CED Round-Up: Writing My Novel

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This week's CED Round-up will be pretty short, due to the fact that I have consolidated most (if not all) of my creative energies on writing (all 16,946 words I have so far) of my novel for Camp National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). To contradict that last statement, here are two things I worked on this week that were not related to the novel - a VoteBot comic for the Washington Bus blog and a business card:

(click for the larger versions.)

Anyway, back to the writing.

Literary fiction is a hard road, I've found. The longest pieces I've written in this voice have been short stories of less than 20 pages, and my novel is already over 30! I'm always behind word count, but not without ideas. As I wrote last week, I want to explore the lives of people and how their culture plays into all of their daily experiences. Last week, I wasn't really pinned down about what that meant, but this week I have sat a little bit more with my work and thought about it.

I have picked up the voices of women who deal with everything all at once - my characters are challenged by, and challenging, everything from sexual orientation to death in the family to keeping in touch with their South Asian heritage while abroad. I feel that I have grown all the characters inside of me, and now they are taking on characteristics of me and my own family - though no one is a carbon copy of any real person. This is fiction, after all.

I have chosen not to post long bits of the novel here. In part because I don't know if I like what I've written enough to put it out, but also because I feel that these characters make me vulnerable and speak to me in a way that hasn't come to me in a long while. Camp NaNoWriMo has let me explore some very intimate and deep-seated feelings that I have about life and culture. I appreciate the challenge.

Check out more of my creations in the rest of the Creative Every Day series.