Do you remember the most dramatic moment of your life (to date)? I bet you do. And you have a story that you tell around it. The details are crystal clear: something surprising, wonderful, horrible, or awful happened and you were never the same afterward.
That’s the perfect launching pad for writing as well.
Novelist Kate Lord Brown tells us why Act I or beginnings are so important.
The wonderful thing about keeping a blog, diary or record, is that you can archive your life. While we may have fragments of our ancestors’ lives, thanks to modern technology, we are indexing ourselves faster than any library.
2013? Not that different really. Except that instead of biting my nails, I’m at the desk late into the night. My goal is no longer to catch up (maybe even the dream of finishing on time is pulling away from me). My goal is to be faithful to my story and tell it.
No matter how long it takes. No matter that like children, other projects are begging for my attention – including a paperback edition of a novel, content revisions for another – I keep writing a little at a time. I am researching djinns/jinns as one of them in a major character in this new book.
And I press on. Sometimes the best way to get energy from to tell your own story is to help someone with theirs. That’s what the diagram to the left is; I’m teaching a NaNoWriMo MOOC or an online course to help others finish. Here’s a diagram of the 3 Act structure we brainstormed today at lunch time.
How are you doing with your writing goals, NaNo or otherwise?
National Novel Writing Month is about a week away; the time of year when thousands of people around the world agree to sit down daily, write 1600 words, towards a goal of 50,000 words by the end of the November.
I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo (much cooler abbreviation) three times in the past five years. The first time, Thanksgiving did me in. I didn’t finish. The second time, I finished on time, and turned the manuscript into my first published novel, Saving Peace. The third time, I didn’t hit 50,000 by December 1st, but I did by the 5th or so. The manuscript turned into my third published novel, The Dohmestics. This is my fourth time out at NaNo and I’m more excited than ever and ready to share.
Sign up to NaNoWriMo with me as your writing coach in the online learning environment known as a MOOC. Completely free! I will post weekly assignments, advice, examples to help us get to our goal of a completed first draft. You’ll also have access to a discussion forum where all other learners will be posting examples, asking questions, and commiserating in our race to 50,000 words. Even if you don’t ‘finish’ or ‘win’, NaNo is fantastic fun because we are all in it together. This is the second MOOC I’ve taught; the first one was a Personal Essay course that had 100 people sign up, 50 people make it to week one, and 20 or so complete an essay.