Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March mini-NaNo, one week down, three to go

[First, some exciting news! The Dreamdark books have sold Turkish rights!!!! Yeeeeeeee!!!! I love Turkey, really really love it. Jim and I went there the summer he asked me to marry him (though the actual proposal came later, in Italy), nearly ten years ago now, and it is the most beautiful shimmering fantastical country -- the minarets and markets, the carpets, the apple tea! We slept in a fairy chimney scooped right out of limestone, for goodness sake. Turkey is magical, and now Dreamdark will exist in Turkish. That is cool beyond words. German, Portuguese, and now Turkish. Yay, Dreamdark! And speaking of translation, the Italian translator of Lips Touch has been in contact. So exciting knowing that is happening now. I am such a nerd for foreign editions. I can't WAIT to see and hold all these and dorkily pretend to read them :-) (Well, the Italian at least I'll be able to pronounce correctly!)]

Okay. Now on to March mini-NaNo! I'm curious how many of the 25 people who signed up last Wednesday will reappear today to check in. Most, I hope. I hope good writing weeks have been had for all! I know life has a way of intruding on well-laid writing plans, oh how I know. But it feels so good to attain a string of goals, one after another. And having a draft of a book at the end of it? Nothing like it. Marvelous.

So, sign into Mr. Linky to recommit for next week's small goal:


I had a pretty good week, and am looking forward to another one. It feels so good to move through the territory of the story. I'd been dwelling in one region of it for far too long, tidying. That starts to get crazy-making after a while. It makes one long for adventure. Sometimes the impetus to move forward in storytelling (in spite of my fears and perfectionism) is best provided by getting utterly fed up with my inertia. It reminds me of this Anais Nin quote:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Sometimes that's what it's like. The frustration finally overrides the fear and you find yourself -- your usually meek little tidy self -- feeling unruly and restless. Like a monsoon in a box, and all you want to do is knock off the stupid lid and be free and be wild! For those of you who share my particular writing malaise (perfectionism), I have this to say: you only get to that point by relentless butt-in-chair. If you're not actually forcing yourself to sit down to the story and labor with the words, the frustration won't reach the tipping point. Your inner monsoon will not boil over, but will only simmer mildly in the background of your mind.

It may not be the sanest way to write, but sometimes you take what you can get.

So, goals for this week? It's not too late to join in! Someone asked how to sign up? Just jump right into Mr. Linky there and put in a goal for the coming week. Mine is 10,000 words and tackling a particular important part of the story that I'm both excited by and terrified of. And away I go to confront it ...

But wait! One last thing! Are you a Hunger Games fan? Let me go one step further: are you Team Peeta or Team Gale? If, like me, you are the latter, go HERE and vote for Gale! If, like Jim, you are Team Peeta, don't go vote, because Peeta is winning. Come on, people. Gale is obviously Katniss's soulmate! Eesh. He might not be as cuddly as Peeta, but he's hot.

And one last last thing, via Huffington Post:

tee hee.

34 comments:

Sarah said...

Hello! I just signed up. I am aiming for 10,000 words. Thanks for the challenge and the blog and the brilliant writing essays, Laini.

Cuppa Jolie said...

You and your 10K words, all with your wee little baby! Oh, you make me look like such a slacker. The words are not moving as fast as I would like, but each word is one more, right? I have to continually remind myself that I am not committing to using the actual words I get down in this rough draft. They can be changed or deleted!

Amy said...

What, no Team Single Katniss?

Congrats on the Turkish rights and the writing progress! And OMG, that dog...I'm dying over here.

T. Anne said...

Good luck on mini NANO! BTW, that dog rocks.

Johari said...

I've made a small goal--5,000. The super perfectionist, over-achiever in me would try and say that I should be able to do 8,000 words A DAY. Of course, that type of goal leads to absolute failure, a sudden need to meticulously clean the entire apartment, inescapable self-loathing and lots of chocolate. So, I have to trick myself. That way I'm proud when I reach the goal and I'm super proud if I exceed it!

