For those of you who have joined me in the adventure of writing a novel in one month, we are in the home stretch. Just 8 days left in November and the end of National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). We are more that two thirds of the way through the month, so if you are to succeed, you need to be more that two thirds cone with your goal of 50,000 words or at about 36,500 words. I personally am well short of that mark, coming in at about 25,000 words.

My recovery plan is alone time over the next few days to really write. Remember to achieve the goal, you work does not have to be a complete novel, it just needs to be words written down towards your novel. Last year, when I actually succeeded, it took me an additional three months and independent reviewers to get my work to a point that I would consider “done”. I am currently working on cover art and saving money to actually publish my work on paper. I will release electronic and audio versions at the same time. So this year, I have to get back into that writing groove.

One of the things I did this year was to change my genre. This was to change my comfort zone and expand my field of ideas. Although it did help me with new ideas, it has not helped me actually capture words at any better rate. Last year I was traveling a lot, so I had idle time in the evenings. This year is filled with family (which is a good thing) so not so much time is available.

I have mentioned in previous postings the support of the sponsor of this writing event. Within the National Novel Writing community, there are groups that you can join. Perhaps next year, I along with other contributors to theSoapBoxers.com and our faithful readers could create and join a group. We could call Other:SoapBoxer. That is a plan for the future.

Right now, I am interested in how others are doing in their attempts at writing. Even if you are not taking on the challenge of writing a novel in a month, what are you working on? How is it going? Do you have any advice for people trying the same thing? What got you going on writing? What has prevented you from writing? The questions could fill a whole page. My interest is somewhat selfish. I have found that listening to others describing anything they are attempting will provide me with new fodder for stories. I do not steel ideas; I am just looking for triggers.

For instance, Kosmo wrote a piece earlier this month about a non-functioning speedometer in his car. The repair shop had to uncover a different problem before the speedometer could be fixed. Taking the idea of car troubles, specifically with a speedometer, you could have a so many different stories. In a mystery, you could explore who was responsible, and why. In an adventure, you could trace the hero’s actions as he is trapped with a broken vehicle in an unknown location. Make it science fiction, and you have alien technology causing the failure. Romance could be a who meets who because of the car. And so on…

Regardless of what you want to write or what you think your skills are, since you are reading this posting you have access to a computer and can capture any of your ideas. If you are concerned about someone reading your work, you do not have to publish. If you want criticism, there are plenty of people who can look at your work and provide insight. In the end, my advice is always, keep on writing.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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