January 7 2017

Took a Little Break from Writing

Blank JournalI ended up taking a little break from writing after NaNoWriMo this year. It wasn’t really planned, it just happened.

NaNoWriMo was a success for me again this year in that I wrote almost every day in November and managed to type just over 50,000 words in the process. I didn’t really like my story, though. I think the problem was I wrote it in the first person as a 15-year-old high school student. There is not enough money in the world to make me want to go back to high school again, so that likely tainted my perception of the experience. I think the general story has potential, but there were times when I just struggled with what to do with some of the characters. After all, it has been many moons since I was in high school and the world has changed so much in that time. I think I will revisit it again some day but rewrite it with the main characters as adults. We’ll see.

I also did not work on editing my story from NaNoWriMo 2015. I did find it crossing my mind. A lot. I miss the characters. I can relate to them better, probably because there is a lot of me in the main character. Does that make me narcissistic? Maybe. No more than any other writer who puts bits of themselves into their characters, though. I just grabbed my printed copy with notes and put it on my desk so I can get back to this. Continue reading

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November 17 2016

Why I Love NaNoWriMo

A little over a year ago, I heard about this thing called National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. It sounded like a crazy idea. Therefore, I had to try it.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

In November 2015 I participated in my first NaNoWriMo. Holy crap. I loved it. Not just because I managed to reach the goal of 50,000 words in 23 days, but because it felt like such a major personal accomplishment. I had been afraid of trying creative writing up to that point. NaNoWriMo gave me a reason to say, “To hell with the fear, I’m going to do this!” It was like I grew up a little bit that month and dealt with something I had been afraid of for a long time.

In addition to helping me get over the fear of creative writing, I love NaNoWriMo because it provides a deadline for getting a story written. I tend to be a perfectionist, though I have been working on getting over this. The perfectionist in me desperately wanted to go back and rework almost everything I wrote. But I was able to tell her to hush, let me get the words out to the computer within the 30 days, and she’d get her chance to edit later. And I was pleased to go back and not hate what I wrote. It was pretty not bad for a first attempt at a first draft. It was crappy like any first draft, but crap that could be worked with. The perfectionist in me has been happy to bleed red ink on the pages to make the story better (yes, I went old school and printed the first draft to edit).

Finally, I love NaNoWriMo because it is a massive rush. I have been a pantser the past two years, which just means I did very little planning and am writing by the seat of my pants. So it is a ton of fun to watch the story unfold and take turns I wasn’t even expecting. The characters also start to take on a life of their own and behave in interesting ways.

Well, speaking of NaNoWriMo, I’m behind on my word count and need to get back to my story. Can’t wait to see what the characters will do next!

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September 26 2016

Lack of Conflict

I don’t like conflict.Clashing hands of fire and water

At all.

And I recently realized it shows in my writing. But not in a good way.

I have been going through the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year and noticed a couple of the characters getting along way too well in parts of the story where one of them should have been super pissed off at the other. It nagged at the back of my head a little bit when I was writing it, but I didn’t fully see it until reading through the whole story again. (This is why we edit, right?)

This also struck me as a bit funny because one of my favorite writing moments from last year involved the first big argument between these same characters. I was happily typing along letting the story unfold as my fingers hit the keys when I thought, “These people have been getting along really well. Almost too well.” And within a few sentences one of the characters started a rant with “Oh, f**k off!” I paused for a second and thought, “Okay. I guess they are going to fight now.” I think I actually giggled because it was such a cool feeling to have the story just flowing onto the screen like that. Then I quickly went back into the rant and finished the scene.  Continue reading

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September 6 2016

A Brief History of (My Writing) Time

Hi! My name is Rhonda Havig and I am a wife, mother, and writer. I have a BA in Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University (Go Jacks!) and I took so many English classes as electives that ended up with a second minor. Why so many English classes? Because I love to read and I found myself drawn to the literature classes.Pen and Paper

After college, I worked in bookstores for a few years. I would basically hand back my pay checks to buy books, especially when I was at a used bookstore that sold Vladimir Nabokov first editions. I eventually moved on to a couple of sales and marketing positions before ending up in the information technology realm where I remain today. I have worked in pretty much all aspects of web development including content development, design, coding, and server and database management.

Over the years, I have moved further away from the creative aspects and found that I really missed it. So I started trying different arts and crafts and in 2015 started a blog about it called Havig It All. I enjoyed writing about the creative adventures as much as trying new things. Around that same time, I heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Writing 50,000 words in 30 days sounded ridiculous. And so very tempting to try.

I decided in September to participate and thought about what story I would write. National Novel Writing Month WinnerI knew exactly what it would be by mid October. Then on October 31, I changed my mind and went in a different direction. This made November even more interesting writing the story with little to no planning. I wrote my butt off and managed to not only finish the story, but I wrote just over 50,000 words in 23 days. Woohoo!

And that was it. I was, and still am, hooked on writing. As a result, I have taken workshops, read books, and talked with other writers in an effort to learn more about the craft. I also started this blog to write about writing, as well as books and authors I like.
(NaNoWriMo Winner Image Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month)

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