National Novel Writing Month (I refuse to use the acronym, it pisses me off) is off to a decent start. I have 11,315 words written as of Sunday night. That puts me ahead of the average I need to complete on time. Which is a good thing. I struggle to write the same thing every day. Which is bad. I didn’t have this problem when I started the first novel — I concentrated on that exclusively to its completion. What happened to me? I found this on Pinterest the other day I thought it totally applied to the way I’m feeling this month:
I have never had the best self discipline. I do stuff because I want to and the minute I feel like I have to, it quits being fun. “Duty is an ugly mistress,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is one of my favorite quotes. And another is “I love deadlines. They make a nice whooshing sound as they pass by,” from Douglas Adams. These are both on one of my ubiquitous post it notes stuck to my monitor. I really do love to write so I’m trying not to let November ruin it for me. I also don’t want to bail on NNWM (I prefer initials to acronyms) but I will if it looks like it’ll spawn a monster.
Tuesday is the first of November, the day the novel writing frenzy begins. I have the weekend to prepare, make sure I’m ready to forget everything else and just write. I know some people map it all out, have incremental goals, and so forth. But I don’t flourish as a task orientated writer. That’s not to say I’m not organized. I do have the story all plotted out, but I am not writing with an outline.
When I say plotted, I mean I’ve written down the list of events that need to take place from the beginning to the end. I have snippets of conversation jotted on my index cards. I have character biographies written and I have a blank timeline spreadsheet started to keep track of my events as I write them. This approach can make the pacing of a novel more difficult. That is, making sure all the action isn’t bunched together with lots of dead space in between. We’ll see how it goes. The point of the whole exercise is to get the story written, after that the massive edit can begin.
I have an obstacle or two to write around as well. Work of course, can’t be set aside for an entire month obviously. But I also have something special planned for the first weekend in November: I have tickets to Hamilton on Broadway. And a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I guarantee no writing will happen on the 5th and 6th of November. Totally worth it, though.