10,000 words

Hi there! Here’s another quick status update on how NaNoWriMo is going. Today, I hit the 10,000-word benchmark–that’s right, I’m 1/5 of the way done!

I wish I could say that my story is coming together. It’s not, not really. I’ve still no clear plot to speak of. But I do have a host of interesting characters, and these images and ideas keep popping up. I hope that at some point it’ll just come together, or at least I’ll be primed to put all the pieces together and get to the true heart of the story after November is through. So, to those of you still plodding your way through NaNoWriMo in the dark like me, keep at it! It’s not a sign of failure, just a sign that you’ve got more writing to do!

Quick Update

It’s November 4th. It’s been an exceptionally busy week (Halloween + my birthday + my daughter’s birthday), but I’m happy to say that I’m not even *that* behind on my writing.

I’m at 5,000 words!

But I have been getting a little discouraged in my story. As I write, it’s painfully apparent that I have no idea where to story is going (not shocking since I spent hardly any time planning). Even though I knew this would likely be the case when I went into the month, it is a little daunting, sitting down and free writing, no editing, just whatever pops up.  I keep thinking, “you’re going to waste your whole month with this?”  “This is going nowhere.”

It takes a lot of effort to keep telling myself that this is to be expected, that it’s part of the fun, and that it’s maybe even necessary to get at the soft underbelly of what I want to say–the real story. If I spent all November writing meaningless, disorganized drivel, but came away with a solid kernel on which to base a “real” story … that would be worth it. Or, even if that doesn’t happen, if there are no breakthroughs and no kernels, I still wrote something, and maybe it was something that needed to be written, that will pave the way for ideas later down the line. Maybe it’s just something I need to get out before I can move on to something better.

I do, honestly and from the bottom of my heart, feel that it is really important to trust the writing process. You might not get what you want out of it, but you get what you need. Regardless, it is challenging, to come back to the keyboard day after day with some vague hopes and a whole host of self-doubts. There are so many other things I could be doing, things where success is much easier to gauge, things that are instantly gratifying. So many things that don’t seem as likely to make you look like a complete and utter failure.

Anyway, I just wanted to be honest about how quick and easy it is to fall into this mindset. Hopefully, I’m the only one in the world who feels this way, but I doubt it.

Day One: Recap

“’In all men’s hearts a slumbering swine lies low,’ says the French poet; so come ye, whose porcine instincts have never yet been awakened, or if rampant successfully hidden, and hurl the biggest, sharpest stones you can lay your hands on at your wretched, degraded, humiliated brother, who has been found out.

-Oscar Wilde

Day one, and it has been ridiculously productive! I hit a gold mine by retelling a real-life experience that’s been fresh in my memory. I wrote it out as a nonfiction piece, then rewrote it in a slightly creepier tone and fictionalized some major elements to make it fit in as it as part of my novel.

I basically used it as part of the backstory for my main character. It’s really helped me get into the story a bit more. The main character (don’t have a name yet) went through a series of traumatic experiences, eventually leading her to completely change her life and transform into this pseudo-religious leader/cult leader/feminist icon (or something). This is where the story begins!

Also, I feel like I should explain the Oscar Wilde quote: I really like it and it fits into my story, somehow. It’s pretty biblical. I always think of women being stoned in the Bible, but I guess it applies to men too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning

Happy NaNoWriMo Eve!

Hello! It’s the last 30-odd minutes of October and the perfect time for a quick blog post. I’ve had this empty blog for a while, and I figured why not start it up as a little diary of this year’s National Novel Writing Month activities?

This year I am starting out with a less traditional route: I’m writing a non-linear, multi-dimensional collection of writings, more or less based on a theme, a feeling, an idea. Eh, it’s confusing to explain, but I always am a bit short on plot and heavy on ideas, so this works for me. Or maybe it won’t, I guess we’ll see.

As if it’s not painfully clear, I haven’t spent too much time planning this out. No outline to speak of, just a list of books to read, research to do, and a few random ideas scribbled in a spiral notebook. Hopefully, I’ll include more on the specifics later.

Here’s to a productive and creative NaNo!

Oh, and if anyone’s out there, please feel free to find me on NaNoWriMo.org. I’m ProphetOfProse.