Friday, November 23, 2007

back to work

I've taken a bit of a break on my November writing project, giving that energy to mystic-lit the past week. Now that the new blog is rolling somewhat independently, I've returned to the nonfiction book.

This morning I typed into 22k, which means I'm continuing to inch along. What I have is fairly complete, but more like the skeleton and muscle. Now I'm fleshing it out.

I'm planning to continue until the last day of November. December 1st, I'll begin the YA novel in earnest. More about that then.

If you're working on a writing project this month, feel free to share your progress, your stuck places, whatever.

And, if you visit here and consider yourself a writer, think about submitting something to me for a guest blog slot over at mystic-lit.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Billie. Wow. I've been catching up on some posts. I just came from mystic-lit. Again I say, "Wow!" I loved your post over there. I can really relate to this: "I've also struggled some with the darkness in my novels. How dark is too dark? How much can the reader really take?" For me the question is, how much can the writer really take? The scene that appeared on my writer's mind-stage ended up scaring me away and Nano is dead in the water. :-( Remember I had to 'clear the decks' of my life before I started writing? It could be that my decks weren't clear enough. Or that could be an excuse. Perhaps my decks... well, let me just say that I haven't seen this much of the floors on my decks for a while! Now that I see I really AM capable of getting those things done, I don't want to go to the dark place and risk all of that. Not just yet. I want to get more done first. :-) I hope that makes sense.

I am thrillied to know of mystic-lit! What a fabulous site. I'm so glad you blogged about it and put up a link. I don't have many online buddies who are fiction writers and it's good to have a few places to go to read.

It was nice to catch up with you over here and discover mystic-lit. You can bet I will read there Wednesdays for sure! And WOW to your word count! You are really cranking. I remember that feeling. It was good.


billie said...

L, thanks for posting - it's great knowing what's going on with you!

I'm glad you mentioned the thought - how much can the WRITER take wrt darkness in writing. What I'm working on now doesn't have much, so that aspect wasn't at the forefront of my mind when I wrote the post at mystic-lit. But it's really important.

It took me many years and many drafts of my first novel to be able to deal with its darkness. The truly interesting thing is that I wasn't able to do it until a new character walked into the story one night. I have a clear memory of the exact moment he marched in and took over.

It was his presence in the story that made it safe enough to get to the dark cave that had been there all along.

Looking back, it's easy for me to see that he represents my own masculine protective self, and when he arrived I as a writer could proceed.

When you're ready to write that scene you will - and in the meantime perhaps you can write the lighter parts of the story, or another one altogether.

This is what I find so fascinating about the writing process - it is, if we choose to look at it, intimately connected to our personal journeys and growth. Your metaphor for clearing the decks and seeing more of the floor than you have in a while is wonderful. That alone is worth the NaNo effort.

I'm thrilled that you are liking mystic-lit - PLEASE feel free to comment there. And if you want to, I'd love you to do a guest blog sometime. It's clear you have a lot to say about the writing process.

J has my email address - you can get in touch that way if you want to guest blog or just to stay in touch off the blog. :)

And thank you for the encouragement wrt word count. I'm going much more slowly but I will end up with a decent first draft that I can come back to in 2008 and flesh out completely.

December's project is much much different - and I'll write more about that later!

Anonymous said...

Billie, I was so happy to read your response and see that someone really does understand about the struggles when the fiction is tied in with personal issues. I did not understand this at all when I wrote the first novel. I realized it in the middle of the second one. I kept going a bit whenever I could before I ended up abandoning it. It's a shame, really. I SOOOO love one of the characters. He's kind of a goofball, but I think he's fantastic. If he were real, I would want to be his friend. He is protective, or wants to be, but... he's a bit of a ditz. If he's my protection, I'm in trouble! No wonder I couldn't hang in there!!

I was very excited to read this from your reply: "The truly interesting thing is that I wasn't able to do it until a new character walked into the story one night. I have a clear memory of the exact moment he marched in and took over." I have a character like this - one who just barged right in and took over - only in my case the character is a kid. He showed up (same kid!) in both of the first two novels and I will never forget his entrance in the second one. I was putzing around cleaning up the house and the curtain opened (mind stage) and there he was next to another character on a park bench. I'll always remember what he said. He said, "You ain't from around here, are you lady?" I saw the look on his face when he asked his opening question. I saw the tilt of his head, the freckles on his nose, his eyes squinting in the sunlight... he was that kid from the first book and I was elated to hear from him! I was stunned and thrilled and just about broke my neck running for my laptop. This would all sound so very odd to someone who does not write fiction!

I'm not sure what I would write about on a guest post, but yes, I think you're right and it is something I enjoy talking and writing about. Maybe you have a suggestion for a topic? Then there would be the matter of no blog link. Would it matter if a guest post was not linked back to a blog? I sort of hate my blog, hence the 'anon'.


billie said...

L, I know there are writers who don't make the connection between the writing and their own personal journey, but to me the only good writing comes from the place where those two meet.

I loved reading about your young character who is showing up in novels. :)

I have two male characters who feel like best friends to me. They're best friends to one another, and they're in two of my novels. At one point I literally pined b/c I couldn't know them in "real" life. And then I realized, they are inside me. They're the masculine self. It was a revelation but I still wish they'd show up one day and let me make them dinner!

Anyway, I could go on all day about this - it's a fascinating topic.

About mystic-lit and guest blogging - you don't have to link to anything. There are several regulars who have no blog and no website and don't intend to. You can be your full-name self or your first name self, or a pseudonym.

We started with mostly first names but at some point will be expanding that. I'll link to my website, etc.

But the point of mystic-lit is exactly what you and I are doing here - discussing in some depth an aspect of writing. That's what I want to happen there too.

No rush - there are Sunday spots every week available and if you decide to fill one of them, great!

And thanks for the discussion here. I'm really enjoying it.