Friday, 11 November 2016

Yeah, so, Here Goes . . .

So, we return once more, and I am in the midst of my NaNoWriMo journey, and this is my second blog update. And I do indeed have good news, my plan is actually kinda working. At least, it's working so far, I can't speak to the future, but I have written two full chapters of this story so far, over 8,000 words. Okay, yes, those of you good at maths may now be counting on your fingers to realize that I should be at 10,000 today if I were keeping up with my quota. And no, I'm a little bit behind, but that's okay. See, the purpose of this is not to meet the goal or quit, it's to keep yourself honest. If I just wrote every day and shrugged it off, like
  "Yeah, I did a lot today." I could lie to myself. Or, I could be honest, but in a false hope kind of way. Because if I wake up and there's no coffee, and then I hear that something devastating, like a racist, bigoted tyrant just took over a powerful country, yeah writing may feel difficult and even putting six words on a page may feel like a success.
But we remember emotions more than we remember facts, and if I feel like I've done a lot, when in reality I've only written eleven words one day, then I kinda suck at my job of "writing a story". So, on the days when I only write 300 words, I don't look at it and go "I suck", I look at it and go "I need to be better".
But one thing that has amazed me greatly are what I call my green days. See, whilst I make it black and white for the sake of this post, when I write on that little NaNoWriMo calendar, when I've written under my quota, I score it in red. But when I exceed my quota, I write it in green - they have the plus signs (+) beside them, if you're curious. And on both of those occasions, I have been on fire.
Also, I have been in my father's study writing with the air conditioning on, so I may try to do that more often, to see if it's the heat that's making my slow days even slower. But, I have just sat down and blazed through. And both of those occasions, it's something I have had in my mind for a while: The first painting; the crash - both of these scenes I have had in mind ever since I started this venture, and I have researched, so when it came time to write them I just threw them down.
Tappity-tappity-tap. Keyboard keys were flying.

There are two other things I feel the need to mention, then I will disappear back into my writing-hole.

Firstly, I felt the need to do field research. This was unusual, because I am used to just using Google Maps to find a location, and I adapt it as needed. When I wrote Chapter 13 of Duke forever, Kindred of the Gods, I picked a beach and pretended there was a church on it. But because this is a novel, and because I am writing my story in my home country and local town (Brisbane represent!) I didn't want to lie about how the city looked. So, in one scene where my character was literally climbing all over the buildings, I got in my car, drove to the spot I'd found on Google Maps, and I took as many photos as I could. Then I came home, wished I'd taken more photos (It's always the way, isn't it? You're there, think "I don't want to overdo it". Then get back and go "crap, I underdid it".)
I did take enough to manage to write the scene. I think it's because I am actually, properly planning on trying to get this story published, so I don't want to just wing it; but, that moment preceded one of my green days, when I was writing on fire, because I had an impulse "I need this in order to write the story", and when I had it, I just went with it all the way to Chapter 3.

Another thing I noticed was that music . . . helps. I like background noise, but the thing is, I am a bit scared of heights. Not ultimately so, but quite a bit; enough that I don't like leaning on railings in most circumstances just in case. But, I didn't want my character to have that. Gene is a bit more wild, a bit more out there and free. So, when I had her climb up the building, I decided that she would feel free.
I did that by listening to Katy Perry's Rise. Not because I think that is the best, inspirational song or anything, it's just that I was in the middle of a writing session, I needed something about height and being excellent, and that's the first one that came to mind. And listening to that whilst I was writing was perfect, I got this image in my head, and it's not much, but it helped to create that scene.
But then I had to stop. Because the next scene was tense, and I was looking for a song that represented that; then the next scene was eye-opening and mind-blowing, so I was looking for a song that evoked that . . . unfortunately, I failed both times, and my story stopped dead when my playlist did.
So, I went back to playing videos of people talking in the background. I think, if you have a few important scenes in your story that you want to be inspired by a song, you need to rack that playlist up in advance, because it really did stop my writing dead for two minutes the other day.
To be frank, I'm surprised that I find stuff to talk about. I would love to tell you about the story, but it's a surprise. Like I said, I want to publish this one. the only other thing I can tell you is . . . I don't have a title.
I have a "working title", but it sucks. I don't like it. I was trying to find a term that tied together, paint, graffiti, space and aliens . . . but it's still evading me.

Hopefully, I'll find something suitable before I get too far. In the meantime, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, wishing you all the best of luck. Pens on papers, fingers on keyboards, we still have a long way to go . . .

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