Archives for posts with tag: writing

Script FrenzyAs if Nanowrimo every November weren’t enough, the good folks at The Office of Letters and Light also run an event called Script Frenzy every April.  I’ve chickened out of it in the past, thinking that I wasn’t interested in writing a play or movie or TV script – but this year I’m doing it.  And I’m smack in the middle of it right now!

The best thing about it is that I never imagined writing a script before – in my head I’ve always been a future novelist. So I had no hangups about what I should be writing about or how I should do it. Having no baggage is great!

The second-best thing is how much I prepared beforehand. I read about 25 plays (luckily my husband teaches a course in 20th century American Drama at Goldsmiths, so I had a whole library of plays at home!), mostly from the 20th century, mostly from North America and Britain, purely because this is my favourite time period (oh, I miss the 20th century!) and location. It was absolutely fascinating to read them; although I go to the theatre several times a year I hadn’t read a play since university. I had some greats on my list, but my clear favourites were Angels in America by Tony Kushner, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, M Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, The Mentalists by Richard Bean (I know, I know, it’s 21st century), Aunt Dan and Lemon by Wallace Shawn, and the howlingly funny Hysteria by Terry Johnson.

And now I’m writing my own play. We’ll see how it goes.  I fully intend to finish the requisite 100 pages by the end of April so I can have the nice ‘I won Script Frenzy’ badge to put on my blog!

I won Nanowrimo 2010!

I won Nanowrimo 2010!

I won Nanowrimo again this year!  My 50,000 words were done and dusted by November 28th this year – mostly because I’d learned from last year’s experience of leaving it until the last minute to finish nearly half of my novel.  In case you don’t know, Nanowrimo is a month-long global novel-writing fest that happens every November.  I’ve been doing it for the past three years and have managed to get my requisite 50,000 words done on time each year.  Three for three!

I did have a horrible day in the middle of the month where I was a few thousand words behind my target, hating my novel, not knowing where it was going, and feeling like tossing it all in the garbage, but giving myself a whole day on a weekend to catch up made me feel all right again.  And the characters suddenly perked up and seemed much more likeable.  I’ve never divulged the plots of any of my novels before, but I’ll reveal a little about this one: it’s a murder mystery set in a small-town museum.  I may even try to revise it and show it to some gentle editor-friends.

Every year I get very excited about doing this project, but every year I seem to have a few bad (read: horrible, hair-pulling-out) days on the way, where I beg my husband to remind me not to do this again next year.  But the excitement and satisfaction of winning wipes all those bad feelings out and I can’t remember them… until the next time.  This must be what it feels like to write all the time.  Which I would like to be doing.  So now my challenge is to keep on writing after Nanowrimo ends, and not just do it in November!

Nanowrimo 2009 winner

Nanowrimo 2009 winner!

Yeahhhh!!!  I know this post is a few days later, but I think I was too much in shock for the first couple of days of December at the fact that I actually succeeded in doing the 50,000 words required to win NaNoWriMo.  I won last year, but I timed my sessions better and did a bit of writing onalmost every day of November that year, so I knew I would be able to do it.  This year I skipped a lot of days and still had 20,000 words to go on my novel with 5 days left.  I really didn’t think I could do it and I nearly quit.  Thanks to my lovely husband, who gave up his thesis time on our shared laptop, I managed to barricade myself in his office and write the last huge chunk in the last few days – with half a day to spare!  I’m still dazed from that much screen time, I think.