Thursday, November 05, 2009

If it's Thursday, I must be writing

Oh, NaNoWriMo, how you taunt me with your promise of "just writing through" the story. You make these promises that you expect me to keep while I'm wandering around in the dark with a broken pencil, no paper, and no freaking idea of what it is I'm writing through.

By the end of Tuesday, I was at 4000+ words. I can't remember exactly how many, it's not important. What's important is to know that I failed to make my Tuesday goal (I hit 675 instead of 1667), because what is writing about if not an opportunity to criticize yourself for not writing enough, for writing crap when you do write, and for finding other things to do to fill your time that do not involve writing. Things like eating leftover Halloween candy.

So yesterday I was frustrated, but I had knitting group in the morning, which always makes me feel better, even if I get an appallingly small amount of actual knitting done. There was pumpkin cheesecake and Earl Grey tea, and good conversation, and then I went home to write. Ha!

I haven't been at the start of a brand new story in a long time, so I forgot what my process was, or if I ever knew, it's changed since then. I hadn't really done any pre-NaNo "pre-writing" activities, like coming up with a plot (I'm afraid no amount of pre-writing will ever help me come up with a plot, mostly because no amount of actual writing seems to do the job, either) or figuring out who my characters are and what they want that's tangible. I'm very good at coming up with their emotional baggage and what they want internally. Not so good at finding the tangible representation of that emotional goal. Which would be the plot.

Turns out I actually have to have my characters interact with each other before I can figure out what they want and why they want it. Who knew?

So yesterday while I wasn't writing I came up with a list of 10 scenes that I need to write for the story setup (the first Act). I know who the scenes' protag/antags are for each one, and where they take place. And an idea of what I think the point of the scene is. Note: I do not know the actual point of those scenes. I only think I do. The actual writing will lead me to the point. Eventually. Long after NaNo is over, most likely, because it's through the rewriting and polishing that I discover the real point. Damn subconscious. Some day I'm going to invent a writing efficiency machine that will allow me to know my point before I start. I'll make millions.

Now that I have my list of 10 scenes, I have a little flashlight in the dark which I used to find the pencil sharpener and some paper, so today I will write.

I found my camera, by the way. So here are the Bella mittens (or the first one, anyway) that I started on Monday.

I'm about half way through the second one.

Here is today's to-do list, on the wall of my office:

Here's a little surprise I found in my Ravelry projects page:

Someone favorited my husband. Or maybe it's the hat they favorited. Better be, because even though he says he looks like someone on the 10 Most Wanted List in that hat, he's still my favorite.

In other news, this morning while I was drinking coffee and not writing, I figured out an insanely brilliant way to pick up stitches in a situation that is not common, but not rare, either, and way better than the existing known options. I love it when my brain comes through on esoteric knitting techniques. Some time this week I will write this up. Come to think of it, this would be a way better procrastination activity than mopping floors. I don't know what I was thinking.

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