The Novel: a confrontation between the Writer and her Protagonist

“Please stop following me.”

She felt ashamed of the whine in her voice and the desperate tone of her words, even more so when the Protagonist cast her a look of pity.

“You were the one who dreamed of writing a Novel.” Such cold words.

“A rejected novel,” the Protagonist continued, draping herself across the empty desk, “will always be better than an unwritten one.” She reached over and seized the notebook sitting silently beside her, and casually flipped through it. “Empty pages,” she said, with a hint of contempt. “What will you do, my dear Writer? Do you even deserve your title?”

The Writer trembled, and suddenly thrust another notebook at the Protagonist. This one bore a dog-eared cover, and held pages smudged with lead. “I did write! I planned out the entire novel!” the Writer cried, blushing furiously. The Protagonist stared at her, then nodded. Quiet prevailed for the next hour, save for the rustle of paper as the Protagonist carefully turned each page, pouring over the writing as though it were Scripture. The words were hastily scrawled for most of the notebook; the Writer didn’t want to lose any ideas, since they rarely came to her.

“Lovely stuff,” the Protagonist murmured when she finally shut the notebook closed and gazed at the Writer. “A sprawling plot line, with rather vague descriptions. You cleaned it up quite nicely at the end, though. Why aren’t you writing the actual Novel now?”

The Writer bit her lip.

“I’m…” She paused. “I’m afraid. Of writing. Because I don’t think I could ever properly convey the Novel with my lackluster skills. The ideas are too grand and brilliant for me. If I were to write it, they would never reach their full potential. If only another Writer could take my place instead…” She buried her face in her hands and choked back a sob. The Protagonist regarded her silently. A shame that my Writer is such a small mouse, she thought, scrutinizing the Writer’s small, thin frame and disheveled hair. When she looked up again, tears threatened to fall from the corners of her pale eyes.

“I’m sorry that I created you, only to give up,” she whispered.

The Protagonist had had enough. She leapt from the table and slammed the notebook into the Writer’s chest, ignoring the latter’s cry of surprise and pain. “You haven’t given up at all, shameful coward!” she cried. “Just look at all the outlining you’ve done! Stop wallowing in self-pity! Get some confidence and start writing! I won’t stop following you until you’ve finished the first draft.” The Writer nodded nervously and dried her eyes. That’s right, she thought. I need to put an end to my spinelessness. “Now?” she squeaked, noticing the time on the clock, and how dark the room’d become. The Protagonist merely rolled her eyes. The Writer chided herself for putting off the daunting task yet again, sighed, and opened up the blank notebook.

And thus began the story of the Writer, the Protagonist, and the problems they faced while creating a Novel.

~

[note: nanowrimo starts next week!!]

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camp nano thoughts

two weeks ago, i randomly checked my inbox to find the following email at the top of the list.

Your creative retreat awaits.

it was a lovely surprise.

this year, camp nanowrimo will take place in april and july. if i decide to take part (and it’s likely that i will), this will be my second year and third time doing the camp version of nanowrimo. it will be even better than janowrimo, especially because it retains the same coziness and sense of community – “i’m not the only one!” – despite not being as official as the one in november. camp! cabins! s’mores! nature! writing! with flexibilities! (and of course, surreptitious forum-lurking.)

Welcome to the fourth year of Camp NaNoWriMo!

We first imagined Camp simply as an off-season alternative to National Novel Writing Month, but it’s evolved into much more than that: writers choose their own projects—from novel sequels to scripts to pop-up books—and find cabin communities (and often new friends) to support them.

We call it a retreat because you can write anything here, plus see what you’re capable of when you have the time and space to create.

Last year, we introduced flexible word-count goals (10,000 to 999,999) and the ability to add your own project genre. Our 2014 features are designed to make Camp even more open-ended:

Remodeled, ultra-hyphy cabins. Share your triumphs with more fellow writers: cabins now accommodate 12 campers. Worried that’ll be too much conversation to keep track of? We’ve also added @replies to the cabin message board. Set your preferences before March 25 to claim your bunk.

Full project-defining power. Now, you can select your genre and category. Working on a collection of swashbuckling tales? “Adventure Short Stories” will be shown on your profile. Writing presidential haikus? You can proudly display your choice of “Historical Poetry.” Create and edit your project here.

One-click access to the big world of Camp. Hanging with cabin mates is great, but there are about 20,000 other campers to meet, too. Find quick links to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter in your cabin and on the homepage.

A new T-shirt, a full stock of merchandise, and updated donation levels. The shirt is gorgeously candlelit, plus there’s a twig pen! And as always, we have an array of web and social media graphics to show your Camp spirit.

The writing starts on April 1, and we’ll have plenty more to share before then. For now, start thinking about what you’d like to work on. Remember: this is your creative retreat.

how awesome does that sound??

that email was a perfectly-timed reminder – coincidentally, my dream novel (whose first draft i completed during nanowrimo 2012) has been growing on me again. suddenly, there’s an outlining notebook open in front of me, and i’m focusing more on my characters and story arcs than on schoolwork (not exactly a good thing). i’m completely rewriting this story of mine (which from here will be referred to as ‘sans titre,’ fancy french for ‘untitled’), keeping only the cast and key plot points. i’m actually planning the novel this time so that i won’t deviate from my original goals or fall into writer’s block the way i had in nano ‘12 (which i pantsed).

i’m exhausted from school. i’m stressed about life. my first state standardized test is on the last day of march.

this will be a chance to write, and, more importantly, a chance to get away from all of that. (i don’t have my priorities straight, if you haven’t noticed already. oops.)

are you excited for this? i know i am!

-ktc

(by the way, i’m happy to report that I feel so much better today. c:)

 

janowrimo

november is my favorite month of the year. can you guess why?

yep.

nanowrimo. it is the only month that i’m motivated enough to rush-write a novel (and spend the other eleven months editing it).

i recently fell into a writing slump (because of life problems and all that), which is the main reason why i started this blog…so i apologize for the low quality posts i’ve written so far. i just feel so tired; i wish i could just lay on the floor and sleep for three years, you know? though that’s impossible right now…

ANYWAY. i’ve decided to do nanowrimo this month, and hopefully climb out of this hole i’m in. six days late (and counting) – hurrah!

the rest of this month’s posts will consist of updates regarding janowrimo. i spent quite a bit of time this winter break outlining this project of mine, and i’ve decided to move to the next step. why wait till november?

is anyone else doing this? if so, message me. we can talk! about! writing! 😀 and maybe boost morale.

oh, and here’s some music. just, if you’re in the mood for piano. yeah.

-ktc