Friday, November 30, 2012

Wheels up! (literally and figuratively)

And I'm done! I'm done! I have written 50,391 words in one month, of a brand new novel, with no preparation in advance.
I am proud and it does feel good, and I think, at the end, it has potential.
It, of course, needs a lot of work. It's rough, the scenes are not where they are suppose to be and I'm sure it has many holes.
But I still have a rough novel on my laptop. Yay, right? (or Jupi in Serbian:-)
And now I have to finish packing, and shopping.
I'm taking off tomorrow night, through Munich to Serbia, to see my family and friends.
And I will blog from Serbia. Serbia-blog. Blog-o-Nis. Nis-o-Blog.
So, stay tuned.
p.s. I need a big break from my novel. Oh, by the way, the title is Gorilla :-)
So, if you know anything about what I have done for the New Yorker, you'll know a bit what the novel is about.
p.p.s I heard it's snowing in Germany. And in Bosnia. Say it isn't so...?(I better pack my snow boots:)
Hope not to be snowed in, anywhere.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blog-crastinator or 6,666 words to go

Actually, last night I had about 6,600 words left to go. This morning, I made myself write the novel before writing this post. But 6,666 sounds better, right. A little bit of an artistic licence.
So, I have three days to go to win the NaNoWriMo. What do I win? Absolutely nothing, except for the fact that I have managed to write rough 50000 words of a novel in one month. How cool is that exactly? I'm not sure. It's cool when other people do it. Me? What do I do with that novel now?!
It's a rough draft, rougher than anything else I have ever written since I have never before been forced to write so much fiction on a deadline.
And now, even before it's finished, I don't feel like reading it ever again.
But that would be a waste, right? Right!
So, I'll probably let it sit for 20 years (:-) and then pick it up and work on it.

Was this NaNoWriMo challenge a good idea?
I'm not sure. It definitely made me outline a novel I had in mind. It made me write almost every day (I missed one due to guests). And it's a great writing exercise.
But would I do it again?
No way!
I think one novel that needs about another year of constant work is enough.
So, now, I have (let me check) a little less than 5000 words for go, and 2.5 days.
And I'm already tired of writing today, but I have to get in another shift, otherwise, I won't be able to make up 2500 a day, since I also have to pack and prepare for my trip on Saturday.
Here we go! Shift two! (My back hurts, I need to get up and walk around...maybe I should do Yoga?)

On a not-so-related note--anybody been to Munich Christmas Time?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


NaNoWriMo, Day 21.
(I have just found out last night, while talking to a small press publisher, that it's pronounced Wri, not Wree. Of course, it makes total sense, but once you learn to say something made up wrong...)
I'm hanging in there. I have good days and bad days. Days when I say:"Hey, this ain't so bad" and days when I say: "Oh my God, I just wasted a month of my life."
And I also have days when I don't want to see this Novel I'm writing (Gorilla) ever, ever again.
It's a bit autobiographical, and it brings out some bad memories, and I should not have picked to write a novel when one of the characters is based on something that happened to me.
It was hard to resist.
I should have stuck to what I like to write about: Rural Serbia, and Serbs with their weird and fascinating beliefs.
So not next year!
Speaking of Serbia, and adding Germany, I'm going to both of those in December.
Well, it's my father's 60 birthday, I had United miles, and my husband is traveling at the same time for work.
I'm also flying through Germany and despite the fact that it's going to be freezing there in December, I'm going to see Munich for the first time. Not counting the airport, which is one of the best airports in the world. Clean, efficient, and there's this big cafe with great lattes and wooden benches in the middle of shopping, i.e. heaven!
And I have a perfect 2.5 hour layover in Munich!
What else?
If you were a fiction writer like me, and that's all you really want to do for a living, would you go for a small publisher now, or a big publisher somewhere down the road?
That's a dilemma I'm facing right now.
I have only scratched the Small Presses versus Agent surface, and I have a few small offers. But no big ones yet.
So, settle for small now, or dig deeper, put in more work, not into my book, but into looking for an agent, so it might pay off later?
A friend, a writer told me, the agent game is a "numbers game..."
I hate playing with numbers...

Friday, November 9, 2012


This is my pathetic attempt to procrastinate working on my NaNoWriMo novel.
Why didn't anyone warn me that writing a novel every single bloody day is tiresome? And just a Little bit difficult?
Yes, as if I would listen.
I loveeee getting myself into these kinds of situations. No way out.
Feel free to ignore my nagging (Please don't ignore me, keep reading.)
I'm doing fine, actually, word-count wise, I'm just...a little tired of it.
I want to go back to my book! I want to write again about rural Serbian women, and other stuff.
So, if you also bravely (or stupidly) decided to write a novel in one month, please comment with words of encouragement. Like my book will definitely be a best seller. Effortlessly. That would probably get me through it.
I better get back to writing.
Or? Doing laundry doesn't sound so bad right now :-(

Monday, November 5, 2012

How's your Novel writing going?

So, if you didn't know, November is the Novel Writing Month in the United States.
I didn't know until...this year, I think.
But I bumped into an old friend in a cafe in Dupont Circle on Saturday, and when she asked me what have I been doing,  I said, "oh, I'm writing this novel thing," she said, "You're doing the NaNoWriMo?"
It was as if I said, yes, of course, it's the fall and the leaves are falling.
And yes, I'm on schedule, actually ahead of the schedule. (I wish I were this diligent when I was in college.) But it's not as exciting as I thought it would be.
The idea is that you write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. So, 50,000 is really not a novel but a novella, but I'm sure if they said "write 100,000 words in one month," people would run away screaming.
And you're suppose to "turn off your internal editor," that is if you have one. But that is really, really hard.
So, I, in my infinite wisdom and self-belief, believed that I can write 50,000 brilliant words in one month, i.e. write well every day. Not so much.
What I have managed to do is A) come up with a good novel idea; B) write between 1200-2000 words a day, pretty easily. I could probably do even more, but I usually say: "nah, I've done enough for one day."
What I didn't do is A) stay excited about my novel and the quality of my writing throughout.
But, I'm five days in, and I cannot stop now. I have 8,000 words. I have 30 pages written. And I'm not a quitter, for better or worse. I'm actually one of those people who would stay with a bad investment hoping it would prove to be profitable one day.
I'm not saying this Novel writing thingy is a bad investment. It's certainly an investment of time, and a good exercise, and it's probably very, very hard to write well every single day, if at all possible. But, at this point, I wish I was more "quality," less "quantity."
I also completely neglected by novel-in-stores about Serbia.
The novel I just began writing is placed in the United States. It has one Serbian character and one little Serbian angle but it's a story of New York City, meets Hollywood, and book meets movie.
Writers reading this would probably call me silly (at best) since the whole idea of this "challenge" is to write without editing, and no one (maybe?) can write well without going back and editing.(Right?)
So, I'm on track. I'm "killing" the challenge so far, in relative terms. But I still haven't learned "stay within the borders." I suppose I never will.