NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo. (DoWiSeTrePla?)

How auspicious!  I have started blogging, just by coincidence, during NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.  All I have to do is blog every day… no problem!  (Way easier than if I had to jog every day.  I am just not a runner.)  Of course, I missed a couple days there, but I can do some extras on the end, right?  And then, I mean, does anyone actually get to the end of a blog?  I can just keep going!

My aunt has done NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, many times.  My cousin is doing it this year.  My husband thought he might one time, but he works in a bookstore where November is already Christmas and life is crazy by then.  Plus he’s not good at being regular about writing.

I, on the other hand, am good at being regular about writing, when I put my mind to it.  I think I may have mentioned that I was a compulsive journaler for most of my life; I also wrote lots of stories, three chapter books, and a bunch of incomplete opuses (opi?) during my homeschooling years.

Once, in high school, I wrote an English essay in which my teacher could find absolutely nothing to criticize.  And once I wrote an analysis for music class that compelled my teacher to call me at home the evening she marked it, just to tell me it was lovely.  (See??  Lovely.)

When I did my MA in French lit, I wrote a 75-page mémoire on ways women convey their messages (l’énonciation) in francophone Africa.  (Mostly I did the whole MA just to prove to myself that I could be disciplined enough to write that big a paper in French.)

I journaled all through my pregnancy and have been trying to keep up with a bit of a new mom journal as well.  And my project I’m imagining – it has to do with writing too.

The point I’m finally getting to is that, as apparently experienced and confident a writer though I am, I’m still intimidated by people doing NaNoWriMo.  I am in awe of them.  People actually write whole books, or at least very respectable chunks of books, in that time.  And I… I somehow feel that I can’t write a book.

At least, I can’t write the book I want to write.  I could probably write a book of essays, ha ha.  I could maybe write something non-fiction.  But I’d like to write an epic story – and my pre-teen girl dramas unfortunately do not fit the bill.  I want it to be a book that would make people feel the way the books I love make me feel: proud and inspired.

Proud, you say?  Yes, proud.  My favourite books put me so firmly in the shoes of the protagonist that I feel as awesome as if their accomplishments were my own.  I am as skilled at Quidditch and fighting evil as Harry.  I am as beautiful and fascinating as Bella.  I am as desirable and passionate as Dinah.  I am as smart, sexy and resourceful as Lusa and Deanna.  And I possess incredible selflessness and love in the face of years of suffering, just like Jean Valjean.

When you finish a book like that, you are satisfied, and also wistful because you’re going to miss those people you’ve been keeping company with.  That is the kind of book I want to write.

But what can I actually write about?  How could I come up with such good ideas and brilliant characters… especially when such wonderful books of all kinds already exist?  Where can I find this imagination, and marry it to the passion and inspiration that will allow me to write a truly great story?

I’m still figuring that out.  If I find the answer, I’ll let you (the ether) know.

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0 thoughts on “NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo. (DoWiSeTrePla?)

  1. Quinn says:

    Hi Di! Thanks for sharing this lovely blog with us. Please keep writing as if no one is reading, or else it won’t be as fun! Love those Everett stories. I miss that babe!

    I wanted to pipe up and say that you could DEFINITELY do NaNoWriMo too. I’m writing as much as possible, and I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to pull off 50,000 by the end of the month, but it’s still quite amazing. I used to agree 110% that if I was going to write a novel I want it to be The Novel of my Life that’s compelling and amazing and epic. On the other hand, that’s a lot of pressure, and I will always be scared to start a novel with that many expectations. So, I’m writing Something, and hopefully that Something will eventually morph into something I can be proud of (because I’m not yet!). It’s a process–a really interesting one that I’m still figuring out in week two–and I assure you – you could do it if you wanted to! You just kind of dive and turn off the internal censor. Yippee!

    • Hi Quinny! Thanks for the kind words, and especially your perspective. You’re right, I love your “dive in and turn off the internal censor”. And I think you should be proud of what you’ve done, no matter what it is… because it takes discipline to write that many words, whatever they are!! Also, you came up with a plot line that totally intrigued me – how did you find your ideas? That’s one thing I have trouble with – thinking of something I would actually want to write about…

  2. bev says:

    My first two novels were historicals. Why? BECAUSE THE PLOTS ALREADY EXISTED!! HA, HA! I didn’t have to think them up, I just had to add all the little details and dialogue that made them fun – but I knew from the start that Henry was going to die young and his widow would eventually have kids – by a paramour to keep them out of the running for kingship. Good plot, eh? I wouldn’t have been able to think it up myself.

    After that it got easier to think of plots, so the next two were modern. And that’s all. I have two moderns started – like a couple of chapters each; one was started in NaNoWriMo, but my problem is that November is NOT a nothing month for me (which was the rationale for using that month as NaNoWriMo originally) – it has a major Quaker meeting in it for which I have to do both prep and homework.

    Di, how about making your first novel (this is a bit gimmicky, but in a good way) as if it were a blog? of someone you’re not? Then you just let events develop as they will. All you really have to figure out ahead of time is who the person is and who her family and friends are. “piece o’ cake”! Quinn, I didn’t know you were doing Na etc. Is Di’s info about the plot line online at the Na etc. site?

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