On Love and Hate

Wordcount day 12: 30,170 (!!!)

I insisted on reaching 30k before going to bed last night. I haven’t written a word all day but I’m trying not to beat myself up over that because everyone needs a break now and again. Besides, my mood has been horrendous all day and I don’t think that would make for very inspirational writing. It’s not helping that I’m struggling to be friends with my novel, either.

I’ve touched on this love and hate relationship before, in that there are times when I am in love with my plot and think it’s brilliant etc, and there are times where I’m, well, not. From what I understand this isn’t an entirely uncommon thing, and the Facebook group is full of people who seem to hate their book. I haven’t chimed in on that debate yet because I do actually like it sometimes.

Yesterday was by far the worst. I was writing chapter 9 and it is truly godawful. I haven’t read it (I haven’t read any of what I’ve written yet, I’m being good!), but I’m convinced that this is truly the worst crap I’ve ever written. The rest of my book will still require a lot of editing, but chapter 9 might have to be scrapped and redone completely. If it wasn’t for losing thousands of words on my total count I would have scrapped it already. There’s a necessary transition in there – my group of rebels are fleeing from their sanctuary and once outside they’re ambushed because someone ratted them out. That’s fine. That’s necessary to move the plot along and I need to keep the gist of that. But there was definitely something that happened while I wrote the scene of running through a dark tunnel that was just… AWFUL. Caps is necessary in this instance, nothing else can do it justice.

I got past that, eventually, after spending far too long on the dark and the running and I’m sure the reader is going to put the book down and never pick it up again if that’s going to go on for much longer, BUT.. Despite moving to the next scene I feel like I completely botched the tension that’s supposed to be in it.

Just to summarize: Chapter 9 sucks. The end. For anyone that is going to beta read this novel in December, consider yourself thoroughly warned. And you don’t need to tell me it’s bad. I’m extremely aware.

There are some positives though! Like the guy who is respsonsible for this crap happening and effectively becoming an antagonist finally has a name! (Thanks Anna) In the manuscript so far I’ve referred to him as [other guy]. A little jarring, you could say. I think in the revising process he’s going to get a bigger role than he has now. I already feel him trying to find a good place to make a proper entry into the story, and I’ll probably have to let him through at some point. Hopefully that will make things a bit more exciting.

Still not knowing where this story will end up, I’m becoming aware that it’ll take quite a bit more than 50,000 words for the story to be finished. Probably closer to 80,000, possibly a bit more after revising. For now I’m just letting my characters run around and do the storytelling for me. Anything else can be fixed later.

Thanks for reading, guys! I know I’m not saying too many interesting things, or much that’s new, but I appreciate you guys reading. And please comment! I know I nag, but I love seeing comments!

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Halfway!

So I’m halfway now! According to my stats I’ve got some 24k left to write. I have to say I’m pretty damn proud of myself, I didn’t think I would be able to keep up with the majority of NaNo’ers. There are lots of people who are ahead of me – hell, there are people who are finished. But, as we keep telling each other on the Facebook page: just writing at all and participating makes you incredible.

There’s no understatement saying that this is a challenge and I sway between loving and hating my novel and my characters. No doubt it will need a lot of editing come December! And then, THEN… I will invite some people as beta readers if they’re still interested (Anna, I’m looking at you).

At the moment I’m stopping for the night. Incredibly unproductive day, unless you count beating Gears of War 3 on the Xbox with Boyfriend. No? I didn’t think so either. Did most of my weekend grocery shopping this afternoon, though, so tomorrow I will sit here and write all day, damnit!

 

For those of you who are interested in writing and own a Kindle or some other e-book thingy, go here before the end of Saturday 12th and download a bunch of free books: http://www.writersdigest.com/nanowrimo. I’m charging our Kindle as we speak and will download most of them. If I read them while taking a break from writing it won’t be quite like slacking!

Off to bed I go and tomorrow we’ll see if I have an excerpt to throw in.

Day 9

Week two of NaNoWriMo is well under way and it’s been a slow haul for me. I got a bit stuck on obsessing over my plot. I honestly don’t really know where this story is going to go. I don’t know what the ultimate climax is going to be, and I don’t know how it’s going to end or how many words I’ll need to finish it. It drove me into a bit of  a funk for a couple of days. I felt like a Bad Writer for not knowing these things, and I still do if I sit down and think about it. But I decided I can either lie here and sulk about my inability to think of anything fantastic, or I can sit my ass down and write until I get there.

