This is the end (of the month)

Congratulations on surviving November!  Imagine that I am flinging confetti and waving large pom-poms while standing on my head.*  Whether or not you won NaNoWriMo, I hope you got something you could use from the cheerleading posts this month.  Let me know in the comments which ones were most useful, and if I do it again, what I should add or subtract.

Yes, this was my equivalent of NaNoWriMo, but instead of having a daily minimum, it had a daily maximum.  When I write advice, essays, blog posts, or reports, I tend to write too much.  So I wasn’t allowed to go over 700 words, even with the footnotes.  Many stellar paragraphs had to die in the service of this goal.

I was also teaching myself how to use WordPress.  I have blogged for years, and have had my own URL and website since the late 90s, but I decided I should revamp my platform to make it less about teaching and more about writing. §

I’m going back to posting once a week or so, after tomorrow.||  I will be reporting on the panels and speakers I saw at Philcon to begin with.

Next: Getting out of the bunker.

Here’s links to the month’s blog posts.  Bookmark this page if you want to come back to any of them:

  1. No, No, NaNoWriMo:  Fire Your Editor
  2. Fire Your Imaginary Grandmother
  3. And then? And then? Bridging the gaps.
  4. Shame, shame
  5. Last minute scramble
  6. What next?  Bring in the sub-plot
  7. Off-road, U-turns, and missed exits
  8. You like it?  Steal it.
  9. Giving your characters something to live for
  10. Time travel – finding time to write
  11. Honestly
  12. Strong emotions
  13. Words to avoid:  Intensifiers and qualifiers
  14. Get off social media
  15. Strunk and White were wrong.  Sort of.
  16. Keep going
  17. Plot:  Making things difficult
  18. Selective memory and memoirs
  19. Starting over every day
  20. Theme
  21. Deep work and how not to avoid it
  22. Copy and steal everything (C.A.S.E.)
  23. Interruptions
  24. Gobbledygook, nonsense, word porridge, and stuffing the bird
  25. When characters get away from you
  26. Villains and antagonists
  27. What the heck does your protagonist want?
  28. What do you have to lose?
  29. Revision – Nice to see you again

* It’s gonna have to be imaginary.  I went to a girls’ school. We had cheerleaders, I think. I don’t remember, but I know I wasn’t one of them. It was a long time ago. If I tried to do jumping jacks now, I would hurt something.
† PLEASE. I would like some feedback because I would like to be better at it.
‡ I kept wanting to give more examples, tell stories, and add in all the kinds of words I told you to take out. It’s a wonderful exercise, trying to stay below a maximum word count. I didn’t always succeed, but if I failed, I put the extra things in the footnotes.
§ One of the things that used to annoy me when I was teaching was when people would solemnly tell me that people my age weren’t digitally savvy, and that the kids I taught were digital natives. The kids I taught certainly owned and used a lot of technology and took it for granted, but teaching them how to write for the Web was like pulling teeth and they were remarkably good at crashing their computers. They thought the Internet was something in the air, like oxygen, and when the wireless went down they freaked. I started using digital word processors in the late 70s, owned a personal computer in the early 80s, used social media before it was normal, reserved a URL when they were first available, and coded my own website. I bought the first iPhone. I hate any conversation that uses the terms Generation X, Boomers, or Millennials. It’s lazy thinking and statistically ignorant. The differences between people in any cohort are often greater than the similarities. Yes, I have opinions.
|| I only got two stories written this month. That’s the downside of posting every day.

4 thoughts on “This is the end (of the month)

  1. Sara Nash says:

    The posts individually will be more or less applicable to any individual writer. Many topics were things I already knew or techniques I already use. Reminders are useful, especially when I think I know things. The cumulative value of daily writing support during NaNoWriMo exceeds the actual advice. The desire to write is always there, but life often snuffs the spark. The pom poms waving air toward the tiny fire kept me coming back to my project. I think I’m invested enough now to keep going. The word count is a meager 8,000 for the month, but the project is living in my head.

  2. M. C. Frye says:

    I wish I had found this blog during NaNo. The community spirit of NaNoWriMo is a huge encouragement to me as a writer. I usually write nearly as much during the month of November as I manage in any other 3-month period of the year.

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