Saturday, November 19, 2011

Other Things.

1. I am still behind on my novel. But it's going to be ok. I just killed off a character, it's good.

2. I don't remember the last story I wrote where the main romantic pair got together in the end. And when I last wrote a happily married couple, I killed one of them in the end. Er. Is that a reflection of my psyche?

3. Let's keep moving.

4. I saw Mat Kearney in concert last week. Amazing. I'm a little resentful that he's got a super cute wife, but whatevs. We all move on.


6. Have you been to Whole Foods lately? I went yesterday to get some chocolate covered espresso beans and I caved and bought some chocolate covered toffee almonds as well. The one in town has this cute little wine bar in the middle of the store. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make the Hockey Player take me there on date night asap.

7. I cannot wait until he and I jump in my bullet-holed minivan on Wednesday and start weaving through the Thanksgiving day traffic like the accident prone people we are. Route 80, all the way! [along with about 90,000 other people, awesome.]

8. If you had to choose between moving to LA asap or living in the middle of nowhere for a few more years and shooting your own ultra low budget mumblecore, what would you do? 'Cause I've started saving for either of those options, and it's getting to be a conundrum about which to get excited about.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Right Through.

About 5k ago I realized that I was on a dangerous road. I was leading my motley crew of four underdog characters straight into the heart of the opposition. Even if they were the most powerful, talented, amazing characters you had ever met, they were destined to lose.

It was sheer numbers.

Sometimes, in NaNoWriMo, when you've written yourself into a corner or you realize that you're going down a tangent that will never make it past the first draft, you're encouraged to write a one sentence transition --

"And then they rescued/killed/bamboozled the roommate/mob boss/Puff the Magic Dragon and found themselves back in New York City/Candy Land/a galaxy far far away."

While I was tempted to do just that, I couldn't. I've never been a writer who can jump around in her story. Even if I'm struggling for a detail, I don't just put [INSERT HENRY'S COMPANY HERE]. I pick a detail and continue. Half the time this means that I end up forgetting to go back and change the things I need to, but that's the way I do things.

I've hit a couple spots in my novel where I've thought, "This is a terrible idea. I know they say no deleting in NaNo, but clearly they had never run into an idea this abysmal. I'm about to solve the whole story/kill my main characters/introduce a dinosaur. This is really quite horrid."

But I've run with it. The only way out is through, right?

And the thing is, while running through plot points I will surely never revisit again, I've met characters and developed themes and expanded ideas that are creating the foundation of my story. When I realized I had written myself into a corner, that my ragtag band of four characters was about to storm a fortified citadel, I realized there was no way they could get in, get their friend, and get out alive. Not in a million years. I was really stressing about it, until I realized--

They don't get out. They are captured almost immediately. I mean, you'd have to be an idiot to try what they did, and it only made logical sense for them to fail. Which suddenly opened up so many questions for my characters. Was my protagonist really who she said she was? Were the other characters going to believe her anymore after this? Was she going to have any faith left in herself?

Every time I have powered through a difficult section, I have come away with useless plot but a richer story. Every time I force the story forward instead of avoiding it, I discover something new. And if that is all I get out of this month, if I have to rewrite my whole novel based on my month long investigation of these characters and their story, then I will be satisfied with NaNoWriMo, declare it a success, and then delve back in to rewriting the whole dang thing.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Hey, guys.

I have so much I want to write about. So much. So little time.

I want to tell you about my script on assignment, how we're almost to the midpoint and how some days I feel like I'm writing crap and some days I start out feeling like I'm writing crap but at some obscure, undefinable moment I realize that I feel good about what I'm writing and I have for a few scenes. I want to talk about the lessons I've been learning and what it feels like when you look at a scene and realize you've implemented years of lessons and practice without even knowing it.

But we don't have time for that (but it feels good to be a gangster, that's what it feels like).

I want to tell you about the huge colossal kitchen fail I had. Guys, it was bad. And super disappointing. And yet still I managed to pull it back around to writing, because that's apparently all I think about now.

But we don't have time for that, and it's still a bit painful.

I want to tell you that if you manage your company's Twitter account, double check to make sure that you've signed back into your own before commenting on a blog or Tweeting or any such thing that can be traced back to you/them.

Really, that's a PSA I always have time for.

I want to tell you about NaNoWriMo. How I am behind because I missed a few whole days earlier this month. How I wrote a thousand words in fifteen minutes yesterday, punks, and how when I made it harder for my characters I made it a bazillion times more interesting. I want to tell you that this novel is going to need significantly more work than I expected post-November, but I think there's a pretty good chance I'll let other people read it.

But we don't have time for that, because I'm still 4,000 words behind.

I want to tell you that if you're looking for a roommate, pick someone who wears your size. It's like instantly doubling your wardrobe.

No brainer.

I want to tell you about the amazing amounts of talented people I've been meeting recently and how you should be meeting as many people as you can, even now. The other day I realized how many talented people I knew that would jump at any chance to further their career, and the amazing opportunity we have right now to do something together.

But we don't have time for that 'right now' right now, sometime after November.

I want to tell you that I haven't been this immersed in the culture and physical act of writing in so long and that I'm being immensely productive. And that the longer I do this, write ten pages of my screenplay then switch to my novel, cram as many words into fifteen minutes as I can, do nothing besides work/write/occasionally see the Hockey Player, the more I love it. Some days it sucks to be a writer. Some days it's difficult and everything comes out clunky and you're uninspired. But if I could do this all day every day, I would be over the moon.

I think I'm in love.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Word Count.

I just hit 5k. That seems very refreshing to say, and I consider it a big enough milestone that I get to take a short noveling break (even if I hit that milestone after writing in Starbucks for 10 minutes).

5k seems like a lot, except I skipped all of Wednesday to work on my script and have date night with the Hockey Player. So even if I wrap up today's word count with another 700 words, I'll still be 1,667 words behind. Have I mentioned I'm throwing a party tomorrow?

I met with my director yesterday and he asked how I was going to do it, work full time, write a screenplay, AND NaNo. I think I said something along the lines of not sleeping and stop hanging out with my friends (see above party plans). The truth is, I have no bleeding idea. I see more than one all nighter in my future, and I'm way out of practice with those.

I had high hopes for this NaNo Novel. I don't know if it's because I'm "officially" a paid writer and now I expect everything I produce to be a money maker or if because I'm just tired of writing and writing and never progressing, but I was ready to do something with this novel. And I've been telling people that too, "I'm going to e-publish this when it's done" and "Ask for a Kindle for Christmas so you can read my naaaaah-vel." (PS. I legit do what a Kindle Fire for Christmas, so whoever's paying attention to those sort of things... yeah.)

But I've been discouraged. This novel has not been shaping up. My writing is rough, awkward, and overall subpar. My characters feel unfamiliar, my world undeveloped, and my plot thinner than a high wire (the circus is in town). I'm enjoying the noveling. But I'm not sure I'm enjoying the novel.

But today we got a pep talk from Erin Morgenstern in our NaNo Mail. And she talks about ninjas and circuses and how your NaNo novel might not even be the point, but the point at which you start.

This may not be the novel I publish. It may not be good enough. But at some point along the journey, I might find myself not just writing but writing my novel, that the real story has begun and the preceding 49,000 words have just been brainstorming. Lord above, I hope it doesn't get to that, but if that's what it takes to get there, I'll do it.

And now, it's back to the novel...