past the point of self indulgence

4 Nov

I’ve promised myself for YEARS that I’d participate in Nanowrimo. It’s been years since I’ve first heard of it, and I decided in 2008, that was the year. I barely made a start. In 2009, I decided that it was ridiculously that I could not consistently write about 1667 words a day and went for it. I had 7667 words on the first story, and then decided it was rubbish. For the second story, I reached about 5100 words, and then dropped it for some reason (I think exams did affect it somewhat). I didn’t even try in 2010.

For the first time, this year, I don’t have exams to interfere with me, so I am desperately forging ahead and trying to be consistent. This is only day four, so I’m only allowing myself to be mildly pleased that I’ve consistently kept up with the recommended daily wordcount so far (6687 words and counting!).

Because I know I’m not too good with massive casts of characters, I’ve kept it simple – 2 mains. I’ve realised that I have a tendency to do this, to the point they get too caught up in their little world, and I get bored of them and long for different personalities to work with. The world they are in? Vague. Their greater purpose? Vague. Their backgrounds? Also vague. They don’t even have names, but I found a way to work that into the story. I deliberately started off this way, to try and discover the characters as I write them, feeling almost like an outsider watching them as they develop.

It’s difficult because there are three characters who have been living in my head for years begging to have their stories told, but the nature of their stories and destinies are complicated enough that I haven’t finished building a world for them to live in. They try to intrude in on the current story, which is too fragile for them and would be destroyed by their presence. However, I’m choosing to push them all aside for now, and only allow just one through, to build slowly until I finally reach 50 000 words.

Of course, it would be easy to just spill out the words, but after the 30 days, I still want something I can be moderately proud of, not complete drivel that I’ve pulled out for the sake of the word count. And who knows.. perhaps the two nameless characters now will be able to grow into something special. One of them is already showing some potential and hopefully the other will grow too, rather than just remain a snarky mouthpiece for some of my thoughts.

In case you’re wondering, Nanowrimo wikipedia link here for the curious.
For the lazy, Nanowrimo = online commitment to write 50 000 words in 30 days. Happens in Novermber *every* year. There are certain rules and stuff but it’s mostly just for you [the writer], as an exercise (50 000 words is about the length of a short novel)… but it’s nice to have a community to encourage you along (knowing others are suffering with you is always nice).

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Peter Galen Massey

Haiku, Book Reviews, Commentary & The Occasional Nonsense

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

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