Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNo day 21: Boring scenes? And FIRE!

I’m going to answer questions today, but first I want to talk a bit about, well, today.

Today was the annual lock-in. Every NaNo, my Co-ML and I host a day long write-in. The outcome of this event tends to be huge one day word gains (for me today that is about 5k words, but we’ve had two writers cross 10k for the day so far) as well as a lot of laughing and silliness because if you lock a dozen writers together for 14 hours, silliness occurs. The one thing we never get enough of at these events is exercise. So, abi showed up in the middle of the day with hoops to force the writers to move. He returned after dark for another exercise break (isn’t he awesome, and he’s leaving to run off to China) and this time he brought the fire hoop

Yes, if you are looking at the picture right now, that is me, on fire. Okay. No. I’m not on fire. The hoop is on fire. But still . . . It was just . . . amazing! This was my ‘virgin burn’ (which means this was the first time I’ve ever fire hooped) and wow, this is an experience I’ll never forget. It’s a rather chilly night, and while everything was being set up, I was wearing both a hoodie and shoes, but I stripped down to essentials once it was time to actually light the hoop. I was shivering both from excitement and the cold, but once the hoop was lit, I had enough fire around me (and I was moving enough) that I worked up a sweat. It was amazing, and the fire was encompassing, burning away the world. I couldn’t see past the fire swirling around me, and the roar drowned out the voices and music. Okay, it’s been over an hour, and my endorphins and adrenaline are still soaring, so I’ll stop sputtering and carrying on.

So, on to questions:

Kailia’s question: “have you ever had to write a boring part in your novel?- if so how in the world do you keep how do you write to boring parts and get to the exciting good stuff? as i was writing yesterday, i had to fill in some space in between one action scene and another and i was getting annoyed writing the boring stuff....”

My answer: I’ve had to really think about this one. My first instinct is to say “if it’s a boring part, it doesn’t belong in the novel. Cut it.” But I’m not sure of the exact situation. There are certain scenes we look forward to writing more than other scenes. So maybe the ‘exciting stuff’ is just what you are anxious to write. I would hope that the ‘boring part’ is not actually boring.

If it is, or if you are honestly bored with it, you need to either scrap it or step back and evaluate what is wrong with the scene. You might be missing a key element or motivation that could give the scene back its zing. One thing is for sure, if you are bored while writing it, that boredom will show. (Just like your excitement shows in scenes you love.)

If it is a transition scene that is the problem, remember that the reader doesn’t have to follow the character through every waking moment. “Don’t walk the dog,” as they say. That means, cut, condense, and get through the ‘boring’ day to day stuff. Only keep scenes that progress your plot and develop your characters.

Does that make sense, Kailia? I might actually expand on this at a later date. It is a good topic.

Okay, if I don’t post this soon, it will be tomorrow instead of today. Here is my current wordcount:

30002 / 50000 words. 60% done!

How is everyone else doing? And since the first part of this post is about one of my hobbies, what (besides reading and writing) do you do for fun? Are you fitting any of it in with NaNo?

**updated to add a disclaimer** This is my 'don't try this at home folks' note about fire hooping. I was using a hoop specifically designed to be lit on fire; I did it under the guidance of someone who had experience fire hooping; I got a crash course in safety before we started; and we had safety measures standing by (as in, the entire time I was hooping, someone was standing about 15 feet away holding a fire blanket in case I caught fire, and we had a fire extinguisher in case I caught something on fire.) Please use proper safety measures anytime you play with fire.


Ginger said...


If I can keep up this pace, I might be done by Thanksgiving...

Marcia Colette said...

That is an AWESOME photo! I wish I could've been there to see it. :-)

Way to go with the writing, too. Next year, I definitely have to try NaNo. I agree with with what you said about the boring parts. If they're stale, then there's a good chance they don't need to be there. Some times, I'll leave mine in as a "fix-it" reminder so that I can keep plugging away. When revision time comes, then it's life-or-death-decision time for the scene.

Demon Hunter said...

Great picture! She can really hoop guys. :-D Me, not so much. ;-) You have to be very good to hoop with fire. Awesome.

Yay! I finally got some sleep. :-D

Kalayna Price said...

*Cheers* for you Ginger. You are doing great!

Thanks Marcia! So are you at the 'any day now' point with the little one?

LOL! Thanks Tyhitia. You just need a little more practice. I'm like the slowest learner in the world--it took me almost two weeks to keep the darn hoop up at my waist. That was 8 months ago. "Practice makes Improvement" as they say. ^_~ I'm glad you got some sleep. Sleep is always good!

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun, great photo.

Word count -27552

Kitt said...

Wrote a little over 6K today with you guys, woot! As Kalayna and the gang at the Write In already know but some of the followers of the blog may not, I play roller derby. Well, on second thought, I know I've mentioned it other comments. But today was insane for the simple fact that not only was it the biggest day of writing during NaNo for Columbia WriMos, but it was also a bout day for the Columbia Quad Squad. I don't know exactly how I managed, but it was a win on both accounts. ;-) Woo hoo!