KingMidget's Ramblings

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Thoughts on NaNo, Day Three


Here are my excuses so far:

1.  I’ve got the day job that took up nine hours on Friday.

2.  I met with Poetry-meister Geoff after work.  Had a couple of beers, ate a lot of chips and salsa, talked about writing, about family, about life, about his little publishing effort he started up a while ago, talked about writing, about family, about life.

3.  I didn’t get home until almost 9:00.  It was a great evening.

4.  I actually did, then, sit down and start working on Northville Five & Dime.  Wrote 800 words.  Half of the daily target for NaNo.

5.  I drank Friday night which these days means I’ll feel like crap the next day.  I did.

6.  I also woke up at 3:00 Saturday morning and tossed and turned for two hours, thinking about a couple of things.  Got up at 5:00, wrote a couple of emails to deal with the tossing and turning.  Slept from 6:00 – 8:30.  Woke up still feeling exhausted.

7.  Made my kid breakfast.  Pancakes and bacon.  Something that doesn’t happen nearly often enough anymore.

8.  In between the cooking and the showering and a short errand, I wrote bits and pieces here and there.  Hither and yon.

9.  My kid had a soccer game that took me away from the tools of the writing craft from Noon until 3:00.  Before we had left, I hit 1,400 new words on Northville.

10.  When we got back from his game, I took a nap.  It’s an inherent part of my weekend existence, particularly considering the tossing and turning of the night before and particularly because …

11.  90 minutes after we got home from the soccer game, we left the house again.  The kid was volunteering to be a scarer at a haunted house.  Alongside the new girl that he’s smitten with.  We drove him there, had dinner, went to see Captain Phillips (an absolutely excellent movie, by the way, and in the final ten minutes or so, Tom Hanks demonstrates why he is such an incredible actor — just for those final moments, you should see the movie), had dessert, met with the girl’s parents (old friends of mine) for a drink at 10:45, and finally got the kid and went home.

12.  I was pissed that we had to go do all of the things in #11.  I was in my head, in my story, and I wanted to stay there and explore and write and move it along because of #14.

13.  I had two epiphanies about writing and NaNo during the course of the day yesterday.

14.  First, I came up with an approach to writing to the climatic scene in Northville that will either make or break the story.  Up until now, I’ve been switching back and forth between the first person narrated versions of the story of the three main characters — Sophie, Lily, and Peter.  Each portion typically is about 4-6 pages long and each character has several portions in the first part of the story, which is now almost 13,000 words long.  As I switch to the day in which the climactic event takes place, those portions are going to become significantly shorter.  Maybe only two pages.  Maybe only one.  Maybe only a couple of paragraphs.  I think it will help ratchet up the tension.  I think.  Either that or people will get massively confused by the switches of voice.

15.  Second.  Here’s my problem.  I’m excited about #14.  Really excited to see if I can pull it off.  But, I realized what happens when I’m in a rush to write as a result of these artificial challenges like NaNo.  I end up telling more than showing.  For me, there is very much a mental part of writing.  It’s why some of the things I write take so long.  I have to kick it around the corners of my brain, chew at it, spit out bad ideas, run a few laps with the bits and pieces.  When I eliminate the mental part, I end up telling.  I found myself doing it over and over again in the short amount of writing I did yesterday.  I feel like I’m going to have to go back and completely re-do those 500 words I put down yesterday and, if so, why bother having done the writing in the first place?  Well, they do provide the guideposts for how the story is developing.  True.  But still, this is not how I write.

We shall see.  I’m going to continue soldiering on.  Even if I’m already one day behind in the word count and have a few things planned today that will interfere with my writing goals.

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3 responses to “Thoughts on NaNo, Day Three

  1. Lilith Colbert November 3, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I can SO relate, especially on the work and family thing. This was the 1st weekend in a WHILE I’ve had with my grand niece and grand nephew since I’m always working on the weekend so I took full advantage of that. And then work just seems to suck the life right out of me so…. damn…. BUT I am determined to finish this year!!!!!!!!

  2. sknicholls November 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t have any of those commitments and still only got 561 words this week…which is why I am not doing NaNo. Ha!

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