Yat-Yee said...

I forgot to post my word count goal: 3,000 words.

And Amy!!! I have been saying Team Katniss forever!

Laini Taylor said...

Team Katniss -- now there's a thought. But ... what about romance and smooching? :-)

Jenn said...

Laini, I have to tell you, you exude such joy about writing and words, while still conceding that there are challenges, it reminds me to have FUN with the process. Whenever I've had frustrated moments with my writing this past week it's been encouraging to me to imagine you and all the other participants buckling down and working toward your goals at the same time.

I met my goal of 5 chapters this past week and actually exceeded it by working through 7! Which, last week I mentioned that I was tempted to make my goal 10 chapters but decided to try and kick my self-defeating habit of making too lofty of goals. And I'm so glad I did because right now I'm feeling happy and encouraged with the work I did last week, whereas if my goal had been 10 chapters I would have felt a little loser-ish. Which would be ridiculous because either way I did the same amount of work. It was a good lesson to me in how the expectations you set for yourself can skew how you value the hard work you put in.

Jes said...

My goal last week was 7800 words, and I wrote 4000. It was a gruelling, fantastic week of learning about myself and my story; I loved the challenge, and I loved the company. Good luck this week, everyone!

Yat-Yee said...

Romance and smooch away, but in the end I think Katniss will be on her own, by choice.

I love Peeta for his totally selfless, giving ways. And being so sensitive.

I love Gale for not needing to be in the limelight and being willing to be known as the cousin, and to watch all that public smoothing!

Alysa said...

Last week I actually properly outlined the story arc from beginning to END. I was very, very, very tempted to stop about 3/4 of the way through and muck about with details, but I knew I'd never ever get to what actually happens at the end if I did that. (Which is why I'm doing some short projects.) Anyway, yay! This week, I'll flesh things out a bit with some scene specifics. I'll let you know how it goes.

You know, it's really helping me to think of this project as a play instead of a story. Maybe it will be one!

Martha Brockenbrough said...

I'm working on something new AND a revision. So, for the something new, 500 words a day. I have my synopsis, and though it will undoubtedly change, knowing the basic shape of the story and characters leaves me with the brainspace to be playful with the writing.

For the revision, it's an hour a day. I love having this to-do list!

Amy said...

Yat-Yee, yes, I totally agree! Yay for smooching, but I don't think Katniss needs a boy for her happily ever after.

Myrna Foster said...

I just voted for Gale, and I jumped into Mr. Linky. What's our deadline? Is it a week exactly from when we sign up, or is there a specific day that we're supposed to report back?

Congrats on Turkish rights!

Emilie said...

I just got through my hardest chapter in revisions yesterday!!! I thought of a way to open it and the rest came tumbling out. Not sure I'm in love with it, but it's at least somewhere to start. Now onto my next-hardest chapter:) Then I think I need to send it to my crit partners, because I need to have someone else remind me what the heck I'm writing!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Thanks for the HUNGER GAMES link Sweety! I totally just voted! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

*ahem*

xo
Husbles

Debbie Barr said...

Whoops! I accidently left my 10k goal on the LAST Mr. Linky, so sorry about that.

I desperately need to make a jump in my writiing. I was hoping to have a 50k-60k draft by the end of March (working on it through Feburary and March). Right now I have 12,000 words of actual story and about 3,000 words of brainstorming that makes those 12,000 words need a lot of editing. Ugh.

I keep telling myself finish now! Edit later! But the perfectionist inside of me is fighting it for all it's worth.

Jennie said...

This is so much! I feel like we are all in this together - and you know great things happen with teamwork! I got my solid outline done and the story changed a bit. It got better, darker and took an unexpected turn. This week I'm trying to set a not too lofty goal so it is again attainable - 5 Chapters. 5 Chapters no editing, even. I'm going to write each chapter, thrown them into my imaginary lake where I have posted a NO FISHING sign. Can't reel them back in and rework them. They are what they are. I can do this!

Have a great week everyone!

Bets said...

