December 1st, 2011

Public Shame Writing Challenge starts today!

First of all, congratulations to all of you who won NaNoWriMo this year! That is a lot of people and no easy feat, as you know!

Congratulations are also in order for all of you who didn't win but wrote a huge amount. And those of you who wrote more than you would have otherwise. And those of you who simply learned something about yourselves as writers this month, such as that you spend more time than you thought you did on Twitter.

If NaNoWriMo touched you in any way this year, please consider going over to their web site and donating $10 to this wonderful nonprofit organization.

Also, if you live around Birmingham, I hope you will attend the after party tonight at Moe's BBQ at 6:30. See the Birmingham NaNo e-mails for details. I won't be able to attend as I'd planned because of my very common Child Care Issues, but I know it will be a good time. While you're there, please thank Jared Millet, who has done such a wonderful job of organizing NaNo events this year, and who won last night for the 5th year in a row! Or just pat him on the back and thank him because he is a librarian. Either one.

Well! Several of you have expressed interest in MORE NANO, because you didn't do so hot the first time around, or because you did great but you're not finished with your project yet. I thought this would be a good time to resurrect the Public Shame Writing Challenge. Just set your own goal every day. The next day, come back and tell us how you did. Fittingly, a movie called SHAME is coming out tomorrow! I saw the trailer on TV last night. I probably shouldn't post it on a blog with a lot of YA-type people happening by, but it seems to be about shame having multiple partners. Let's make sure they're not us.

So! Here are my Public Shame projects. I need to write another 30,000 words or so to finish STAR CROSSED, my first adult romantic comedy with Pocket Books, which is what I was working on during NaNo. I need to write a new YA proposal. The wild card is the revision letter for SUCH A RUSH, my YA romantic drama out next July 10. I'm expecting the letter any second now, and since I haven't worked with this editor before, it could be good and it could be very, very bad. I don't think I can do all this by December 31, so I'm aiming for January 15.

I would really like to take the day off today, but I'm not going to, and here's why. I joke that I don't know anything about writing or the publishing biz, but here is something I do know, and I think this is actually pretty good advice for those of you who wrote a lot of NaNo this month and are thinking of setting your book aside for a while, even though you're not done.

It is very hard for me to get into a book. There is a zone where I understand the characters, and new scenes come to me unbidden. Once I'm there, it's great--I was there for the past three days or I wouldn't have been able to write 15,000 words in that period--but it takes me a long time to get there in the first place, which is why the going was so slow for me at the beginning of the month. And it only takes one day for me to get out of the zone again. The longer I stay away, the farther from the zone I will be, and the longer it will take for me to get back in.

That's why I'm writing 500 words of STAR CROSSED today. I need a breather but not a break.

How about you? What's your goal for today? Or just tell us about your NaNo experience, now that we have all come blinking into the light.