Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Article | NaNoWriMo Day 17 - Harbinger of Change and Acceptance

NaNoWriMo Day 17 (skipped Day 16 sorry)

Harbinger of Change and Acceptance.

The thing is I started this experience with gung ho vigor. I was so excited and pumped and somehow had NaNoWriMo up on a pedestal and it could do no wrong. The dizzying truth is that this event is what you make of it, so after the initial adrenaline rush wore off it was really up to me to keep the motivation going. However, nothing I wrote sounded like the story I wanted to tell. It was the story, but here I am writing these long winded scenes with info dumpers, and I’m missing all the description of location and scenery, and my fight scenes sound stale because they are not coming out how I see them. I have these beautifully epic scenes all staged out in my mind, but when it comes to getting them on paper, well they just don’t feel right to me, they feel kind of novicy and stale and flat. All the words in the world and I can’t seam to get them to line up properly.

And I am stuck with this never ending urge to go back and fix things. I haven’t. Well I kind of tweaked once, but that was because things were about to be completely derailed, and then I would have had all these scenes floating around in space that would not longer work, and that just wouldn’t do, because those scenes still needed to happen. Anyways, the thing is, I am jonesing to get out the red marker and tell my novel how much it really, really sucks.

Furthermore, I am around 30 000 words and I am not even finished writing the beginning yet. I have a lot of beginnings to write, for a lot of characters. And a lot of them kind of meander a little (a lot) because I am getting caught up in the day to day activity rather than writing the most important scenes. I want to be writing the highlights of the sports game, rather than watching every single play. Yet I get mired down in the little details. I am constantly reminding myself, that I can chop later. That I can pick and chose the highlights later, but until I play the whole game I won’t know what those highlight are just yet. What if that small conversation with nobody turns into a huge turning point, but I don’t know that until chapter 32, and that first little scene happened in chapter 3. See my dilemma.

So I am soldiering on. And finding out things along the way. The disease I thought a character would be dying of is no longer a disease. It’s a mental illness that gets semi cured but leaves her with the ability to predict the future, see snippets of possibility. She was just supposed to be a motivation, not a harbinger of change.

What I want you to do today is to keep soldiering on. I know they all say it. They say to keep those bad scenes. If you want to change it don’t, it may be good for you. And I freely admit that I broke that rule once. Maybe twice – last night when my hero wanted two swords I told her she would have to make do with one. However, I did brainstorm this really neat idea for a two blade interlocking sword that molds into one. But I will implement that later.

See how distracted I get. That is my writing. I am going full speed down this road to this plot point, and then oh look theirs a Tim Hortons and I want some coffee and I slow down and end up chatting with the girl behind the counter, and then I loose focus, and then I feel guilty about the coffee, but it was just what I needed at that time. Those little meandering scenes, or the things your characters come up with on the fly (or sly), don’t ignore them. They may just be what you need. But you won’t know until the end. Resist the urge to purge, keep the junk, even if it goes very solidly against your grain. Now is not about the purging, now is about the collecting. Afterwards, then you find the gems in that collection, but later, not know.

You just have to have the right kind of fortitude to survive the process. And you have to come down to that conclusion on your own terms. Until you do, it’s an uphill battle that will weigh against you the whole time. It’s about acceptance. Accepting your imperfections, and knowing that only practice makes it better. Accepting that maybe the story you envisioned isn’t the story that needs to be told. Or that maybe the scene you saw but don’t know how to get to, can’t be told until you get that coffee you feel so guilty about.

Accept what you write.