Deadlines, NaNoWriMo and More

I saw an author I respect recently say something about how she’s always writing a novel so NaNoWrimo has no meaning for her.  I think that’s awesome for her.  And, I hope to get to the point, some day, that I can dismiss NaNoWriMo entirely from my life as something quaint and of the past.  I can see what she’s saying though. An artificially imposed month for writing a novel is something for amateurs, for people who do it for the fun of it once a year without any pretense at publishing other than maybe some lofty dreams.  For people who are attempting to make a living at writing professionally, it does seem  superfluous.  Shouldn’t you always be writing, if you are a writer? 

I’m still a newb when it comes to this whole author thing.  I’ve submitted work under this name and my “real life name” and have yet to make any money at it.  I have one story that is tentatively accepted for an anthology under this name, and a few others “out in the world under consideration” by various publications and editors.  The waiting process can feel excrutiating.  The latest periodical I sent a story to said that it could take between 184 and 368 days to respond.  Seriously?  Thankfully, most places are cool with multiple submissions.  Frankly, I WANT my story to appear in THAT periodical though, so I will wait to send it elsewhere.  It’s okay to have it sitting out there in the interwebvoid for a while.  They promise they will respond, and I’ve already received their online confirmation, so I can be patient.

I have a list of deadlines for erotic anthologies that I am working my way through, I’ve promised a review for a book I am still reading, and am going to host the blog tour for a new Cleis anthology at the end of this month.   So, why, if I’m pretty busy writing, do I “do NaNoWriMo,” particularly when I have plenty of unfinished novels waiting for my attention?  Simply put, it’s training.  I’m not very good at keeping up with schedules and daily writing. Oh, I try.  And I do write every day, but I am easily distracted by things.  For example, instead of working on my novel, I am blogging.  I am doing this simply because I didn’t know a fact that I was trying to write about and turned away from the story for a diversion. One thing led to another, and I though, “Oh…blog post.”

I’m going to concentrate more on the novel this year.  It turns out that I stumbled onto a pretty solid plot-line, and I’ve started to fall in love with my main character.  It’s not an erotic novel, though, so I won’t be talking much about it here.  Just know that my next blog post is likely to be the book tour post on November 30th.   And, now, back to some focused writing on that NaNo thing.

NaNoWriMo Is Underway

I’m currently on day ten of the November writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo for short–National Novel Writing Month. It’s been under fire recently for encouraging people to write badly for a month. It’s grown from a relatively small group of people to a world-wide writing party.

I know some folks seriously entertain the notion that what they write during NaNo will be worthy of readership. I hold no such illusions. I know that what I’m doing is an exercise in writing that is both exhausting and useful in its own way. It’s only a beginning; a place to start exploring a story, no more.

The novel I’m working on came to me as a spin-off of a roleplay I am doing at World Enough and Time. (See sidebar for link.) The roleplay is very different, actually, but I am using the same character for an idea I had a while ago.

Maddie is a young woman is working for a museum in Italy and has come across a diary dated 1599. The diary is unusual in that it details a sexual relationship between a young Venetian housewife and her lover. Maddie has her own sexual needs and desires that haven’t been fully evolved or expressed, and her own life takes on a strange parallel to that of the woman in the diary.

Maddie begins to do research into the history of BDSM and finds herself drawn to the modern version of the lifestyle more and more. She gains a new understanding of her own sexuality through the experiences of this woman who died four hundred years before she was born.

That’s the basic premise. Anyway, The ticker at the top should, I hope, stay updated with my progress.

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