NaNo is well under way and the “sea story” is officially a WIP. It’s also starting to veer in new directions, steering me away from my outline as I delve further into the story (always a welcome occurrence). I’m totally riding the new-novel-high (the happier, less angst-ridden cousin of the third-draft-low). My NaNo goal is on target, but spending the last three days away from home at a conference really disrupted my progress. Looking forward to get back on track tomorrow.
Two years ago, I started relying on a desk calendar to track the number of days I work on my writing. I note down when I start and end a chapter, or whether I’m writing, editing, or transcribing material. It helps me stay accountable and reveals patterns and interesting little life bits that are of no interest to anyone but me. It’s especially useful on days when I’m feeling particularly doubtful about my progress. I’m now three chapters away from finishing my read-through/note-taking/manual rewrite of Anúna draft two. Though it feels like I’ve been working on this draft for ages, the calendar reveals that I only started working on it in mid-August, having taken a month off after completing the second draft in July. That’s a lot less than I expected, though there were several gaps in my writing. For one, I was still adjusting to a new semester at a new library, so there were days when I had little energy left to write. Then there was my grandfather’s passing in September; it was difficult to get back into the story after something like that. Still, it’s not so terrible as I thought and shows that I’ve been much more productive than I give myself credit for at times. As with most writers, it’s incredibly easy for me to not see the forest for the trees. I get so caught up in the little things–like whether or not I took a week off writing and why it was such a terrible thing–that I forget to see how much I’ve really accomplished.
I’ve decided against participating in NaNoWriMo next month (next week, really). It kind of feels like quitting before giving myself a chance, but I know it’ll be a while before I’m done with the changes to draft 2 and even the energy of the WriMo community can’t change that… so I’m going to suck it up and push on without the instant-gratification of word counters and group encouragement. If all goes well, I’ll be able to join Camp NaNo with a new project.
In the meantime, I’m working and mulling things over (there is a lot to be mulled). Major changes are happening–plot-wise that is–and new directions are being discovered. At this rate, I think it’ll be at least another month before the paper draft is edited, and then another 2-3 before all the changes are applied to the digital draft. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to use some vacation time in the spring and give myself a writer’s staycation.
I’m trying to catch a second wind with this project. There are some days when it feels like I’ve been working this draft to death and I don’t want to spend another minute in Anuna’s head, but then I find myself doing research on magic, or plants, or myths, and I just want to rush back in as an element that was nagging at me suddenly falls into place. It’s a love-hate situation.
I didn’t feel like writing tonight. Then I decided to force my sorry self into my chair and start writing.
And it worked.
And now I think the end of draft 2 is finally within reach. And oh my giddy goodness does it feel good to finally reach an ending that isn’t drawn out over several months of struggling with words. It’s not what I expected, but it’s going somewhere better and I can’t wait to see it reach a conclusion.
To endings and new beginnings!
I’ll fess up… I don’t think I’m going to be meeting my NaNoWriMo Rebel goal. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just find that in rewriting, I’m also re-imagining a lot of significant plot points and events that need more work than I foresaw when I started this journey. There are so many factors that are different this time around–last year, I was living at home and could get away with letting someone else do the cooking and chores, now it’s all on me. I also don’t have the extra time at work to focus on editing during my lunch; whereas, last year, I was getting an extra hour of writing a day by writing during my lunch hour. I also just don’t rewrite as fast as I write. My rewriting process is much slower than my writing… there’s more note taking and planning involved; it’s necessary, but it slows me down. Again, I’m finding that I’m okay with this. I’m not in this to “win;” more and more, I’m in this to produce something worth one day sharing with an agent. It’s early still, but I doubt I’ll get more than two more rewritten chapters before the end of the month. I’ll happen… it just might have to continue into December.
I am enjoying the process though 🙂 I’m seeing the story from a whole new angle and making it so much better (I think). Motivations and details are finally starting to come together. I’m kind of excited and eager to be able to read the whole thing through and fine-tune it.