Yesterday morning I wrote a blog. It wasn’t a super good blog and it was the first in a month. I sat down and wrote it mostly because I was getting ready to get on an Airplane and didn’t want to get neck deep in reworking a chapter of Wine Bottles & Broomsticks before I had to get out of there. So, what the heck have I been up to? You might imagine that I was steadfastly working on NaNoWriMo. That was true for about the first week. I hit just over 10K words and then stopped. I didn’t stop because I got writer’s block or I was stuck or because I’m a whiny little diva who didn’t have the perfect writing conditions. No, I stopped because the story was starting to meander, I didn’t have a good sense of my character development, and the adventure felt too easy, there wasn’t enough tension (Bottom line: I didn’t like where it was going). Early on, I’d decided to pants it, so outside of a vague idea of certian plot points, I wasn’t sure where it’d go, which is fine. At this point (assuming you’ve read this far) you might be wanting to give me the same advice a ton of others continually do: The whole point of NaNoWriMo is just to get it down, finish it up later.
The bad news is that I don’t really work that way.
I’m way to lazy for that. Many of us (most? all?) need to re-write a lot and I’m well aware of that fact, so I shouldn’t be scared of rewriting a story. I mean, I’m going to do it regardless and I’m glad. That said, NaNoWriMo taught me something I think I already know -That’s just not how I write. I go in jags – write a lot, think a lot write a lot repeat. I like to work out scenes in my head before trying to get them down. It requires a bit of mental juggling and I do run the risk of forgetting witty or interesting story elements, but in a lot of ways it’s just the same as getting down a thousand words of draft and re-working it until it seems to flow. In this process, the actual draft writing is a bit further down the road to a well fleshed out idea than it might have otherwise been.
Unfortunately, I’ve not been following this process over the month either. I’ve been mostly programming. It’s another creative outlet for me and also results in a tool at the end that I can use for stuff – like work. The project I was working on is super cool and has been a lot of fun. It’s been a writing detox. The trip to Orlando was awesome because it was a reset that on one end paused the programming project for a while, put some space beteen me and the Nano project that I’ve decided to put off for a little while, and on the other end got me back into Wine Bottles and Broomsticks. Sometime near the end of the week, I started really trying to change gears I think that happened on Friday night. Certianly as I was trekking across country I got back in the groove. It’s not that I didn’t write on the way down or in the spaces of time after class and dinner and things, it’s just that I wasn’t connecting with what I was working on, and it wasn’t going well. I realized I had really hit the groove again somewhere in the first layover. I saw a dude walking around and was inspired for a character in the book. A woman in line felt like good inspiration too. She had this odd expression as she surveyed the crowd. Her eyes would land on a dude and linger for a while. She wasn’t checking him out physically. I felt like she was mentally checking out his wallet. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the frame of mind of inventing intentions and characters on the faces of people I don’t know and it felt great.
So. There I am. Not lazy, just distracted. Also, I think I’m going to try and make a better effort at updating this blog as I bring Wine Bottles in toward the finish. I’m about 2/3rds of the way in now and I can feel the end. Loads of work remains. The rising action doesn’t rise and the stakes don’t feel very high so I’ve got to work on that, but all of the foundations are there.
Tomorrow I’m off to the coffee shop in the morning to drop a bit of time on the writing, for now – date night.