Friday, December 3, 2010

How To Use My NaNo Experience!

Two sides of a coin! My ship was the Fantasy!

I chose the picture of the two ships for a reason.  One of the most overwhelming detractions to writing a novel   had been what to write about, so many choices, how and what to write about!

I still hadn't made a decision, definitely, until a few days before NaNo was to start and it wasn't until I actually sat down and started typing that I knew what to write about. For years I wanted to start a novel but about what and who?  I could come up with all kinds of stories, but what could I write about that would equate to 75,000 words?  It wasn't until one of my favorite blogsites helped me.  Elizabeth Spann Craig of Mystery Writing Is Murder , has a site dedicated to helping the writer, be it beginner or established, responded to one of my comments.  

I commented, "I'm not sure as to what to write about on NaNoWriMo.  I'm not sure of my genre. I receive a lot of comments when I blog about my Air Force experiences, but I like to write mysteries."

Her advice was "had I ever thought about combining the two? Fictionalize my time in the Air Force, make it a mystery."  So that's what I did!  What a relief to finally have a focus to writing a novel.  I now had a story. The point of the ships pictures above is "I had a Fantasy about writing a book, and it's pure Ecstasy now that I have a novel started. It makes it so much easier and more fun to sit down and write words about something I know and can turn into a story.  After all, I've always heard that when starting out, write about something you know!  If you ever get a chance, watch the movie "I Remember Mama", even if you have to rent it.  Though it comes on TMC periodically. 
I Remember Mama (1948) Poster
 "Irene Dunne stars as the title character in George Stevens' beautifully wrought film version of the Kathryn Forbes novel via John Van Druten's stage adaptation. Returning, in memory, to her childhood in 1910 San Francisco, novelist Katrin Hanson (Barbara Bel Geddes) thinks of the importance of her mother Marta's (Dunne) role in the life of the family of Norwegian immigrants. As she deals with the children's problems and aspirations, such as brother Nels' (Steve Brown) schooling, Katrin's writing ambitions, young Dagmar's (June Hedin) illness, and a thousand other daily dramas, Marta manages to make all feel equally loved. She's also able to deal with eccentrics like the blustery family patriarch, Uncle Chris Halvorsen (Oscar Homolka), the family's highly literary non-paying tenant Jonanthan Hyde (Cedric Hardwicke), and spinster Aunt Trina (Ellen Corby), who is almost afraid to announce her forthcoming wedding. A final gesture of Marta's generosity at Katrin's graduation is symbolic of the spirit that is her legacy." 

This film is where I picked up on writing about what you know. When you view the film, you will understand what it means. Such simple advice.

So, what about you, what genre are you more comfortable with?  What are you familiar with that could be turned into a story?


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a nice site! And I think the idea of combing the two was good! :) I'm sure your novel will be great! ;)

Jan Morrison said...

sounds like you had a good experience. I usually write just plain ole fiction which is now called either 'literary fiction' or 'contemporary fiction' or mysteriously 'upmarket fiction'. I think all those titles are a problem. I also write mysteries but I got into that by starting a regular ole book and finding a dead body. Who knew? Keep up the good work and I'll be by again. Come visit me if you like...
Jan Morrison

Vivian said...

Love old movies but have never heard of that one. Thanks for introducing me to it.
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rummuser said...

My life! And incidentally, give me ecstasy all the time.

Arlee Bird said...

Judy? Where are you?
Do you want to do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year?
Hope everything's alright.

Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011