I finished my NaNoWriMo manuscript night before last, coming in at just over 50,000 words. It feels really good to get to the end of this draft -- although I know I am far from having "completed" a novel. After a sufficient period of fermentation, maybe it will be ready for revisions. But, for now, I'm putting my feet up and taking a rest, and letting my manuscript sit over there, unlooked-at for awhile. Maybe a good long while!


  1. Congratulations. How did you choose your subject to write about? Do you find that in writing fiction, one's own experiences and people one knows may be used at least partially in writing? Or do you write completely from your imagination?

    My 14 year old just completed this goal, and she had a theme, but she also based some of her characters on people she knows. She said it may be even more than 5 years before she lets me read it, and she may edit out some parts! Hmm. Sounds like the novelist Thomas Wolfe. Did you ever read "Look Homeward Angel"? It seems that many of his characters were based on real people. His subsequent book "You Can't Go Home Again" may touch on the dilemma of what to do when friends and family recognize themselves in the book! The challenge is how to disguise the characters sufficiently that no one can identify himself or herself!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. My fiction writing is sometimes drawn from my own experiences, but other times the characters and situations seem to come to me out of thin air. I think most authors use a combination of the two. I'm sure Thomas Wolfe is in this category (although I haven't read his stuff). It's hard to imagine being able to write something that is completely removed from one's own experience.

      I think you should congratulate your daughter on accomplishing a tremendous feat - and send my congratulations to her as well! As to her not wanting to show you the work -- well, that's pretty much the way most of us writers feel about our first drafts. I did not let my husband read any of my recently published short stories until they were in book form. A huge part of the reason we do that is because we don't want to share until it's perfect. Also, though, suppose she DID write about you. She would hardly be the first writer to write about their mother, I can guarantee you that! I think you should just let her write and not be too concerned about who the characters might actually be - this fear (that our writing will be harmful to others in our lives) is one of the biggest impediments to writing. Just support her in what she's trying to accomplish and don't think so much about what other people (including yourself) might think of what she has to say. This is the best thing you can do for her, in my humble opinion.


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