Speaking of NaNoWriMo... yes, this is where I was planning to go all along...
I refuse to let my failure last year continue on into this one! Feeling slightly down about how long it's taking me to wrap things up with Knightsbridge and reminiscing about how smoothly things went with Freakhouse, I've joined forces with my partner-in-crime to really hold myself to my writing deadlines.
Aside from last year, I'm very good at reaching the 50,000 word count during November. I'm less good at actually finishing my novels in that amount of time. With Knightsbridge lingering on year after year, and me realizing that when I said "first draft complete" I was clearly kidding myself because I used so many shortcuts that the last third of the story isn't even readable, I really really need to make sure that I don't fall into this endless writing cycle ever again!
I'm not a very big Stephen King fan, but I did come across an article that gave me some food for thought. "22 Lessons from Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer", like any article about writing tells you what works for a particular writer, and there are so many of these that you really can't follow each one word for word because in the end your craft really has to be your own. Still, there is good advice to be found, but the one that really stuck to me this time through was #19. Finish your first draft in three months. Now, NaNoWriMo already sets the challenge to your first draft in one month, that being said, a first draft is not always 50,000 words. Some people are amazing writing robots and complete 100,000 - 200,000 words in one month... I am no such robot. But I do agree that having a story linger on is painful. A great part of my frustration with Knightsbridge this time is that I was in a mindset of doing light revision, not completing a 1st draft all over again. It's defeating thinking you've done something and then realizing that you're back at square one again.
I need some tough love sometimes. Now I'm going to let my writing friends give me the kick in the butt I need this November.
I present to you The 3 Month Novel Challenge Pact. In this pact, I will agree to start and complete a full 1st draft between November 1st and January 31st, or else subject myself to online public humiliation. Much inspired by the "Cone of Shame" I already adopted in Curious Endeavourances when I not only failed to read the novel but also entirely forgot that we were scheduled to meet that day, the "Cone of Shame" is the chosen consequence for my own laziness. Yes, even when completely overwhelmed by life I have an obligation to my story, and even if I'm in tears, I have no excuse but the lack of sheer will-power that stops me from taking responsibility for my obligations.
Now, mostly this pact was invented in the spirit of good-humoured silliness, but I intend to uphold it and all of the possible ridicule that may follow - starting in November.
I encourage anyone who is interested in writing to take up a challenge, even if not one that includes embarrassing online videos, to stay focused and motivated. And as always, www.nanowrimo.org is amazing resource for any level of writer or seeker of writing related things. I will put up a page on my website, but I'm hoping that we can include it all together with Curious Endeavourances, after all, this is quite a curious endeavourance!
Now if I can just get this last novel done in time!
The 3 Month Novel Challenge Pact
By agreeing to this pact, I agree to begin and complete a full 1st draft of my novel within 3 months.
Failure to complete the 1st draft during the proposed time will result in a public online display of my shame. Within 24 hours following the final day of the 3rd month (ie. midnight of the 31st to midnight of the 1st), I shall upload a video of myself, wearing the cone of shame, and address the reasons behind my failure. I shall declare my excuse(s), as well as the depths of my failure (including how little was accomplished in terms of word count, pages, or chapters).
Should the novel still remain incomplete in the following month, I agree to post a another “Cone of Shame” video, wearing the cone of shame, outlining my failures, within 24 hours following the last day of the month, and “Cone of Shame” videos shall continue to be made and uploaded until such a time as the novel draft is complete, with the following variations:
2nd offence: Must make video with clothes on inside out
3rd offence: Consuming a spoonful of ketchup
4th offence: Wearing last year’s Halloween costume
5th offence: Fashioning a toiletpaper dress
6th offence: Performing a dramatic recitation of “The Frivolous Cake”
7th offence: Recording the video in a public place
8th offence: Being covered in full body paint
9th offence: Consuming a spoonful of cinnamon
Failure to complete the novel by the 12th month will result in the final “Cone of Shame” video post, which will include a declaration of defeat and a funeral service for my dead novel in which all respects are paid. The Funeral service shall end with a bucket full of ice water being overturned on my head.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-king-on-how-to-write-2014-7#ixzz3CSCFUI6k