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?