NaNoWriMo is at hand, so those of you determined to take on the challenge are likely planning meets and/or your method of approach. The recipient of encouragement (the enthusiastic kind), I’m not on the fence about the idea. I plan to utilize the remainder of the month to complete my Sliver of Light manuscript draft, which for those interested is being updated almost chapter by chapter on Amazon’s Write On.
Could I do it? Probably if I wrote anything that popped into my head without a moment for consideration and logic. I don’t want to be in that head space: I’ve had that experience and numbers aren’t that important to me. At the end of the day communication is, whether it was a stanza or fifty pages of prose. Do I trust myself to write a stream-of-consciousness story? Absolutely I do.
However, I wonder how many of you have access to Write On and like it? Is it useful? Encouraging? Inspiring? Intimidating? Having tapped into the beta, here are my thoughts: Where’s my social network? Okay, so being in Beta means the doors are welded shut, and I expect to see Amazon minimizing marketing resources to it’s own services – which makes sense, even if it is irritating. There are essential tools I find lacking (read: networks like Twitter, etc) and I don’t count on Amazon expanding beyond its own shores. Why should it?
Write On presents a discovery mode interface with bands of books spanning the browser window, and I don’t know about you, but my time is better spent writing, and there are too many published books for me to read to consider reading and commenting on others’ work. Okay, for now. At what point do you consider it ‘safe’ to take in other creative influences during your process?
Why talk about all three of these things at once? Because they’re interrelated, of course. Time spent planning NaNoWriMo is time taken from writing Sliver of Light. To get the work done you have to know your focus and stick to it. I know the total sum of hours I can dedicate to writing each day, and can estimate how long a draft will take to complete. This is valuable information if you intend to get anything done.
A Lifehacker article pointed out that there is no good time to start, no predictable ideal, and another suggested that creativity success is little more than gambling. I don’t believe that; experience tells me that participation is a world wide conversation, and the most marketed messages are little more than that. They don’t necessarily reflect the desires of the masses, just those with the most access.
I do agree, though, that the best time to start is this very instant: Write a title, a paragraph, a page, a character outline – anything! Make your ideas solid, and whenever you can put them down on a page. Print up your chapters for editing, read them aloud or have a TTS do it. If you’re interested in guides in these things let me know, it’ll encourage me to create them!
OS X, Windows and Linux all have voice synthesis software options which make it possible to hear your words aloud. This is useful to me because it doesn’t make the mistakes I do, and it’s a lot like hearing the voice of my characters. When a scene breaks logic or flow I know it right away. Typographically it’s a Godsend, too.
Finally, you may be wondering what happened to Sliver of Light: Chapter Three, yesterday. It was ready, but computer hardware issues, and family business, put that on pause (and a few other things beside) so you’ll find it up as of this writing. If you have access to Write On, you’ll find every chapter I’ve written there, otherwise, every Monday there’s a new update at Cobalted.
Thanks Amazon, now I don’t want to use another popular phrase. Sigh. Well … until next time!