Friday 2 December 2011

Weekword: Novel

Emma at the Gift Shed picked this week's word, novel. A fitting word for the end of NaNoWriMo!

I am always tempted by NaNoWriMo, but I know my limits. I remember the first year I picked applicants for the Malaysia trip, and I was super-impressed that one of the girls had completed the challenge, in her GCSE year no less. I questioned her about it during the trip and she recommended a great tool to use when you want to write but are distracted by other things. It's called Write Or Die. If you stop typing for a certain length of time it starts eating your words! I note it is now available as an app, too.

Once I was writing a novel, back when I moved to Bristol and had very, very dull office temp work. I reckon I'd written about a fifth, and I had my whole plot outlined, but then I started teacher training and it all got a bit lost. I didn't have time and my own story had diverged completely from the character I was writing. I used to think the best novels were written by people writing semi-autobiographically but since I've started to favour historical novels, obviously that has changed. Now I think that good writers draw on their experiences but perhaps only in terms of an emotional reaction or a relationship dynamic, though these might appear differently through the lens of the story around it.

I did always want to be a novelist, though. Perhaps there's still time. I love writing enough, and I have experiences a-plenty - time, as ever, is the only issue.

Please pop over to Emma's blog to read the other entries this week!


Anonymous said...

I think there's always time to write a novel, it seems like a pleasant way to spend your retirement for instance! Got to be better than taking up golf, eh? ;)

merrytait said...

Hah! I was just going to write the same thing--I think there is always still time to write a novel. What if you wrote three paragraphs a day? (Now) Toward planning a future one?

Day 1)the plot idea.
Day 2)the plot synopsis, in three paragraphs
Day three, main character, sketch in 3 paragraphs
Day 4, antagonist in 3 paragraphs, or setting, or? etc
Day 5) theme in three pargraphs
Day 6)discussion of conflicts
Day 7: Chapter synopsis, chapter 1, in 3 paragraphs

When you've completed all the chapter synopses and the timeline (done in three paragraph increments), start on chapter 1. Even if you only do one a WEEK, or even one a MONTH, you'll eventually have a novel.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of Write or Die! My novel is languishing, which makes me sad. Still, one day...

John said...

No excuses now get cracking with your novel. It just needs you to believe and be committed....As in committed to writing and not the nut house....:)

Anonymous said...

One of the few things that I have no interest in doing myself writing is a novel...but I'm full of respect for people who even start!

Sally said...

Thanks for the tips merrytait! I have been having some ideas. Maybe 2012 will be the year!