12 November 2012

Nano - Progress Report

It's nearly two weeks into November and so far I'm behind on word count.

I have been bad and entirely missed some days. Some of this was due to family visiting, some of it was me being a bit useless. On all but one of the days that I wrote I was above target, and some of those even made up for a couple of the missed days.
I'm told word count is meant to be the name of the game, but it's not entirely about that for me. It's about reminding myself that actually I do have time to write, and I do have the ability to write plenty. It's about getting out of a stupid slump that I don't have any proper explanation for.

Storywise things are mixed.
The main Nano project is a story featuring characters I initially came up with about 10 years ago, and who were there at a time in my life when I wasn't very happy with myself. Not that the original idea was angsty, it was something I used to escape angst and reality.
Maybe that's why I've come back to it now, I'm mostly fine with myself but not happy with my professional life, which takes up a large chunk of my time. In this version the characters are older (older than me) and their earlier adventures will be told as flashbacks. These bits are clear to me, I already wrote them once, and I'm seeing this as a chance to write only the good bits of the older story.
It's the current story, featuring the older versions of the characters that's giving me issues. I thought I knew what the plot was, but it turns out I only had the start of one (this is the second time I've done this recently and I'm concerned that I've somehow forgotten how plots are meant to work). The characters are strong in my mind, though I think they need to grow up a bit. The world is familiar and good enough for a first draft, somewhere I have loads of notes I made about it in my late-teens. However there are lots of conversations and not much doing, so I need to throw some problems at the situation and get people moving.
At least I've realised that's the problem, which is an important first step.

As for yesterday, well yesterday I my have cheated a bit by writing something else and counting the words. I have a short story with a deadline and I need to get that done, regardless of whether I'm doing Nano. As this is intended for the eyes of others in the not-too-distant future it actually needs to be good. I've been writing it more slowly, looking up relevant things online, making sure it fits together and makes sense. It's still a first draft, but it's one I feel fairly happy with. I only need to figure out one story element and then it'll be whole in my mind, if not yet on the page.

I've got some time off work coming up and I intend to use that to get back on track. Though even if I don't 'win' I still think it's good for me to have done this, to get back into a pattern of regularly putting words together for something besides this blog.

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