The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

5,000 Words in the Hole

        My students (some of them) think I'm crazy. Some of them are excited--they can't wait. And some are planning on using a reeeealy big font, along with using series of "very very very very very very verys" and "really really really really really really reallys" (they think I won't notice)... even though I've told them over and over it's not the number of pages that matter but instead, the word count.

       My middle-schoolers are going to do NaNoWriMo. They're lucky. They can make their own goal (not gonna happen, since many of them will choose 0 as their goal). They're not saddled with the monstrous 50,000-word mountain to scale. (I've set a 5,000-word goal for them, hoping it's challenging but also attainable.)

      I've told my classes, "You might start with a kernel of an idea, and then get stuck wondering What is going to happen next?  However, if your characters are fleshed-out, your characters will start telling the story. They will drive the plot for you."



     A writing friend, Kim, outed herself. She came out of the closet. She admitted on her blog that she's a closet writer, but has decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. If you're curious what she's going to be working on, go back a post or two. Her project is chilling. Seriously. Serious as a serial killer... a female serial killer.

     She wrote in her most recent post, "Fake it until you make it," and that's what you have to do when writing a novel. You have to take that leap. You have to take that step off the cliff, having faith that on the way down you'll find your wings and can start soaring.

      What are your goals in November--writing or otherwise? Ambitious minds want to know...

23 comments:

  1. It would be difficult to writ 5000 words. All the best!

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    1. Weekend-Windup--You might be surprised how easy it is, once you get into the groove. Thanks for your good thoughts.

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  2. I will for sure be writing 5000 words, but they will not be related in any way. Just mediocre blog posts (pardon my bragging) that keep my writing muscle from atrophying in case I ever get off my butt and try to do some heavy lifting.

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    1. Val--If you ever need a serious push, let me know...

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  3. I plan on a novel revision for Nano. Excited for your kids to be writing 5,000 words. You can show them the reluctant visually it's only about 10 typed pages. Have fun.

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    1. Linda--I am sure whatever you choose to work on will end up being a wonderful read...

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  4. I love it! What a cool way to get your students excited about writing.

    For myself, I've gone to the "every other year" NaNo plan. This is my year, so I've been trying to do some outlining. I have to admit to being less thorough than in years past, though, so we'll see what happens. I'm taking some fictional characters from my historical and creating trouble for them.

    Pat
    www.patwahler.com

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    1. Pat--Does that mean you'll juggling your other manuscript at the same time? If so, I bow down to you.

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  5. I have a Korean book to rewrite, and lots of questions to go along with it. All in all, I'd rather be doing NaNo. :-)

    (Good on you, inspiring those kids to write 5,000 words! Someday, Sioux, you're going to be that teacher mentioned in an author's (or MANY authors') acknowledgement pages!)

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    1. Cathy--Thanks. At this point, I'd just like to be a teacher. (More details about THAT next Tuesday.)

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  6. Best wishes to your students and you! I HAVE TO FINISH a book that an editor asked for, in publishable condition by sometime in December. It needs to be 60,000 words. I have less than 20,000. Yikes!!But if you crazy, I mean determined, NANO nuts can do it, then I am trying to convince myself I can too. I need troubles to inflict ... believable resolutions ... and a few more characters to mess with ...

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    1. Marcia--

      Lucky you--an editor is demanding your book. You can do it. And you have far more motivation than most NaNoWriMO-ers... You have an editor who's nibbling.

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  7. I have three whole weeks in November with no chemo. Am hoping side effects and chemo brain lessen so I can produce or at least think of something!!!!

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    1. Claudia--I hope you ARE feeling good enough to write. It's been too long--I imagine...

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  8. Is that NaNo's new image? Hmmm, maybe I'll do NaNo because I like that image. Ha.

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    1. Lynn--Lured in by a postcard. You're easy.

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  9. Your students are lucky to have you! How exciting you are getting them involved. My goals for November--write--something.

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    1. Margo--Me, too. I'm planning on doing NaNo, so whatever I get down will be a plus.

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  10. Geesh, now your zillions of readers know too...this will either make me freeze, or light a fire under my butt (and keyboard). :)

    I bet you'll rock the word count, if only to be a good example to your students.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Kim--Zillions divided by itself would be a more accurate number...

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  11. You know what I'd like to know? When NaNo is over, please tell us how many of your students have exceeded the 5,000 word limit you set. I'm betting you have at least one in the bunch who starts writing, gets hooked on the story, and keeps rolling. :) November is a busy month for me. I'm working on the final revision of my fourth book, Secrets by the Sea, and had a couple of manuscripts come in from clients for editing, one a full edit, the other a second round. Add Thanksgiving and it's a full month!

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    1. You know what I would like to know, Lisa? What is "Secrets by the Sea" about? Just a teaser, please.

      And for sure--I'll fill you in if anyone gets hooked on their book...

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...