I’ve been neglecting my blogging a bit lately, considering how I started off the month having something to say every few days or so, even when not much was going on.
Now that I haven’t been talking about writing as much, I’ve been getting more writing done. At one point I was about 13,000 words behind schedule for NaNoWriMo. Now I’m a little over 8,000 words behind. Still a fair way behind, but it’s easy enough to make up the ground.
What I’ve been doing is I’ve been chipping away at it. Just chipping away at it. And since I’m a rule breaker this year, anything goes. I’m writing bits and pieces of little things and throwing them in there. But since I’ve been making an effort not to slack off, to write at least 1,667 words per day every day, and usually somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 words, I’ve been chipping away at that goal. I’m now pushing 30,000 words. My target from here on in is 20,000 words in 7 days. I’ve done over 10,000 words in the past 5 days. So while I probably should have been doing even more writing than I have, my goal is still not out of my reach just yet. I just need to step it up a bit. I know things will probably slow down a bit this weekend, but my last four days of the month I’ve got no work, so I can really hammer it through to the end.
My main concern is something that’s caused me somewhat of a problem over the past two nanowrimos. That is, when I go to make things official, the NaNoWriMo word counter comes up with less words than what my word processor has counted, so I’m a few thousand words short. Hmm. We’ll climb that mountain when we get there.
So, what have I been writing about this past couple of weeks? Well, I’m carving out drafts of three novellas I’ll be developing after NaNo, of which one of them is around 13,000 words (with another few thousand words of the story written before NaNo but not counted), and the other two are currently drifting in between 4 and 5,000 words.
I haven’t been working on much else. I’ve got a couple of fan fiction stories I want to work on, and essays and such, but for now, it’s all novellas. Very crude first draft novellas that are high concept absurdist/surrealist fantasy. I also want to start work on a short story for an anthology that I might work on as part of an online workshop, but at the moment I’m thinking I’d like to finish my first novella before I get working on that, or any of the other stuff.
There are a couple of other story ideas I plotted out for NaNoWriMo that I’m thinking of turning into novellas. I might start on them, or maybe do some really crude plot drafts to get the basic concept fleshed out.
At the moment I know my main novella needs heavy editing, and I’m thinking it works better as a basic outline of plot points throughout the narrative that will eventually be reworked to fit the tone and aesthetics of the finished novella. I’m thinking of rewriting it as an epistolary story later anyway, so the tone will change a lot, as will the rules and aesthetics of the world. I think the aesthetics have been my biggest challenge. I’m working with half-baked worlds here, so I’m trying to flesh them out as I go, and somethings work, some things don’t. Some things will work once I’ve gone through and fixed up other things. It’s all part of the process.
I haven’t put a huge amount into planning this time around. I’ve put in some, but not heaps. I’m thinking I might try altering the way I write drafts to be more loose, more open ended, more of an ideas/brainstorming session rather than a hardcore gotta write a proper linear narrative down with tight prose and shit. Maybe keep it short and figure things out. Then go all out on the overblown and convoluted narration, figure out the voice, then cut it back to somewhere in between, find the balance, then edit the motherfucker.
This NaNoWriMo has been a real challenge so far. Well, more so than previous years, despite my attempt at diversity and adaptability. It’s been pretty illuminating.
And I briefly mentioned this before, but I recently signed up to a 4 week online workshopping class with Jeremy C. Shipp. Because even though I’ve been studying creative writing for the past three years, three years is bugger all really, what I’m looking for is experience. To write more, and adapt and develop more. Get more writing out into the world. Read more. Edit. Play around, learn, discover. It’s four more weeks devoted to developing my writing. Sure, I already consider myself a writer, but it’s something I’ve got to be constantly working at. I won’t “get there” overnight.
Yes, I use this blog, and I use twitter and facebook for “social networking”, to make connections as a writer. I’ve met a decent amount of people this way, and I think networking will ultimately help me develop and grow my readership once I get more stuff published. But it’s also helped me make friends with other people with similar interest and goals. These people are great people. They know who they are. They’re one of the reasons why I read and write and push myself as much as I do.
This next week, and these next 20,000 words are going to be amazing.