I’ve never done it but it seems like it might be the kick in the butt I need, so I’m going to do the NaNoWriMo on ‘If Not for You’ this month.

On my first day I wrote 1200 words but deleted 900.  The book is 62,638 words currently, and I don’t expect to publish more than 90,000 but if you knew my process you would weep for me.  This is the point in my novels where I start savagely brutalizing my story.  Cutting out characters, scenes, chapters.  For every word I write, I delete at least another word somewhere else.  So.  If I can write 50,000 and delete 20,000 I should be doing well.

Yesterday I wrote 500 words but deleted 900, more or less.  That means I’m in the hole 100 words.  So sad, but that’s how it goes.

I may have mentioned ‘If Not for You’ some time ago, when I first started it.  I sometimes start books and finish them years later.  This one is about a wheeling dealing stockbroker, Eric Tack, living in San Francisco, who is trying to recover from the crash of 2008.  He hears that the man he loved and lost has been murdered and that he, Eric, has been named in the man’s will.

The entire book takes place in Humboldt County, up in the Redwood National Forest, where so many grow houses, legal and illegal, exist.  I got stuck on one of the main character’s personalities.  I couldn’t seem to nail him down which, you can imagine, created a major problem.  I’ve written the beginning and the end.  I’m kind of flopping around in the middle trying to get a grip.

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3 Responses to NaNoWriMo

  1. A.B. Gayle says:

    Hi A.M.
    This isn’t spam, you’ll be relieved to know. I’m just chiming in to wish you well for Nanowrimo. I’ve just reread “Elegant Corpse” and “Immortality is the Suck” and was wondering what you’re up to writing wise. The wheeling dealing stockbroker sounds like an interesting premise.
    I can totally identify with Nano being the much needed impetus to get you writing new stuff. Both “Red+Blue” and my next release “Leather+Lace” were the results of butt on the seat, blinkered writing. What I find is that I need that panic button depressed to get the new words out (I was a last minute crammer at school… old habits die hard).
    But then it takes me nine months to whip the mess into submission status.
    …Flopping around in the middle trying to get a grip. Just knowing that one of the characters isn’t working, while having a middle and an end…. Yeah, I can relate to all that.
    With me, I find that something will come out of the blue… from left field, a bizarrely new character, an unexpected scene. It’s as if my subconscious knows something is wrong, but my conscious can’t work out what it is or how to fix it and I need to “let it go” and give my brain permission to freewheel.
    I also think it’s best just to keep on writing. Not worrying too much about editing as you go. Use the deadline to get the crap on the page. First drafts are allowed to be rough. Mine reads like a primary school essay. Subject, verb, object but that’s all fixable. It’s getting the story out of my head, make it logical, fill in that middle with something, then you can go back and delete and add. I think we’re too hard on ourselves, expecting perfection and the standard of the finished book before the story has a chance to breathe.
    That’s the glory of being a writer, though. We can add characters, kill some off and change things drastically after that first draft. But, until the guts of the story is there, it’s impossible to tweak.
    Not sure if I can offer anything more than encouragement, but if I can ever be of help with a beta read or as a sounding board. Please feel free to contact me.

    • amriley says:

      Hey there. The spam subsided yesterday, but I’ve received over three thousand spam mails according to my software. Because this site has that annoying ‘you have to register to comment’ clause, the spam comes through as a rejected request for registration. But I have to go through those requests to make sure I don’t miss anyone real.

      I’m not a pantser and I always started my school assignments asap. Comes of having too much on the schedule and, by the time I finished college, a child to care for.

      But these past couple years I’ve started a new job and bought a house. I’ve also had to start going to the gym regularly. All these little mini deadlines wiped out my writing deadlines. The NaNoWriMo is perfect because it gives me a deadline on the writing.

      As you can see from my most recent post, I am still getting distracted. But the book should be finished by end of year.

      Yes, I have high standards. I compete against myself, and write for the challenge, not the money. I have the luxury of being able to do that at the moment. I self edit a bit but usually I just put my fingers on the keyboard and let it flow. Problem is, sometimes everything I write is garbage. I delete more than I keep.

  2. Luis says:

    Thanks Christy the NaNo-ing is going well so far, you should deltiinefy give it a shot at some point, it’s a lot of fun. But my Google Reader has already hit 41, and that’s with paring out the ones I know I can skip. You book bloggers need to stop writing so many interesting posts!

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