NaNoWriMo – Into the jungle I go

Once again, I spent most of my weekend writing my booty off. On Saturday, I wrote over 10,000 words for Fallers, and on Sunday I (wearily) cranked out an additional 3,000. So, that puts my total NaNoWriMo word count at 42,000. Woo-wee! I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the 50,000 word tunnel. And, if all goes as planned, I’ll reach it by next weekend.

But wait! Just because I’m about to hit the NaNo 50,000 word count goal doesn’t mean my journey is over. No, no, no. It’s only just begun! And it’s about to take a dreaded turn into the deep dark jungle I like to call, “The Middle”.

AHHH! Run for your lives!

romancing-the-stoneOr if you’re brave enough, follow me. Put on some bug spray, tighten your boots and grab a machete. It’s time to start hacking and chopping our way through an ever thickening plot filled with lions and tigers and bears (…fine, fine, “oh my!”).

Ugh, the mysterious, smothering, I-don’t-know-where-I-am-or-what’s-going-on middle. For me, it’s always been the hardest part of a first draft. It’s when all of my pre-plotting ceases to exist, my confidence seeps away, and my “Oh my god, this is so awesome” attitude implodes. It’s when I suddenly realize I need to connect the beginning I’ve written with the ending I’ve planned. And I need to do it in a seamless way that adds to the story, maintains the intensity and builds the momentum…Yeah, not easy.

diamant-vert4Navigating The Middle’s twisty-icky jungle is not only difficult, but discouraging. You’re constantly fighting off prowling beasts of doubt, swimming through plot swamps, and getting trapped in sticky, confusing webs. It’s a harrowing journey that threatens to attack and drown your story, your characters, and, most of all, your enthusiasm.

kathleen+turner+romancing+the+stoneThe only way to battle through it is to, well, battle through it. Put on some more bug spray, change your boots, and grip that machete tighter! Don’t let the cumbersome vines and branches hold you back or stop you from moving forward. Hack them down. Chop them to bits. Fight them off and keep moving forward.

Fight, fight, fight!

701_4And all the while dream of what awaits you on the other side of the tangled mess: The End!

Romancing-StoneIt doesn’t matter if you’re NaNoWriMo’ing or not. If you want to write a story, you’re gonna have to make the unwanted trek through The Middle. I hope for your sake your journey is easier than mine. But if it’s not, remember this: it’s gonna get revised. A lot! So don’t sweat the first draft (or two) too much. Just keep writing!

Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be able to announce I’ve successfully completed NaNoWriMo. And hopefully by early 2014,  I’ll be able to announce that I survived The Middle’s oppressive jungle and went on to finish an entire first draft of Fallers.

Side note: If you’ve never seen Romancing The Stone, you’re totally missing out! It’s a must-see, especially for authors.

I’ve chosen my NaNoWriMo project – finally

I know it’s late in the game to make this important decision, but I’ve finally made it. For NaNoWriMo, I’m going to work on my young adult novel, Fallers.

For those of you who don’t know the background on this already, Fallers was originally optioned back in 2011 by a producer in Hollywood. Unfortunately, despite its “golden” concept, it never found its way off the cutting room floor. Instead of skyrocketing to bookshelves across the globe as I was told it would, it shriveled up on my computer and died a slow painful death.

rip-tombstoneThis past summer, I sadly, but firmly, put Fallers to rest, and after drying my tears and giving myself a sharp mental slap, I embarked on a new project (the “other” story I was considering for NaNo). But, wouldn’t you know it? Fallers refused to be silenced so easily. It kicked and clawed its way out of Jen’s Creative Cemetery and stomped its way back into my life, bringing with it new ideas: A new story structure, new characters, new twists and turns. A NEW story!

So, I’m going to give Fallers v.2 a chance. I’m going to use NaNo to discover what its new story is and if that story is powerful enough to do what Fallers v.1 couldn’t do–dazzle and delight and inspire. If not, then I’ll be putting it to rest for good…I think 😉

Good luck NaNo participants! And remember: