Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween is 'pooky

I'm feeling more scared than normal on this fine Halloween morning, but it's not because of what you think. Yes, there will be a few parties tonight that I still don't have a costume for, but that's not why I'm scared.

Last night I sent The Other Side to my two friends who promised to read and critique it over the next month or so. Aside from the first couple pages, no one has read any of it and I'm anxious to hear what they think. I like the story and I believe it has potential, but it's difficult to judge the quality of your own writing.

Meanwhile, NaNo begins in fourteen hours and I still need to work on my outline. I have about 500 words of notes, plus a paragraph summarizing each of the first five chapters, but I need a bit more substance if I plan to make it through this. One weird coincidence - last night I was reading the Self magazine my friend brought for me and there's a section where they give you tips to make small changes in your life in three, five, or ten minutes. The three-minute tip for November is:

Start Writing a Novel.

(Pardon the laughter. I thought writing a novel in a month was a feat, but three minutes? But I know what they mean.)

The article goes on to explain NaNoWriMo and gives three tips from published NaNo veterans:

• Find a Personal Storyline (write what you know)

• Turn Off That Critic in Your Head (allow yourself to write crap)

• Stay Motivated (write with friends!)


All good advice, and I'd like to pass that along to all my writing friends, whether you're doing NaNo or not.

Happy Halloween!

16 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

What an apt article! And good luck with NaNo.

Hope your Betas are worth their weight in gold! ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Oh they are. :)

Robin said...

It's so funny there was an article on NaNo. It's karma! I still haven't finished my outline. I'm trying to do that pamphlet advice thing and have 30 "points" in my outline, and I can only get to 15! This is going to be one short book.

OK. We can do this. Tomorrow, NaNo here we come.

My friend Carole said to dress the boys in a suit, and have them carry a briefcase, and they could go as lawyers. They rejected the idea, but I offer it to you free of charge. :)

Melanie Avila said...

I know - I laughed loudly trying to get Ibis' attention, but he was already asleep.

I'm debating starting at midnight, but I somehow think that won't happen.

I want to go as Ms. Palin but 1) I don't have a suit jacket here, and 2) everyone here will just think I'm a white lady dressed up for work. :)

Rachel Burton said...

Ah yes, those three minutes I spent writing a novel once were life-changing. (along with the other 5000 minutes that came after)

Janet said...

good luck with NaNo and with a last minute halloween costume!

Melanie Avila said...

Rachel, exactly!

Thanks Janet. :)

ac said...

Will you and Ibis celebrate Night of the Dead this weekend? Oh please please do and blog about it.

colbymarshall said...

three minutes to start a novel...*giggle*

Melanie Avila said...

AC, if by celebrate you mean go downtown and check out all the displays in the plaza like we did last year, then yes!

Melanie Avila said...

Colby, I know... but who can't use a giggle, right?

spyscribbler said...

THREE minutes??? I just spurted my ice cream. I mean, I've heard of writing a novel in 100 words a day, but THREE MINUTES?

It takes me longer than three minutes just to get my ass in chair and my document open!

Janet said...

Ah, no wonder you're doing NaNo. That way you don't have to fuss about your readers.

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, it takes me about an hour to get situated (turn off the internet) and actually write.

Melanie Avila said...

Janet, yes. I'm hoping it'll prove to be a good distraction.

Zoe Winters said...

You can do it. But likely you'll do it if you think of it as playing and not work. Think of it as a game. Just don't think of it as something crazy on your to-do list.