Writing Practice

In preparation for NaNo, I am going to give myself specific assignments for my descriptive writing practice.  Tonight the assignment is to create and describe a bedroom.

She stood in the doorway and stared.  The room was not what she had expected.

The hardwood floor was covered with a plush rug worked in a pattern of red and gold swirls.  Where the floorboards were visible, their warm tone was polished to a glossy shine.  The heavy bedframe seemed made of the exact same wood, its honey-colored posts intricately carved with abstract loops and whorls.  A massive mattress was topped by a scarlet bedspread covered in detailed thread-of-gold embroidery and layered with a extravagance of pillows in several complimentary shades of crimson and burgundy.  Velvet curtains hung at the corners of the canopy, standing prepared to enclose the bed when she was ready to sleep.

Despite its size, the bed did not dominate the space, nor dwarf the remaining furnishings.  A stout table stood to either side of the bed, each topped with a small red cloth and a graceful golden lamp in the shape of a tree.  To her left, a bureau reached only to her waist but stretched nearly the length of the bed.  Across the room from the bed, a matching table was flanked by two armchairs.  At first their lush scarlet upholstery seemed out of place, but then she noticed the frames and legs made of the same wood and carved in a similar style as the rest of the room.

Feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of warm colors, her eyes sought the window on the far wall from where she stood.  It too was draped in scarlet and gold, but to her relief the curtains were pulled to the side.  A bench, of a piece with the rest of the room, was placed to encourage one to sit and gaze at the view.  Amazed by what she saw, she was more than happy to leave her luggage at the door, cross the room and oblige.

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The First of Many

Last night I was planning to get out The Storymatic again and start warming up for NaNo.  I got the box and the journal out, set them on my bedside table… and that was as far as I got.  The first distraction (of many to come) pulled my attention away.  (The Alaska Marine Highway finally put out their summer sailing schedules!  Instead of writing, I started working on the itinerary for my Alaska trip next year.)

Regardless of the reason, there will be distractions come November, and anyone who has done NaNo before can tell you that sometimes you just have to roll with it.  Perhaps distractions mean that you write later in the day than normal.  Maybe a distraction keeps you from completing your count for the day, and you have to find a way to make it up.  In my case, distractions have caused me to lose leads that were carefully developed, to spend days just under the goal, and to fall behind shortly after finally getting ahead.  They have not, however, prevented me from completing the required word count.

NaNo newbies, take note.  This is okay!  It will happen; it happens to (almost) everyone.  Much like cheating on a diet, the important thing is to not let a lost day make you quit, or dishearten you.  Also like a diet, it’s also good to make sure that distracted days are fewer than productive ones!

NaNo doesn’t work perfectly, so don’t be disappointed when things get in your way or don’t work out how you planned.  The point is to write.  So keep writing!