NaNoWriMo Update

I just passed 29K tonight.  That means I’m almost caught up with yesterday’s  writing goal (30K)

I’m very glad to have learned two things–

  1. The second female character I introduced isn’t a complete idiot. (For a while I had to wonder if she was.)
  2. [spoiler] the guy I killed the same day I discovered/introduced him isn’t actually dead.  In the end his brother couldn’t kill him and instead decided to risk some girl’s reputation in order to keep him alive. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense.  Like most stories, It’s complicated.)

I was very glad to learn there was a line Charles wouldn’t cross.  He was pretty creepy for a while there.

Who the main characters are is getting thrown all around.  Now that this guy is back from the dead (in a manner of speaking) and his whole character’s been revised by the near-death experience, he’s showing a lot more depth and interest than the erstwhile hero.

So all that convolution to say I’m still on it.

And part of the fun is that I’ve basically written off the possibility anyone would publish this story: It’s blatantly Christian, with *ahem* edgy humor (Yes! I have funny stuff in my story, Yippee!– If you’ve been around a while you’ll remember this has been a sticky spot for me), so I have a hard time picturing a publisher that would take both.  So it’s made the creation process quite a bit more relaxed and free.

When I think of a new angle (that would require changing a character, role, or interaction that I’ve already written) I have a separate file where I make notes about that.

When I think of a fun before-and-after, and plant the before I make a note not to forget the after, and also where it might fit best, if I’ve already thought of that.

Blessedly, I’ve not yet been at a loss when writing time comes around, and while I am a bit behind, it’s not killer.

This has been a wonderful experience so far, and I still hope to finish on time.

21K to go.

NaNoWriMo 2011

I think it was Steven King in his book On Writing  who said the Writer is as much an artist as the sculptor– and maybe more, since the writer must create the raw material he then shapes into his work of art.

This is one of the reasons I find NaNoWriMo useful: successfully completed it leaves me with a block of raw material that actually exists.  Throw in the power of deadline (this is my second year writing with the My Book Therapy community) to make me think of writing every day, and more gets done.

I’m choking every time I sit down to write; I’m woefully out of practice.  If it weren’t for the stat tools and the 10p.m. deadline for the daily reporting (any word count is fine, just reporting is the required part), I’d continue to whittle away my free hours with YouTube and Hulu.

Putting down words is hard.

Two different friends reading my Lindorm novel have commended me for sticking with it; getting the whole thing down.

As it’s happened over five years my perception of it gets a little fuzzy, but these last two nights have reminded me: they’re right! It’s work to get something coherent and all points driving a single story forward.

I also like how these WriMo novels have developed: my first was a fantasy. Last year’s was pretty straight-up a YA romance.  This time I’ve got a murder mystery/intrigue thing going on.  And yet all of them are based on distinct fairy tales I love that all go “beyond the rescue.”

Sure it’s nice to be human again, but then you have to deal with all the junk humans have to deal with.  The nice thing is that when someone makes you human, at least in my story worlds, they’re usually getting themselves in for the long haul.

And a partner makes any load easier to carry.

I’m Starting a New Novel

There, I said it.  It’s official.

This time I plan (at least at first) to do things completely differently.

Whereas last time I did NaNoWriMo, and wrote pretty much “by the seat of my pants” (though, to be honest I had the structure of the original tale to keep me on track), this time I’m attempting to plan before I write.

Jay bought me the Snowflake software when it was $20, so I’m experimenting with that.  I’m finding it’s hard for me to flesh out my characters before I’ve seen them in action, but I’m chipping away at it, wanting to give this method an honest go.

Seeing the issues I’m having with the Lindorm novel that’s currently wrapping up, I want to learn if I have fewer of those with more rigorous planning.  I’m also riding a bit closer to the original model (the folktale) than I thought I might.

Mainly because it’s easier to identify conflict and motivation when it’s less subtle.  Those girls, at least as far as I’ve painted/pegged them so far, are beyond my ken.

And I hope this story will be less complex then Lindorm.  But we’ll see.

I have the three brothers pegged in a very traditional manner, and I hope they will still be interesting for all that.

The princess is not your witty She-Ra that populate so many fantasies.  I suppose I am prosaic enough that I don’t trust the portrayal of women who are set forth as anomalies despite the fact that that world produced them.

*pah*  Foolishness.

This is not the popular heroine, if I may use my own awareness of popular heroines as a guide. I thoroughly dislike “strong” women who are strong primarily in contrariness, rather than in contribution. But I suppose this will come out in anything I write, whether my heroine is contrary or not.

What a writer is intellectually, morally, spiritually, emotionally will radiate through the work, like light on an overcast day in which there is no visible sun, so that all things appear illuminated equally.

–Joyce Carol Oates, from her essay Reading as a Writer

At this moment this feels like a very comforting surety.

I’m not sure if this is a true quote or something from my own mind, but If we must be hanged, let us be hanged for the truth is how I feel now. I don’t know how it will be taken, this Water novel, or the Lindorm one. But they will be true, as a story can be true, and I feel quietly comfortable in that.

Stepping off the cliff again.

It really is quite exciting to me, and I welcome your prayers.