Badgering–The Novel New Year Edition

Anybody out there doing NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month–or something like that)?  Oh, wait.  That’s right.  For you this is NaNoEdYear.  Yes, it is.  Remember, before midnight on Halloween, you are going to have a finished novel.  Yes, you are.  

Okay, here’s the thing.  Sure, January 1st was the start of the New Year.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  But I’m calling March 1st the start of the Year of Your Novel.  Look, January 1st is arbitrary if you think about it, and there are plenty of other ways to view a year–a school year and a Chinese New Year, for example.  So, Happy New Novel Year to you.  Now I’m telling you your novel’s resolutions (because you’ve foolishly given me your email address)–

Your characters will be seduced.
Your plot will face dangers untold and hardships unnumbered (gold star to anyone who catches the allusion there).
Your scenes will lose unnecessary adjectives and adverbs and become trim and strong (please don’t point out the contradiction in that sentence).
Your settings will always let us know where and when we are.
Your dialogue will speak the truth and lie brilliantly.
Your action will leave us wanting more.
Your novel will make an entrance when it comes into a room (is it ready for its close-up?).
Your novel will leave at just the right moment (not before the action really starts or after the best guests have gone home).

This list is more realistic than the list you’ve probably forgotten from that other New Year’s Day back in, when was that?  Oh, yeah, January.

But the most important resolution is this–your novel will be done.  Did I say that already?  Yes, I did.  And I’m going to remind you of this fact many times over until you know it’s true.  In fact, I suggest you tape this particular resolution on your computer or your forehead.  You are going to finish.  You are.  It is your mantra.  It is your life.  Don’t make me take hostages!

Go write.

Go finish.


5 thoughts on “Badgering–The Novel New Year Edition

  1. I like these resolutions! They jazz me up and make me say, “fuck yeah!” (Sorry about the language.)

    I think, however, this is the year of Short Stories for me. I’m rather new to fiction and I have an affinity to the short story. There seems to be a certain length I can’t go beyond and after feeling blue about that for awhile, I decided to embrace the short length and hone my fiction skills in the short-story genre. If/when I feel compelled to stretch and expand character or plot, I’ll do that.

    As you badger, I’ll adjust your advice to my shorter projects and with hope and work, I’ll have a certain amount of stories completed by Halloween. Having that deadline works really well for me, so thanks for taking over that part of my writing job for me. Very kind.

  2. I’m working on a novel, but doing it on my own terms. I’m doing all my research and planning and stuff this semester, and then writing a complete draft over the summer. Then I can revise it in the fall semester and hopefully have pretty words that I can maybe shop around. Or at least that’s the tentative plan…

  3. Okay, I’m going to print this page out. I’m writing! I’m writing! That’s a good deadline – it’s my birthday!! And it’s about the time I want to finish anyway, if not sooner.

  4. SBW, no need to apologize about the language. Trust me. And short stories are great. You’ve got a gift for that–it is clear in your blog. I know some writing books say to start with short stories and work up to novels, but that gives short stories short shrift. Some people are good with oil paint and others good with pen and ink. Some people are good at sprinting and others at marathons. One isn’t better than the other and one doesn’t automatically mean you can or want to do both. Write where your passion is.

    Dash–be warned of tentative plans…but good luck with that. Oh–are pretty words what you’re after? Pretty? From your blog I was thinking words more sharp and shiny.

    Shelli, always glad to hear you’re writing!

  5. . . .I have fought my way through the goblin city to take back the child you have stolen.

    (I’m being lazy on my novel, but I can’t resist a Labyrinth quote challenge.)

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