Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What to do

I've started the novel for national novel writing month and I'm struggling already. It's hard to do this research and find out all this stuff about my parents but still have to make something up about my parents. I want to move on. I need another novel. I'm feeling so bogged down. I read through a bunch of stuff about the family history and that was pretty intense. All our ancestors. What do we know of them and what do they know of us. Think I need to be further along and then maybe go back to the beginning. I'm just plodding along. I'm at over 7000 words now but believe I need to be at over 10,000.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So it's Halloween

And it's time to think about my next novel... It seems they're always about the same thing, even when I try to make them about something else. I just read John Irving's "A Widow for One Year," and part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was the attention it paid to writers, particularly novelists. The one writer, probably the main character, didn't think she wrote about her own life, and thought all her characters were imaginary. She almost disdained people who wrote from real life, as "journalists." Of course she wrote from what she knew, although not as obviously as some others. I don't know how you can not write from your own life, unless you're really feeding off someone else's.

So here's the thing. Do I write about my own life and the chaos I caused a few years ago? Or, what I've been thinking of doing and what might be harder in many ways, do I fabricate the story of my parents and their parents? There's so little I know about them! We never learn. I should have asked more questions and written things down or taped them. I really envy documentarians who report on their own families and have it for "posterity."

The decision must be made tonight, tomorrow is November 1 and the first day of Nanowrimo-- National Novel Writing Month. I have to attempt to write 50,000 words in one month. It's okay if I don't make it, I've only made it once and that was when I didn't have fulltime work. So I'm in that position again this year, so I might as well go for it.