Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Write Wednesday: The Breakout Novel & Me

Happy Halloween!!!  This is my favorite holiday -- dress up, candy, movies (Tim Burton), and party time!  What could be better??  I'm dressed up as Velma from Scooby-Doo -- pink turtleneck sweater, brown plaid skirt, loafer shoes, glasses and bangs.  It is one of the few outfits I could get away with at work.

(Are you dressed up today?)

I'm currently reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and to date, it's one of the best books on writing I've read.  Plunging into the depths of what it means to write great literature, Donald makes the reading engaging, super-instructive and then shows you the bullet points of the chapter.  He also uses real-world examples (Jurassic Park!) to show you what he means.  Basically the perfect book on writing (for me).

The most helpful chapters so far...are all of them.  Seriously.  The last one I read, on plot, was extremely helpful as I contemplate the structure of my novel -- did you know different genres have "ready-made" plots?

Trying to stuff all this learning into my brain while I'm plotting my NaNoWriMo novel feels like I'm in college again (which isn't a bad feeling at all, remarkably).

As for the NaNoWriMo activities, on Saturday we had our Kick-Off party at church, where we were given grab bags of helpful handouts (a NaNoWriMo calendar among them), candy, and odds and ends (including an official NaNoWriMo sticker which is going on my computer!), all of which we used during the afternoon.  We made our own Mad Libs, wrote out plot bunnies and plot ninjas for each other (they're VERY different), and ate things like goldfish crackers and fun-size candy bars.  It was fantastic.  We also talked about our books with each other and spent some time helpfully adding in snacks and procrastination devices on our friends' sheets (Survival Sheets -- what to do when you have writer's block!).

I missed the Character Mixer online (sad face) but heard it was a riot.  I'm going to do more online events this year -- as well as attend some of the Sunday write-ins at the library!

I think I finally found a title for my book (still toying with it but I like the sound) and today I'm plotting out the scenes of my book.  My goal is forty (hopefully that means I'll be writing between 60,000-80,000 words, which is typical length for a novel, even though I only need 50,000 to win NaNoWriMo) scenes.  I've written about 1/4 today and realized that I have a problem: I don't know what the ending is yet.  !!!  I'm struggling to keep the tone consistent and while I don't want it to be a heart-breaking, sad book, I don't want it to be saccharine, either.  One writing book said that an ending, to be completely satisfying, must contain something the character gained and lost.  In other words, the character needs to have gone through something and possibly lost someone/something to gain experience/insight, etc.  So I'm keeping that in mind as I plot today.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Or have you read a really great book lately that I should read/review??  Tell me in the comments.

See you Friday!

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