As all Wrimos know, National Novel Writing Month bills itself as “30 days of literary abandon.” This year, I’m finding that “literary abandon” is something akin to “playing in the sandbox with full permission to get my clothes dirty.” I’ve given up all hope of plots, plans, or outlines. I don’t even think I have a stable list of characters anymore. Instead, I’m making it all up as I go along.
The result? Sheer chaos. And I’m loving it.
I can introduce characters halfway through the novel if I want, ditch them if they don’t quite work, or keep ’em around if they do. I can write scenes out of order, mix them around, see where they fall best. I can be as outrageous as I want, and it’s okay, because I’ll go back one day and fix it up so that it’s pretty and shiny.
It’s a process of discovery, pure and simple. But of course, sometimes too much freedom translates into “Dear God, what the hell am I DOING???” sort of meltdowns.
This is what happened over the last week (hence the lack of Sunday/Wednesday check-ins), but I *think* it’s under control right now.
At the moment, I have a band of random characters journeying into the enemy country of Osgiliath (because when I can’t figure out names, I
shamelessly steal borrow from Lord of the Rings), to track down a stolen Device that can wreak all sorts of havoc.
What exactly is the Device, you ask? I have no idea. How are they going to steal it back from the Enemy? I don’t know the answer to that either. But it’s okay, because this is NaNoWriMo, and my zero draft is allowed to have ALL the loose ends.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself. 😛
Here’s how the rest of my week has gone down:
Day Job: I’m slowly gathering the energy to start rewrites for my dissertation proposal. The soft deadline to my committee is mid-December, with an eventual meeting sometime in January. Once I get through NaNoWriMo, this will be my top priority.
Writing: I lost a few days mid-week, but I’m getting back on track. I’ve written just over 24k, and by the end of the weekend I’ll hopefully be half-way through. Scrivener tells me that if I write 2k each day, I’ll finish up on time.
Exercise: I’m on track, walking 4 days a week. Mom and I have decided to tackle our diet next, so I’m trying to slowly cut back on salty and sugary things, and incorporate more veggies. Portion control is also on the to-do list, but we’ll see how that plan goes once Thanksgiving rolls around.
Social Media: I haven’t gotten a chance to swing by any ROW80 blogs in a week or so (sorry, guys!), but I have read/commented on a couple non-ROW80 blogs each day.
Over on tumblr, I posted my first poem in almost a month (so good to get back to writing poetry). And here on Flights of Fancy, I got the chance to review a book written by Sebastian Orth, who did my first tattoo back in May. It’s a phenomenal book–part autobiography, part philosophical musing on the art of tattooing. I definitely recommend it.
Self-Care: I’ve gotten distracted from my early morning journaling + poetry writing sessions, and I also realized that I haven’t been reading nearly enough of late. Now that I’m catching up with the NaNo word count, I aim to correct all these things.
And that’s it for me, folks! I’ll be busy over the next few days with family–my sister and my grandfather are flying in on Tuesday, and I really can’t wait.
Be sure to swing by and give a hearty hello to the rest of the ROW80 participants!