What Was I Doing Again?

Oh yeah. Writing. NaNoWriMo – it’s all coming back to me now. It’s already almost at the halfway point. Too bad I haven’t quite written to the halfway point yet. Technically I have two more days; I’m a little over 20,000 words, so there’s still hope I can hit 25,000 by the end of day Tuesday, which would officially be halfway. Especially as there is a day off from work involved between now and then.

Since my last update, I have been struggling with work, exhaustion and the threat of disease. Yes, all I had to do was bring up the possibility and it immediately began festering in my home. The hubby is deathly ill, and I have been fighting back whatever illness he has (which is currently mimicking the Black Plague judging from his behavior – although I haven’t noticed any oozing sores – thank God) So for several days this week, instead of getting my requisite 1,667 words in, I was crawling home from work and into bed out of sheer protection. I seemed to have prevailed. I am currently writing disease-free, and have played catch-up today.

I also had a mid-week struggle with the dreaded vague storyline syndrome. I had my basic synopsis, knew the beginning, middle and end, plus main characters – but it needed more oomph. Because if I’m bored writing it,  just imagine what a crappy reading experience it will be for any potential audience. Plus – while one is supposed to allow for a certain amount of suspension of disbelief in fiction, especially of the paranormal variety, completely glossing over obvious plot holes doesn’t work. I personally hate it when there isn’t at least some sort of plausible reason – even an inferred one – as to why characters behave a certain way, or events out of the ordinary occur.

Watch out for those eagle bombs!

I mean, maybe it seems as though Frodo and Sam should have been able to hitch a ride from the Shire with those eagles to Mordor all along, but maybe the eagles were out doing something else. They could have been vacationing, or on call somewhere else, booked up already, who knows? Maybe they just weren’t available until Frodo and Sam were half-dead on the side of Mordor.  That I can buy. But when eagles start dropping random fire turds (see “Birdemic“. Or not. Probably not.) on people, and then young twenty-something couples travelling in a rusty van on the coast of Half Moon Bay have automatic weapons conveniently stashed in their vehicle, with unending ammo to kill said eagles – that’s when I have to scoff. And scoff a lot.

So I took a two-hour break earlier today to do some actual research on the genie story I’m writing. My instinct was to just keep writing – I’m on a deadline here!  – but I didn’t want to randomly make up stuff that was completely implausible, and took people out of the story. No matter what genre you’re writing, you have to respect the reader and give them as much reality as you can. I think it’s even more true when you’re not writing in a “real” genre, like the paranormal. It is crucial that your world-building be consistent in order to give it the ring of truth. It turned out to be a good move, because after reading some interesting legends, I was able to world create and get invested and interested in the storyline, which greatly furthered my progress. That in turn will likely make it more compelling to the reader.

So I am still in the race folks. I may only blog on Sundays for the next couple of weeks so that I can be sure to stay on track. Anyone else out there NaNo-ing it currently, I’d love to hear about your journey as well!

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8 comments on “What Was I Doing Again?

  1. You can do it! Keep plugging in there. Halfway point is just around the corner and we’re cheering you on. On a higher ascension note, the plotline and secondary plot arcs are more important than your overall word count. If you need to take time out to make it tight and plausible, go for it! There’s no point having to rewrite 35,000 words come December. Perfect plot wins over word count, even during NaNoWriMo (but you already agree with me on that). Cher

  2. Did you make it to 25K last night? If you were at 20K on the 13th, you’re still in the race. Don’t give up!

    I have to (politely) disagree with Cheryse about plot winning over word count, at least for NaNoWriMo. There’s eleven other months in the year for revising and editing. November is for barfing out a rough draft.

    Or, whatever, really. As long as you’re getting something out of it and having fun, you’re doing it right.

    Good luck!
    I’ll see you at fifty thousand words in December

    • *lol* No offence taken QXFace and I love ur drive and enthusiasm. Every writer has a different process. I’ve done such huge re-writes on my books in the past when I get to that “uh oh…” moment that my process is now about having the plot & character motivation nutted out before I write 85,000 that might have to be chopped. Of course, you probably refined all this in October! 🙂

  3. Hey there! Yes, NaNo is sucking up my life, too. I am happy with my word count, not so thrilled with the path it is dragging me down. I am afraid to read what I have written when all is said and done.

    Good luck and keep writing!

  4. I am going to emerge from NaNoWriMo with about 22,000 words. I figure NaNo is an artificaial construct to get people to write, and write we did! I totally agree with you about the importance of pausing and doing research, even if it slows down your pace and word count. Implausibility kills me as a writer, it drives a stake through the passion I have for the story if I stop believing it. I think implausibility has a similar effect on readers. So your pause for research reflects an integrity that I greatly respect. I also have struggled with Vague Storyline Syndrome, which can cause word counts to dry up. This is going to sound lame, but the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever read basically said if your story is lagging, have a man with a gun walk through the door and shoot somebody. That has helped me a lot – when I see my storyline muddling, I try to introduce either adversity, trauma, or conflict and run a character through the wringer and make ’em deal with it. That strategy usually gets the words flowing again, and I get to vent some frustration on a character. It also can help advance you toward the plot and open doors you might not have expected. My best to you – and keep fighting off the plague and stay healthy! 🙂

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