A Slow Start To NaNoWriMo

The bad news? I only wrote about 1700 words this weekend. Cheers to a weak, hobbling start to NaNoWriMo, ha! But the good news? I knew I’d have some sick days, so it’s not like this puts me too behind.

However, starting this novel for real gave me a…perspective on how undercooked the concept is. I must have rewritten the first paragraph six times. And not just futzing with the wording, but futzing with the location, the atmosphere. At first I opened with my character naked on the floor of her childhood bedroom. Then I just put her in the bed, dressed, in her childhood bedroom.

Then I put her on the moon, and went from there.

It’s all so haphazard right now. So many sidebars and ramblings because that’s the sort of book this is, and I don’t have a great grasp on how much my protagonist remembers about before. It’s all sort of a mess, and I’m not fond of how I achieved the narrative beats in Chapter One but…I think the intro to this book was one of the hardest parts and I’ve crossed a hump. My fingers feel much more comfortable now that I’m in Chapter Two and the book’s path is clearer.

The hard part about this book is knowing that the dust hasn’t settled in my mind yet. Knowing that I’m still not sure what I want it to BE and how I want my character to discover it. It results in a lot of backspacing, not because I’m doubting myself or editing but because I’m constantly having better ideas that merit massive changes. I’ve told you before that my stories have to cook a long time in my head before I’m ready to write them, and this has not cooked long enough. Only last week did I make the eleventh hour choice to set most of the story in a desert instead of a Portal-esque puzzle lab, which massively changes how it all comes across.

So. Difficult new challenges, that’s for sure. Not sure if I’m going to win NaNo this year with this type of book on my plate, but we’ll see. I found that once I got going with it, the word count really poured out of me. It’s just finding the path that’s hard.

On the positive note, I made a book cover for it which I’m pretty proud of. I’ve only got the blurry thumbnail below, but I’ll try to upload a hi-res version later. I also changed the title from Wake to Figments, as I wanted the title it to be….less spoilery :P

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6 thoughts on “A Slow Start To NaNoWriMo

    • Ha, you can do stuff like that with surrealist fiction! One good thing about this crazy story is that I can literally do ANYTHING in it. So if I get stuck, introducing a velociraptor or a guy with a gun or a tornado are all viable options. Luckily I haven’t gotten to that point yet, because that could grow tiresome and weak after a bit. I don’t want to be gimmicky. But yeah, I guess that’s a pro – nothing is off the table.

  1. I’m off to a slow start, too. About a day behind,which isn’t too bad, so long as I don’t let a day behind become two, and two become three, and so on and so forth.

    Your start to this project sounds an awful lot like my start to Soulless. Eventually, I told myself to stop fussing and just write. I plowed through a lot of crap that I knew I’d never use, but you know what? I got through it. And then just cut it later. The focus needs to be the end for this sort of things, and you can figure out the rest later.

    • I will probably end up behind on my word count today too, but I’m not gonna let that bother me too much. If I’m really determined, I can catch up with one good weekend. I can write 2000 words an hour if I know where I’m going. So, I’m just letting myself go at my own pace.

      I think my problem is that I’m used to such plot driven things, and this is a character driven novel. I normally hate these sorts of books that just meander around a person’s thoughts, but there’s a high concept layer to this story that’s driving me to write it. And I think the person is a compelling one to spend headspace with. But for that it’s just…well, it’s a hard book to write. The sandbox is limitless, but at the same time I need some kind of structure or else I don’t really know where to go. With Paradisa, I could sort of say “okay I know I wrote this fight scene really crappy, but I’ll just push through and edit it later” and be fine with that but this is just…..different than that. I have a million options in front of me with every page and I’m sort of baffled at which one to pick.

    • Slow, I must say, but I’m not too worried about it. This is a very chill NaNoWriMo for me.

      I don’t blame you for being busy at all! November is always a busy month, especially with a major holiday. And for students, the last week is full of finals stuff.

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