Well, just when I thought I had this NaNoWriMo beast tamed, it snuck up and bit me in the butt. I’m behind again, though only by a day.
One problem is my eyeballs. They just don’t want to stay open and stare at a computer all day. Before I start drafting, I like to sit down and figure out what’s going to happen in each scene. This sort of brainstorming involves a lot of talking to myself via computer. And while it gets the job done, it means that by the time I actually start writing my eyes are already half fried. Blogging takes its toll too, of course, but there’s no help for that. I’m addicted.
The other hangup is the plotting. What's always mattered most to me as a reader are great characters and a strong, rhythmic narrative voice. My favorite series reflect this: Spenser, Rumpole, Breckenridge Elkins, Conan, Nero Wolfe. Plot has always been a mysterious thing.
A 50,000 word novel seemed like a great place to get a handle on plot, so I’m struggling to confine myself to a strict four-act structure. I’m still convinced this is a good idea, but the sucker keeps wiggling around as I write, forcing adjustments as I go. At this point I know exactly what happens at the end of Act II (1700 words away), but Act III has only a beginning and an end.
On the plus side, I seem to be building some writing muscles. I’m forcing myself to work at times I otherwise wouldn’t. The other night I dashed off 700 words while running back and forth to the stove to brown hamburger and make a pot of macaroni and cheese to put it in. Both the 700 words and the vittles turned out pretty good, too. I’m hoping the subtitle of next week’s recap is The Writer Rides Again.