So, now that I finally got Butt In Chair and wrote, I’m at 24k. I’m not going to bed tonight until I hit 25k, even if it means I have to start a new chapter and my OCD will go insane about it.

Anyway, things ARE progressing, albeit a bit slow this week. It’s nothing uncommon, week two is infamous for slowing down for most participants. And it’s my first year and all! Aaah, excuses, what would I do without you?

We have these fancy new widgets now that should track my progress. Should, if I do it right. Yay!

 

 

Teaser 2

Yesterday I passed 15k on the novel. I’m starting chapter 7 soon and hoping to get close to 20 today but my mind is a bit sluggish.

Here’s how chapter 6 ends.

Three and a half excruciating hours later there was a knock at her door. Lee sat up straight as an arrow and waited. There was another knock.

“Hello?” came a muffled male voice from the other side. “Lee, it’s me.”

Things had never been personal with them before. Small-talk and nice nothings, that was all. Someone she could sneak a look at in secret and feel content. That was enough. She was suddenly starting to regret the impulse of inviting him into her home. Into her life.

She opened the door and saw him turn from the middle of the stairs to look up at her. “Sorry, I was just…” she trailed off, unable to think of a suitable yet modest excuse. “Come on up. Please.” He came back up the stairs and she stepped aside to let him in. “Would you like something to drink? I don’t have anything but wrinkly apples and stale bread to eat, though, so I can’t offer anything.” He gave her a slight smile as he shook his head.

“No thank you,” he said, then seemed to change his mind. “Actually, I suppose a glass of water would be nice.”

Lee headed into her little kitchen and drew up some cold water in a tall glass for him. As she came back out she was surprised to see how much he dwarfed her already small loft. He wasn’t wide, but he was tall and had to bend his neck slightly in order to not bump the ceiling and there was something about his presence, the air around him, that took up a lot of space. “Maybe you should sit,” she suggested and he chuckled at that, sitting comfortably on her soft sofa. She gave him the glass and excused her lack of a proper desk or table which he seemed to completely ignore.

“I’m glad you decided to contact me,” he said after taking a sip of water. “I’m afraid my approach the other night was all wrong and I apologize for that. I couldn’t think of another way to make you listen.”

She shrugged. “I suppose there might not have been another way,” she admitted. “I honestly don’t know exactly what you were trying to tell me. Or why, for that matter. But it stuck with me and since we spoke last things have been a little… strange.”

His brow furrowed, creating a slight crease on his pale, otherwise smooth face. “Strange?”

Lee nodded and slowly began to tell him of the events from the past day. As she spoke she started to wonder if maybe she was just making too much of things.

When she was finished recounting, she shrugged. “Maybe I’m overreacting. It seems a bit silly now, actually. I’m sorry I’ve dragged you here for no reason.” She looked over at him and saw that he was studying her closely. Then he craned his neck to look out the window behind them. It was getting late, and the city sparkled with light.

“You say you were followed?” he asked finally.

“Yes. Well no, I don’t know if I was. It just felt as though I was being watched. Not that strange considering the scene I caused at University.”

He stood up, a fluid and oddly elegant gesture. “You should pack. We need to leave as soon as possible.”

“What?” Lee said and stood as well. “What are you talking about?”

“They’re coming for you.”

This is a slightly edited version of what appears in the story. It contains some references to things that would only seem odd and out of place when all you read is this little passage. I haven’t edited the prose, though, it’s NOT ALLOWED! I have to scream that at myself more often lately as I keep coming up with problems I want to fix and passages to tweak.

The stakes are higher for me as a writer now, or so it feels. This is when the story gets thicker and the characters start to feel the weight of it. It’s difficult to write, as I’ve lamented before.

So, are you feeling curious?

I know it lacks description, again. I really need to find an appropriate passage with a few more words in it one of these days.

Plotting Problems

Today I have made a doodle on a page of my notes that looks quite a lot like a black snail. A slim black snail. He probably works out a lot to impress the snail ladies, since his tentacle horn things are pretty short. You have to compensate for these things, y’know.

