Writing Away

Novel writing. Something, long ago, I never in a million, zillion years thought i would ever do. But yet, in less than two weeks, I will embark on a mission to write a 50,000 word novel manuscript in one month…for the second time.

Last year I was fortunate enough (through a feat of incredible finger strength and dedication to getting a fancy t-shirt) to actually complete this challenge, with a novel manuscript that has for the last year been left largely unedited. (It desperately needs some revisions, but I’m actually pretty proud of the project.)

I learned a lot about myself and about my writing style during that wonderful month of November 2015. I gained some new words, some new writing software, some new friends, and a new technique for getting past writer’s block that I now swear by and use regularly. (Word sprints, anyone?!)

This year, instead of going back to last year’s project, I’m starting a new one. A brand new manuscript. A brand new idea.

I’m ecstatic about this one.

I was ecstatic about last year’s as well. Last year, I spent my month chronicling the characters of my commute to and from my office in first-person vignettes about all the weird things I saw, frustrations I felt, and daydreams I had.

At times I felt like I was writing more of a cathartic journal than a novel, but it was incredible. I learned so much about how I structure my sentences on any given day, how often I use a lot of varied adverbs (something I’ve been trying to quit doing for quite some time now…but have not yet succeeded at given how many instances of -ly appear in this blog post alone), and how stream-of-consciousness writing will always be one of my favorite activities.

Right now, I’m immersing myself in a lot of preparations. Outlines, character building, and my arch-nemesis: title drafting. There have been phrases, anecdotes, metaphors and similes abounding and I’ve been compiling them all, saving them for the days where the words will count and they’ll have their time in the spotlight.

I’m so excited. Truly.

I fell in love with writing again last November. And this November, I’m truly looking forward to writing away and continuing our torrid love affair.

Side Note: If you’d like to take the challenge of National Novel Writing Month, check out http://nanowrimo.org. There, you’ll find all the resources you need to get started. If you’d like to follow my novel’s progress, check out my author profile on the same site: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/jessstapf.

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