Day 22 NaNoWriMo — Lost Friends’ Encouragement and Characterization Ploy

Literature Blogs

Okay. Twenty-two days into this challenge and I just decide today to procrastinate in yet a different way. Isn’t it amazing what variety procrastination can take on when you really, really want it? I checked my NaNoWriMo mailbox this evening for the first time this month. I discovered four unread messages, two from the first week of November. (BAD Sandy! Way to turn away writing friends!) Thing is, one friend wrote me three times, each time not only encouraging me, but telling me how I encouraged her by my word count — although I’m still behind about 3,000 words from the daily count. I’m around 33,500 words, and may have yet more in me later tonight. I’m thankful for friends who do not give up on me even when I’ve been ignoring them.

Group hug to my writer friends, old and new.

Half of writing is just sitting down and doing it, which is what this month is all about. The other half is hard, hard, hard work of plotting, characterization, twists, word craft.

I got rather excited this weekend with this brilliant new idea. Because many of the writers I know doing NaNoWriMo are cheating — as in, not doing straight writing from beginning to end of story in novel format — I decided my 12-year-old MC needed to write an autobiography for his English class. Very cool. I found that he wrote his autobiography in his own voice. His family filled in. His hobbies and interests developed. Then I had him talking about his best friend. I thought to myself, “Gee, they’re in the same English class.” So there came another autobiography through this very different voice. WHAT FUN! I was on a roll. I’ve done two other autobiographies, and can hardly wait to do more. I have in my possession lots of characterization lists and charts and prompts, but this autobiography thing was slick. Plus, it gave me lots more words which I’m using for my word count, even though they probably won’t go into the story as is. (Cheating, but it’s still about the story, you know.)

I’d like to say that I’m ready to type away for the rest of the night and get caught up to today’s count, but supper and a DVD with DH is calling. BTW, that is not procrastination; family always comes first. Feeding the writer now and then isn’t such a bad idea, either.

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