Friday, November 21, 2008

NanoWriMo Update 11/21

Well, somehow I've hit 20,000 words. 20,483 to be exact. I couldn't tell you how many of those are good though. I'm having a tough time figuring out how not to go back and rewrite things. But I think that's really the point of the Nanowrimo when you think about it; it's not the quality, it's the accomplishment.

Still, I'm not sure how I feel about hitting 20,000 words right now. Behind the pace to finish, it now seems as though I've still put too much effort into this to abandon it. And yet I've got to be honest, right now I hate what I've written. And not in a "oh god I can't write this is horrible" way. More like a "oh god I've written about 30 pages of a novel and haven't come close to a plot."

As I've stated before, I've switched voice, I've switched tone, I've switched a lot. I have huge chunks of description just floating out there, doing nothing to advance the story. Yet I find these are my favorite pieces.

It's fun to be schizophrenic.

So anyway, while I still try to figure out how to trudge along, I figured the least I could do was include an excerpt - the same excerpt I have on the nanowrimo page. So, if you'd like take a look on the flip side...

A quick note. I have already changed the name of the protagonist. And I already hate the name I changed it to. But I didn't feel the need to update this, so there you go. Enjoy. And please leave any comments (if you have them). And not just I love it. I'd rather read "I hate it." If that's the true sentiment. Without further adieu...

An excerpt from an untitled possibly never finished novel:

There were moments in an entity's history that gave it it's heft. Regardless of it was: a country, a person, heck, even a car - every physical object - both inanimate and breathing - had a history of events that sculpted it into it's current existence. A lightning strike could be a monumental moment of historical significance to a tree; two planes flying into two buildings will definitely have an impact on a nation. Those moments in history however small or significant they may be, made everything what it was at that very moment.

Reed felt this introduction held such importance.

"Reed. Me too."

"Good. At least I won't be the only one looking like an idiot."

Reed didn't think Stacy could ever possibly look like an idiot in any situation, but didn't say it. And then wondered why he hadn't, because it was a good line. It certainly would have given the significant moment a direction, and defined it at least a little clearer than the current muck it was in.

She turned away to give Frank more of her attention once again. Reed took this opportunity to gaze at her discreetly. Even her imperfections: the misplaced strings of hair she hadn't cared about to make sure were pulled back; a small purplish bruise with yellowing edges on her forearm; a dent on the top of her knee; a paper cut sliver of a scar on her ankle; were all perfect. All those blemishes put together grounded her in the reality of the now, and gave her a certain weight in Reed's mind.

He just fell in love.

"HEY!" a gruff, nasally shout interrupted his daydreaming. The second time today.

"You lose focus like that on the stand and a kid goes down what do you do? I'll tell you what you do. You piss your $8 Target board shorts, get dizzy and pass out, thinking about how you're going to tell the parents' of the two year old that's blue and motionless at the bottom of one foot of water - because a toddler can drown in a PUDDLE, that's been PROVEN! So now they can go buy that RV they've secretly wanted but put on hold because of college tuition prices for their little sport...their little scooter. Because he wasn't going to be big enough to play football and get a scholarship, and because he was going to be smart, but not a genius, at least nothing you could count on for an academic scholarship...and financial aid? Not the way Mr. Bennington was advancing. Sure, he'd be making a nice living, but not a college tuition throwaway type salary. But those worries won't be theirs anymore because you took care of it. You took your eye off the pool to drool over some prepubescent girl, and in that second of lapsed concentration, a boy will never see another Christmas. I hope you brought another pair of board shorts!

Reed looked up to see a not fat, but certainly skinny man bending down to bring his mirrored glasses and attitude down to Reed's face level. "Stout" might have been a word a lady used to describe him to one of her friends going out on a blind date with him; "portly" if stout got a negative reaction. Reed, based on this sudden introduction mentally chose "pudgy."


Anonymous said...

Nice work.

"Reed looked up to see a not fat, but certainly skinny man bending down to bring his mirrored glasses and attitude down to Reed's face level"

i think you mean, "certainly not skinny man", or maybe "unskinny", as in unskinny bop.

Goose said...

yeah you're pretty much right. See this is why I can never keep writing new stuff - I have to keep editing. And the google word slows me down because I type faster than it updates.

Anonymous said...

dont' worry about editing, isn't that the point of the contest? its about putting out your ideas without the meticulous proofreading and editing that would normally accompany the scribing of a novel. just let it flow, let yourself go, slow and low that is the tempo.

khop said...

First off, bravo! 20K+ words is a huge accomplishment, regardless of the how you feel about the quality of said words. You said it yourself it's not about the quality, it's about getting that much down on paper. Then, when the frenzied month of writing is over, you have a huge chunk of material to rework at your leisure. I've never sculpted, but i would imagine it's easier to start out with a bug huge lump of clay and go from there, as opposed to adding clay piece by piece, laboring over each addition until it's perfect. Think of yourself pulling together that huge lump of clay, where from you then truly start the novel.
That analogy probably didn't make any sense, which is why you're doing this project, not me.
Perhaps to keep you moving forward instead of stopping to edit, you could think about emailing each day's? /hour's ? /minute's ? chunk of work to some third party for safe keeping as you go and delete the sent mail.

Keep plugging away - it shows alot of potential. The excerpt is too short for me to offer any more of an opinion. I'll just give two quick hits: 1. in the first paragraph you use "it's" twice. Since you mean possessive, not "it is", you want "its". Second, ain't too many ladies on the planet that would react well to "stout" as a descriptor - "stocky", however, does have a snowball's chance.

lastly, get that podcast live. I've heard it, and i *a-hem* have one or two thoughts.....

Goose said...

i always thought stout was better than stocky - the line's an homage to when Elaine is describing George for a blind date. Stocky's really better? I'm gonna need to workshop that.

Goose said...

oh and the podcast has been sent on by me (obviously since you heard it)'s kind of out of my court.

khop said...

yeah, i remember that Seinfeld line, as a matter of fact it came immediately to mind when reading your excerpt. i could have it wrong, but i remember it as elaine saying "stocky" as she's trying to talk him up. could be remembering it incorrectly, though.

stout, i think of beer and get confused.
stocky, i think of a guy that is probably not too tall, has some meat on his bones but is not fat. could have been a wrestler. looks/personality/dress could easily tip the scales to make stocky good.

workshop away, though, as right now, you've only got an n = 1.