A blog of the agony and ecstasy experienced while attempting to write a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days. I did mention agony, didn't I ?
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Day Seventeen - I added over 2000 words but I'm only giving myself a one glass award. It was all important information and it led me to other important information that I needed to know but it didn't exactly move my story forward. I basically spent my writing time making elaborate notes about motivations and symbols and whys and hows and wheres.
Day Sixteen - Week Three is in full swing and so am I... sort of. I had two scenes to write and fortunately I knew exactly what should happen in them. Only one hiccup, a character who wasn't supposed to show up here did. I'm glad she did, she added something the scene would have been missing otherwise. I really appreciate when my characters know more about my story than I do! 1704 words today - I'm well over half way to the finish! Yay!
Day Fifteen - A smashing day! I wrote 1769 words and they were all good ones for a change! Also, I figured out several important details about my story that 'should' make it easier going from here to the end of the month. I've also figured out some things about my writing style. I am working in a program called Scrivener. It gives you space to put not only your manuscript but also details about characters, setting and research. There are places to jot down all your notes and ideas for the ongoing story and notes for later in revisions. It is great and I love it but I've found that I really need to take pen to paper when I make notes. I like to have it in front of me on my desk while I work. I need the satisfaction of scratching things out as they get done. Somehow it just isn't the same feeling to delete letters on the screen. I like that marked up piece of paper. It lets me know I've really accomplished something.
Day Fourteen - Wow! A new record today... no not a record for most words written, or fastest writing. Today's record is for shortest time spent before I checked my word count. I would have sworn I'd written a thousand words at least but sadly the word count informed (quite rudely I must say) that it was only 143 words. Geez! Many word count checks later, I'm happy to say I wrote 1854 words today. It went a lot faster than the last two days thank goodness! It is almost week three and I'm hoping for a miracle to help me sail through the last half of my novel.
Day thirteen - What a bear! I still have all my notes from yesterday so again I thought today would be a snap. I figured I'd double my minimum word count for the day (heehee) no such luck. Again I was stuck on one specific scene. Getting myself started was a near impossible task. Once I really got into it, everything flowed smoothly except for the dozen times I stopped to (obsessively) check my word count of course.
1711 words today - Week Three begins tomorrow, it can only get better now... right?
Day Twelve - after Sunday's big push I had high hopes for today. Not only did I manage over 2100 words yesterday, I dreamed about my story and got up to scribble down five or six pages of notes. Unfortunately, that is where the magic ended. I finally sat down to write this afternoon and only cranked out 607 words. They are good words! I finished a very scary scene. But once I was done with that I found I couldn't go on. So on the down side, per my Duxbury Wine Scale, I get an empty glass. On the up side, I have notes leading me into two more scenes for tomorrow and I am still ahead for the month to date.
Day eleven - I didn't beat the minimum today by very much but it was an exceptionally good day anyhow. I had given myself permission to take a break today and only write enough to get me up to the minimum for 11 days. That would have been a bit over 600 words. Once I started writing, I really got into it again and before I knew it I was up to 1692 words. I love it when the words flow!
Day Ten - Over 2100 words today. An amazingly excellent start to Week Two.
I am having one big problem though, I've been attacked by my internal editor. She is a cranky old witch! She doesn't like poor word choice or flat prose or overused words or pretty much anything else I'm writing at the moment. She keeps telling me that I have to edit. That I will go insane if I don't edit. If you are having the same troubles, let me give you an important piece of advice.
DON’T DO IT.. Don’t listen to that infernal internal editor. If the words are wrong, if they make you sick at your stomach, don’t delete, never never delete. Just change the font to red instead. I guarantee it will trick you into ignoring all those words that need changing or erasing because you know they’ll stand out and be easy to find and delete when the month is over.
Day Nine - It finally happened. The thing I fear most when I'm writing. It can happen anywhere along the way from crappy first draft to final revisions... I was hit by a big fat week Two case of the I SUCK!
Admittedly I haven't been thrilled over the novel I am currently attempting. I know I'm padding words here and there. Okay, everywhere. I'm pretty sure I have a lot of talking heads taking up the space where setting and emotion and nuance belong but it still didn't hit me till last night when I made the mistake of picking up an old Dennis Lehane novel. OMG! the man is a master and I would throw myself at his feet if I thought it would help my writing. This revelation sent me scrambling to my bookshelf. Sure enough, every book I picked up from Stephen King to Sue Grafton was amazing! I will never ever be able to create the intense and beautiful prose of those people. I couldn't stop the' I suck' thoughts from invading my brain... What do I think I'm doing? Who do I think I'm fooling? But after an hour of self-pity, I went back to reread my work in progress and you know what? It isn't half bad after all! This week is all about putting words on the page, pushing the skeleton of the story forward and realizing all that beautiful character development and setting description can wait till you know what your story is truly all about.