(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)
Hello from Week Two of NaNoWriMo.
This week, things are going along less swimmingly than last. I was nearly two days ahead on my word count; now, if I don’t get 1,500 words written before I go to bed tonight, I’ll be behind on my word count.
Why? Well, as I see it, there are three — no, make it four factors:
1) I’ve been thinking about where I wanted to start this story for the last couple of months. So I had already pre-visualized the opening sequences pretty thoroughly. That meant that when I sat down to write them, they fell out of my head in one big blort. Which was cool, and actually quite encouraging, since the scenes turned out even better than I had imagined them. But then … well, the first few scenes ended up setting a sort of structure of scenes alternating between two main POVs, and I’m finding that harder to maintain than I’d expected. I will probably end up bagging that structure for this draft and just get on with the story as I know it now.
2) The chapter I’m currently writing is one that I’m pretty sure won’t exist in the final novel. However, my lizard brain insists that I write it anyway. But Internal Editor is screeching at me to just forget it and move on. I know I should just write the scene and mark it for later editing — after all , it will provide useful background information for me later in the story — but it’s hard to do when Internal Editor won’t shut up about it.
3) I accidentally fell into Edit-head. My posting to my critique group got moved up two weeks, and I thought I had my next piece ready to go. Only when I looked at it, I kept finding another bit that I wanted to take out … and another one … and another one … plus there was that whole action sequence that needed to be re-done (the mechanics of which will, I think, end up being a posting of their own in December). In the end, I shortened a 14,000 word section of the story by a full 25%, or 3,500 words. I’m pleased with the result, but the problem is that switching to edit-head let Internal Editor out of her box, and now she doesn’t want to go back in. In fact, she’s identified at least a dozen more changes she’d really like to make to that section of the story before we call it a second draft. Dealing with that has been a challenge.
4) Related to that has been the fact that I’m just a victim of my own poor time management skills. When I can roll out of bed at 6:00 a.m. and spend an hour or so writing before work, and then spend my lunch hour writing, that gets me a good jump on the day’s word count. If I have a solid 1,200 words in the can by the time I get home from work at night, picking up the remaining 500 or to meet the day’s quota is a piece of cake. But when, as today, I ended up hitting the snooze button instead of writing, and then since my Beloved Husband was off work for Veteran’s Day, he came and took me to lunch, my word count for the day so far is, well, zero. (Too bad I can’t count this blog entry!) Plus we’ve spent some time this week hanging out with friends — which really is more important than word count in the long run, and which I certainly don’t begrudge them, but it does mean that there is simply less time available for writing.
But not to worry. I’ve got a good, solid two hours left to write tonight, and maybe more if I’m on a roll. I’ll make those NaNos happen, see if I don’t!
Anybody else struggling with the morass of Week Two? What works for you when you need to up the word count but the words don’t want to flow?