Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NaNo NaNo

At long last NaNo seems to be progressing apace. If this continues this may be the first Nano (National Novel Writing Month for those who haven't run into it before) where I'm not desperately behind in word count in the last few days. Fifty-thousand words in thirty days is a pretty doable amount if you write every day, but if you skip a few it turns into a monster pretty quickly. For last years Nano I was so far behind I had all but given up coming into the last three days. I had more than 12,000 words to go, and little time during the day to write.

Then a rather nasty miracle happened. My kids got sick sequentially. I spent three nights running, up all night, but mostly unoccupied. I was hanging out in the guest bedroom (also my office) with whichever kid was sick. They would sack out on the bed, and I would type while waiting for the next round of vomiting. Three days later, I was absolutely staggering, but I had also managed to stagger over my 50,000 word mark. Of course many of those 12,000+ words had to be discarded for complete incoherency, but for Nano purposes, they counted!

This year it's looking completely different. I'm not only on my count, I'm actually ahead. I'm over 35,000 words - so only 15,000 words to go, and more than a week left in the month! I should pass 40,000 words by the time we get to my in-laws on Wednesday, and if I can't hack out 10,000 words in four days of hanging around in my Mother-in-laws living room, I should give up on this writing idea. Which would (gasp!) finish my word count three days early. I'm even happy with how the story is developing. It's been interesting attempting to draw a character with aphasia. So much of character in stories is done with dialogue that it's a challenge to have to work entirely in other ways, but I think I've made a good start of it.

My next challenge is to try to fit an exposition on the Lundehund (the Norwegian puffin-hunting dog) into the story somewhere. Nano challenges are traditional, and mine this year, courtesy of L, is to fit all the articles I write for Damn Interesting! into the text somewhere. This prevents me from losing possible word count to the need to create articles instead of novel, but also makes necessary some very strange plot twists. Such as when a minor character got turned into an antipope and then murdered. They seem to be working out though. In my experience from two previous Nanos, the weird plot things you do for challenges often end up being the best, most distinctive parts of the book. Like the 500 year old lawyer in Ghost Dancer that resulted from L's challenge to include a character from her book (set in the modern day) in my book (set in the twenty-eigth century).

Of course, L makes me look like a complete slacker. She passed 50,000 words on day 13. Stinker.

1 comment:

Miss Chris said...

I love writing but I can't imagine having that goal. Great job! I'll bet your fingers are tired of typing.