Making Progress

So, we are now five days into NaNoWriMo. I have had a very prolific few days, managing to have written over 11,000 words so far. The weekend went somewhat slower, but I attribute that to reaching a section when I am having to write a transition that is proving difficult to navigate through. Whereas my early words flowed quite easily, this section is more sluggish and I’ve fallen prey to my internal editor more than once. Hopefully I’ll have bust through and be pushing ahead by tomorrow.

I have learned a couple of things, just in the last few days.

  1. My mind tends to conceptualize narratives non-sequentially. This is especially true during transition moments, between noteworthy scenes. This has been very distracting as I’m taken out of a chronological order and start writing about things in the future, some of which reference events I have yet to write about. I’ve found myself writing three different scenes simultaneously. This really slows down my writing.
  2. Thoughts are not filled away, they circle the bowl and go down the drain if I don’t write them down. More than once I’ve been dealing with issue 1, get this (to me) brilliant scene or dialogue and thought ‘I’ll tackle that in a bit’. If I don’t write it down somewhere, I lose much of the meat of my idea.
  3. Historical fiction, even when that history is alternate or fantastical, requires choices which can sometimes feel less realistic than a story based in a completely fanciful setting. Also, certain characterizations require additional consideration. Since my story takes during the 1800’s, I am presented with trying to convincingly create a former slave character. Since so much of the modern caricatures and racist stereotypes derive from incorrect representations of slaves during this time period, writing about someone who was an actual slave is often fraught with peril.  I want him to be authentic and believable without incidently straying into something objectionable.
  4. My biggest enemy so far is just the desire to re-read what I’ve written.  I have found I can write a stream of five or six pages in an hour, but it takes me an hour to edit only a single page.  I must remember that 50,000 words of stream-of-consciousness is the order of the day.
  5. Finally, none of this would be possible without the love and support (and immense faith) of my lovely wife, Jennifer.  I say “I’m going to go write” and she says “YAY!”.  It may not sound like it’s that important, but I promise you that it is by far the more important part of this month.

So, here I stand on the precipice of the next 10,000 words and soon, 25,000.  I’m very confident, but there is still so much to write and I’m positive now that my book is going to be at least 5 to 6 times the 50,000 word goal.  I’m so eager to get it created!  If you’re not sure what the heck I’m writing about here, just read this or this.  Also, VOTE TOMORROW!  I voted early on Saturday.  It’s important, beyond imagination kind of important.  Know the issues.  Get the truth.  Vote from your heart and mind, not from the fear in your gut or according to the garbage that you hear.

Wish me luck!

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