The Heavy Metal Matador (rydain) wrote,
The Heavy Metal Matador
rydain

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Kicking and screaming towards 50K

NaNoWriMo, day 10. Right on word count par despite a recent spate of damn it this major subplot failed to connect and why does my Cao Cao-based character have the least page presence of the bunch?

Because he didn't have much interaction, that was why, and I can only get so much mileage out of internal exposition and narrative voice. I wound up booting his ass to a card and chess room where his mahjong know-how got him to hang with the high rollers and overhear a business opportunity that will kick off his real estate arc and characteristically get him in over his head.

(And self? It's a rough draft, for pete's sake. Chill.)

Here lies the magic of NaNo. You learn to grind forward. You learn to keep going. You learn to sketch out scenes, bare and shitty first attempts just going through the motions, and then you go back and build them out after they sit and stew for a bit. You start scenes wherever you're inspired to do so, and you chuck in placeholders instead of worrying about connecting every single dot as you encounter it. You ramble for two paragraphs that might produce two sentences of useful development in a later draft. And you stop beating your ass up about the waste because you can point to multiple instances in your own polished drafts of previous work where the same sort of bloat flew right under the radar. You frantically research common ground conversation sparks and luck upon a classic painting that serves as an ideal allegory for two negotiating businessmen to discuss. I'm going to love that part when the dialog no longer sucks.

NaNo is where I'm finding that sweet spot between thoughtful writing and doing my timely business on the proverbial pot. Its daily word goals aren't long-term sustainable for me, and they do tend to push me to ramble beyond what I would do when thinking through a story at my own pace. Yet it is a challenge that's proving instructive, especially because it gets me to loosen up in ways I forgot how to do since my 2005/2006 days of a compelling opening, no plan at all, and not a care in my mind.

P.S. Go listen to my current music. You're welcome.
Tags: nanowrimo, writing
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