Monday, July 1, 2013

Motivational Monday


WRITING A NOVEL IS A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE,
DURING WHICH THE HAIR OFTEN FALLS OUT 
AND THE TEETH DECAY.
I'M ALWAYS IRRITATED BY PEOPLE WHO IMPLY THAT WRITING
FICTION IS AN ESCAPE FROM REALITY.
IT IS A PLUNGE INTO REALITY
AND IT'S VERY SHOCKING TO THE SYSTEM.
(Flannery O'Connor)

I'm heading back into the woods with a messier version of the horror manuscript I worked on last Camp NaNo. It's similar to the version I took to The Breakout Novel Intensive 2.0 conference I went to in September. That novel is still here. It's become a goopy toasted melted marshmallow clinging to my fingers - delicious and sticky. It won't wash off. It won't let me go. The story wants to be told but it won't tell me how. 

My antagonist creeps me out, and yet I'm supposed to spend a lot of time with her. In the woods. In the dark. Gulp. 

My protagonist and the rest of the "good guys" make me want to weep because I know bad stuff is coming their way, and I want to warn them, but I can't.  

Logic problems swarm me like mosquitos. Motivations miss curfew. Plot twists flit about like fireflies - glowing brilliantly one moment, disappearing into the darkness the next. 

And I wouldn't miss any of it - Camp NaNo, writing fiction, this creepy story that haunts me - for the world. Even if I end up like O'Connor says above, bald and toothless, it's still worth it. It is so worth it. 

Anyone else going to Camp? Working on a summer project or goal? Share in the comments and let's support each other. Let's make sure we all avoid the poison ivy. 

28 comments:

  1. I don't think I can make it to Camp this summer, but I'll be with you in spirit. ☺ I'm still working on my dad's memoir, some poetry, and a middle grade novel idea that just won't let me go. Best of luck with all your goals!

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    1. It sounds like you're going to be busy, too. Good luck with all your projects! :)

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  2. No camp for me. I've got too many other things going on. And I mean writing projects. I've got to finish one story. I just got 2 beta reads back on another that I'm excited to jump into. Plus the story I pulled from querying needs some small fixes and I can't work on all that other stuff until I get that done.

    I've never had tooth decay or hair fall out, but I sure agree with the last three lines of that quote. It can be shocking to the system.

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    1. Go for it, Suzi! Whoever said that bit about 'lazy days of summer' must not have been talking about writers. :)

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  3. I tried signing up for Camp yesterday, but the website was down. I took it as a sign.

    I do love it when a story haunts you. Good luck with yours, and watch out for that antagonist...

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    1. Hmm, I bet you could sign up today if you really wanted to...but I know you've already got goals set and will achieve those! :)

      And now I have to go see if I can rig up some sort of alarm system for my tent so my antagonist doesn't sneak up on me...

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  4. Not doing camp this summer, but I do intend to catch up on my reading.
    Don't let your antagonist scare you.

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    1. I've got my Recommended Reading post for June coming up this week - maybe add a few more books to your list? :)

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  5. Sounds a lot like how many of my manuscripts ended up. But that's what editing is for! For me, outlining and getting Scrivener REALLY helped me pull things together much better, and my first drafts aren't nearly as chaotic.

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    1. I keep meaning to check out Scrivener. I'm a pretty organized person in real life but in my writing world - eek! Paper everywhere! :)

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  6. I'm not going to camp. I have another vacation planned and will likely be spending days where I can't write. Be careful but brave in the woods.

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    1. Have fun on your trip!

      I'm not sure how brave I'll be, but I will definitely be careful. :)

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  7. Awesome quote up there, and so true!

    After doing one WriMo a couple years back, I decided it's not for me. I'm better with a good plot, developed characters, and a 3 month writing goal. It cuts out about 15 complete rewrites for me, so that's the plan I stick to.

    Hey, make sure to take generous rations of cheese with you!

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    1. Cheese in one pocket of my backpack, chocolate in another. I'm good to go. :)

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  8. I'm going to a summer camp at a lake to volunteer as counselor. Does that count?

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  9. I'm not going to Camp but I will be cheering you on! I hope you enjoy it in spite of your creepy antagonist.

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  10. Good luck at camp. If your characters scare or surprises you or make you weep, chances are they will have the same effect on on the reader.

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  11. No camp for me, either -- I tend not to write as well if I do word count goals like that. I end up writing to meet the word count, not writing well. But my goal is to have my novel done by September 22 and into submission, and a second one done by the end of fall.

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    1. Those sounds like good goals to me!

      I've lowered the traditional NaNo Word Count Goal of 50,000 words to work better for where I am in my project. I need the word count goal to keep me moving forward, but I also need space to work on research, backstory, etc.

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  12. Good luck with camp - I envy you having the space and time for something like that. Sounds just wonderful.

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    1. It's wonderful until I hit writer's block. Or a swarm of mosquitoes. Or until I run our of chocolate.

      Nah, it's wonderful anyway. :)

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  13. Good luck with your story! Something I try to keep in mind when I write about antagonists, even creepy ones, is that they don't see themselves as being creepy. I have to really try to figure out why what is considered really abnormal to us is normal to them.

    I'd thought about doing Camp Nano. But I have a busy month ahead with other responsibilities...and yet, every time I read a Camp Nano blog post like yours somewhere, I think I should do it!

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    1. The antagonist is often the hero or the star of his or her own story. :)

      I believe there's two Camp NaNo sessions, plus the original NaNo in November. Maybe give one of those a try?

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  14. Sounds like you're really into the story! No camp for me, but I figure jumping into a critique group is a step forward for me.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. As long as we're moving forward, that's what counts!

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