Friday, November 16, 2007

Update on my NaNoWriMo

Its half-way through National Novel Writing Month and I’m nowhere near where I should be with my ‘novel’. Currently, I am so far behind I should just give up—but I won’t.

Part of my problem is that I am in love with my delete key. The other major issue, is that I’m a perfectionist. Once I see the words I’ve written on the screen (or page) I automatically hate them. I become convinced that they are the most trite, over-used, poorly written words ever to make their way out of my brain. The truth is that sometimes they are.

None of us write perfect stories the first time round. If you do, I hate you. Ok, maybe hate is too strong a word—I am violently jealous of you and suspect you are lying about your skills. That’s better. Stories take time to cultivate. For a long time an idea just stews in my brain, gathering substance and then launches itself to the forefront of my consciousness with a story that I have to tell. I don’t know what its like for other people, but for me if I try to force a story it just all goes horribly wrong.

So at just over twenty pages into my novel, I’ve got a heroine who thinks she’s a bad person, a hero who wont appear for another forty pages, a villain who’s evil plots are so nefarious they frighten even me, and some lovable birds who get up to an incredible amount of evil mischief. Yeah, it’s a children’s book.

I’m not sure what comes next (well, exile for my heroine), I’m positive I’ve got the tone and voice of the story wrong, and that the heroine is just plain ol’ boring. Normally, this would force me to scrap the whole draft, but I wont, not this time. I am going to write the crappiest heroine ever and just suck it up and revise extensively later. If I’ve learned anything this month, its to just shrug my shoulders and write on.

I’d love to chat more about my story—but its time for me to head back to the internet café and the world of my characters.

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