And because I am most definitely a Wrimo, I know NaNoWriMo is starting next week!
I can’t believe a year has already passed from last NaNo post, whitch was one of the firsts I posted on the new self-hosted blog. It has been such a meaningful year for me and this blog. A year of learning and discovering, of meeting beautiful people and fellow bloggers and of finding my way as a writer.
So this NaNo post is more than a NaNo post for me.
But if a year ago this blog was new to me, NaNoWriMo certainly wasn’t. This will be (gasp!) my 10th NaNo. I kind of think I should celebrate.
NaNo never fails to be a new, rewarding and exciting experience. Every year there’s something new to experiment with, new people to meet, new stories to discover. Over these ten years, NaNo has given me something new every time I took part.
The first time I participated was rewarding because it was new and I did it. I could indeed write a novel (well, nearly a novel. It wasn’t finished when I hit the 50k words mark) in one month, incredible as that sounded.
The second time it was rewarding because I worked to a much more complex story and I could managed it. I loved The Dwarven Blade, that year project.
Then I discovered something which should have been obvious, but it hadn’t been. The first two NaNo were a solitary experience for me. I did my challenge, I won and it was nice. But when I discovered NaNo wasn’t just a challenge, but a community… boy, that opened up a completely new world. Having buddies, cheering one another, teasing, challenging, congratulating, sharing. This is what NaNo is for me today and it took me a while, but I’m still enjoying it a lot.
That’s why I always say, don’t worry whether you can write 50k words in a month. Just try. Immerse yourself in the experience, it will be rewarding in itself. And you’ll find that if you take the challenge not alone but together with many buddies, it’ll be a lot easier writing those 50k words.
So, if you are on the fence whether to take part or not, I’d say go for it!
Last time I did a straight NaNo it was 2010, when I drafted Ghost Trilogy. A straight NaNo means that you write the first draft of a novel. But over the years, NaNo has evolved to accommodate to the many needs of the thousands of people who take part. Today, the challenge is writing those 50k words in the month of November. What you write is up to you. Revision, biography, travel guides, plays. You can write anything. You can even start writing before NaNo, as long as you do write 50k words during November.
It’s really up to you. There is no judges or prizes with NaNo except your personal satisfaction.
From 2011 I’ve been a rebel. That means, I’m writing 50k words, but not as the first draft of a novel. These four years in between I’ve been revising Ghost Trilogy. This year I’ll be rebelling very hard and will be not only revising, but writing new posts for this blog. I whole lot of new posts.
This is what I plan.
Give in to the Feeling
This is the very first story I wrote featuring Blood, Michael and Susie back in 2009 and it’s about how Blood and Susie met and fell in love.
The story has been completed for four years, but lately I started thinking I’d like to revisit it. So many things have changed over these years. The characters have hugely evolved and I learned so many things about the 1920s I didn’t know when I wrote this story.
This is what I’m doing right now: rewriting - and let me tell you I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. True, the plot is basically the same, I didn’t change much in terms of plot. But the characters!
When I first wrote this story, it was mostly a characters study. I was planning a novel with Blood, Michael and Susie (not Ghost Trilogy, that came later on), and I wanted to try the characters even if I thought I had a pretty clear idea of them. Still I struggled to find a balance, to pinpoint what each character wanted and what space I should give to each of them.
I thought the result was pretty good, but guess what! After five years of working with these characters, I know them so well, it’s pure pleasure writing them. They have also evolved so much that some episode simply don’t sound like them any longer and I had to rework them. I also changed the central conflict of the story (now it’s much more about Susie and her choices) and the motives of all the characters. Well, it is the same story… though I’m not sure it is the same story…
One of the many reasons I wanted to rewrite Give in to the Feeling is that I want to edit it with a professional editor. It is manageable and affordable and I’m really anticipating it, because this is something I’ve ever done before. And if it turns out good enough, I’d like to try and self-publish it.
So I plan all kinds of new experiences around this project. I’m really excited.
Jazz Age Jazz
Last April I took pat in the AtoZ Challenge, for which I thought I was prepared enough. Insert hysterical laughter here.
Don’t get me wrong, I had done a lot of work in advance (hence why I thought I was prepared), but in the end that barely allowed to go through the challenge (and there was a moment in the middle of it I really thought I wasn’t going to make it). Because most of my time was taken up by taking notes, writing and revising articles, searching for suitable photos, look up references and posting the damned thing, I ended up having little time for true networking. I ended up sticking with a handful of blogs - truly awesome ones, I enjoyed them a lot, but I know that AtoZ could have been a much larger experience if I had been better prepared and I had to do less of the leg work while taking part.
So, since I’ve already decided my theme and I even figured out most of the letters, I’m going to write all my posts during NaNo.
I’ll be blogging about early jazz, in a series of posts heavily influenced by Kathy J. Ogren’s beautiful social history of 1920s jazz. It’s a subject I don’t know as much as I’d like, so I’m really looking forward to writing and researching and later on adding some more to my posts.
Oh, and since I’m still missing letters E, V, Y and Z, if any of you has a suggestion, let me know please (no artist, I’d prefer to avoid using people as entries).
The New Woman’s New Look
Guys, let me tell you I didn’t expect the enthusiasm you showed me for this series. It’s true, I put a lot of effort into it and it means a lot for me that many of you pointed this out. That some told me it was well worth the wait. That they learned new things from the series. This is what it is all about. Your appreciation is what makes this all worthwhile… I just wanted to tell you.
There will be at least four more entries in the series. I have a lot of notes already taken, but since I’m trying to make it as organic as possible and avoid repeating the same concepts in different posts, there’s still quite a bit of work to do in terms of organization. Then I’ll have to write it. And that’s where NaNo comes in.
A few tags and challenges
I’m behind with a few tags and challenges I’ve gather over the summer, and since it will never be said that I don’t take up a challenge when it comes my way, I’m going to write them during NaNo.
- A Day in the Life Photo Challenge (thanks to Celine) – The Cliffs of Moher.
- Photo Chalelnge (thanks to Celine again) – My routine day in Verona
- 777 (thanks to Lucy Flint….) From the new story?
- Siblinghood of the World Bloggers (thanks to Sara Letourneau). Sara actually left this one openes, but since it is such a nice challenge, I’d like to take it up.
And I won’t be writing the Spooktacular Challenge (thanks to Ed) because that needs to be ready by the 31th October.
Last year I did a parallel challenge during NaNo, posting an article about my NaNo experience every day. Since I think I have more then enough on my hands already this year, I’m not going to do it again. But I’d like to let you guys know where I am in the challenge, so I’ll try to be good and post one update a week.
Lots of odds and ends
I’m telling you, when you decide to write 50k words of blog posts (even if some 11k are really a short story) you don’t really know what you’re doing.
Because I was starting to realise what I was doing, last week I sat down to plan my posts and organise my 30 days as best I can.
It’s going to be a hell of a lot of posts!
There are a couple of interviews, characters intro I want to write, a new ‘About this blog’ page. Presentation material for Give in to the Feeling. At least one more post about the 1920s, inspired by a book I’ve read and will be about the Scopes Trial. I’m also coming up with more posts about the 1920s, though at the moment I’m still deciding about the subject matter.
You know? I’m not sure I’ll make it this year… but I’ll try!
So, you now also know what I’m planning for this blog. this November I’ll probably won’t be as present on here as I normally try to be, but don’t give up on me!
Anyone else doing NaNo?