I’m short on things to blog about, and considering that every creative piece that I am currently editing, I intend to send out for publication, I’m reluctant to post them in full here on my WordPress. However, I AM making progress in Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m about three days ahead of schedule (mostly because I maybe, uh, cheated, and started a day or two early… I couldn’t wait to start writing, okay?! Let a girl live, sheesh). Along the way, I’ve been conversing with a lot of other “NaNo-ers,” and I’ve noticed an alarming amount of self-deprecation. Everyone seems pretty down in the dumps about their writing. Maybe it’s the long winter we’ve had here in the States. Maybe it’s drained our creativity and our happiness alike. Well, guess what? I simply will not tolerate that.
So I came up with a little fun idea. I’ll share my favorite excerpt that I’ve written so far, if you’ll share yours! Think of it as a self-confidence booster. You can share a sentence, a paragraph, or a few paragraphs if you’d like. Just find something you’re really, really proud of and share it in the comments below. And tell me why you’re proud of it!
And don’t tell me “I haven’t written anything worth sharing.” That’s bull. As long as you’ve got words on the page, you’ve got something worth sharing. This activity is just meant to serve as a reminder to yourself that you can do this.
Here’s mine. It’s a little lengthy, but it’s the intro to my story, and I quite enjoyed writing it:
The storm crept closer to us, the frequent crashes of thunder now just a handful of heartbeats away. Soon it would catch up with us, and Anastasia and I would be drenched. Worse yet, it was getting dark, and we wouldn’t be able to hear much once it started pouring. It was too dangerous to stay out in this weather.
But we were on a long stretch of country road and the only shelter in sight was a tiny brick building, a library. I grinned as we came to a stop before its double doors, one of which was propped open with a pile of books.
“No,” said Ana, pointing an accusing finger at me. “You planned this, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” I said, “I summoned the storm because I totally knew we were getting close to a library.” She shot me a glare. I sighed. “Come on, Ana, it’s perfect. It’s only one floor, the doors—” sturdy, metal doors, “—are still on their hinges, the windows are up high… All we have to do is sweep the place over and then we can barricade the doors and wait out the storm.” There was no way she could say no, and she knew it; the nearest house had to be at least four miles up the road, and the last building we passed was a rickety old gas station, holes in its wooden walls. Granted, two of the gold letters above the library’s doors were missing so that it read “LIB AR,” but that was the worst that could be said of it. Otherwise it looked secure.
“Fine,” Ana said. “But no books.” As if she was my mother, as if I wasn’t almost eight years her senior. “You have too many already.”
“Not true! I only have six.” Six hardcovers, two of them almost seven hundred pages, but that was beside the point. Six was not “too many.” Given the millions of published books in the world, six wasn’t nearly enough.
Ana drove her elbow into my backpack, almost throwing me off balance. “That’s a safety hazard, girl,” she said. “They could grab it and knock you over easily. You should be carrying food in there, or extra ammo.”
“There’s plenty of room for that stuff in the front pocket.”
Ana shook her head as she checked her gun’s safety. “Promise me, Alex. No books,” she said. “You can’t save them all.”
“Sure, sure. No books.”
Not only was this section fun to write, but I think (and hope) that it’s a decent hook. My goal with this novel is to find a balance between the action of a typical “zombie apocalypse” story and the quieter character-driven moments in more highly-regarded “literature.” I hope this intro not only sets up the world, but also gives the two main characters a little personality. Feel free to tell me what you think!
So, have at it readers and fellow writers! Post your favorite quote/excerpt from your Camp NaNo WIP (or non-Camp NaNo WIP, for those of you who aren’t taking part but are still lacking confidence in your writing) below!
Good luck and good writing to you.