Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Challenge yourself

Starting edits today. This manuscript is full of green and orange stickies, plus at least one completely re-written page.

Why the different colours? Well, for no other reason than that colour was the closest.

Some authors colour code, for example, blue for dialogue, green for description, red for characters, etc.; I don't.

With Nano coming up, I've read a few posts over on the board from newbies who growing increasingly panic-stricken over what to write, how to write it, whether they should outline and plot, or not, how do they know it will be a complete story. The answer is scary: you don't until you try it out. But remember: there is no right way of writing, only your way.

That's what makes Nano so useful. It's great for writing exercises. For me, the first year was whether I could do it - yes; the second year, how much I could write: 164040; year three, to write in a totally different genre - finished, but not impressed; year four, can I write a trilogy - yep; year five, start during a particular time in history without using passive sentences - yes-um, mostly; and last year, write a trilogy and keep the word count crown - yes, to both.

This year's challenge is to write three books in three different genres and attempt to keep the crown (the Aussie one, that is. I shan't go off on a rant about the cheaterz.)

The thing is, whether you're a newbie or an experienced hack like me, is to challenge yourself. Don't be worrying about anyone else. It's your 50,000 words, your work and in the end, your success or failure.

Discipline, focus and imagination will see you through it. Oh, and lots of coffee and chocolate - can't do without coffee and chocolate - or your beverage and snackage of choice, but coffee and chocolate...

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