Falling (hopefully not Failing) Behind


I have seriously run off the rails in my NaNoWriMo novel. I’m down by two days now, and my only hope is to be able to carve some huge blocks of quality writing time of the weekend. This is so not good.

I briefly toyed with the idea of posting some of it here just for something to post, but as I started reading over the incredibly rough first draft I quickly nixed that idea. WOW IS IT BAD!

I guess I could clean up some of it and then post it, but at this point I’m trying very hard not to do any editing because that usually involves a whole lot of deleting, and we don’t want to delete anything, thereby dragging down the word count, until next month. November is all about word count, just get it written, because all first drafts suck. The whole point is to learn to turn off the inner editor and not spend three hours searching for the perfect word. It’s amazing how you can find a better one when you read back over your work later. I often find when I start reading something I’ve written, but haven’t looked at in awhile that it’s almost as if I’m reading someone else’s writing. I get those “Did I write THAT?” moments fairly frequently. When I do that, new words seem to suggest themselves, like “Oh that’s not what it’s supposed to say. THIS is it.” Did you ever misread something, and when you read it again you see what it really says? Yeah, like that.  I just hear the right words, the flow and cadence.

So this year, since I’m still working on the vampire novel (and by working on it I mean changing huge chunks and introducing new characters in mid-stream) I’m working up the backstory for a new character. I haven’t wanted to talk too much about them, but this one is a new female vampire. I had an idea for her in a scene towards the end of the book, but she couldn’t just suddenly appear there, it wouldn’t have worked. So now she has to get inserted into the story fairly early on, which means HUGE re-writes. Oh goody. Where did she come from? you ask. Glad you asked. I saw a picture online one day.  That was it. It was like Athena springing forth fully formed from Zeus’s head. Ok, I’m not Zeus, but you get my point. Naturally, as I’m writing this one’s background oodles of new characters also have to come over for a play-date. Some are walk-ons, bit players, others are more substantial. This snowball effect is insidious.

Most of my characters have a counterpart in real life who inspired them. Sometimes I go so far as to print out a photo and tack it up on the wall while I’m working. I prefer not to name the person who inspired the character, but here’s a photo from one of the locations in the new character’s background (and yes, I’ve been there):

So, who wants to be a vampire?

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18 thoughts on “Falling (hopefully not Failing) Behind

    1. She is indeed quite glamorous. Sadly I am not blond, only my avatar (I was as a child, and I’m still really bitter about not keeping it… ) but the new vampire is. She’s quite charming, too. 😉

      Yes indeed, writing is rewriting. I just hope I don’t love the process so much that I never actually finish the thing.

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  1. You inspire ME! Oh, i’ve been dithering along on 200 words/day this week…. too much on the social calendar and I’m weak, weak from hunger. :::: dramatic gesture sweeping hand to forehead::::
    But for some reason I’m excited to keep my butt in the chair this weekend…. and watch my laundry spin.

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    1. Don’t feel bad. I didn’t so much as move a comma around today. This blog is the only writing I did all day. Sure, 500 words or so, but it doesn’t count towards my NaNo goal. :::sigh:::

      You know, I bet that could be very Zen, watching the laundry. Good place to zone out and get some words down!

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  2. 200 words/week kicks the ass of anything I’VE done lately! My characters are all still running amok in my head, although as Rosie knows I occasionally see photoes of people in the media who remind me of some of them.

    I never really aspired to being a vampire, but I’m intrigued with this idea: what if all of us had an undead counterpart – THAT would be one nutty story!

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  3. I really think you made the right choice in not putting up your NaNo now. First drafts are for oneself. Locking the inner editor in a closet, and just allowing one’s subconscious to play. Of course everyone is different, but I really find that showing work too early can crush one’s creative spirit.

    Just go for it and write! As others have said, you can easily catch up on the word count. And don’t feel at all bad about how this draft might look. I happen to be a multi-multi drafter. I call my early ones swamp drafts if that gives you an idea of what they look like. 😉

    Continuing to cheer you on! 🙂

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  4. I got an email that you had subscribed to the blog, so my posts should show up when you go to your ‘Read Blogs’. At the bottom of the comments you should see two buttons to be notified via email for the blog, or comments on a post. I wonder if there’s a time delay before you start seeing the posts?

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  5. Thanks, Chazz! I haven’t given up, but I’m about 4500 words behind where I should be. That’s a lot to make up. I don’t think I’ll ‘win’ it this year but who knows? Stranger things have happened. Are you still at it? I have to admit I’m enjoying this little side-story on this new vampire, it’s been fun to write and I’m enjoying the character so even if I don’t hit 50K a lot of good will come of it.

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