NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 1

I think I’m going to try blogging as I go — nothing extensive because I don’t want to take away from the real writing but I do want to jot down my thoughts. This is a process of learning and experimentation for me. I’ve been writing short stories seriously for four years but writing something novel-length is a different kind of beast.

One thing talked about on Twitter today was that some people actually start querying their Nano novels shortly after they’ve finished. In some cases, the day after. I can’t fathom this. I don’t submit things until I feel reasonable confident in them being, you know, readable. It’s rare that I write and submit a short story in the same month but a novel? Seriously? My original plan was to take a year to rewrite, revise, polish, and start to query agents. Given the flood of half-finished nano novels they get hit with between December and February, I’m thinking that I need to step up my game and aim for earlier next year — maybe by World Fantasy.

First drafts are rough. Making the transition between short story and novel, at least for the first time, is like riding in a rock tumbler. I planned, I outlined, and I may end up scrapping half of the structure I put in place. I know where I’m going but knowing how to put together chapter and scene in any coherent way is something learned better by doing on the fly, I suspect.

Pacing…yeah. I’m working on that.

Typing vs. writing longhand isn’t as bad as I remember. I did use Freedom to block my Internet for part of it, but then I wanted Google Maps for reference. I’m not sure if that was good or bad. I did finally manage to muffle my internal editor somewhat, which was my main goal for day one. I expect that to be an ongoing challenge until I find the right balance between useful editorial whispers and drafting speed.

Title: Black Mirror

Reason for stopping: hit midnight

Favorite line: “Do the little boys still miss their Mommy?” the demon mocked.

I didn’t get the word count I hoped for. I’m aiming for 2,000/day, with an final draft around 120,000 words sometime this January. I had a rocky start, just getting the scene and tone set right (a problem I have with every story) but then we had to take a little detour.

The kitten we found a few weeks ago became a less permanent part of our household. We decided that, until Andrea and I have a place of our own, we really don’t have the space for any more animals. Not an easy decision to make, especially for me, but an adult one. We drove the little girl up to a family friend this afternoon who has been catless for a little while and introduced the two of them. I think they made a good fit.

I’d forgotten how bad the emotional crash of fibro could be. By the time I got home I was in fit state; I skipped supper and slept for a few hours before squeezing in the rest of my words before midnight. Not quite my usual schedule but I don’t feel so bad going into tomorrow.

Adam Israel
Author ꞏ Genealogist ꞏ Software Engineer

My interests include genealogy, cloud computing, and all things open source.

comments powered by Disqus