WRITING: NaNoWriMo 2014 check-in #2

16 November

WOAH-OH, WE’RE HALFWAY THERE. WOAH-OH, LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER.

Oh, WHAT’S THAT? CAUGHT UP WITH THE NANOWRIMO WORD COUNT? YEAH, I DID. LOOK AT THAT BAR GRAPH. LOOK AT IT RIGHT IN THE FACE.

Okay, calming down now. This week started off pretty tough. I didn’t know my main character’s name. I thought I knew it but the more I wrote, the more it didn’t fit. She’s nothing like what I’ve written before but she came to me so strangely fully formed, and then she refused to adapt so that I could actually write her.

I have honestly never been in this position before. She seems so real it’s like she’s actually fighting back against every attempt to change her in the slightest way. Every name I tried seemed wrong. I could feel pieces of the story crumbling away without her proper name, like she was the freaking Child Empress from The NeverEnding Story and it was so frustrating.

And then, after going through names with my mum and brainstorming different sounds, I found her name. I think. This feels good. But I’m not going to say it yet in case the character kicks back and I’ve guessed the wrong name again.

My mum, by the way, is so incredibly patient and helpful. I was telling her my ideas on Friday night when we went for a walk together, and telling her about the plot points that were troubling me, and she talked me through it until I figured it out. I think. Once again, I’m waiting for my characters to balk against the situations I put them in but for the moment I think it’s going to go well.

I absolutely had that moment, around 22,000 words, where I went, ‘Oh, God. I have nothing left to write about.’ But somehow I keep finding things that work. Or kind of work but need some polishing. And that is what editing and redrafting are for so I’m going to ignore my desire to try and fix things and instead just let this be what it wants: a super crappy first draft of something that might turn out to be wonderful.

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