The Day of Writing

Sean (7-weeks) and I are doing a Day of Writing today! I won’t be on Tumblr at all or any social media during the next however many hours are left until September 27, 2014 is over. This post has actually been scheduled; I’m not even logged in right now (well, right now I am, but when this posts I won’t be). I’m excited to see how much I can get done in LTL! I’ll post something tomorrow about whatever progress I made.

Sincerely,
Rachel Sandene

The first chapter is always the hardest chapter.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Plans

I had previously made a post about how I wasn’t going to ever do NaNoWriMo ever ever ever again.

I lied.

Basically, since I’m taking a gap year off from school and such, I have no commitments standing in my way of NaNoWriMo 2014—no high school, no college, no job, no career, no life, really—and so I figured, why not give it one more shot? I can put all my time and energy into a novel this November, and I can do it well.

I’ve figured out the problem with Camp is it’s in the summer, which is generally a good thing for schedules, but my level of sedentariness increases exponentially between June and August. Hopefully I’ll be able to overcome that in the winter months!

So, long story short, I’m giving National Novel Writing Month one last shot. Because this is it. This year’s autumn months are the most free I will ever have in my entire life. I have nothing standing in my way. So I’m going to do this.

Sincerely,
Rachel Sandene

Writing advice? I suppose so.

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
— (via avvfvl)

My Letters to Lia planning journal. It’s quite a mess of ideas.

Letters to Lia: Update VIII

I have just found a rather significant plot hole. I suppose that’s what one would call it, even though it’s not really a hole in the plot. It’s more a hole in the planning. Planning hole? Anyway.

I went back and read my synopsis that I wrote for LTL (which is always a good thing for me to do; my synopses are my visions for the stories I write, and it helps to return to that and refresh my memory), and I found that Lia #2 was supposed to have depression. The only problem with that is while I was planning Lia #1’s character more recently than when I wrote the synopsis, I gave her depression. So now I have to decide whether it’s a good parallel to make both modern-day Lia and past Lia have depression or if it’s just overkill.

It’s not a problem if I decide to rework Lia #1’s character because I have another idea I found in the back pocket of my LTL planning journal. It wouldn’t be the end of the world to change my plans all over again.

I am currently discussing the issue with Sean. And, as of right now, he approves of the change of plans! So that’s that.

Sincerely,
Rachel Sandene

A Farewell to National Novel Writing Month

I know this is a (very) late post, but Camp NaNoWriMo was yet another failed attempt at writing a novel in the span of one month.

However, I am not disappointed in myself at all! Nope, not one bit. Why?

Because in July, I (finally) realized that NaNo is just not made for me. It’s not that I crumble under the pressure (even though I occasionally do), and it’s not even that I have to write 50,000 words in 30 days (even though that’s a huge part of it). The problem with me and NaNoWriMo is that I cannot sacrifice quality for quantity. I simply can’t do it. I’m too much of a perfectionist, and word counts mean so little to me in comparison to the story itself.

National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful tool for people who need some sort of quantitative goal to reach for, but I need to have a more qualitative finish line. I need my novels to be written because I want to write something beautiful, something powerful, something that readers will appreciate and relate to, something that can change the hearts and minds of the people who read my words, and, most of all, something that will change the people themselves.

Basically, my motivation to write Letters to Lia and any future novels must come from my own personal goal to write stories that have the capacity to change lives.

Quite a lofty goal, I know, but I’d rather shoot for the stars than settle for the moon.

So this post is essentially a farewell to my participation in National Novel Writing Month. It was fun while it lasted, and I truly mean that. My longest attempt at a novel was a product of NaNo 2012, and it was always so fun to “compete” with the members of my teen writing group while we all tackled head-on the task of 50,000 words at the same time. I made some cool temporary friends during my first Camp experience (two Québécoise girls were in my cabin. Let’s just say I learned a small lexicon of French profanity). I also met the self-published Sara Harricharan this time around.

Overall, November NaNoWriMo and its summer Camp NaNo sessions have done a lot of things for me as both a writer and a person. It’s just time for me to do my own thing, write novels for a different reason, in different ways, and find my own personal motivation to land among the stars instead of settling for the moon.

Sincerely,
Rachel Sandene

Letters to Lia: Update VII

This is a short update, but today I received a quick Russian lesson from the dad of a girl who’s in my writing critique group! Lia #1 is Russian, but the Russian language is really weird when it comes to names and such, so her full name was pretty much breaking all the rules. But it’s all fixed now!

That’s all for today. I’m working on finishing up my basic outline and then I’ll probably be ready to start writing LTL again!

Sincerely,
Rachel Sandene

Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
— George Orwell (via maxkirin)