“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.”- Harlan Ellison
It is almost the end of week three. I wish I could say at this point that things have gotten easier, that my writing is going smoother, and every word I type is pure gold. I don’t need to point out that none of these things are true, right? I have produced one scene that I think is objectively “pretty good” and a lot of stuff that is on the “meh” scale and one or two things that made me pull a face even as I was typing them up. I was encouraged though when I read a post from a published NaNo author (whose website I immediately forgot to bookmark and therefore am paraphrasing) talking about the changes from her rough NaNo draft to the final book ““ which wasn’t ready for over another year. So I was reminded, again, that I am not married to the words I have written in this race. I am writing to write and to hit my word count. Revision is for December (and January, February, March”¦)
Chris Batty, the former head the Office of Letters and Light and author of No Plot? No Problem!, says that week three is the distraction week. It’s when the ideas for other fantastic novels start brewing ““ novels that you’re not currently writing that sound far more exciting than whatever you’re slogging through at the moment. I haven’t found myself having ideas for “novels that could be,” but I do find myself getting distracted by the burgeoning back stories of the events in the novel I am working on. I suppose this is a related problem. It’s nice to feel like I’m fleshing out the bones, but the temptation to linger on this suddenly, intensely fascinating part of the novel can be disruptive. I made my notes and am back in the main timeline. Go forward momentum! Rah rah!
I’m maintaining a steady pace of about 2 days behind schedule. I have my eye on the last two weekends for a solid catch up and have not yet started panicking over the possibility of not finishing in time.
Now it’s your turn, fellow writers. How’s NaNo going for you?
Fun stuff ““ Write or Die There are some days where I think that I need to go more low-tech in my writing because I am one easily distracted hack. If I remember correctly, you can’t surf the web on a typewriter. My notebook does not stream Netflix. But I’m a laptop writer, and despite the handle toggle switch that turns off my Wi-Fi, I rarely use it. I do use the website Write or Die, because I’m a nerd and I like that I can tell this program that I want to solidly write 600 words in 30 minutes. And when I spend too much time staring off into the distance, the site gently flashes a warning light, and when I don’t pay attention and get back to writing, it emits an obnoxious shriek that can only be shut off when I start typing again. Focus or pay the price!
Bonus Tracks: Actual, tangible novels that began life as a NaNoWriMo project: