Sunday, November 9, 2008

Right on Target

Week Two of the NaNoWriMo challenge has begun, and I am right (or write) on target. By the end of today, I am supposed to have completed 15,003 words. Currently I have 11,167, meaning I am 3,836 words behind (I had to count on my fingers, I'm really bad at math). So I am behind on my word count, but right on target mentally. Chris Baty (NaNo Guru and almighty writing wizard) promises that at the beginning of week two the plot and character Gods will abandon us. He is right (or write). Yesterday, right on time, I started plodding through the quicksand of my story and could literally feel myself fighting through the mire of story line and plot direction. It is amazing. How does the almighty Chris know this? He has subjected himself to the same torture for ten years! Not only has he done it to himself, he's talked many thousands of other people into doing the same thing, and they're excited about it!!! Including me. I got talked into it via his book "No Plot, No Problem" and his web site, and I am very excited about it. I am promised that the quicksand is not deep, and if I keep plodding through, I will come out the other side with something like a first draft of a novel. (November is the official contest month. I tried it in June by myself while all other NaNo's were on vacation and didn't get very far, so there is truth to the group dynamic, proven to me yet again).

The great thing about his talking thousands of others into participating in this self-imposed torture is that there are plenty of people to commiserate with. Not only do we do this willingly, we actually love it! Case in point. There is a regional group here that meets on Thursday's at Barnes & Noble. So I went out to see how many actually showed up. There are 35 on our regions list, which means that several are in outlying areas of the Grand Valley, and work schedules (like mine) can keep them from going every Thursday. But there they were, eight of 'em around a table in the coffee shop with their various sized laptops (from colossal screens, to itty bitty, like my Alphasmart) and one lady actually doing her writing by hand (I hope she has a giganto supply of Aspercreme)...more power to least she's doing it! They were working away, encouraging each other, helping each other and getting the work done. No doubt in my mind, there simply is power in numbers! I can't meet with them this Thursday as I work, but I can touch base online and that in itself keeps me going.

The more I do this, the harder it is, the more I know others are subjecting themselves to the same thing, the more encouraged I am that I can actually start a story and complete it. And that's my biggest challenge. I have started hundreds of stories, novels, epics, Pulitzer contenders :-), and never got them done. This is where I lean on the power of the group. Same as in my sobriety. The power of the group helped me up and holds me up. It is really exciting, fun and great to give myself this new challenge!

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