Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Friday, November 12, 2010

Week Two: Motivation: I have it not.

I ought to be socking away another thousand words in my novel right now, but I'm tired and kinda blah and finally in the grasp of 'Why the heck am I doing this stupid thing, anyway?'

All that means is that I'm on the right track. Neil Gaiman, in 2007's Week Three pep talk, said when you reach the point where you think it would be a mercy to simply delete the whole wretched thing, that's when you've made it. "That's how novels get written," he wrote.

This morning, faced with a slightly less daunting packet of the 'I Don't Want To's, I pushed ahead anyhow and managed to put out about a thousand words. It actually turned out okay. Probably a third of it was me flailing about to work out how to proceed, but that's what NaNo is about. Now, with lunch behind me, a fairly warm and sunlit study and a can of Coke that's rapidly becoming lighter and lighter, I'm finding that mountain a lot more difficult to climb. I'm in the middle of a scene where a character is finally getting to duel with the character she hates so very much, and I could care. And if I don't care, the reader won't care.

I'm going to have to switch to something else in the story. That requires me to remember what the heck else I wrote these past eleven days, and, aside from a stack of already out-of-date notecards, I have little grasp on what has gone before. I'm fighting the urge to just give up for today. I'll be right on target overall if I do, but the weekend is coming up, and I know I lose a lot of words then. I may be able to get a day's writing done tomorrow morning, but I've gotten used to having a cushion. If I don't go on today, I won't have that cushion and I'll be back in the place I'm typically in during NaNoWriMo, that of just keeping pace with the official count.

I might catch up next week. Or I might not. Funny how something as simple as writing 1667 words a day, which is really not a lot, turns into something so daunting when it becomes a single story that must (in my mind) make sense. I already have a series of mental notes on characters who've changed personalities or names and questions on why exactly I created this or that bit of ephemera and where I expect to go with it.

Next year I'll plan ahead more. Or something. Well, here are four hundred or so words that didn't go into my novel this afternoon. I'll keep plugging along. It'll happen. I'll hit that 50,000 word mark. It just looks a bit gloomy right now.

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