NaNoWin #6

Forcing myself to write a story under fierce deadlines with no forgiveness is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.  Some days, it’s fun.  I certainly enjoy the challenge, and I thrive for the weight of half-a-ream of paper, with words I have written, to sit in my hands.  However, there a moments where I hate everything to do with writing, my characters, and I completely doubt myself.

I daresay that this term of Camp NaNoWriMo was the most difficult I have ever endured.

About halfway through the story, I realized that the plot line was very similar to another story, one which I was much prouder of, with far more development.  Additionally, I struggled with the fine line of original story vs. fanfiction in this one.  Typically, I go above and beyond the 50,000 word suggested goal – with Sparky Jones, I annihilated it at about a 20% increase – but the last week or so of my most recent work, there was a certain level of plodding along, for the want of a better word.  I woke up at approximately 6:30am on July 31st with a mission in mind.  You know what that mission was?

“Screw this.  I just need to finish the novel so I can win.  I’ll fix it later.”

Even as I was writing some of the worst writing I have ever contrived, I was unhappy with it.  There is a sickening feeling about finishing a book and knowing you are capable of better.  It’s like finishing a dinner, but serving it without beverages.

After much ado, I am not-so-proud to present Beyond the Silver Screen: the tale of Hattie, a flutist from the golden years, who finds herself running through sixty years of cinematic achievement in search of her friend, who seeks to breach the portal between fiction and reality.

Beyond Cover v2

Meanwhile, I rest at ease knowing that no NaNoNovel sees the light of day without my permission first, and she will be well edited before being released to any of my peers.

Have you ever found yourself in the position to choose between a deadline and preserving the quality of your work?  What did you pick?

Covered Up In Gorgeous

I think that one of my favorite things about writing is getting to create the covers.  There is something terribly exciting about seeing the visual representation of your novel – after all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.  The cover of a book is so incredibly important – it is the first thing that a reader sees and the cover design can easily win a reader.  I’m not a professional graphic designer, and I have no intention of self-publishing, so my personal cover designs will not matter… but nonetheless – seeing that glorious picture in attachment to the words is exhilarating.

Then again, maybe my attachment to the cover is related to a writer’s greatest dream – to have a book published.  A cover is halfway to production, after all.

When Borders was going out of business, I had the good fortune to have my hand in cleaning them out of books, a duty I took very, very seriously.  Maybe of the books I ended up bringing home with me were not authors or series I had heard of before.  My choices were based on three aspects:  my current available money, the blurb, and the cover.

1Of all the books I picked up, unarguably the prettiest cover was a book titled Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev.  The artwork was stunning, the texture of the book jacket was wonderful – from all angles it is truly a beautiful book cover.  And I enjoyed it – from one cover to the other!  If not for that alluring, beautiful cover, I would never have purchased or read it.

It makes me wonder – how often do we skip over a book because its cover didn’t stand out to us?  And, of all those missed books – how many of them could we, perhaps, have loved?  The artwork used on a book covers is invaluable in that way.

Do we really judge a book by its cover?  What book have you picked up based on its cover alone?