Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day 15

A few days ago I considered changing the title of this blog. When I first started it, the task seemed daunting, intense, and, yes, a bit insane. But as the project progressed, good things were happening, and I was feeling better than I had expected.

Now, however, I think that a stronger word than insane might be necessary.

I'm not that far behind in my word count—only 1,630 words. But I am way behind on knowing where I want to go.

It's occurred to me over the past two days that perhaps I should have spent the last twenty-seven years trying to write short stories as opposed to contemplating epic/high/heroic fantasies, and that reading The Lord of the Rings may actually have been the worst thing to happen to me as a young reader, as it was upon reading that book that I realized I wanted to write long "fantasy stories" too. Perhaps I could title this blog, "How a boon became a curse". That might be a bit melodramatic, but that's what it feels like right now.

I spent a large portion of today searching for inspiration, but I didn't find any. In the end, I finally found a place to start writing, and did, although a good portion of it is now struck out, as I started going off in directions that made no sense whatsoever.

I'm starting to think that I should have spent a day or two putting together an outline, and thinking about the plot, as opposed to just winging it. Over the weekend, I might do that, if I'm caught up on my word count. I have a lot to do tomorrow! Good things have happened before, and this blog (which I'm essentially using as a personal diary while writing this book) is here to remind me of that.

Quota: 25,003

Actual: 23,373

3 comments:

Homeretta said...

I always get discouraged during the second week of NaNo. You're doing really good. Don't give up! It's okay if your writing is kind of crappy right now. It's a first draft. You can always take a day off and then catch up, also. Sometimes that helps.

My story last year went a lot like yours is sounding this year. I didn't really know where I was going with it and it ended up being the messiest first draft I have ever written. Still, I manged to come up with a few good ideas for it during NaNo.

Frank Fitzpatrick said...

I'm no expert writer, but it looks like you definitely should step back and see what your final goal is. Stephen King writes about writing that he wings it from start to finish . . . but then again, he's a genius -
but then again again, some of his endings aren't satisfying, probably due to his winging technique.

So, I think you'll end up writing faster once you do a bit of planning.

Brandon Thomas said...

Thanks, Homeretta!

Frank - I agree with you. Part of the NaNoWriMo "thing" is producing quantity, not quality - just getting it done, because so many would-be-novelists bog themselves down in having a complete outline (or swamping themselves in details) before they actually start to write. I was discouraged from planning, and so decided to just wing it, as you say. That approach hasn't worked well for me.

After the immersion tomorrow, I'm going to sit down for a few hours and say, "Okay, you're this far now, where do you need to go from here?"

Stephen King's endings drive me insane. His stories always seem to lack inner consistency and logic. In his book, On Writing, he says that he follows his tangents wherever they take him - and it shows.