24 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Update: Days 20-23 -- Falling behind

Daily Stats

Days 20-23 Word Quota: 10,000
Days 20-23 Words Written: 3,333
Cumulative Word Count: 31,561

Falling behind

After a fruitless writing weekend, I find myself in a bit of a jam. I've realized that I don't know where my story is going, I'm bored writing it, and I am 8,500 words behind schedule with a week to go in NaNoWriMo.

A bit of a jam, indeed.

Things all seemed to be going swimmingly on Friday. It was a good day for output, but not a great one where my writing was concerned. I made my word quota just before I had to leave for my shift at the Pork Palace, which was the good thing for the day. On the downside, I had a hard time writing that day and an even more difficulty getting into the story. Most of the time my writing seemed lifeless and dull. I plodded ahead until I went over 2,500 words for the day, and topped 30,000 to date. I went to work pleased but somehow unfulfilled by the day's progress.

Saturday was not even close to Friday's efforts. I didn't give myself a chance to be bored with the story because I had so many other things going on. The day's big chore was to rake the yard before the rains came. Like so many other projects, this took longer than I expected, and I ended up with limited writing time for the day. I was able to sit down and get almost 700 words in, but like Friday, I was uninspired.

Sunday and Monday can both be labeled as NaNoWriMo "EPIC FAIL" days. On Sunday, we spent most of the day cleaning the house and getting ready to have some friends over to play music that evening. I completely blew off NaNoWriMo for the day. Even when I had a chance to write, I didn't take it. On Monday, Jean worked from home, so I did not have access to the computer for most of the day, and planned not to add anything to my word count. I was glad about it; I just flat out did not want to work on Snakebit in the least. I thought I would spend the day working on some phase outlines, but I didn't even do that.

On Monday night after I got home from work, I looked at the computer and wondered why I wasn't sitting down to write. I was falling farther and farther behind with Snakebit; what was going on?

I realized a couple of things that night. One, I was getting bored with my story. I was doing a lot of exposition and introducing new characters, and not in extremely exciting ways. I was in the doldrums, stuck in a literary sargassum, and like the Ghost Pirate said in my favorite episode of the "Venture Brothers", "any way you cook it, it still tastes like hot sargassum."

I also realized that I was running out of things to write. I became a big fan of phase outlines early on in the writing process, but I've just about used up all the ones I've written. Putting it bluntly, I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to get where the story needs to go.

To sum up: My story is boring me. I'm not sure where I'm headed. And I'm 8,500 words behind schedule with more than 18,000 words to write in one week.

I'm not going to panic. I think this is exactly where I need to be right now. More to come.

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