Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chalking This One Up In “Life Experiences”

Hey, I just noticed I have 2 more followers...I'm up to 5. Hello, new comers! Welcome to the listen to my rantings...

I attended my first ever NaNo write-in the other night at a tiny coffee shop in South Austin. It was a nice coffee shop, but then again the most experience I’ve had with coffee shops is Starbucks…and a local joint across the street from the Texas State theatre building in San Marcos. (I’m not a big coffee house person, I guess. Though I do love a good Iced Chai Soy Latte!) Anywho, the write-in was…well…interesting. I got some writing done (906 words in fact, which was more than I thought I would), but I was also highly distracted by the “entertaining” people I meet there.

The 6 other people all knew each other and I was the “new girl” in every sense of the word. I mostly sat there listening to their conversations, their inside jokes/stories, and them complaining about various things. And…how can I put this…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. =/ I felt awkward. But not by the things they said (they joked that it would be a fun challenge to try and offend me). I was just too quiet and didn’t know them or anything to add to their conversations. It reminded me vaguely about being in the dressing room with the actors during a show back in college. They carried on their conversations, sometimes making a mention of me yet giving me that funny look when I did try to open my mouth to speak…but they always gave me funny stories to share with others later on. Perhaps I will attend another write-in to see how it goes…but then again, I may just stick to writing by myself in my room. At least here I can blare my music and no one will judge me.

However, the highlight of the night (besides an entertaining quote that I will not repeat due to its insinuating content) was when I met the “hostess” of the write-in and she asked me how far I was in my word count. I thought for a moment before replying “about 14000, I think”. The glare she gave me could melt Antarctica…yes, the entire continent! But then she laughed, saying that she’d done NaNo before and won, so she’d be able to catch up. <.< >.> That kinda set the awkward mood I had for the rest of the write-in. But it did get me to thinking…

As far as the official NaNoWriMo word count goes, I’m about 5000+ words behind schedule. However, the fact that I’m currently at 16000+ impresses me greatly! Now I’m a wordy person, so I know I can easily write 50000 words…but in a month?! Well, I’m still not sure I will make it, but it doesn’t seem like such an impossible goal anymore. I’ve been able to write a lot on some days, but have also completely skipped other days. I’m making good progress I think…at least for the reasons I’m participating in NaNo. I would love to make the 50K word goal, but for me, I’m mostly doing this to force myself to write. Now that being said, I also want to state that I do not want to force my writing.

My NaNo WIP is actually a story that I want to write and have a lot invested in it. I’ve been working on the characters, world, and concept of the novel for a while and want to do my idea justice. So in that regards, I’m putting a lot of thought into what I’m writing. That’s not to say other people aren’t either…I know several who are using NaNo as a way to work on that writing piece they have been intending to work on for a while, but hadn’t gotten a chance until now. I just don’t really see the point in making it a completion, though I’ll admit the word counters are good motivators.

And yes, I know I’m supposed to turn off my internal editor and just write, according to the “wise words” of past NaNoWriMo-ers…but I happen to like my editor. (Guess that makes me a rebel?) I don’t write in a normal fashion, so I kinda need my editor in order to make sense of my own writing. I write in a note/thoughts format using incomplete sentences, broken up thoughts, random comments that I want in the scene/chapter/section I’m working on at the moment and then things that I want to add in later on in the story but that pertain to the topic at hand. And I use a lot of ellipses (…) instead of “correct” punctuation. That’s how my brain seems to think, and I want to be able to get the thoughts on as quickly as possible onto the paper. Then when my brain stops, I can go back and make sense of it, editing as I go. I don’t edit for the little things make spelling or phrasing…I edit it so the contents are readable! Yes, it’s time consuming, but that’s my style. *shrugs*

It also helps my word count when I go back and flush out the piece since I add full sentences and properly identify characters and places. (I know I just said the word count isn’t that important!) =P I also like to go back and read through what I’ve already written because it helps spark ideas for other parts and reminds me of the direction I’m taking the story. I’m a plotter…whose stories are highly character driven…and I like to add a lot of sub plots…things are confusing for me if I don’t go back and reread things sometimes.

In the end, it’s not about the word count…it’s about the journey, the process…and to some extent, the product. No, I will not have a fully polished and complete novel by the end of November. I know this! But I want to have a decent first draft in order to continue working on it over the next few months. (Screw that “zero draft” idea…I have to edit as I go!) And if I make the word goal—great…if not—no harm, no foul! But I will have hopefully developed some tactics to help me continue to write and I will be one step closer to finishing something! =D


No comments:

Post a Comment