Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Starting a Novel

STATUS CHECK:


GOAL: 50,000
TOTAL WORDS WRITTEN: 2,240
WORDS REMAINING:47,760
DAYS REMAINING: 29
MOOD: Completely Confident


Well, seeing that yesterday was the first day in NaNo, starting off with a total of 2,240 words isn't too bad. And in that 2,240 words, I have officially completed my first draft of my first chapter! Yahoo!


Starting a novel can often be hard. I swear, I wrote and rewrote the first line and paragraph about twenty times before it started to sound like what I wanted to say. In my flash fiction pieces for the Campaign, making a good hook wasn't too hard because, I only had to carry on the story for another 250-300 words. In a novel, you're obviously keeping it going for much, much longer.


And then of course, there's always those writerly doubts. Especially coming from editing my book 1, I've gotten used to being extremely critical of my work. And I guess that's okay, but to get anything new done, I've really got to accept that it's not going to sound perfect. I've just got to move on to the next passage.


So how do you start a novel?


I say you've just got to begin. You can't keep thinking that your first line will sound better if you change it one more time. (Even though it probably will). Get what you need to get down then move on. This is only the first draft, after all.


So how was your first NaNo day? And for those of you not doing NaNo, whatchya workin on?


(Getting back to writing now!)


--Jess

17 comments:

MorningAJ said...

I think NaNo is a time when you just have to keep writing and get the tale told. Polish the language later. It's hard, I know, but like I said on my blog piece I've used the word 'season' far too many times in my intro but it will have to wait because I can't spare the time to rewrite now.

2240 is a very good first run. Well done.

fairbetty said...

Yep yep! Good job Jess! Keep it up!

I made my count yesterday... now it's time to get some coffee and try again.

For me, the starting is easy... it's the follow through that kills.

Here's to happy writing today!

Angela Cothran said...

That is a great start :) I answered your questions today on my blog :)

Jess said...

MorningAJ~ I agree! We can spend too much time editing and never get anything else done!

Fairbetty~ Oh good luck! Starting used to be easy but then I never finished.

Reece said...

Actually, one of the most valuable things I've learned about writing comes from my journalism background. Basically, get the whole thing written, then you can worry about the perfect start. I can't tell you how many times I've written an article and then gone back to put together the perfect kicker to fit it. Same thing goes for novel writing: often knowing the whole story helps you create just the right first line, paragraph, and chapter for your book.

Cassie Mae said...

I love how you put your mood status! Writing is such an emotional rollercoaster. :)

Talli Roland said...

Sounds like you're doing really well so far! Strangely, I don't find starting that hard. It's just the rest of it...

Isis Rushdan said...

The best way to start is to know where you want to start and where you want to end up, then dive in!

Good luck with NaNo.

cleemckenzie said...

It's just one word at a time, isn't it? I always feel great if I have an idea I can put down in a sentence that captures the main thread of the story. That to me is a good start.

Keep writing and good luck.

prerna pickett said...

good for you! Keep it up :-).

Michelle Merrill said...

Yay! Keep up the great work. That's awesome. And keep up the confidence. You're right about the first word, sentence, everything. It's a first draft, it doesn't have to be perfect. Good luck!

Geoff Maritz said...

Never written a novel but have been thinking about it for some time now. I think that if I ever do write one I will probably just write and write until I've got the basic story down and then go back and edit it to make sense. I do that with my Blog posts but they are short and easy to handle in one sitting. 50 000 words is a lot of thinking and writing in anyone's book.
Hope you get through it on time and may God grant you the time to do it with much enthusiasm, Geoff.

C D Meetens said...

NaNo's great for just being able to write. I loved that about it last year. This year I'm still rewriting another novel, and that's going slowly. I really need to dedicate a decent amount of time to it.

Reiko said...

Just checking to see if I can post comments - as I used to be able to. If you see it posted, that means SUCCESS! If not, well, you'll get an e-mail from me. Love your mood, "Completely Confident." And, as always and forever, I love you to infinity. Grandma Reiko

Jessica Love said...

Yay for being confident! Keep it up!

Juliemybird said...

You're on a roll, Jess! :) I've got a little something for you on my blog. Come see!

Donna K. Weaver said...

You're makin' progress!

Might want to check out my blog on Friday as there's something there for you.

http://weavingataleortwo.blogspot.com/

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