Today is a momentous day for geek culture: Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially released, and fans young and old are descending to theaters in its wake. Since the movie has taken a page out of the Black Friday rule book and began showings in my area yesterday at 7 pm, I had the good fortune of catching the movie last night.
Writing Advice Posts
When the clock struck 12 am, NaNoWriMo officially came to an end. Even though I “rebelled” a bit this month with that agent submission, I managed to write 50,000 words and won. Yay me!
Giving would-be authors an incentivized deadline is one of the great gifts of NaNo, but for me, it’s not the most important one. I treasure the community of NaNo above all else: the write-ins, the camaraderie, the “being in the trenches” with fellow writers who are on the same journey I am. That’s why it’s so important to use NaNo, or any other gathering or conference, to cultivate your own writing community for the long haul.
There will only ever be one “first submission for my novel” to a literary agent (full manuscript or otherwise). Last week, I achieved that milestone.
At the conclusion of my Pitchapalooza win a few weeks back, an agent contacted me and wanted to see some material for my (as-yet-unfinished) book. She gave me a list of items to prepare as a book proposal to showcase the story and my writing ability before the full manuscript is completed. She gave me three weeks.
I’ve been writing the (new) first draft of my novel for a little over a month now, and I’m in the second week of NaNoWriMo, which I’ve done and won twice before. The journey has been an unexpected one: I keep telling myself that it will get easier, that I’ve already proven I can burst through a first draft. That’s not truly the case, though. I’ve never written under these particular circumstances, and I feel my path is less one of getting that first draft written and more one of discovering myself and my writing process. I’m finally at a place where I am casting aside preconceived notions of what I (feel I) should be doing. I am instead embracing the Authentic Me.
Learning about story structure has become a double-edged sword. It gives me the knowledge to properly frame my story, a checklist to help tame the wild and capricious nature of the Muse. As a creator, this information is invaluable for turning the fleeting images in my head into a coherent and impacting tale. It provides me with the tools through which I am turning this hobby into a professional endeavor. As a consumer, however, it is killing my enjoyment of the medium I hold most dear: storytelling.