An Update on NaNoWriMo

November 20, 2010 at 5:10 am (Uncategorized)

Happy November My Friends!

As we are nearing National Novel Writing Month’s November 30 deadline, I feel like I should publicly share my progress.  By midnight tonight, I should have written well over 30,000 words.  I confess that I have not, but I assure you that this confession is not infused with regret, shame or even melancholy.  In fact, I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I have written 20,562 imperfect, unorganized and unworthy words.  I have written incomplete sentences.  I have ignored typos and worst of all, I’ve lost all track of point of view and tense.  My inner editor has crawled, no skulked, into a cave, and is hybernating for the winter.  (Speaking of, does anyone know if skunks hybernate?)  I would really love to tell you what a piece of unredeemable crap my novel is, but truth be told, in the past 19 days I’ve found out some pretty interesting stuff about my characters and my creation.

For starters, I sort of dislike my main character.  She’s a bit too whiny for my taste and that really needs to stop.  I think this character flaw stems from her lack of development, which is my fault and not hers, though I certainly did want to throw her off a bridge about November 7.  For some reason, I am reminded of  my Junior year in college when I read Madame Bovary..

Oh, and several of my minor characters are not very well developed either.  Great.

Also, I am writing a love story.  This bugs me as I am in a very cynical phase right now.  I don’t want to think about love and I certainly don’t want to write about it.   I sit down to compose a wonderful romantic scene about two people meeting or kissing for the first time and I gag just a little bit.  I search for the words to express how it feels to be breathless in the presence of a lover, and all of a sudden, I’m craving potato chips and scanning the channels for reruns of Two and a Half Men. Breathless is completely overrated.

Now, add this to the mix:  I may as well use my chapter outline as a kleenex because that’s about how disposable it is.  Do I really need to say anything more on that point?  Nope.

In conclusion, all I can tell you with any certitude whatsoever is that NaNoWriMo is a wicked task master. And the most absurd aspect of this whole ordeal is I’m thankful, not in the the turkey and cranberry sauce kinda way, but in the this-is-exactly-what-I needed-to-kick-my-butt-in-gear way.  So thank you NaNoWriMo for being the slave driving wench I desperately needed.

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5 Comments

  1. Danielle said,

    Well girl I am sure things will start developing OR you could give her a real developmental delay – like a speech delay, frontal lobe injury or just a regular social-emotional delay as a kid. That is a quick fix for your problem! Love you!

    • athenasden said,

      Danielle, you really make me smile sometimes. Thanks for the input!

  2. Steph (Mia Northwest) said,

    Amanda, this blog post is great for two reasons -> You’ve summed up what all of us in NaNoWriMo have been struggling with all along, and, it’s freakin’ hysterical.

    Unexplainably, I can’t seem to find the right nouns and verbs either although I’ve been quite vocal since birth. I’ve reverted to the simplest words, like caveman-prose, to get the story out and hope to fix it later.

    Finally, I think all of our stories are love stories in some way as the concept/emotion fits well with all known plot conflicts so you’re on the right track.

    I, for one, can’t wait to read your book!

    Take care,

    Steph (Mia Northwest) who is freezing her arse off in the Pacific Northwest as snow levels drop to 1,000 feet!

    • athenasden said,

      I am so glad to hear than I am not alone in my use of “caveman-prose”! Also, I am marking today on my calendar as I’ve never been called hysterical before, well, not in a good way anyway. Thank you so much for the kind words.

      P.S. I heard a dirty rumor that you got your first snowflake today.

  3. Matthew Temple said,

    “I have written 20,562 imperfect, unorganized and unworthy words. I have written incomplete sentences. I have ignored typos and worst of all, I’ve lost all track of point of view and tense.” I love it. You’re an inspiration to me, as someone who “won” this silly month-long game, to remember what it’s really about: writing. Simply: writing. Thank you for this post.

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