A woman adopts an alternative lifestyle and walks into a Denny’s in Phoenix...no joke, it’s NaNoWriMo time and this go ‘round I’m writing in my den of creativity in Arizona instead of my bat cave in the Sierra Nevada’s. Thought it would be fun to get to know some writer types in the desert at the regional NaNoWriMo kick off, and it was. Here’s what I learned.
Writers aren’t healthy. Most identified their brain food of choice from the carbs and caffeine section of the abandoned food pyramid (guess they also retro). My favorite was fruit leather wrapped around a pickle (hmmm, is this writer planning to give birth to more than a novel?). The snack I aspire to is green peppers and crisp cherry tomatoes – the crack and pop is energizing, according to one of my new writer friends. I believe it.
Writers are overachievers. When asked what their biggest challenge was this year many trotted out new jobs, multiple children involved in activities such as competitive gymnastics and scouting, and college classes they are enrolled in on top of their commitment to produce 1,667 words per day for 30 days toward a plot not fully fleshed out. My biggest challenge is to decide what point of view (POV) will work best for the sequel to The Sheep Walker and whether to write in first person again or switch to third person.
What I’ve learned from my 2010 participation. I’m going into this session with a full chapter by chapter outline and some experience with Scrivener, a content generation software program (I supply the content, it organizes my outline, character sketches and scenes and spits out a manuscript when I’m ready to push the button.) I have twice as many characters to get to know; we’re already living together.
I keep a 5-year diary. I checked my entry two years ago. On November 1, 2010 I wrote, “2, 409 words and the Giants won the series!” Hoping history will repeat itself.