Thursday, December 2, 2010

Resurrecting Rhett

Outside of a Dog blogger preps for November
Last November was the longest month of my life. Well, maybe second to that last month of marathon training - in effing December or January most likely - when you run 40 plus miles in frigid weather, looking at desolate, frozen fields, which make you wanna kill yourself that much more. And when you make it back inside, and your ears are burning from warming up too fast, and you wanna rip the soles of your feet off so you can rub their muscles better - and your hips and knees feel like crunchy peanut butter and applesauce... Yeah, the 10 days shy of the grand Noah's arc-dom of novelizing period was second to that.

My blue period, like any other's, was inspired - but not without more bumps than snazzy thoughts. The NaNoWriMo community was pretty cool, constant threads of encouragement and write-ins at local coffee shops and bookstores, where unbeknownst NaNoWriMos probably wandered the stacks - and great pep talks from people like Lindsey Grant and Lemony Snicket.

Their words made me wanna keep going. Because I knew I wasn't alone in the whirly writing and reading worldAnd like they say - if you can touch just one person, with even your crappy rough draft of a story or script, even with comma misuse and overused words and errors like forgetting about the dog you gave the main character, be-lovingly name Rhett after Scarlet's beloved. (And here one wastes time marveling at how clever they are at name-giving and hyphenating.) But you still have to resurrect the red, furry guy in chapters 1 through 5. Keep the faith, they say, because the payoff is worth it. And it is. All zero dollars of it.

Because here's what I learned over the course of 50,375 words in no particular order (wink) -

  1. Writing is all about you. And them - those like you. Who want to read what you write because they like what you do, whether they admit it or not. It's fun. Pure and simple. For everyone involved. Clean and wholesome. Well, kind of.
  2. Ideas gathered over months, even years, can be very helpful when you have writer's block. Names, places, phrases, situations. String some of them together, weave them in - for stuff that resonates and carries your plot from one point to another. Take a break. Go people watch. Visit another city, another house. Because the world on pages mirrors the living no matter how hard we may try to fight it.
  3. Person (you know, first, second, third) and tense are important to decide early on. But if you wanna change your mind, go for it; that's why God invented Search & Replace, and applications like Bean - Mac freeware made with writers in mind.
  4. If you think you've got the right stuff, or, more importantly, just absolutely love typing your whimsies into a glowing screen for a couple hours a day, it might be worth trying out or investing in another program or two that can help you map your story - so you can avoid having to bring dogs back from the dead, or skip a date you promised, or miss out on a character that would have been a dream development, or a thought that could be the very last poignant sentence before THE END.
  5. Don't edit. Don't criticize or chastise. Don't worry about people reading it. Just write what you know, where you are, and what you like - you can answer to the peanut gallery later when you're paying an agent and editor to do that for you.

Now I raise my non-stemmed wine glass to the people who kept me going. Kept asking, kept counting right along with me, kept overly inflating my amateur ego. Thank you oh minds I love to pick, actions and stories I love to mimic. Keep on. Live long and inspire.

Aly Lawson's first novel, The Innocents, will be available at the Lawson house come spring, in the form of a freebie, keepsake proof - which I will probably hide upon anyone visiting with the potential of asking after it.


Cody Lawson said...


Aly Lawson said...

You know it. (=

thebluemuse said...

I am proud of you! Can't wait to read the genius (and it is, don't try to tell me otherwise).

Aly Lawson said...

Oh okayyyyyy. OXO