Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo, 17, 18, 19, and 20

NaNoWriMo, Day 17 - 28413

I got very little sleep last night. I was staring at the screen for 5 minutes, in a kind of haze, trying to decide if I was going to write tonight, because I really feel like I ought to.

But that haze.

It decided for me.

Tomorrow I'm working overtime (10 more hours, so this is going to be a 50 hour paycheck. Wooo!), but I think with the extra rest I get tonight, I should be good to go.

NaNoWriMo, Day 18 - 31008

2595 words! I worked 10 hours today (on what is supposed to be my day off) and what's more, it was by far the most exhausting job that there is to do at Amazon. Library picking, which involves 10 horrible hours of walking. Additionally, the fastest way to do it involves keeping a few numbers in your head at all times, which means it's very hard to daydream about your novel. I'm sure everyone has that problem.

But I got home, cooked some salisbury steak TV dinner things, made some corn, wrote my poem, and got to writing my novel. And 2595 words. That's not bad. Especially considering I wrote 800 and was ready to go to bed, and then shamed myself into going on since I skipped yesterday.

I went back again and inserted a chapter. It was an attempt at fixing the flow of the novel. Not the flow of the mood, which is one thing I try to think about, but the flow of the narrative itself: I needed something not so action-packed to take place between action scenes. But I turned that moment, which started off as a brilliant single shot idea at work ("What if they meet this new character I just thought up in my head?") ended up fleshing out a character which, also at work, I had begun to fear hadn't had enough direct impact to the story.

I'm gonna end with something that I've learned from this whole experience, about the way I personally need to write a novel. I have taken a class on novel writing, and read some books, and I've seen a lot of different suggestions, which makes sense, since everyone writes differently. But one of those suggestions is to make an outline, or figure out what your characters are all about; where they're from, what they'd do in given situations.

I always felt as if this was very constricting. A part of me wants the absolute freedom to do what I please. Which is not to say that in Chapter 1, my main character is cripplingly (is that a word?) shy, and in chapter 2 they're swinging from a chandelier at a strip club. Instead, I want to have a general idea of a character in my head, and situation, in my head, and see where it takes me as I write.

But in practice, that can easily become a nightmare, especially given the more characters you have. So in the future, I think what I need to do is have a fairly good idea of a number of 'core' characters. Not necessarily the main characters, but characters which I know are important to the story at some point (okay, so maybe that is a main character, but I just mean to say not main in the sense that they will be the focus of the novel).

For me, having just a vague idea of where the novel is going is great, and freeing, and fun. But having that same sense of freedom for every character can become a little overwhelming. I feel like I have discovered who certain characters are in chapter 16, and that when I go back over the book from start to finish, I will endlessly be inserting that 'character' into their earlier appearances.

But perhaps that's as natural as anything else.

NaNoWriMo, Day 19 - 31789

I typed a modest 781 words. I had to make the decision to pull the plug and go to sleep after I found myself dragging parts onto different nerf guns on nerf's flash website. I could not possibly have been less productive.

But I worked 11 hours last night, and a total so far of 41 hours. After tomorrow's shift, that will be 52 hours in a week. It doesn't sap my creativity. Just my energy. haha.

I want to officially note, by the way, that I am no closer today than I was at the start of having even a working title for my novel. It's currently saved as "A Shift 6," which just happens to be the first two words of the novel, followed by the number six, which is how many times I've saved it as a new file just in case something horrible happens to it.

This part of the book is so boring to write, but I've got to pull through. It can't be all explosions and chase scenes. Trust me. I have read that novel excerpt in college. It was not enjoyable.

NaNoWriMo, Day 20 - 34072

I just got done working my 52nd hour of standing or walking on concrete at my job. My legs hurt, but surprisingly less than they did that first week. And needless to say, I was not feeling like writing when I got home, despite all my day dreaming about it at work. I had forgotten to take my stuff to work (do poetry things on my lunch break so I don't have to do them when I get home) so I still have to do those things before I sleep, so I will try to make this short.

But I wrote 2283 words, which is much less than it felt like. I had some fun with my characters in a chapter that hopefully relieves some of the intense pressure of the preceding chapters.

At work, I was thinking about my story, and I'm not certain it will end in 50000 words. Which, of course, is not a requirement of NaNoWriMo, but something that I would have liked to have some amount of closure in. I'll keep writing 'til it's done, though.

During my day dreaming, I envisioned almost all the events that I want to take place before the ending. It's strange being so far along that I know almost everything that will happen. There are things I need to figure out how I'm going to tie them up, but all in all, I think I know how I want it to end.

Which would leave me with the giant task of revision, fact checking (I just make crap up, currently. No city names or anything of that nature), and thinking up a title. Blah.

No comments:

Post a Comment