Monday, November 21, 2016

Nanowrimo Again!

I wrote this a week ago when my husband took the kids into town...

It's odd to think that someday this, a day to myself, will not be the exception but the rule.

I am 28,000 words into the 25th draft of my novel. Only two of them saw completion, so perhaps I should call this my 3rd draft after 22 false starts. I am a bit daunted by the prospect of coming up with another 22,000 in 16 days. My average inspiration is 600 words a day. I need 1375. But there's a question nagging at the back of my mind, "Is this a novel that I would enjoy reading more than once? Or even once?"

Like Robert Louis Stevenson, I just want to write a story. He said about Treasure Island, "It was to be a story for boys, no need for psychology or fine writing; and I had a boy at hand to be a touchstone..." For not, I am my own touchstone, but I agree, no psychology or fine writing.

I tried to listen to the music today that I used a year ago, but those same songs no longer capture the feelings I am looking for.

I think my main character needs more voice. I have plenty of negative events but little conflict since even I don't know what Tea wants. Maybe to find the changeril?

I had no idea that writing a novel was so much work.


Today I would like to add that actually I need 80,000 words for a finished novel, not 50,000. My basic storyline without setting (which I usually skim or skip when I'm reading, which is probably why I'm extra bad at writing it) is 28,000 words, so basically I need to add in two more novel's worth of words when it was all I could do to come up with 28,000. So an improbable task now seems impossible.

I looked up how long it took JK Rowling to write her first novel. She got the idea on a train in 1990, and her first book was published in 1997. I'm not sure when she actually finished it. But I figure if it took her 7 years from start to finish, it's okay if it takes me a few years too. I'm a little more than one year in and happy with the order and basic characters. Now they just need to be fleshed out so it sounds like an actual story. I figure that may get me to 40,000.

Thinking about those next 40,000, perhaps I'll do what JRR Tolkien did, and have two separate stories that run through and merge. Except when I was reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I always wanted him to get back to Frodo and I didn't much care what happened to anyone else. But now that they've been made into movies, I prefer watching Aragorn's storyline. Hmmmm. I have about half of Der's story sketched out, but can't figure out how to make the timing work if I weave them together.

So on with the crafting and writing. There are 9 days left. Barring a miracle, I won't be finishing Nanowrimo this year. But I think of a summer I went to visit my parents, and instead of spending time with them, I worked on an essay for a contest I didn't win. The essay wasn't very good and I wasted time on it that I could have spent with my family. I don't know if, in the end, this novel will matter or not. But I know that my kids will. So I am setting aside my dream, for now, to play doctor with my daughter.

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