Monday, November 02, 2009

Write It All, Let God Sort It Out

So I've been writing a novel for a little while. I've told some people, and not mentioned it to others. But I'm about 25,000 words in, and it had been going pretty well. I was doing about a thousand words a day.

Then two things happened. One: I went to Las Vegas and broke my stride. For about a week, the book was lonely and untouched.

Second: on the journey from point A to point Z, I found myself at point F or G with no idea where to go. I know what has to happen at J or K, and I know where I need to be at point N or O, but I'm in the creamy center of the twinkie with no real idea how to get back to the spongy outer layer, or even a decent analogy.

So I've decided to be an unofficial* participant in NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. The deal is (and I've done Nano before, and prevailed), you set down 50,000 words of new fiction in a month. It's a tough goal, but it's not impossible. It's an exercise in Quantity over Quality, and intentionally so. Writers -- especially first-time ones, who haven't been through the whole process yet -- can be too precious about their words, and more concerned with the trees than the forest. And right now, my job is to get that forest planted, and I can come back and sculpt the topiary in another draft. And if I can get 50,000 words written in November, that means I'll have 75K of fiction ready to edit and work with in December and beyond. I'll have a solid, solid start, even if much of the text is clumsy and obvious. No one gets to be Ross MacDonald right out of the gate.

Naturally, yesterday I didn't write a word.

Today, however, I continued Chapter 13, allowing the scant words I'd already written of it into my Nano count. And so, my Nano tally stands at:

2045 words; 47,955 to go.

Expect updates.

*Unofficial because Nano rules say you have to start from scratch.


mdeals said...

I love to read...........

Sharon GR said...

Good for you. Keep it up.