The stories we share

How Random, Novel

It’s the month of NaNoWriMo. How are all you brave souls doing? I love reading updates about your discoveries, wayward characters (or not-sometimes they’re cooperative), and word count achievements.

My own novel goals are a bit more modest for this month: finish the draft, which needed about 5,000 words at the beginning of the month. I’m a few words shy of 2,000 to go, which is just on target. Woop!

I’m also almost 8 months pregnant and battling a cold. Finishing this draft feels more and more like reaching towards the due date: I’m tired, I’m getting sick of both, but I just need to keep going. Every little page I write gives me motivation for life in general and reminds me I’ll get to both finish lines eventually.

Besides motivation and perseverance, writing my first novel has provided various insights into my own thought processes over the 4 years I’ve worked on it. You know what I mean? Have you had that experience of writing a scene or chapter, only to go back over it and realize that was you processing certain life events? Several times it’s come as a shock. Things I didn’t even realize fully manifested themselves in the events and characters I’d created. Well, even if I don’t intentionally write about everything I process, apparently it will out one way or another. It seems there’s no way round it. What an experience novel writing is!

Before this novel began to germinate, I’d imagined writing it as this outside-directed process, by which authors in general must take in information they want, bend it to their wishes, and create this recipe of measured plot, character, and other familiar elements. But there’s also the way many authors pull out of their internal reserves and experience and, surprise, it’s not aways a conscious effort.


Well, speaking of recipes, there’s an apple crumble that I need to make for the big feast tomorrow. I should probably find a real recipe, or we may have more surprise than one:)
If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, then happy Thanksgiving to you! And tell me, do you find writing to be more an unconscious revealing or a conscious throwing ingredients into the pot? I’m really curious about other writers’ thoughts and experiences on this.

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2 thoughts on “How Random, Novel

  1. Sounds like great progress, especially considering how much outside forces can affect things. 🙂

    I find my writing is usually a combination of the conscious and unconscious. I’ve unintentionally written stories for myself (which feels a lot like preaching to yourself in kids’ church), and sometimes I’ve tried to process something I’m dealing with through storytelling. It just depends. What’s also interesting about it is that certain elements might stay one way for a season but then change as the situation does. Maybe not entirely, but as you see things more clearly, so do the characters.

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