Right now, a good number of my writer friends are sharing articles on plotting and preparing for NaNoWriMo. Some of them are helpful, some of them sort of irritate me a bit. Some of them make it seem like you have to prepare in the first place to succeed at NaNoWriMo or even writing a book at all. You don’t. There is no wrong way to write a book. There are certainly people who can open a file and write 50,000 words in a month or less with no plotting, no prep work at all. Maybe it’s not the popular way but it isn’t impossible. I should know. Guardian of the Gods, Hunter’s Crossing, and Eldercynne Rising all had their zero drafts done during NaNoWriMo (Hunter’s Crossing is the only one that kept its title) and I had one sentence or one whisp of an idea in my head when I sat down on November 1.
This year is a little different because I’m writing a sequel so, I’ve got to keep continuity with the first and follow some threads I’ve prepared there already, but you absolutely can do NaNoWriMo with no prep work at all. I am not a plotter. I don’t do outlines or sketches. I do a zero draft and build up from there. My zero drafts are pretty sparse but for me, it’s more about the plot than the pretty (though pretty can happen during the zero, mostly it gets cut during drafting and edits).
If you want to write a book, sit down and do it by whatever means necessary. If you need an outline, make one. If you need that prep work, please do it. If you don’t and you just need an open file or a piece of paper – that works too. You do you and tell a good story. This world needs more good stories.
If Dirk can be a Holistic Detective and Bart can be a Holistic Assasin, I can be a Holistic Hot Mess because it’s all connected. (I really need to read the books – the show is fun)
I’m not working on making the universe better or balanced or whatever but still. I’m starting to think I’ve been a super clutz all my life to prepare me for the hot mess that is my body at the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on crutches so, when I needed them because everything was swelling and hard to walk on, I had them at the ready. I had the ace bandages and the carpal tunnel wrist braces. I did have to replace my stabilizing knee brace because it was better than 20 years old and had a funky funky smell. I’ve also added a new selection of wrist braces and thumb splints and bought myself a cane. And now, my foot is being cruel and hurty so I’ve strapped it in the boot I got when I ran over my other foot with a shopping cart a few years back. No way I’m getting a shoe on it but I’ve got stuff to do today.
Most of this post occurred to me as I was going to bed after digging said boot out of the pile of useful things and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am to have all this stuff so I don’t have to try and acquire it when I’m already hurty. Lucky being relative and all. Hopefully, it works enough for me to run the errands that need run and go to my support group tonight. If I need to, I’ll add in the crutches too. I may even have to cave and use one of the motorized scooter things at the grocery store – fair warning if you see me, stay back, I’ve never used one before!
Thumb Splint arrived!
My thumb splint finally came! It’s certainly not an all the time thing and I’ve already ordered a second one because it’s like night and day with typing. My fingers aren’t so bad most of the time but my thumbs make me feel like having thumbs is more than overrated. I’m still not up to speed but it’s definitely better than 50 words per minute! I might just make NaNoWriMo work this year after all (and be able to get back to doing some transcription stuff too maybe).
I’m doing some preparation for NaNo this year – mostly in the form of research because I have a pretty good idea of the major plot points in the story this year. Which likely means that it will go completely sideways and the book I think I’m going to write will not be what gets written. I do love the research part of writing – especially when it’s strange or mythological stuff I’m researching. This time around, it’s mostly underused monsters. I’m pulling some from wrong sorts of places on purpose but I promise, it’ll make sense that they are where they are.
If I manage to finish this book’s zero draft in November, I’m probably going to try again in January and do the second book of the Eldercynne trilogy – which is all it’s planned to be at the moment. I have about half a draft on that one which is why it isn’t a nano book.
If you are also doing NaNoWriMo and want to be buddies, I’m Shade53. I don’t spend time on the forums really because I get sidetracked and sucked in too easily and I have enough distractions with all the other stuff I’m supposed to get accomplished in a day but I’m happy to message or race.
And that’s a couple hundred words with no screaming thumb. I will, however, need to cut a little piece of fleece to cover the strap – it’s digging in just a bit on a tender spot on my wrist – but what a difference a little bit of fabric and some metal can make!
Things are getting back to normal-ish at my house. I can do dishes without dropping them, I’ve only needed my cane one morning this week, I can go up the stairs like a typical person (not down yet though, I’m still going sideways down the steps), and I can type. For five minutes at a stretch and half the speed I’m accustomed to. I’m hoping that, by NaNoWriMo (which I AM doing), the medicine I’m on will be working well enough to help me finally get the sequel to Hunter’s Crossing written and not languishing in a pile of notes, snippets, and scenes.
I ordered a thumb splint that I hope will be here in plenty of time to adjust to wearing it and typing with it. Most of my problem is in the left hand, thumb, wrist, and elbow. I’ve looked into thermoskin gloves, wrist warmers, and stabilizers. I’m pretty willing to try anything. I’ve looked into speech to text but I haven’t found one I like enough to use (plus I’m still trying to get over the whole talking to myself like an idiot thing – I write because I sound stupid when I speak dang it!).
I’m having some of those moments, I can feel the depression trying to say hello, trying to sneak in and take root. This isn’t an unusual thing. In fact, it happens pretty regularly but this year it’s compounded by the RA, the weight gain because I’m struggling to be active when moving hurts (and food is my blankie), and the general feeling of uselessness. Nothing has really worked to dig me out in the past so I’m trying something new. It seems silly but it’s not not working. I haven’t worn makeup for about two decades and, being a writer, there’s not much call to get properly dressed every day, so I’m trying to do that too. I figure, if I’m going to be healthier than I’ve ever been (and I must be as I’ve seen ALL the doctors in the last few months lol), I might as well try and look it. I’m still not leaving the house too much so no one really gets to see it but, strangely, it’s making a difference anyway.
I got tagged in those pretty picture things on FB by a bunch of ladies. I won’t do them as I haven’t taken a picture I like in more than a decade but they partially inspired the whole trying to look like a functional person thing. For years, I’ve extolled the value of fake it till you make it but I don’t always follow my own advise. I’m trying to. I’ve joined a few groups – one focusing on getting healthy and an RA support group – and I like both of them a great deal. This year has been one of the worst I’ve had but that doesn’t mean I can’t make something good come from it before it’s done.