Switching Things Up

So, I have certain ways of doing things, certain fixations if you will, about writing.  The important one today is the fact that when I plan my outlines for my first drafts, one of the first things I do is decide how long the chapters are. That’s right, before I put down any content material for any of them, I decide how long they’re going to be. This year, for both of my 50,000 pieces, chapters were 2k apiece.  In the trilogy, book 1’s chapters were 13k, book 2’s 8k, and book 3’s 5k. For the one I’m working on right now, they’re 1k.

This is important for me, psychologically. I can’t stand getting up in the middle of a chapter and not finishing it. Consequently, when I was writing book 1, I had to usually have at least 4 hours of writing time, sequential, planned, and this didn’t come that easy. And then yesterday I started this new one, with its thousand word chapters, and it seems like they breeze right by (okay, not quite breeze, but they don’t feel as difficult as the 13,000 word chapters). Switching up the intervals in which I write helps to adjust me mentally and make me feel as though I’m accomplishing more even when I’m technically not.

So, how’s Just a Glimpse coming? Well, I’m 34,000 words in and I had to rewrite 3,000 of them because I suddenly realized I was using the wrong character. The neat thing about this one is that it’s told from 15 viewpoints (yeah, it’s too many, but it seemed like a good idea during planning), and this has so far been my shoddiest outline. I’ve got the world pretty well developed (in stark contrast to the trilogy), but when it came to the outline, I simply randomized the order of the names, slapped them in a word document, and walked away. So the first 15,000 words are a little slow and rambling as I try to find my way around the novel, but in the second 15, there slowly appears to be a semblance of plot. For all but one character, a doctor who I only appeared to be able to write waxing elegant about how awful it was that people got hurt. And then I introduced the reporter that one of my characters meets and realized that he should be character number ten, not the doctor. So I cut out the doctor’s three thousand words and have rewritten them with the reporter’s. Other than that, things are going pretty well. Novel-wise, at least.

I’m back to being a full day behind, and it’s pretty bumming. I know I’m going to beat last year’s wordcount, and that’s something, but I’m starting to get less and less optimistic about the million. I’ve got a much easier Thanksgiving than some (first-generation immigrants with every semblance of family overseas), and my mother knows I’m writing like mad, it’s just that it’s going to come down to the number of hours I can force myself to do this and the number of times I can go with minimal sleep. That being said, I’m far from giving up, I’m just starting to look at the calendar and seeing that the month is drifting on by without me. Hell, I just need one more day in November, and we’re all good!

I’m at 734k now. By midnight tonight, the goal is 780. It’s huge, it would be my biggest day since the 50k on November 1, but I’m going to have to start pulling out the massive counts or this million thing just isn’t going to happen.

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4 Comments

Filed under Nanowrimo 09

4 responses to “Switching Things Up

  1. You’re doing great, Kateness! Congrats!

  2. Joe Union

    We are pulling for you, Kateness!

  3. kirosl

    I think you’re completely nuts, but I’m routing for you!

  4. LP

    A propos of your recalculation-helps-me-cheer-up-and-write observation, perhaps this will be of some help to you in the last push!

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3462074

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