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NaNo Blues

November 7, 2011

I am a slow typist.  I’ve known this for a while.  I should probably learn to type from the home row rather than using my mutli-finger hunt-and-peck method.  But I’m not there yet.  This contributes to me being 2500 words behind on my NaNoWriMo story.  Contributes, but it’s not the cause.

I’m bogging down on my novel.  I do this, it’s part of my process.  My WotF story was flying along great until the end where it kept bogging down and kept bogging down.  It took me months to write the ending.  Why so long?  Because I was trying to write an ending that didn’t fit.  The scene I’m bogging in now fits the novel, but isn’t propelling the story like it should.  I need to cut a lot of the words I’ve written, if I’m being honest.  And I need to write a Chapter zero (can be renumbered later) so that the oddities of the story are more obvious when they arise.  It should come out a bit like the opening scene in The Matrix, only not quite so Matrixy.

I didn’t do my homework on the front (outlining) end so now I’m suffering on the writing end.  This may not have been the right project to try to NaNo.  Temptations to return to my Naked Man novel (you heard right) are growing.  Since this is more about my career than about the challenge, I’m seriously considering it.

If you don’t care what I choose to do, by all means, stop reading now and I’ll vow to be more interesting next time.

Still with me.  Really?  Okay, I guess you can watch me weigh the pros and cons of each project:

Time Travel Novel: Pros

  • Good practice to stick with one project through completion.
  • Marketable concept.
  • Flexibility in plot/characters.

Time Travel Novel: Cons

  • Will require a lot of cuts (later) to anything I write right now.
  • Lack of project enthusiasm.
  • A lot of historical research needed.

Naked Man Novel: Pros

  • Theme is integral to the story.
  • I know where the story is supposed to be going.
  • Unique and original.
  • In a subgenre where I’ve had past success.

Naked Man Novel: Cons

  • Requires a lot of cultural and language research (mostly Japanese).
  • Haven’t worked on it in 6 months.
  • Questionable marketability.

I hate the thought that this Time Travel novel may just end up in the also-ran pile of 10-20% finished novels, but it’s dreck.  I started decorating the cake before it was baked, now it’s just a flat, gooey mess.  Upside: I seem to be at a similar wordcount in these two manuscripts, so switching horses in midstream will have no real mathematical or moral dilemma when I report wordcounts to NaNoWriMo.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 2:27 pm

    Hey Scott,

    Sorry if my e-mail was what prompted you to reassess. :\ Since both projects sound like there’s an element of legwork you need to do (cuts for Time Travel and research for Naked Man) have you thought about taking a step back and doing the outlining/researching you need?

    It’ll mean stopping NaNoWriMo, but you might be able to have a stronger story for whichever you choose to work on if you can get your figurative ducks in a row first.

    Or if you’re not the outlining type, just add more ninjas and see where they take you. 🙂

  2. November 7, 2011 3:58 pm

    Just an opinion here but the whole point of doing nano is to write 50,000 words and to ignore your inner critic. Whatever comes out, comes out. It sounds like not only are you paying attention to your critic but you are actually letting him come in and dictate whether or not you ought to continue. If there needs to be a chapter zero go to the beginning and write it, there’s no law in Nano that says you can’t go back. It is all words on the page. It is a month of your writing life. I think in terms of writing it might do you more good to know you finished a goal you set than to switch to the other story. It might be great but who’s to stay you won’t get a little ways into that one and decide it might be stronger to switch back. Ignore the critic, shoot for the goal. Writing improves with practice just like any skill, so maybe you end up using this for some important practice or maybe once you get to the end and re-read you decide it isn’t as bad as you thought. Good luck with your decision, whichever way you go.

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