NaNoWriMo Stories: Joy V. Smith

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm past the halfway point (32,000 words) on my novel that I'm writing for NaNoWriMo, but why does the homestretch look even longer?! Anyway, after passing that point, I decided to go back to the beginning. Yes, I know you're advised to keep writing, but I knew I had to do some cleanup and there was more information I needed to put in--that's not an info dump, is it?!--which would add to my word count so I went through my novel and rewrote parts, added stuff (not much description yet), and cleaned up typos, and then printed the new version. Partway through I ran out of paper and upset the printer, and that really slowed me down, and I was tempted not to try to make my quota, but I didn't like not doing that, despite other projects waiting their turn at the computer. Anyway, I made order out of chaos and added another chapter to make my quota. What next?! Now I've got to clean off my other desk, which is covered with paper.

I got to bed at five last night, but could sleep in. Now I've got piles of notes (written on random pieces of paper) to get on top of , research (what are American navy and British navy ranks?). Better check my air force ranks; I don't care so much about the militia ranks, but where the heck did my rank printout go? And then I have to work on the story... Someone suggested flashbacks and then a nostalgic look back. Someone else warned me about flashbacks because you lose immediacy. I know what she means by that! I've seen it in TV shows and movies. So, now I'll work on other chores and forget my novel. Wait, I have to do something with those notes before I'm buried in paper! Actually, I have a notebook I'm adding notes about characters, places, and names, timeline, etc. to. And last night (sigh), I put page numbers on the pages so I can start cross referencing... This is certainly a challenge; and, btw, this is the longest story I've ever written. Previously I wrote sequels and then sometimes stuck the stories together.

I've been writing stories since I was a kid. My stories and articles have been published in print magazines, webzines, and anthologies; and my SF has been published in two audiobooks, including Sugar Time. Recent books include Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook; a children's book, Why Won't Anyone Play with Me?; and my story collection, Aliens, Animals, and Adventure. I live in Florida on a registered backyard wildlife habitat with Xena the Warrior Puppy and Bryn the Flying Corgi.

Visit Joy's blog for helpful house hints and publication news.

We'll be posting words of encouragement for NaNoers and sharing stories here on The Muffin. If you'd like to share a story about your experience, please e-mail our blog editor Marcia Peterson at marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com.


GunDiva said...

Joy, I did the same thing a week or so ago - I went back and rewrote/added things to my first couple of chapters. I'm happy to say that I didn't lose any grounding doing it and I passed 50k last night. I found myself unable to move forward until I went back and fixed what in my mind were grevious errors. Once they were fixed, it was smooth sailing to the finish.

Keep trucking along and don't feel guilty about the re-writes - they helped me out in a big way.

Joy V. Smith said...


Thank you! I've stalled a little, and I have to go back and correct some mistakes I discovered--after doing more research today--and I might add some info in earlier chapters.

Ashley said...

I frequenlty go back to the beginning of my stories to confirm things, add, delete parts, even to re order. I think you need to go with your ideas at the time and as the story progresses you need to reevaluate how the characters got to that position. It's easier to do it while you are writing and the ideas are flowwing.

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