I really suck at sharing my writing. It’s one of those things I’ve had to get over in the past year… letting people in on the things that go through my head, and actually being willing to share. Last year at a Christmas party, as the elation of my first NaNo win and the dust of writing a really bad attempt at cyberpunk settled around me, a friend asked me about this thing I’d been writing for a month. I really had no idea how to explain it. I wonder if anyone believed I had actually written a novel, even a bad one. I wondered, if I couldn’t even figure out how to talk about this flailing attempt at a writing project, was it worth all the late nights and effort?
Of course, I know the answer is yes. I got some decent characters and was inspired to write again. The next phase is to let it out and share.
So, for NaNoWriMo 2009, I’m hoping to be a little more transparent about the process. None of this “I’m writing a novel, but don’t ask me what it’s about because it’s crap and you probably won’t get it and I don’t even know what I’m doing.” More like: “I’m writing a novel and you can read about it on my blog.”
What? Baby steps. :) I still can’t talk about it, but I can write about it.
So after waffling between two ideas, I think I’m pretty settled into a plan. I wrote this little short story for my Creative Writing class called “Music Lessons,” and I was rather proud of it. (Most of the time anyway.) It was a bit of random backstory for a character from the 2008’s NaNo novel, but it also dealt with some pretty heavy themes… loss, grief, depression. It was a very difficult piece to write, very delicate and painful, but I wanted to present some hope in the midst of very dark material.
Overall, my classmates and teacher seemed to like it, but we also discovered a problem… it was too much for such a short piece. “You need to make this a novel,” they said. And I said, “Yeah, okay! Great idea.”
And then promptly left it to languish on some corner of my hard drive.
So, one week from today, I’m jumping right back into the story, this time, to tell the whole thing. I’ve decided to start from scratch, writing a totally new 50,000 (+?) word draft to explore the whole story. I’m really looking forward to visiting the sweet little dysfunctional family that lives in my head again. :)
Rather than fill Div Sense with details about the story, I’ve borrowed an idea from my new NaNo friend Emily and started a development blog for Music Lessons. I’ll still dump my general NaNo angst here, but if you’re into excerpts, unneccessary character details, and the minutiae of the actual project, please go visit there and check it out.
In the meantime… fellow noveling adventurers, how’s the prep coming? What are you doing this week to prepare? And are you nervous/excited/ready for the marathon?