Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Fourteen: Updates and Announcements

Sunday marks the mid-way point in this year's National Novel Writing Month challenge. I thought you might like a progress report of how well we're all doing. Also, I have some guests appearing on my blog next week. I hope you'll join us on Monday and Tuesday for the discussions. You may also post questions and comments. Please note that comments are moderated to avoid spam and make sure legitimate comments can get through.


Those participating in NaNoWriMo, all 161,870 of us, are just about at the half-way point. If we have stayed on track, we will have written a little over 25,000 words each by the end of the day Sunday. This should mean that we have reached the middle of our story and are busy developing the "meat" of it. At present, 92,369 people have posted their word counts, and the collective total words for participants stands at 1,040,165,647! Participants have also contributed $201,587 to help fund NaNo and the Young Writers Program.

As for my own progress, I'm right on target. My story has taken some twists and turns that I hadn't anticipated, but which, I think, have made it better. For example, in the original legend, my heroine's parents refused to allow her to marry the young man she fell in love with because he was socially beneath her and they didn't like him. However, in my story, as the characters developed, it became clear that her parents were softening toward the young man and beginning to feel like he was almost a part of their family. Problem: What could happen that would suddenly turn them against him? Also, the heroine's parents are very protective of her, isolating her from social contact. So, another problem: How can the young couple fall in love if they never spend any time alone? I needed to come up with a plausible situation that would force her parents to allow their daughter and the young man to spend some time together apart from their watchful eyes. Writing isn't just about creating setting, characters, and telling a story. It's about problem solving, too. And, as I've mentioned before, it's about doing research and being willing to expand your knowledge and creativity beyond the limits of your preconceived ideas about your work, and to give it a sense of reality. Although my story is fiction, I want readers to think, "Yes, this could have happened." The characters, their words and actions, and how they solve their problems have to seem believable.


From time to time I hope to bring some guests on the blog, and I welcome your suggestions and questions.

Next week, some of my fellow NaNoers will be responding to the question: "Why Do You Write?" Please drop in on Monday to read their interesting and clever responses.

Also next week, I'll be talking with a first time NaNoer to get her perspective on the challenge of writing a novel in a month, and asking such questions as why she decided to participate, what have some of the challenges been, what has she learned from this experience, and more. I hope you'll join me for what I am sure will be an interesting discussion.

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