It’s been a while again. Boy, why do I always do this to myself? Or rather, to this journal? I really can’t keep a consistent blog for the life of me, can I? Oh well, I’ll just do what I can.
Anyway, it’s August, and I tried to do Camp NaNoWriMo July and failed, sort of. It’s more like I started to write my novel and realized there’re some fundamental issues with my plot and character growth, so I stopped writing words altogether and went back to the basics of plotting and outlining and wracking my brain trying to solve some serious logistic issues. And I’m happy to say that: well, the kinks aren’t all ironed out, BUT a good portion is going okay, so I’m just going to spend probably the rest of this week to seriously outline the thing before I pick it back up again – this time to finish.
Yes, I’ve decided that the first draft has gone on long enough. I’ve worked on this for at least two years now, approaching two and a half, and I’m just really sick and tired of working on it for now. So I’m going to stop writing it by the end of September, and declare it finished, even if I might be a couple chapters or two short. I will spend October planning something else, for christ’s sake, and for this year’s NaNoWriMo I will be writing another project, because goddamn, my brain is just so tired of thinking about this novel already.
Next year I will of course start second draft, which will (hopefully) be faster and better. But that’s next year. I need a serious, major change of pace, and I’m going to just do it.
The good news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned.
The bad news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned the bare minimum. I was aiming for three or four chapters, and only got two done. One I’m horribly unhappy with.
The good news is that it’s June, and I can start fresh. I’m still planning to do two chapters because I know one is going to be ridiculously long and complicated (and probably will be divided into two chapters upon revision). I’m also going to try to write every day instead of the sporadic of a truckload of words one week and zero words the next. Because that a hobby makes but a steady job does not make.
Although if I discover that I just write super bi-polarly and that’s just how my “style” is, then I’ll let it be.
I hope this isn’t too subtle. I’ve been reading E. M. Forster and class is on my mind.
My mother has that same bowl.
That was what Beulah saw when she walked into the Stantons’ living room. Not the fine china, the taffeta curtains, or the fresh yogurt on the kitchen table. It was the plain, almost tacky bowl, one that her mother had kept half-blackened banana in for baking, that drew her attention.
“Hey, you’re early,” Nick came out from the back. “Oh…yeah, that. It’s my Gran’s. Dad wanted to chuck it, said it ‘broke the aesthetic.’ Whatever; I think it’s cool. We had it since forever.” He grabbed the keys. “Ready?”
It’s been forever since I’ve done one. I may have gone super rusty, but here’s this week’s, nonetheless.
There was a pair of rubber boots lying in the gutter outside Janice’s door. One was on its side, slowly being submerged in the downpour. Janice pulled back the curtains. It rarely rained this hard in the valley, especially in the fall. Carl used to always wear those clumsy things in their garden, grumbling about weeds. She suggested buying a newer pair once and he almost blew a gasket. A grumpy man he was, that was evident, but one who had been with her most of her life.
She just turned fifty yesterday. She was not ready to be alone.
May 1st. Yep. Camp NaNo is over and I only wrote…very little. Only about 6500 words out of the 20k I planned. Yikes! Granted part of it was because my father-in-law came to visit and that sucked up a whole week of time. Then it was just downhill from there. I took a few days to get back in the groove, then I had some minor writer’s block, then I was insanely busy for a weekend and that set me back to the beginning again. Goddamn, writing really is like exercising, isn’t it? Starting is the hardest part, but it does get easier if you keep up, but as soon as you skip a few days you’re basically straight back to the hardest part again. The trick is to not stop, but, I mean, that’s hard too! Why is life so hard?!
Okay, I will stop whining now. I mean, I do a lot of whining here, so, it’s nothing new, but I will stop for today. It’s a new month. I have a new bullet journal all fresh and beautifully made up. I am starting working right now so I know I can get work done today, at least. Sigh. I like to say one day at a time but really, the way this pattern goes it’s not one day at a time at all. It’s at the shortest one week at a time. So one week at a time should be my new motto. I will meet all my goals this week. We’ll see what next week brings.
It’s pretty official now. My novel is now definitely the first book of a trilogy. I mean by official that it’s no longer an idea that I’m throwing around but a set goal, which means from now on I need to think about setting that up and be aware of it as I write the rest of the first novel. Exciting, kind of, to make a first novel into a trilogy. It’s like a whole different mind set, and you’re more aware of how characters should act as they evolve and age and experience different things. I’m definitely taking a month or so to plot everything out properly once I’m done with the first draft of this novel, hopefully sometime in summer, although at the rate this is going it’s kind of doubtful.
I did not write much this weekend but I talked with my s.o. about it. He’s not a writer person, per se, but he is very logical so I could run ideas by him and he can go, uh, that makes no sense. Or that person’s motivation is whack. Or that defies the law of physics in an unbelievable way. You know, stuff us creative types tend to forget or brush aside just because we thought of something super cool. We talked about this trilogy thing and he actually gave me a good starting point for book 3, which I’m very happy with. I mean of course my issues is usually not plotting (is it though? I’m actually not sure at this point) but writing out the details, but like I said I feel like this novel will get finished in the next couple of months. I can “feel” it, which is dumb and illogical, really, but I do. I’ve never felt this before regarding my works, so maybe this time it’s actually true.
Or I’m just feeling hopeful, which I think is warranted, once in a while.
This is going to sound weird, but unlike a lot of authors, an empty page of a new document (or new chapter, section, plotline, etc.) excites me instead of frightens me. I opened the page in Scrivener on my novel on Monday, and I can genuinely say that one moment was more exciting and made me more content than what I’ve been doing all week. While I had to potentially scrap half of what I had of that chapter before, I did not feel like I was wasting my time. Instead, I felt like I know what I’m going to write and it’s going to get done, and the word count (I try to keep myself around 800 words a day, less on weekends or super busy days) just flowed.
But everything fell apart after that. I couldn’t write for two days after the initial rush. I think it’s because I already had a vague plan in mind when I started, so my brain was okay with just letting it flow. But as soon as I read through what I’ve written I found that my plan didn’t work, and that basically just stopped everything. Which is horrible because, ho boy, if every time your plan doesn’t work out while you write your novel you stop then this novel will never ever finish. (That would explain why this is taking forever, yeah?) I think it’s much worse than the people who get blocked staring at a blank page. For them the more they write the better they’ll feel. For me the more I write the worse feel. I don’t know what’s going to make me feel better save completely finishing the book and it’s perfect. I’ll find out when I finish I guess (nevermind perfect, but maybe my brain will accept ‘good enough.’)