Nanowrimo Woes

I admit it. Today, I am frustrated.
I am going to participate in Nanowrimo, as I usually do. If you are asking what “Nanowrimo” is, please check this link. I feel like the program has done a lot for me in terms of helping me learn about motivation, setting goals, and writing no matter what, even if I feel like what I’m writing isn’t good enough. It’s also put me in touch with wonderful writers and creative people.
There is a project that is very dear to me.  The plan is to have it be my Nanowrimo project this November. There is a rather terrible unfinished first draft that is 50 thousand words long, but has no real conclusion, is full of plot holes, and needs major restructuring to be a completed first draft. This in and of itself is not a problem, or something that I feel bad about. It’s a Nanowrimo draft. But, the task of re-reading it, making notes on everything that needs to be torn out and rebuilt, realizing how much I have to do before November 1st, and getting it all done and doing a good job is overwhelming me.
This is why I’ve been so busy, and have been slow to update my blog. So, forgive me for that.
I can admit. The reason I have blogged so many times about overcoming procrastination is because I myself have a problem with it. I know this. In a way, I am sad because I feel like it’s my own fault that I am finding myself without enough time to do the job I want to do to be ready for November. Shaming myself isn’t going to help, and I realize that this is making things worse, not better. But, it’s still hard to abstain from completely.
So, I am facing a dilemma. I could pick another project (I usually have multiples) that is closer to completion. In a way, this feels like accepting defeat. Besides, this project is my favorite. Another possibility is to say the next week-and-a-half is longer than it feels right now, and that I can push through this. This is more satisfying, but I fear that the project might suffer for it, and I don’t want it to.
It seems to me that I should just push on, get as much done as I can. I should just prioritize and get the biggest things out of the way. And, if I don’t get everything done I want to on the planning side, well, I should forgive myself.
I’ve made up my mind that’s what I should do. And, I think I’ve come to that decision while writing this blog entry. Maybe I sound self-indulgent right now; maybe I even sound whiny. I think that this is the one of the first times I’ve used this blog as an actual blog, instead of a place to write articles about writing.

Your Novel With an All Star Cast

Few things stimulate creativity like speaking with a fellow writer. Recently, I had the privilege of spending time with a dear friend and fellow writer. She lives far from me, so even though we communicate regularly on the internet, it was a rare treat to get to see her in person. As you might imagine, a large portion of our time was spent talking about our writing. Throughout our short time together, I never stopped being amazed at how similar our processes were, and how we shared much of the same strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and insecurities. But, I will get back to that in a moment.

                In addition to writing, we both dearly love the theater. We went and saw a play during her visit. The production was beautiful, and the cast was stellar. It was a production of a classic musical, that I’m sure most people have seen at one time or another. So, naturally the after-show-conversation turned to the actors and their interpretation of the respective characters, and other performers we had seen play the same characters. Subtle acting choices can completely change a scene. But, the conversation on actors and characters brought us back to one of our writing quirks.

                We both “cast” our works of fiction. It is my understanding that this is not uncommon. Still, trading information on which actors “played” the characters in our imaginations made for very fun conversation. It’s also a very fun creative exercise. Beyond that, however, it made me think about the play, and how an actor’s interpretation of a line can change a character, and even a story.

                The obvious reason for an author to have an imaginary cast for a work of fiction is to have a clear mental image of the character. That being said, I believe it is more than that. I know that I always have a mental image of my characters that frequently differs from the actor I use as my model. Perhaps it is to borrow a voice, a gesture, a quirk of an eyebrow or a wide smile from that person that I can give to my creation. To imagine who would read my dialogue and how can contribute an added breath of life that wasn’t there before. Whether this is a tool or a crutch, I couldn’t say. I like to think it’s the former. But, it is a habit that I am not likely to give up.

                So, readers, I ask you; do you do have a “cast” for your works of fiction? I know that I have some favorites that I have used more than once. Do you? Who do you like to “play” your characters and why? I’m interested in hearing more on this subject. I look forward to your comments.



Happy Fourth of July

To my American readers, have a wonderful 4th of July! And, to people who protect and serve their country all over the world, thank you.

May we all enjoy peace, freedom, and togetherness. Best wishes to all.

And please, excuse the reminder that you can read more of my blog at

You can follow me on twitter at @wordsofggraham, and you can also like me on facebook on the link provided on this page.

I hope to have more content here soon. Best wishes to all, and have a wonderful day!

I’m still here

Hello everyone! I’m just dropping in with a quick note. I know it’s been a long time since I posted here. The good news is that I have my own domain. You can visit me at now! However, I’ve realized that I love my followers here, and I do not wish to leave it. I should have been double-posting my links here the whole time, but I’ve neglected it. I am going to fix that now.

Here are some posts I’ve posted on my main page recently.

Spinning in Space: A short fiction portraying Earth, as seen by an alien race.

Act Like a Writer?: Character creation in the action process vs. the writing process.

Make the Quirk Work: Using personality quirks to make an interesting character.

From Guest Blogger L. K. Scott: Guide to Submitting Your Manuscript to a Publisher and/or Agent I love this guide!

Please enjoy, and everyone have a wonderful writing weekend! All my new posts at my domain will be double-posted here from now on!


Just a quick note to say that late October and November kind of got away from me. I apologize. I love this blog and all of you. Between getting ready for Nanowrimo and actual Nanowrimo, and adjusting to a new work schedule at my day job, I have been very busy. But, I will be posting about my November escapades very soon.


Happy Thanksgiving!