Saturday, December 01, 2012

34,280 out of 50,000 ain't bad

Well, I've done my best. Last year I got the word count but not the quality. This year, I sincerely hope it's the reverse!
As an exercise, it's very useful because you have to be so organised and disciplined in order to do the work without allowing everything else to slide. I joined the NaNoWriMo Spain page on Facebook, and that has been fun too - mutual support without wasting time we haven't got on actually getting together in a bar somewhere!
I can't write without editing, but there's been more writing and less editing this year, or less micro-editing, anyway. Characters have come into focus and developed voices of their own: in some cases, my first impressions of them have turned out to be false - which has been interesting because it's then been a matter of rethinking a back story to get to the character and behaviour I originally had in mind, or working with the new version, which naturally affects where the story is going. Being too rigid leads to two dimensional characters that you couldn't possibly care about. Being too flexible leads to plot anarchy, and a ship that runs aground because everyone's arguing over which direction they're supposed to be sailing in. Or becomes a ghost ship, its crew and passengers doomed to a melancholy twilight existence because the captain's secretly given up and snuck overboard for a cup of tea and an extended sojourn on Facebook...
Anyhoo, not swamped in research this year, although I could probably get a respectable A Level in Physics by the time I've finished, and my long-ago Geography teacher Sister Columba would be bemused at my new-found enthusiasm for the geology of the British Isles.
Not mired in main character's mawkish navel-gazing like last year - when neither I nor she knew who she was or what she was supposed to be doing.
I don't think I've idealised - or idolised - my central characters, and I hope the occasional unsympathetic character gets a proper hearing, rather than being rolled onto the stage in pantomime stocks, under big placards saying 'Boo!' and 'Hiss!'
Still got a coherent plot, on the whole... and I think the structure works. Hope so.
And I think I'll have the first draft finished by the end of the Christmas holiday fortnight. That looks realistic from here, given that there are other also other things to be done in the next five weeks!

2 comments:

Maisie said...
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Maisie said...
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