Writing Thursday (on a Tuesday): NaNoWriMo Week 2 (just a little late)


I really meant to post last Thursday. Really, I did. But, you know, life hap–

Okay. I’ll be honest. Sometimes life doesn’t just “happen”. Sometimes you do it to yourself. So since I’m, being honest, the real reason I didn’t post last week was because I distracted myself with a new gadget. A tablet computer, to be exact. A really, really basic (and inexpensive) one. But still a lot of fun to play with. (Specs here if anyone’s interested.)

And I’ve been pretty good about at least getting in my 1,667 words/day before I let myself go play. Yes, I could have been using that time to build up more of a cushion. Sometimes, though, we’re all still kids at heart. And play is good for the soul–and the creative juices–right?

Distractions aside, I’ve been doing pretty well with my daily word count. As of last Thursday, when I should have posted, I needed 23,338 words in order to be on a pace to finish by November 30. I actually had 24,427, and I’ve widened the gap a bit more since then. Granted, I’ve had a few days when I haven’t been able to make my minimum word count, for one reason or another. Two Sundays ago, we attended an awesome wedding up near Estes Park, which is about two and a half hours away, each way. It was a beautiful drive (though a bit sad, when we passed through areas devastated by the flooding back in September), and a simple but heartfelt ceremony, followed by a nicely laid-back dinner and reception. But it did mean that word production–other than a short burst on the first part of the drive up–didn’t happen that day. But on days when I can, I’ve been trying to get just a little more than the bare minimum, so I have a bit of a cushion. For those days, when, you know, life happens.

Story-wise, the words are rolling along. I’m a bit alarmed by the fact that the story is now well over 80,000 words and my young wizard hasn’t even reached the first day of wizard school. (I know, yikes!) I spent about 20,000 words just describing a simple shopping expedition to get her properly outfitted–and to have a crucial encounter in the marketplace. It includes a lot of detail that I, as the author, need to know–what different fabrics are called, how money works, how bath houses work, a fairly detailed description of The Big City, and some character building for a secondary character–but which would probably put the reader to sleep. A lot of that will be trimmed down or edited out later, so I’m not as alarmed as I could be. (If I’d done proper NaNo prep, this is all stuff I’d have written in advance, so as to be better able to concentrate on the story now. Oh well.)

But the thing that pleases me most is that I’m finally, once again, finding the joy in writing. I’m not having to chip words out of my head with a pickaxe. I’m not staring at the screen wondering how to resolve a scene. I’m putting my hands on the keyboard and words are flowing out in all their repetitive, overblown, exuberant glory. Inner Editor has finally been kicked to the curb, and instead of fussing over whether I’ve chosen exactly the right word, or straining to find a more succinct way to say something, I’m connecting with my characters and their world. I know what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling and tasting and smelling, and what they’re going to do next. I’m in their heads, and they’re in mine. So what if I’m using twice as many words as I need to describe it all? I can always edit later. For now, I’m just letting the words flow. And it feels good. Damn good.

Because, this. This is why I write.

{looks around}
{realizes audience is staring as though I’ve lost all marbles}
{sheepishly steps down from podium}

Ahem. So. How goes everyone else’s November?


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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1 Response to Writing Thursday (on a Tuesday): NaNoWriMo Week 2 (just a little late)

  1. Sounds to me like you’ve found your marbles! I love that you’re writing again–and enjoying it. I have several friends doing NaNo, but I think you’re the only one still on track to win.

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