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NaNo woes

Well, on the plane back from SC07 on Friday I forced myself to write the final 2000 words, so that I'd have written 10k during my trip away.Then we landed at 9:30am UK time (1:30am Pacific time), so I decreed that'd be the cutoff between Friday and Saturday. I was strangely awake for the whole flight and taxi journey. In the taxi I got 400 words written, but once I got in, I was so happy to see Rachael that I didn't get much more written that day. Sunday, even less, as we were at church until 1, then went over to robhu's for lunch, and ended up staying till 8! Still, being back by 8:30 should have been plenty of time to write 1667 words.

But I seem to have lost the ability to write fast. I'm sure I had it in 05, writing Horizons. Things were different in 06, because the blog format I chose for Ultimate Dream meant a lot of the posts could be written in a first-person, stream-of-consciousness style. And now in 07, with my still-untitled steampunk spy extravaganza, it's a real effort to write anything much; the days on my word count spreadsheet when I've written more than 2000 words have been because I've spent several hours on it.

The other factor that worries me is fears that my novel is rubbish. This despite the twin facts that (a) part of the point in NaNoWriMo is that you're giving yourself permission to write rubbish, and it's inevitable, and (b) friends have mostly really enjoyed Ultimate Dream and Rachael's really enjoyed what she's read of this year's novel.

I have the entirely-predictable worry that the plot might not fully hang together. (Well, duh, I'm writing 50000 words in 30 days, and I didn't spend months plotting it out in advance.)

I've also been getting worried that my secondary characters are far more interesting than my primary characters. At least three of my secondary characters have unexpected secrets or backplot which give them intrigue and plot twists. And several of them are flashy, funny or stylish. But my main characters are flat, two-dimensional, predictable and uninteresting. Their romance is predictable and has no twists, and they both started out stylish but their stage has rather been usurped by the secondary characters.

I think the sensible thing to do is to not worry about it and plan to make them more interesting in the rewrite. But I'm not very good at that. (Both at not worrying, and at rewriting itself.)



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)

Also you're up very late, I hope you're not in work tomorrow ^^;;
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
I am, but I was posting from my PDA, so I was literally able to click "Post", roll over and go to sleep ^.^
Nov. 20th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
Also, for some reason your HTML is being quoted.
Nov. 20th, 2007 09:46 am (UTC)
I ought to have known. LiveJournal's client for Windows Mobile seemed far too competently written to be true. It was a really rather good Pocket PC app; I ought to have known there'd be some absurd flaw, like auto-quoting HTML (without any way to turn quoting off). Ah well.

But you know, some people would send emails about such things, so that after the immediate edit to fix it, there isn't the now-inaccurate comment trailing on the comments page...
Not that I mind :)
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:08 am (UTC)
You can delete the inaccurate comment trailing.
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:13 am (UTC)
I suppose I could. But first you'd have to delete your comment... :) And also there's content in my reply that would now be lost, revealing to everyone that if I was blogging at 3am, it was at least from my bed :P
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:14 am (UTC)

You can delete my comment yourself you know...
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC)
Hmm, I didn't know that. I'm new to this whole LJ thing :)
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)
Your novel is wonderful. I'm really enjoying it - the characters, the intensely flavourful setting, the twisty plot, the suspense.

Does it matter if the secondary characters are more fun than the main ones? I've only met one secondary character to whom that could be applied - there may be more later, I suppose. But some characters work well as comic relief, and to have them as MCs would be "too much".

(If you really want, either now or in a future rewrite, you could always just give your interesting secondary characters more stage time that originally planned, and make them MCs.)

I had no idea until now that you thought it was rubbish. But, as per Neil Gaiman's pep talk, "Oh, you're at that stage of the novel, are you?" I think mine's rubbish too, but it probably isn't, and I can't remember if either of us went through this in previous years, but we probably did.

Keep going - you're over half way. Remember how cool it feels when you finish.
Nov. 20th, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC)
Does it matter if the secondary characters are more fun than the main ones?
Well, in a sense, no. But it makes me wonder if the secondary characters should in fact be the main characters.

I've only met one secondary character to whom that could be applied - there may be more later, I suppose.
Now you're making me worry that even the characters I thought were fun actually aren't ^^;;;
(I'm mostly joking. There are characters with secrets that you haven't yet seen, so you aren't able to enjoy them as much as I am.)

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep going. I am indeed over halfway, which is something to be celebrated :)

And now that you mention it, I do find faint stirrings of memory, from a long time ago... echoes of a feeling of exultation, a wild jubilation, joy in sharing a wonderful creation with those around, and the astonishing feeling of having people say it was actually fun. Yes, the cheer of the crowds is a long way off yet, but the faintest hints of it can be heard; they may just be reverberations from memory for the moment, but they will be more. Thank you for reminding me :)
Nov. 20th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
Go and dig previous years' pep talks out of your email and read them. Some of them are really helpful.
2003 week 4 is my favourite - I'll show you it this evening.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )