Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thirteen Thoughts About My Month Trying To Write A Novel

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Thoughts About My Month Trying To Write A Novel

  1. It's harder than I thought it would be. Writing a column for this blog is often as easy as talking for me. I just choose a topic and start recording my thoughts. I'm often left with hundereds of words in excess. But writing a novel is slower and more detailed. I find myself constantly stopping to contemplate the various elements of novels from character motivation to setting and pacing. I trust in time, however, I will find my voice and the process will improve.
  2. I don't know my story as well as I thought I did.
  3. I was so worried that I'd spend my strength and lose the passion before I was ready to write that I never allowed myself to get too specific about plot elements in my mind. Character profiles and settings, yes. Overall plot, yes. Chapter by chapter plot? Nope.
  4. My brain recoils from boring tasks. I knew that already, but I didn't realize how it related to writing. Now I do. Ooh so intimately...
  5. I've mistakenly conditioned myself to believe that good writing only comes when I'm besotten with my muse. When she leaves me I have to plod through things. This is work, hence not fun, and it fails to entertain and inspire. I tend to think at those times that there is something wrong with my writing. That I've messed something up. But the simple fact is that this is the hard part of writing. I need to learn to work through it.
  6. If I want to seriously finish this blasted thing I'm going to have to kick my news habit.
  7. I still fail to account for the amount of time I need to spend on being a full time Dad with disabilities who homeschools his kids. I absolutely NEVER account for that time. It's like I still think I'm a single guy with hours of time to kill.
  8. I make terribly ambitious and thoroughly unrealistic goals for myself. It's a wonder I don't have an inferiority complex. Oh, wait a minute...
  9. I am torn between getting the story done and getting the story done right. That NaNoWriMo deadline is not helping me in the slightest.
  10. I don't like long passages of description. I am as bored writing them as I am reading them.
  11. I like writing dialogue. Unfortunately for the task at hand, this requires me knowing my characters inside and out. I know some of them that intensely, but not all of them.
  12. It's not looking like I'll have this novel completed before I turn 40. I may have to rethink my goals.
  13. I'm really glad I undertook this challenge. I may not be meeting the goal (I'm far too careful to bang out 50,000 words in one month without having a clear idea in my mind where I'm going), but NaNoWriMo has helped me see what aspects of my novel and life need more organizing before I can realistically begin in earnest. This has been a good experience for me. It's all downhill from here.

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