Michaeline: Research vs. Writing, a NaNo Battle Royale

A man trying to escape a circle of files

I don’t feel like this, yet . . . . The hard part is figuring out when I’ve got enough research, and when I’ve boxed myself in with research. (Thanks to Wikimedia Commons)

I’m feeling a little like a NaNo failure this week. Last week, I didn’t make my word count, but at least I wrote every single day. This week, I didn’t make my word count, and only wrote three days. The plot for the next several scenes is in my head, but not on the page, and that feels like a failure to me.

I did research, though. I don’t think NaNo is really set up for historical novels, unless the writer already has a firm “historical world” built up in her or his head already. I’m finding it so difficult to write without a firm patch under my feet. The research really is necessary.

On the other hand, I spent all of October “researching” – rather directionless with only a vague idea as to location (New York, which is a very big city), and time (1880 to 1914 – which is a time of huge change). It’s only when I started writing that my research started forming that firm patch beneath my feet.

All I can say is thank goodness I’m writing in a time with lots of newspapers, pictures, photographs and people recording what went on – the exciting thing is that Edison’s wax records were available in 1899, Continue reading

Michaeline: Are NaNo writers naturally insane?

Impressionist drawing of a gay young woman in a green dress, leered at by men in costumes.

Oh, the dizzy marvelousness of NaNo’s first week! Nothing is clear, but all is gay and bright! (Via Wikimedia Commons. Jules Cheret)

Are all writers naturally insane?

Or is it more that writing causes insanity? I have a feeling it’s mutually enabling.

At any rate, if you want sane and standard advice about National Novel Writing Month, I recommend my blog post from the first week of November, 2014.

If you want commiseration or a good cynical laugh, read on.

Continue reading