I have a headache and my back hurts but a little bit more of my story has been hashed out so it’s all good.
I’ve decided that writing a novel is a lot like playing a sport. No one else understands why you would want to spend hours of every day at it, and in the end, there’s no guarantee it will pay off. But there’s still the thrill, the excitement, the adrenaline when you it just right. There’s even a certain kind of camaraderie with your fellow novelists. You all know that you’re doing something slightly insane but the point is…you’re doing it together.
If you can’t tell…I miss soccer right now.
The view outside my window is getting increasingly bleak. More and more leaves are escaping the sycamore trees and its a constant battle to keep wet, heavy blankets of them from killing the lawn. It’s a good time to write a novel because there isn’t that all that beautiful sunshine to distract you.
I miss summer, too.
Today is the midway point. I should be at 25,000 words…and I’ll be at about 12,000 when I hit the sack. Part of me is just not sure if I have much more to offer right now. But I don’t want to fail. I keep adding anecdotes that do not need to be added and dialogues that probably clutter up my story more than add clarity to my characters. Ugh how confusing. My Dad says people don’t buy books by the word count…which is very true but…this is a challenge I’ve set for myself and I hate to give up or throw in the towel. People who know me well know that I hate turning down dares. Dumb, I know, but once I’ve got a challenge in mind or have begun one, its hard not to consider myself a failure for quitting even if I have the most legitimate reasons.
So I’m not giving up yet. If I write approximately 2534 words a day, I’ll get there. So my goal for the end of this weekend is to be at 15,000. That will give me a little extra “cushion” (haha). Let’s see if I can’t bust this one out.
By the way, I really loved something that Katherine Paterson had to say in her NaNoWriMo pep talk. It really helped me think. Here it is:
I live in Barre, Vermont which calls itself the “Granite Capital of the
World.” Outside our town are enormous quarries, so when I speak in local
schools every child has a mental picture of a granite quarry. “You know how
hard it is to get granite out of the quarry,” I say. “You have to carefully
score the rock and put the explosive in to make the great granite block
break loose from the face of the stone. Then you have to attach the block
to the chains so that the cranes can lift it slowly out of the hole and put
it on the waiting truck. That’s the first draft. It’s hard, dangerous work,
and when you’ve finished, all you’ve really got is a block of stone. But
now you have something now to work on. Now you can take your block down to
the shed to carve and polish it and turn it into something of beauty.
That’s revision.” But first you’ve got to get that block of granite out of the earth,
friends. You won’t have anything to make beautiful until you do that.
So I’m trying to get that concept into my head. I’m not polishing granite here, I’m just taking out a chunk of rock. I think trying to fix everything as I go is my form of laziness…I don’t want to have to edit everything later. What I need to understand is that my job right now is just to get words on paper. Later, I’ll have time to take care of the rest. Like they say…December is editing month.
I’m sure I am preaching to the choir here…sorry about that! I guess I’m giving myself a pep talk.
Back to the book.