truly was the right class after the first session. It moved pretty slowly. And Olli classes do have some interesting challenges. Several of my classmates are published authors. A couple are writing memoirs—a whole different kind of writing. At least one guy only works in haiku. But at least I have plenty of time to think each session, and all of these folks are interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess some people are very goal oriented and focus on the number of words. I just can’t seem to get to that point…for me, writing is habitual to a degree but if I’m not in the right sort of mood, then the writing isn’t going to be particularly read-worthy.

    Having said that, I too feel completely stuck. I have several large projects on the go but I feel unable to tackle them. Maybe it’s the fact that I can only write in spurts. This is not conducive to writing novels, memoirs or multi-series stories. I need long periods of uninterrupted time.

    I wish you luck though! And report to us how you manage so you can inspire us along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of need those long spaces, too. Studly was out of town last night, so I stayed up way past my bedtime writing. And his trip home was delayed a bit, so I’ve had this afternoon and evening to myself. He’ll be home soon, so I’m writing until then.

      Like

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