I'm actually working on it, which is an improvement. :) Bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend, and then no more excuses!

Faith E. Hough said...

I'm almost done with my draft!!! I always hate finishing it because then I know I have to go on to revising...not nearly as much fun for me. But this "goat-setter" is keeping me on track! Thanks!
(BTW, totally Gale. Duh. The only way she can not end up with him is if he dies. Which would make a lot of people really really mad...)

Louise said...

I wanted to add my name through Mr. Linky, but he doesn't like me because I don't have a blog )-:
I'd like to have a blog but I find it very daunting. I got as far as setting one up and adding my name ..but then I got stage fright or something!! Thanks Laini for the March Mini-Nano and your really amazing blog.Maybe my goal should be to have a blog by the end of March! I've also set a goal to finish the first draft of my W.I.P., which I'm half way though revising without even finishing it!!!

Megan said...

(I just have to say, I love the goat thing.)

I had a horrible week when it came to productive work! I didn't set a goal, and I wrote very little. But I'm trying not to let it get to me, and I'm happy I managed to at least write some words, no matter how few. I'm commiting myself to 5,000 by next Wednesday so as not to disappoint myself if I don't get much higher than that, but I will get at least 5k, but I'll try for a lot more!

Again, thanks for this, Laini. :)

I've been contemplating reading Hunger Games...

Mary Alexandra Agner said...

I didn't make my goal either, I only revised 1 of 3 scenes in my WiP but it was a 4700 word scene so I'm very very pleased. To top that off, it was the final scene in the second section of the novel-in-verse and so I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

(I also managed to completely torque the relationship between two of the main characters, which will have repurcussions through the rest of the story.)

For this week, I'm striving to revise the next two scenes. They are shorter but my paying job will be intense.

Thank you, Laini, for this motivation!

Laini Taylor said...

Hi everybody! I'm so thrilled to hear all this enthusiasm! Isn't it cool to think about all the books being written all over the place? I'm sending out good vibes to all your books :-) Yay, us!

Ez said...

Wow, looks like I'm behind on checking in. :-P
Met my goals for the first week, but already overwhelmed by next weeks goals.

Thanks Laini, this is awesome.

ChristyG said...

Okay, so I didn't do so well this first week. I am a terrible procrastinator. Every night this week after my baby went to sleep, I spent what could have been my writing time, baking: chocolate cake, carrot cookies, cardamom apple cake, berry and buttermilk cake. These things were all yummy, but each of them could have been a chapter (or maybe part of a chapter) rather than a calorific baked item. But no more! I am really, really going to Crack the W.I.P. now, and I mean it! Hopefully I'll have something more productive to report next week. Thanks for this - good times!

Victoria said...

ohhh go team Gale!!!

Met my goals last week (woohoo!), but this weeks looking a lot tougher and I know I'm not looking forward to the next few scenes I'm going to have to write which is probably the best indicator to change them

Good luck everyone !

Heather said...

wow, sounds like you're getting a lot done! and with a tiny one at home! Congrats on getting your book in Turkey. That's awesome!~

persnickety_jen said...

Oh, Team Gale all the way. I know he doesn't seem as important/suitable as Peeta because he's not in the Games with Katniss, but they share something else that's just as important to her. (I do love Peeta, but come on! Gale just seems RIGHT.)

All I have to say is that I have very high hopes for the 3rd book!

Tricia said...

hi laini, i just signed up today. my goal will be to revise three chapters and write two new ones.
and sending a hug to you and your beautiful family. you are such an inspiration to me!!!

Beverley BevenFlorez said...

I wanted to let you know that I gave you the "One Lovely Blog Award" today. :)

Laini Taylor said...

Oh, thank you, Beverly :-) That's so nice!!!

And hi all! Wow, I thought there would be attrition this week, but we're going strong, and with MORE writers than last week. Cool. Now go write!

Amber said...

Laini, Laini, Laini...You poor thing. Peeta is the man for her. He risks his life over and over, hello!?

:)

Anonymous said...

I just joined Fatty!