trying to save a novel, or, Bring it, NaNo

For the moment, we’re going to ignore the dislocated knee incident and go back to talking about writing. Or, rather, the lack of writing.

According to the date on my most recent saved draft, I last wrote words in my current work-in-progress on September 3rd. Soooo, a month and a half ago. Yeah yeah, I’m never going to make it if I don’t write every day. So I’ve heard. Anyway. Yesterday I set to work snapping myself out of the writing funk, partially as a distraction from the snapping-of-my-knee funk.

So yesterday I did three things to expedite the writing recovery:

  • printed all 20K words that I had already, in order to “cement” them as The First Draft (ie, I can’t go back and rewrite the beginning again)
  • gave those 20K to my #1 Best Beta Reader with explicit directions that his only response could be to tell me how fabulous and talented I am
  • sat down with index cards and started mapping out three possible routes the story could take. Part of the reason I stalled at 20K was my lack of a roadmap; I don’t like to plot too tightly, but in this case I needed something. I eventually combined two of my “possible” plots into one, and that’s what I’ll be using going forward.

Finally, I’m hitching my star to NaNoWriMo. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I tend to participate in National Novel Writing Month in only the loosest possible sense, merely using the yearly phenomenon as a tool and twisting it to my own purpose. So I’m not going to aim for a discrete 50K novel in one month, but similar to last year I will use the momentum to try to finish this draft.

But I’m definitely not waiting for November first; going to try to hit NaNo with a full head of steam. Onward! NaNo, HOOOooo!



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