Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo, Day 1


My mind is mush and my fingers joints are achy but I've finished my writing for Day 1 of NaNoWriMo. It feels soooo good to be writing fiction again!

I started out this year's novel so differently from last year's novel. Last year I was so organized and had written preliminary bio sketches on each of my characters, outlines on what to cover in each chapter, and had created plots and subplots galore. This year I started with nothing. And I mean nothing!

Late last night an idea took hold that changed everything for me. I had planned to use my gr grandfather as the main character but was struggling to create a plot that involved him. Here I was the night before I was to start writing my novel and I still had no solid story line to go with. Then the idea of having my gr grandmother be the main character occurred to me. At first I tried to ignore the thought because it was too late to change main characters the night before the competition began. But I just couldn't shake the thought. So I decided to sleep on it and make my decision today. Boy, talk about leaving things till the last minute!

This morning I woke up and just knew that I had to write my gr grandmother as the main character. It felt both right and scary... right because ideas for plots and story lines kept running through my head, the creative juices were flowing! And scary because it was such a new idea and I didn't have much time to get comfortable with it before it was time to dive in. I procrastinated for a while and then I faced the blank page. It was time for the competition to begin...

It was a bit of a rocky start compared to last year when I knew just who my characters were and where my story was going. It took me over 4 hours to get to my word count in for today (I need to average 1667 words a day to finish by midnight November 30th). Blogging is partly to blame for that. I'm not writing as quickly this year as last year because I'm having a hard time getting my internal editor to take a vacation. Blogging almost every day for the past year has ingrained in me a habit of editing my writing as I go. The nature of blogging doesn't lend it self to leaving the editing/revision of one's writing for another day. So I generally reread and rephrase my posts while in the process of writing them. That doesn't work well when writing fiction on a deadline. I really have to try to stop rereading what I've just written and rephrasing it. I have to move on with my writing and leave the editing for the second draft. Easier said than done.

But at the end of this day, I'm very satisfied with what I have written and very excited about the new ideas I have for the novel. And with that I'm going to give my fingers and this keyboard a rest.

Word total at the end of Day 1: 1831