Monday, October 31, 2011

It SEEMS like a good idea, but it might not be.

So I'm planning, as of right now, to do NaNoWriMo again this year. It starts tomorrow. I have an extensive outline of a sequel to the novel I've been working on since last year at this same time, and my plan is to put that in actual readable format (if I can read my own writing -- it's getting sketchier by the day, and smaller).

The thing is, I haven't finished that novel from last year. As I've mentioned over and over ad nauseum (if you're my Facebook friend), I'm still finishing up the second draft. And my original plan was to be all the way to a third, really polished draft by this point, so I wouldn't feel bad about working so hard on something new. But that didn't quite work out, as you can see by my two prior entries.

So here's the plan: I'm just going to do it anyway. I'm going to chalk not being where I wanted to be with Less Than Perfect up to life, which I'm sure all writers must experience more often than not, and I'm going to go ahead and do NaNoWriMo. I'm going to get as far as I can in revision by the end of this week, and then send it out to my readers. And while I'm doing that, I'll just strive for 2-4 pages per day on the new thing for NaNo. And then once it's sent out, I'm going to set it aside for the rest of November while I hit the new thing hard, and get back to it with fresh eyes and mind on December 1.

Oh my god. My heart just started racing as I typed that last sentence. Set it aside?? What am I thinking? It's sort of like sending The Pook over to his dad's house for an entire month.

On the other hand, I'm to the point where there are parts of it I can't even stand to look at right now. So I think a break is necessary.

So it SEEMS like a good idea, but it might not be.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So That Happened.

Seriously, I can't believe it's almost Halloween.

Obviously, the last couple of months have been a little... well... stressful, for me. My sister passed away and it was horrible and it's still horrible, and I miss her every single day. But then to top it all off, about two weeks after her memorial service, I was innocently wandering through my favorite grocery store, and slipped in a huge puddle of something and broke my ankle. So I've been in this boot-cast stupid thing for almost a month now, and have about two more weeks with it, and it's generally been the biggest pain in the motherfucking ass EVER. Because first of all, it's my left foot and I'm left handed and left footed. And second of all, we live on the third floor of a building with no elevators. So good times have been had.


Anyway. I'm trying to finish the second, hopefully way more polished, draft of my novel. It is so much harder than I thought it would be. It goes like this: you sit there and you know what has to be done, but you can't figure out HOW to do it, so you just stare and stare until the page becomes blurry, and then you get up and wander around the house and eat some chocolate and take a shower and while you're in the shower you have a revelation and figure out HOW to do it, and then you go do it, and then you move on to the next thing that needs to be fixed, and you sit there and you know what has to be done, but you can't figure out HOW...


And there's this voice that lives inside my head that tells me all the time how I could totally get this done faster AND better if I didn't have to work full time, if I didn't have to take care of my child, if I didn't have to ever speak to my husband again. And sometimes part of me believes that voice and I become very crabby and out of sorts and bent out of shape with my real life. Other times I manage to just suck it up and get the writing in when I can like I always have. Early mornings. Late at night. Lunch hours.

Today it's snowing, the first big snowfall of the season. I feel like I should be allowed to stay home and write if the weather sucks, but that didn't happen -- the amount of snow fell far short of the predictions. So much for that idea.

Revising mostly feels like taking one step up and two steps back. I'll be all excited over a breakthrough, and then I'm suddenly crushed because something else isn't working, or because a part I've fixed creates problems elsewhere, 100 pages down the road.

But it's getting there.

It's definitely better than it was when I finished the first draft in July. It's changed, a lot. It's a thousand times better than what it was when I started pounding it out for NaNoWriMo last year.

I just wish I could make it get there faster, without sacrificing the writing.

But it's getting there.