Me Write Good

December 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm (general life, Mental illness, Writing Ranting)

I wrote this on the 26th of November, but was apparently too addled to correctly publish it online. So, conveniently, I have some good news to balance the post I just wrote. (And the dieting – except for the uncontrollable rage – is going surprisingly well, thank you.)


Last night, around midnight, I finished my National Novel Writing Month book (adding a completely useless conversation to fill in the last five hundred words. As you do).

This is the first time I’ve written a fifty-thousand word manuscript since 2005. (2005 was about the time when I noticed I was losing my mind, and that’s not very confidence-inducing.)

Finishing something (even a hideously flawed first draft) this big is VERY confidence-inducing. It also means that I have a better feel for what 50,000 words looks like when I rewrite the second and third books in my young adult trilogy (I’m still waiting for the publisher to reply on the first one – they’ve now made a new Australian record for Slowest Response Ever, further supporting my, “They’ll probably say yes” theory and sending me deeper into hope-induced madness).  Incidentally, that first young adult book is also a NaNo book, which grew to over double its original size during the editing process.

I might not be very good at walking or talking but I am truly extraordinary at producing novels fast. During the process of writing, I noticed that I often wrote at a rate of two THOUSAND words an hour. That even boggles my mind. I really wish I could apply that kind of skill level to something a little more practical, but at least I can do something not everyone in the world can do.

Now seems as good a time as any to say that my friend’s sick baby is home and appears to be completely unharmed. Today I’ll also begin a new attempt at losing some of the fifteen kilos I’ve gained this year, utilising the post-NaNo high.

Some of you already know that I didn’t plan to do NaNo this year (mainly because the logical book to work on is book 2 of the young adult trilogy, which has large good chunks which I’ll cut and paste into the new version). So here is how it happened:

On Thursday 12th November I woke up from a dream which I thought had some moderately interesting elements – an empath community that had a large underground sanctuary made of stone, and that could track each other by thought. I also had two scenes in my head – one involving kidnapping, in which my hero rescued a child but wasn’t able to save his mother; and one in which the baddie shot at the hero and killed her closest ally. From that, I started writing. I have a bad habit of letting my characters sit around and chat, so I worked on making sure every chapter had some direct physical conflict (eg baddie fights hero, baddie fights hero in different location, hero is chased by police, heroes run away from fire set by baddie). One of the interesting side effects is that I did a little editing of another novel of mine at the same time, and REALLY noticed how much I need more action (something publishers have been telling me for years). Hopefully this is a handy epiphany that I can apply to all my work. And when I go back and edit the NaNo novel, I can cut the talky bits and expand the action.

One of the fabulous things about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – which is actually international) is the truly apalling writing that spews forth unchecked. At one point I noticed that (of about 13 named characters including four cats) I had a Ginny, a Jenny, and a Johnny (Jenny and Johnny are students in the same class, and Ginny is a teacher). Hm.

Total body count: 8 (at the moment)

Personal favourite moment: In the climax, as the baddie is enacting a plan to turn the world into mindless automatons, a two-month old kitten saves the world by biting the Prime Minister at just the right time. (The kitten’s name is Fluffy.)

Worst plot point: a baby is left on the communal doorstep at one point, and performs no useful function whatsoever. (Because hey, it’s a baby.) I gotta either work on that or delete it.

I also wrote this beautiful sentence (and many others like it):

In her place, I didn’t think I’d still be thanking the person who had unsuccessfully tried to protect me from someone who wouldn’t have attacked them if I wasn’t there.


1 Comment

  1. Ben (Crispin) said,

    Fel Quote of the Day – “Are any of you obsessive about Mangos…?”

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