I’ve also written some words, but not an impresive amount, and I suspect my doodle is all in all of better quality than the words I’ve put down. I had a vague hope of reaching 15k today, but hah. Among other, less productive things, I’ve had to do some plotting today. I know what I want from my characters, and I know to some extent where I want them to end up. What I struggled with was filling the gap with, like, stuff. So some serious thinking had to be done, and I’ve gotten further down the road at least. I got up to a certain point and decided I might as well just try to write up to that point and see what happens. The novel is in part evolving while I’m writing so I don’t want to sketch out too much only to have to change and rework things. I like it better this way. It feels more organic.

Honestly, I’ve never actually plotted before. Not really. I’ve written shorts for the most part and I’ve known almost all of what I wanted from them before I began writing. Or I knew a specific scene and everything else fell into place around it. Plots have been a great fear for me because I suspect I’m not very good at it. So I’m proud that I’m actually doing it! My novel does have a plot (which is a good sign, no?), I just hope I can present it in a way that’s fun and interesting. We shall see!

 

Also, Comptine D’un Autre Ete by Yann Tiersen from the Amelie soundtrack is like the best instrumental song ever. At least at the moment.

Day 4 (’cause I’m -that- creative)

Just cracked 11,000 words, bitches, yeah!

(Click to embiggen)

Today hasn’t been anywhere near as productive as yesterday. I’m struggling a bit with this chapter because it’s the turning point for my main character, meant to get her actually involved in the bigger scheme of things. It’s tricky business, I’ve noticed. But I’ve closed in on 2k today even though I procrastinated most of the afternoon and have managed to watch three episodes of America’s Next Top Model. *Pats self on the back*

My carpal tunnel seems to have decided that writing is too strenuous as well. My joints are really acting up, so I suppose it’s for the best that I’m taking the rest of the night off. I half-promised a synopsis, but I haven’t written one. So I’ll try to summarize a few points as well as I can for you!

My main character is Leanora Alden, a 22-year old student who prefers to be called Lee. She works two jobs to get herself through Anthropology studies at prestigious Arbel University. Since she is very independent and stubborn, she doesn’t necessarily get along with her professors at University and things start to get complicated. It doesn’t get any simpler when a regular customer at the bar she works out, the ever popular Volt, starts to challenge her beliefs. He forces her to question whether what she and the rest of the population accepts as the truth is anything more than propaganda. ‘There is more to this world than what they tell you.’

Roughest synopsis ever, but you get the point. It’s an urban fantasy, meaning it’s set in a modern society, in a city setting. It takes place in a fictional country with a fictional government etc. It’s very interesting to write, though very unexpected.

As usual, thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!

Words galore

Today (I know it’s past midnight, but I’m still counting it as Wednesday since I’ve not slept and started a new day yet), I’ve managed to write over 5,000 words. My total count on NaNo is now 9250, meaning I’ll easily break 10k tomorrow which is… Amazing to me. Seriously! I’m so ridiculously impressed with myself. I’m well ahead of the suggested target count and can therefore afford a day of brain freeze if it should happen. Hopefully it doesn’t, since I have the next chapter(s) more or less planned out.

It should be noted I haven’t actually read back any of the stuff I’ve written so far. I’m genuinely scared to do so because I have a feeling it’s not going to be what I want it to be. Which will be quite counter productive. Sometime this weekend I’ll let Boyfriend read and maybe one or two other people so that I know that the story is actually developing. For all I know I’m just narrating a bunch of nothing that’s going nowhere. But reading it myself… Not ready for that yet.

Boyfriend is trying to stop me (not quite successfully) from checking the NaNoWriMo Facebook page. I saw a person on there who updated saying she’d hit 24k earlier this evening. Insanity!

This is going far smoother than I feared, for now. It’s only the third (fourth when I wake up) day in, so it could still stagnate. But so far my brain is being compliant and throwing ideas at me every once in a while. I’ve had to stop typing to grab my notebook and take some notes before starting again so it won’t slip my mind. It’s taking some interesting turns I didn’t see coming yesterday. It’s very cool that it’s happening this way!

Anyway, this is probably a lot of not-very-interesting rambling and I shall try to post something a little more interesting tomorrow. I might not have an excerpt, but I can perhaps put down a synopsis of sorts!

 

Thank you, delightful readers, for making the traffic spike on the top of my blog page actually spike. It’s a beautiful sight. And I’m very grateful for your comments. The fact that you’re actually reading and taking enough of an interest to think about it and comment gives a big ol’ grin.

Now I’m quite tired, so I’m going to snuggle up in clean sheets (best. feeling. ever.) and tomorrow is another day of mandess!