NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Update

I am all over the place with this year’s NaNoWriMo. Some days I write enough, some days I don’t. Overall I am behind, but not so far behind that it’s impossible to make it up. My heart is definitely not in it, though.

This story is bad. I mean, really, really bad. There is a kernel of a seed of an idea that I don’t think is too bad, but everything else around it is as bad as it can possibly get. And also the writing is bad.

For NaNoWriMo, it doesn’t matter if it’s bad or not, and with that attitude I have written plenty of words that are pure, self-indulgent comedy. However, as someone who is actually interested in writing for a living, I am struggling to come up practical lessons to learn from this, and what I can learn by continuing to write something that is obviously bad.

One unexpected writing lesson I have learned is that it is very difficult to write when your main character cannot physically react or move. My character is in a position where she is essentially trapped in someone else’s body, and can only view the world through their eyes. She has no sensory input other than vision, and she cannot express any emotions through typical physical reactions like tears, rapid breathing, blushing, hairs standing up on her arms, shaking fists at someone, punching them in the face, crossing her arms in exasperation, nothing. All she can do is speak. I had no idea how much of a challenge it was going to be to put someone in that position.

It brings up some interesting philosophical/physiological questions. Is it even possible to feel fear if your brain isn’t connected to a heart or lungs? The fight or flight response is extremely physical. Rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat make you better able to run away or punch somebody. Interesting to think about.

As for continuing to write, there is always the possibility that things could improve. I do believe there is a story in here somewhere, so perhaps that is all the motivation I need to keep throwing myself against a brick wall night after night. One day I might find the spark that pulls everything together, even if I only end up with a short story or novella.

NaNaWriMo First Weekend

NaNoWriMo is off to a mediocre start this year, as I am running about 900 words behind after the first weekend. Not too bad, really, considering what a collosal chore it has been to get writing. I feel like there’s a compelling story in this mess of text somewhere but I’m having a hard time getting to it. I am writing this year with zero preparation, by the way, other than some ideas jotted down so I wouldn’t forget them. Also, I’m not doing very well with my main goal of making myself laugh, because what I’m writing is not very funny so far.

One Month Until NaNoWriMo

With NaNoWriMo coming up in a month, I’m not sure what to work on. There’s a distinct possibility that I might free-write 50k words. That would probably be good for me. It will be an exercise in keeping-the-writing-fun and not-worrying-if-it-doesn’t-make-sense. First I need to come up with a character that I like, because I feel like that’s the main thing that keeps me writing.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting started on any other writing projects, so I’ve been spending most of my writing time revising last year’s Sovereign of Tel. I figure working on revisions has got to be better than doing nothing at all, right?

It’s actually been an interesting process. I’m really enjoying the story of one of the characters who was originally supposed to be a supporting character. As it turned out, the main character’s story isn’t all that interesting. So I’ve taken all the chapters from the supporting character’s POV and put them all together in a row and I’m working on trying to make it make sense.