Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Winner – Oh Yes!

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I am sitting here looking at the NaNoWriMo winner badge and thinking “I cannot believe I did it!”  I also cannot believe it is December 5.  The last day I remember is October 31.  From November 1 to November 30, I lived in the world the characters in my story lived in.  Although I had ideas about what I wanted to write, the work took on a life of its own.  It was a lot like reading a story.  I wanted to keep writing to see what was going to happen.

I ended up writing over 68,000 words. When I first started, I had a concept, a couple of characters and a thin plot line that I thought I could follow.  At that point, I was not sure the story I wanted to tell would reach 50,000 words.  In order to “win” NaNoWriMo you have to write a minimum of 50,000 words.  For the first three days, I had a daily quota.  I would write 2,000 words a day.  When I had written 2,000 words I would stop.  Then I went to my first write in.

There are participants in NaNoWriMo who volunteer to coordinate write-ins.  NaNo calls them Municipal Liaisons.  The ML for my area was so kind and so full of advice that truly inspired me.  At my first write-in, the ML told me do not hold back. “Just write your little heart out.” She advised.  From that moment on, I wrote…and wrote…and wrote.  I carried a notebook with me everywhere.  Whenever a character spoke to me, I wrote it down.  I sat for hours on end in front of my laptop living in a self created world.  It was facinating. It was frustrating.  I stalled often.  Whenever I stalled, the ML gave me a jump start.

I also liked going to the once a week write-ins because I met other writers.  I live in a college town.  Most of the attendees were college students.  Some of them were English majors. Some of them were in Creative Writing classes.  That brought back memories.  I took a couple of writing classes when I was in college. It also reminded me that I barely earned a passing grade in those classes.  College professors did not like my colloquial and lack of proper grammar writing style.  It forces me to admit my writing isn’t the greatest.  My stories are flat. When  a reader gets to the end of the story they may say “What was the point?”  Well, my stories are slice of life scenarios.  There is no point.  Except entertainment.  Since I live in a beach town, my stories are good to read to wile away the time on the beach.

I followed the ML’s advice and I wrote my little heart out.  To my surprise, the story poured out of me.  I think I reached 50,000 words at the end of week two.  Just because I reached the NaNo goal, I did not stop. I just kept writing.  There is another element to NaNo-challenges.  NaNo is divided into regions.  You can join as many regions as you want.  The regions have forums.  The forums are full of chit chat, writing cues, ideas for scenes…it was endless. Evidently writers like to write-ALOT!!  When you set one of the regions as your home region, all the words you write contribute to the total words written in that region.  I live in Maryland so I set the Maryland region as my home region.  Maryland writers wrote 25,743,637 words.  We came in second to Seattle, Washington in overall word count.

In the Maryland region forums, there were invitations to write-ins all over the state, ideas for inspiration, and things called challenges.  Some one would post they were at say, 5,000 words and they would like to write 4,000 more by the end of the day.  They would challenge forum readers to also write 4,000 words by the end of the day.  It was fun trying to meet the challenge.  At one of the write-ins, we had a word war.  Some one set their watch to beep in ten minutes.  We all typed as many words as possible within the ten minutes. I ended up typing around 500 words.

That is how I kept writing, and writing, and writing.  That is how I spent my November.  Now what?  From what is written on NaNoWriMo web site, seems as though peopele are feeling the let down after that intense pressure of writing.  Seems people are returning to their regular lives.  I have not felt the let down yet.  I did not bring my story to a conclusion so I am still working on it.  I also am starting to write down story ideas for next year’s NaNo.  I have begun to strategize my time for next November.  I also cannot wait to reconnect with local writers at the write-ins.

With NaNoWriMo 2008 under my belt, NaNoWriMo 2009 look out here I come!

Written by The Purple Lara

December 5, 2008 at 11:58 AM

NaNoWriMo-About my novel

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I thought these questions borrowed from the forums on were interesting.  Just to pique your curiosity, I thought I would share my answers with you.

How do you write?

I get in my bed at 7:00 PM every night.  I wear my most comfortable and cuddly clothes.  I have a laptop on a lap desk that I bang away on until midnight.  Sometimes I turn the TV on.  Sometimes I play music.  It does not matter if it is quiet or noisy in my writing environment.  I can pretty much write anywhere, any time, distractions or no distractions.

What is your story genre? What world does it take place in?

My story is mainstream fiction.  Ok. We are not talking prize winning or Oprah Book Club worthy.  It’s a good read for the beach.  It takes place today and on Earth. (Compared to Fantasy writers who create worlds and stories take place in the past or future.)

Brief synopsis of your story:

Married, stay at home mom for four children, Ernestine is lonely, bored and finding life unfulfilled at the age of 40.  Then she discovers a whole new world online.

What is your title?

The Misadventures of My Cyberlife.

Who is your main character(s)? Tell a little bit about them.

Ernestine is the main character.  She is humming along in a middle class lifestyle doing what is expected of her.  At the beginning of the story she has not embraced the concept that she is in control of her life.  She lets others decide for her.  I hope by the end of the novel she takes charge of her life and becomes the empowered woman Oprah tells us we can be.

