NaNoWriMo day 6

Writing fiction is a strange and rather magical pastime. There are two types of writer: the pantser – who literally writes by the seat of their pants (or trousers if you come from the U.K., like I do), and the plotter – who outlines and plots meticulously before they begin. I’m a pantser. I begin with just the very vaguest idea and the story either quickly dies, or, it seems to write itself: characters arrive and are either minor bit players, who soon disappear, or major characters I get to know well. I can take those characters anywhere and they’ll bear it without too much complaint.

It is a bit like buying a magical ticket for a holiday without any idea of where you’re going or who you’re going to meet en-route. It’s big fun, but you still have to bear in mind that there will be drama and tears,  love, and fantasy and death.

Today, on day six of this years NaNo, my story clicked and I became involved. Some characters are now more than acquaintances; they’re friends. Some characters I’m beginning to loath, and at least one (wipes a tear away) is going to die.

I’m a bit behind as far as word count goes, but I don’t think that’s going to last long. I’m invested in the story and I really want to find out how it’s going to end. 🙂

Ave.

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NaNoWriMo day 5

I’ve been plagued all day by thoughts of word count, why I’m slipping, and do I really care?

I write: ergo I’m a writer. I may not make a living at it: I may not get up at five in the morning and, bleary eyed, write beautiful stellar prose because that’s when the squirrels are cutely cavorting and it is just the way it’s got to be, darling. I may not even write a lot when I write … but I do write. So do I need the artificial kick in the arse that is NaNo? Yesterday I said:

NaNoWriMo is all about the 50,000 words. Write, write and write! Do not carefully construct each and every sentence while writing…

But that’s just not me. I’m not good at churning out pages and pages and then going back to edit. I prefer to try and get it right the first time. Besides, I write short stories, not novels as they seem to be an easier form for me.

The question I should probably ask myself is ‘why haven’t you finished one of your NaNo novels, then? Hmm?’ Honestly, I don’t know. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just unfinished. Also, it’s more fun writing something new.

I’m beginning to think NaNo is a bit like Birthdays, Christmas, and Guy Fawkes: the anticipation is much sweeter than the reality.

I’ve ‘done’ NaNo every year since 2006–back in the days when participation hadn’t got near a hundred thousand people and the servers were so slow it was a miracle if you could update your word count. Then, it was an utter blast, and huge fun! But then I knew a lot of people taking part. Now, it seems, no one I know can be bothered. Maybe the global economy is partially to blame, yet year on year the number of people hammering away on their keyboards grows, and the whole shebang has becomes slicker and slicker and better orchestrated … which is not a bad thing at all, it’s just….

I don’t know what I’m trying to say, here. I’ll stop blathering. 😉

Oh, and yes, I do care my word count is slipping. It’s a cracking story and as I want to finish it I’ll do better. Honest, guv.

Ave!