NaNoWriMo Day 12 – What I’ve learned about my writing style so far.

Posted: November 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Wow, what a time I am having with my mystery novel.  It’s coming along nicely.  In twelve days I’ve written 24, 375 words, so I’m almost halfway there.  Here are all the things I’ve learned about my writing:

  • I ditched the outline after about the third chapter.
  • Characters and plots take on a life of their own.  It’s fascinating to watch.
  • It’s more important for me to know my lead characters before I start writing than it is to have an outline.  If I know my principle characters, then I have a strong feel for how they will react in a situation.  I love getting to know them.  I’m starting to write in more detail about the house they live in, their hobbies and habits, rounding them out into breathing people.
  • I need to keep a running list of character names, relationships and anything about them that might mess up the continuity of the story.  I found that by the time I’ve gone this far in I’ve forgotten the last names of all the secondary characters and have to put XXX in place of their names.  I’m not taking the time to go back and look them up,  just putting a place holder in the text for now.  NaNo doesn’t leave you time for looking things up.
  • I also need to summarize each chapter as I go so that when I do have to look something up it’s easy to find.  That’s for the next book, though.  It would be too much work for NaNo.
  • It takes me a little over an hour to write a chapter.
  • My chapters are usually around 1300 words long.  There are a few shorter ones that tend to come when the preceding chapter(s) have been full of drama.  It’s almost like the writer in me knows that I have to give the reader time to calm down and take a deep breath.
  • I have no idea why the chapters are all coming in at around 1300 words.  They just want to do that, and I let them.
  • I do a lot of writing in my head when I’m not writing on paper.  I’ve always been this way.  If I’ve had a speech or presentation to deliver I’ll script it in my head and have it revised and ready to go as a final version when it does get put on paper.  So all those years of mental scripting are paying off, I guess.  When the script is ready I dump it on paper.
  • I read every chapter to Cee.  She catches continuity glitches.  She doesn’t need to say a word in review.  I can tell how successful a chapter is by the number of times she laughs or says “oooh, good one”.
  • Even though I have never before written a novel in my life, there is someone inside of me who has been imagining this moment of freedom.  The words are coming easily and they read well.
  • I’m already looking forward to the next book.  I can’t wait to get it started, even though I have absolutely no idea what it will be about.  Cee and I have batted around a few ideas.  Someone will go missing.  Someone who doesn’t attract a lot of attention, so no single mother or anyone like that.  We’ll just have to wait to find out.  Cee reminds me that I have to finish this one first, and so I must.
  • I’ve have never, ever had so much fun.
  • I’m grateful to Melissa for talking me into doing a mystery.  I like the structure a mystery gives you over a standard novel.  I don’t know if I would have been as successful had I stayed with the idea of developing a novel.

Wow, lots of new insight into me and how my mind works.  I’m looking at the world through such different eyes now.  Everything is fodder for the story, or for a future story.  Watch what you say to me, or you might end up in one of my books!

Time to get away from the computer for today and give my eyes a rest.

Blessings!  May you find the thing in life that makes you want to sing and dance and jump for joy.

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    It is just so much fun watching you get excited about writing… and of course, being a part of the collaboration of your book!!!

  2. Louise (Akrotiri) says:

    Wow, so great to hear you are in the zone and having fun. It is interesting to hear the process is turning out differently, it seems that you are a conduit now for telling a story that must be told – it almost has a life of its own. Wow, that’s awesome! Glad you’re enjoying it – keep going! Can’t wait to read it! :))

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