The Slightly Less Than a Week Countdown Begins

November is officially six days away. How exciting! (And dreadfully overwhelming!) So, this means I only have six more days to prepare for the writing insanity known as National Novel Writing Month.

What do I have to do in the next six days to prepare?

  1. Finish grading my students’ papers. (That shouldn’t be too bad, considering it’s only a few paragraphs by each student… all 78 of them…)
  2. Finish those final alterations to novel #1 and hand it over to my husband for (hopefully) the final review before I unleash it on my poor friends and family.
  3. Get a better idea of where this story is going. I might be a pantser, but I don’t want to get stuck.
  4. Learn how to write like a guy.

The last one has amounted to an interesting journey during the last couple of weeks. As I’ve mentioned before, I know that each of my narrators need to sound different. Developing the first voice was easy because it’s mine. The second is more difficult but it is still a girl. This time, I’m leaping out of my comfort zone. This narrator–this first person narrator–is a guy.

Perhaps I am overthinking things–it’s easy to do when your dad works in mental health and you know that psychologically men and women do have distinct differences–but this is something I’ve never done for an entire novel. It’s a new adventure. And to prepare for this adventure, I’ve been doing some research.

I’ve reread works written by men. I’ve taken note of how much they talk about thoughts, actions, and emotions so I can see what the balance is.

I’ve talked to my husband and brother about it. Neither of them are writers. However, my brother is an avid reader and enjoys studying psychology, sociology, and anything that has to do with understanding people; and my husband is my writing partner and is very perceptive. And they both are guys. :)

And I’ve done what only we writers think of doing: I asked several friends and relatives (who are guys) to write a handful of journal entries so I can analyze their prose. Though they gave me strange looks, they agreed and should be turning in their work in the next day or two. I think this will be the most helpful since the novel is just a compilation of the narrator’s letters and journals, and he is rather like my friends–just an ordinary younger man. He just finds himself in unusual circumstances.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, how are you preparing?


7 responses to “The Slightly Less Than a Week Countdown Begins

  • Anthony Lee Collins

    No NaNo for me (as usual), but I do admire your gumption in the guy-writing thing (and your preparation, which sounds very thorough). My main characters are often female (well, mostly female actually), but I’ve never written from a first person female POV. Sounds like you’re doing the homework, and that’s important. Good luck with the project.I look forward to hearing more about it.

    • Bryna

      You favor female protagonists and Wentworth favors male. Very intriguing! I wonder if all writers tend to favor one gender over the other (I know that I do) and, if so, if it’s the same gender that they are or the opposite. Sounds like something to look into… after November, of course. :)

      Thanks! I look forward to telling you more about it as it takes shape!

  • A Wannabe Writer

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo and the whole writing like a guy challenge. It sounds like you’ve been doing the necessary preparations and that you really ready for it :)

    I won’t be joining NaNo myself, but let’s see if I can finally start working out some of the short stories I’ve been carrying around in my mind forever.

    • Bryna

      Thanks! Best of luck on the short stories! I don’t know about you, but I always found them to be more challenging than writing novels. I can’t wait to hear how they go! :)

      • Anthony Lee Collins

        I think short stories are much harder. I couldn’t write them at all until I started to write mysteries. The genre restrictions helped. But even so, some of them are freaking long for short stories, and plus they all started to interconnect into chapters of a novel anyway. I’m impressed by anybody who can write real short stories.

  • C.B. Wentworth

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! :-)

    I have the exact opposite issue with gender. Many of my stories and my novel are written from a male point of view. I have no idea why! As I head into my second novel, I’m floored that my muse has pointed me towards writing from a female point of view. It’s a whole new world in a girl’s head!

    • Bryna

      Good luck as you start your second novel! It really is a different world when you shift into the other gender’s prespective. I can’t wait to hear what you discover as you see the differences between your protagonists. :)

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