Though I had done better than I feared, I still came up short of the 50,000 word mark.
Though I had done better than I feared, I still came up short of the 50,000 word mark. My total is 34,456 words. I would like to cite a 30-day month (instead of 31) which includes a major holiday break, plus personal distractions as the reasons for not reaching the goal, but in the end I didn’t manage the time well and allowed myself endless revisioning before moving on.
Will I do it again next year? I hope I’m done well before then.
In The Winter Queen, Erast Fandorin’s instincts don’t quite compensate for his inexperience.
In The Winter Queen, Erast Fandorin’s instincts don’t quite compensate for his inexperience. Fandorin senses there is more to a student’s public suicide in the Alexander Gardens, but he is unprepared for where his suspicions lead him. Now finding himself in an ever-widening conspiracy, the young sleuth must travel across Europe to discover the truth, nab the villain and escape with his life.
Russian names aside (they’re a mouthful for me), Boris Akunin’s writing is clear and clean with wonderful details in all the right places. The humor is charming and the twists are numerous. I enjoyed meeting Akunin’s strange characters — even lamenting the demises of some of Fandorin’s adversaries. The Winter Queen is a terrific detective story and I’m eager to pick up the next Fandorin adventure.
In addition to the panelists at the Writing Show last night, there was a representative for NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month.
In addition to the panelists at the Writing Show last night, there was a representative for NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month. I had first heard of this event last year but didn’t participate. It’s held every November, challenging all (non-)writers to write 50,000 words beginning midnight Nov. 1 through 11:59 Nov. 30.
Learn more at the NaNoWriMo website. There appears to be a lot useful stuff there, including pep talks and community support. I intend to sign up and give it a shot. It may be the kick in the tuchas I need.
Will you participate this year? Have you in the past? What was your experience?
Tonight’s James River Writers Writing Show focused on writing groups.
Tonight’s James River Writers Writing Show focused on writing groups. Fittingly, all the members of our writing group showed up (a first!).
The Show’s panelists included authors Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel), Leslie Pietrzyk (A Year and a Day) and Susann Cokal (Breath and Bones). Poet and novelist Virginia Pye moderated the discussion.
From my notes I wrote that Pietrzyk begins her novels with a question that she can’t answer and a paradox — two things that are each true but cannot be true together. The first part resonated with me. That is, what is the central question in my novel? It isn’t the approach I took — my novel had begun with the characters, but still I think it’s worth examining. So that’s some homework for me.
I also took to heart Cokal’s suggestion that when your work is critiqued, do not immediately make revisions to incorporate them. Keep writing forward, rather than stopping to go back and revise. I am doing that now (revisions) and I don’t like it, though I feel that I must. I want to finish a complete draft. It seems forever out of reach.
When the topic of research came up, I liked Cokal’s remark that reserch is her chance to experience the world of her novel. They all agreed that a few vivid and true details can be all that is necessary to convince the reader that you have been to a place you never visited, but the moment the reader catches you in something implausible, then you may lose them.