What is the first sentence of your story?

“She is a single mother. She has two jobs. She is raising two children. When does she have time to date? Today on Penelope we will show you the world of online dating!”

Oh wait! Those are the opening sentences of my novel!

How did you come up with the idea for your novel?

I am fascinated with the dynamics of relationships.  Observing fantasy/role playing games and the relationships within those games inspired my novel.

How much time will have passed in your story when you have finished?

I have not thought that far ahead yet. The story wants to be a year long.  However, it might end up being a month long.

Written by The Purple Lara

November 6, 2008 at 6:25 PM

I attended my first Write-In

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In a moment of INSANITY, I signed up for the National Novel Writing contest.  Might I remind you? I have never written ANYTHING!  Well, you know besides a couple of snarky blog entries.  Yet, I write like a maniac every day now.  The goal is to write 50,000 words by November 30.  I set a personal goal of 2,000 words per day.  I figure since this year’s Thanksgiving feast is at my house, if I have 50k by November 25 I won’t be the glassy eyed, sleep deprived, engrossed in the lives of my characters hostess.  Uh…not that my guests would notice.  They probably would say I look glassy eyed and sleep deprived most years.  However that has to do with other variables and not writing.  I just thought of a side benefit to having my novel finished by Nov 25.  When my family asks me, “so Lara what do you want to be when you grow up?”  I can respond “I want to be a writer!”  When they roll their eyes and pat my head while saying “sure honey sure.”  I will be able to say, “no. really. here is my novel.” (grins an evil grin at the prospective situation)

As of this post, I am on target with my goal.  I have been able to achieve 2,000 words per day.  I am actually looking forward to my writing time each night.  As an official participant in NaNoWriMo, I signed up for some of the forums.  WOW! Those forums are so active.  Evidently writers like to write.  They write all the time.  Some of the participants word counts are in the 15,000 range and we are only in day 5.  One of the things they do on the forums is announce write ins.  I was so excited when I saw there would be a write in event in my area.

It was so much fun.  The people were mostly college students.  It did not bother me that I was the oldest or second oldest person there.  The people were vetran NaNoWriMo participants.  It did not bother me that I was the only “non-writer” there.  They were so friendly.  They were full of advice.  They shared openly about their novels. They shared about their writing trials and tribulations.  The two hour event went by so quickly.  When I left I felt energized and inspired.  I am looking forward to attending next week’s write in.

Ok. That is all for now. Cause…you know…I have to go write.

Written by The Purple Lara

November 5, 2008 at 4:52 PM

I am participating in NaNoWriMo!!

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It was a dark and spooky Halloween on Friday October 31, 2008.  I was home alone.  All the lights in the house were turned off (you know cause we are suffering from global warming and one should do all they can to conserve energy; not to mention the economy sucks and one never knows if one will have enough money to cover the electric bill next month) I am tucked in bed with my laptop.  I am perusing my Google Reader.  One of my favortie RSS feeds comes from Quiet Rebel Writer.  In her post Creative Link Love and a QRW recap she happened to mention NaNoWriMo.  Since I did not know what that was, I had to investigate further.  Truns out NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Also turns out it is quite a popular project/challenge.  The concept is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  The 30 days being the whole month of November.  Now, I do not know what possed me.  It probably has to do with the fact that I spent all of October reading Cristina Favreau’s blog about anti-procrastination.  Something came over me and I entered the contest.  I can hear Dr. Phil saying “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?!” I dunno Dr. Phi.  I think the spirits possed me.

This is completely impromtu.  I have no outline.  I have no predefind characters.  I am starting with a completely blank page.  I am going to see where this little adventure takes me.  Here is my profile if you want to check me out.

I am sending out productivity vibes to all the NaNoWriMo participants.  Good luck!

Written by The Purple Lara

November 3, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Ah…the joys of writing

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Written by The Purple Lara

September 24, 2008 at 11:57 AM

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25 Words of Work / Life Wisdom — Pass It On!

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Written by The Purple Lara

July 21, 2008 at 8:21 AM

My life story on a postcard…

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I was in Digg when I saw this blog:

Clever writer. Then, it occurred to me, this is what my life on a postcard would look like:

Written by The Purple Lara

July 19, 2008 at 4:10 PM

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“The 25 Words of Work / Life Wisdom Writing Project”

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I created a Twitter account. I am enthralled. I love all the conversations. As I sit in my home office running my business, I feel a lot less isolated. I actually feel as if I have adult interactions during my day. Trust me, it is a rarity and a treat.

It was on Twitter where Vicky @eeUS posted a link to her 25 words in response to Liz Strauss’ @lizstrauss

The 25 Words of Work / Life Wisdom Writing Project

Vicky’s 25 words were inspirational. So much so, I was motivated to check out Liz’s explanation of the project. Then, I was so intrigued, I wanted to give it a try. Here is my offering:

Marriage is overrated.
Marriage is forced by a society obsessed with conformity.
Live up to society standards or be shunned.
Not everyone is for marriage.

Written by The Purple Lara

July 19, 2008 at 3:11 PM

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