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Dec 29, 2008

Frustration

I hate it. I'm going along in my novel, writing one, two even three chapters a day. A nice, satisfying pace. The story is unfolding before me like a well paved road.

Then -- bwam! -- no more road.

It may be sudden, like hitting a rock, or gradual, as the pavement just peters out. Either way, the path ahead is no longer clear. I stop writing. I sit there, staring at my keyboard, at my notes, at my reflection in the mirror while I brush my teeth, wondering what to do. Have I hit a dead-end, a cliff to oblivion, leaving me no choice but to turn my story around, go back to the last fork in the road, take another route entirely? Do I have to re-write a chapter, a whole section, the entire book thus far?

Or should I just keep plowing ahead, in the hope that though a bit of snow and gravel obscures the road, if I can just muscle past the landslide, the road will pick up and keep me going to the end?

I wrote all of Part I and most of Part II in my new book, before the road petered out. Now I'm flummoxed. Is the manuscript working? Or do I need to re-write the story from the start? Have I introduced too many characters, too much history at the start? Maybe I need to start smaller, slower. Or then again, maybe I need to pick up the pace, press the story forward, not dwell on so much detail. I don't know!

I've put the first section draft as it is up on the OWW for critiques, and I've received some. But the readers can't really tell me if I need to start the story over. They don't know where it's going, so how can they tell me if it's taking the right road?

Dec 15, 2008

Depression

I've been feeling rather depressed lately. No doubt the cold and dark play a big part. I wish I could spent this half of the year in Australia.

Dec 14, 2008

Section One Finished

I completed Section One of current WiP. It's about 18,500 words, which is right on target.

Dec 12, 2008

A Diet for a Novel

I've been editing my NaNo "novel", which mostly consists of trimming
and tightening. I put novel in scare quotes because it's really on the
first section of the novel.

A lot of cellulite is landing on the cutting room floor. (If only it
were as easy to shed pounds as to shed excess novel weight!) My hard-
won 50,000 words is now down to about 16,500. (This is because for
NaNo, when I re-wrote a chapter over with different scenes, I just
included all of the versions in my word count, but now I am discarding
the lame early mis-starts.)

There are also a few scenes that need filling out. (In my NaNo
original, I just wrote "Insert some sort of cool kung-fu fight here.")
I expect the whole section to be about 18,000 words when finished.
This is good, because it's just the first 1/5 of the book. If each
section is about 18,000 words, the final book will be about 90,000
words. I hope that's not too long for YA novel, if indeed this book
*is* a YA novel.

Dec 3, 2008

Pride

An Anonymous commenter offered a suggestion on the fraternities issue. Why not look at the names of animal groups? Pack, flock, herd.... What a terrific idea! I wanted a word that suggested strength and dignity -- who would willingly call themselves a flock, implying they were all a bunch of sheep? Pack is too werewolfy, so that was out, but something predator-related.

I decided to try out "pride": they view themselves as warriors, "lions" of the human world.

Thanks, Anonymous.

Dec 2, 2008

NaNoWriMo Winner

Cheating paid off. I hacked out a rough draft just over 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Of course, it's awful, and only the first part of the story, but I'm pretty happy. This is actually the first time I've won NaNo, though not the first time I've written 50,000 words in two weeks. Both of my romance books were written in about two weeks.

Now that I have the draft, I can see a lot room for improvement. I'm not sure it even begins in the right place.