Friday, November 20, 2009

Neocast: Confessions of a NaNo procrastinator

Well, I'm officially behind in NaNo world. This doesn't usually happen to me. I'm not one of those obnoxious overachievers who write ten thousand words in the first few days and finish the fifty thousand within the first week or two at most, but I usually stay slightly ahead of the game, coasting over the finish line comfortably ahead of schedule on about the 25th. But this year has been something of a struggle. In addition to my run in with the law, I've had quite a number of days when I wasn't able to get in a morning writing session because of appointments or having to be at work before hours. Lack of morning writing time is the kiss of death for me--I find writing in the evening to be a serious and often futile struggle. I've also not been able to squeeze in lunchtime writing--even fifteen minutes of writing by hand would help, but work has been busy and I've been trying to do the whole thing on the typewriter, which I can't easily use at work, so that's been out.

And now I have a cold. And my ribbon is getting light(er) but I feel guilty about changing it when there are starving writers elsewhere with ribbons in shabbier condition than mine, so I just keep using it and feeling dissatisfied. And I miss the coffee house but know I'd get nothing done if I went there with a typewriter--I'd end up setting it aside in embarrassment and diving into a book.

To add to my crabbiness, I'm now at that horrible part in the novel when I no longer feel capable of picking the perfect words--something that seemed to come easily in the first twenty thousand words or so--and the climax is still a long way away, and I have words to write in order to get there--necessary words, and I more or less know what events have to happen, so it's not just fill, but...ugh. I'm not feelin' it. And my characters keep babbling about nothing--useless stuff I'll have to chisel out later. And to add to the pressure, one of my characters invited a guy she barely knows to her parents' house for Sunday dinner (and there will be lots of extended family, too), and he actually accepted. We're all three of us surprised and nervous and are digging in our heels so hard it's a wonder we aren't going backward. If there's one thing I hate, it's crowds. And for sheer embarrassment and mental anguish, the only thing worse than crowds is a crowd of people who are all related to you: people with a special knack for embarrassing you or angering you because they know you a little better than anyone really has a right to--or think they do, which is even worse. And now I have to not only dive into this experience, but try to recreate it in great detail. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it. So I keep stalling instead.

Tomorrow I may take the Neo to the coffee house (and leave any books at home, so it's either write or sit there staring off into space with a funky looking object laying on the table in front of me) and see if I can dash off a few thousand words in the morning. OK, so it isn't a typewriter. It also doesn't weigh fifteen or twenty pounds, and I don't have to worry about carrying along paper or fret that I'm bothering people with my noisy clack ding routine. I would say it's the most practical writing machine I own (sorry gang, but it's true), and I should probably take more advantage of that. I'm not sure it's any less likely to make me a pariah, however. We need some special hats for Alphasmartians venturing off into public places, too....

7 comments:

Olivander said...

"We need some special hats..."

What th'...? Hey!

deek said...

I'm there with you...let's just keep writing and push through. We'll pick up the missing pieces and cut the crappy, witless writing in a few months.

mpclemens said...

I prefer the phrase "hyper-competitive jerkbag." If you're dreading the scene, then I'd say either use that -- long descriptions about why they dread the upcoming family event, past stories of the obnoxious relatives, etc. - or skip it and write the aftermath. Of course you know it's all about hand moving along the page/keys, and that's the best momentum you can get.

If that fails: ninjas. Or at least Crazy Cousin Fred who *thinks* he's a ninja, and keeps leaping out from behind the doorjamb at unsuspecting aunts, threatening to send the yam-and-marshmallow casserole flying. Comic pathos saw me through to 50K, and it can do the same for you, cool hat or no.

Strikethru said...

That hat...

LOL

Does it come in a "Hello, my name is Duffy Moon" flavor?

Little Flower Petals said...

I just *dare* the guys of the typosphere to go out there with a hat that says, "Hello, my name is Little Flower Petals."

Any takers? I thought not.

Well, I wrote all of about 800 words yesterday. I also didn't make it to the coffee house and my characters never made it to Sunday dinner. Most of yesterday's words were reminiscing about a childhood neighbor of Marty's who never ever ever shut up. He's steeling himself for more of the same, without the ability to escape since he's trying to impress the girl.

Simon said...

You can do it!

I find that the crowd scenes are good fodder, because you can have a focus on a couple of people talking, but with interesting interruptions from outside sources that ensure there aren't any of those dreaded silences.

My big problem in that middle section was that most of my secondary characters were dead and eventually it became a solo effort for my MC. I'm dying for an opportunity to write dialog again, which is coming tomorrow...

May the force be with you.
Simon

mpclemens said...

Re; the hat...

I figured Olivander was a safe bet as he has already demonstrated his fearlessness in the public typing arena. Plus, it looks sweet typed out like that on the Olivetti script.

LFP, I'll see about making some girly-type typing wear.