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its only day 11 and I am avoiding my main character

I have been reluctant to write today and it is not flagging energy or interest for this year’s Nanowrimo challenge. The truth of the matter is that my main character is starting to FREAK me out.

OK she’s been nattering away at me for the last couple of days – which has been great. I managed to get up to speed with my word count goals and get back on track. The problem is she is taking me to places where I don’t want to go. The potential risk I face with my story this year is that it turns from fiction to autobiographical.

I am sure that every writer faces that dilemma from time to time – a spark in the story and suddenly the characters turn on you and it is all about you! I have been a little surprised that I am latching on to some emotional bank accounts that I really thought had been spent. But there they lie deep in my psyche and are threatening “the novel”.

nanowrimo, day 11 goal

This leads me to my visual image for the day. Longs showers are known to cure the following: “lack of ideas”, “emotional distress”, and “aching muscles” but are also known to cause “water shortages” and “wrinkly skin”. The word count goal for today is 18,700 and I am at the time of writing about 1,000 words of the pace. Perhaps under the cover of darkness I will be brave enough to face my emotions and just get on with the story!

back on track – day 9

nanowrimo, day 9 It may not be quality writing, but I feel good today after catching up and getting back on track – hence the visual for today.

I exceeded the word count goal of 15,300 – the place I wanted to be this far into the nanowrimo challenge.

My main character is turning into a bit of a psychological mess – not sure how much of the story she is telling me is true (!) but at least she is now clear in my mind and she is drawing in the other characters to tell her story.

The Colour Purple – Day 25

Today is the day – I have been able to officially load my novel to  NaNoWriMo for the final count, and I can now say with confidence that I am officially a WINNER – purple bar and all.  I have always loved the colour purple but not so much as I did today.

The Purple Bar

The Purple Bar

Although I had reached the NaNoWriMo word count target of 50,000 back on the 20th November, regular visitors to this site will know that the last 5 days has been a struggle for me to actually finish the story.  Once I hit the word count goal for the month, my attention quickly switched from word counts, calculators, spreadsheets and graphs, to the actual literary challenge of writing a “completed” story before the end of the month to feel a sense of achievement.

Today, my characters that have lived so actively in my head the past 25 days have been silenced.  At times I did feel as though they were beside me while I was writing.  The heroes have gone on a well deserved vacation (perhaps to plot and scheme for some future revival), and the villains are still lurking in the dark recesses of my mind.  The plot has been terminated.  Sure, if I was to re-read the story, I am positive that I will find many places where I could further develop both the characters and the story, but for my first novel – ever – I am not looking to write an epic.

I do have something though that perhaps I can go back to at a later date, if I wanted to pursue this creative side and previously untested side of me.  I have enjoyed this personal challenge, whether I come back and do it again – I will see.  No promises.

For the numerically inclined, here are some stats on about Zetoec:

Final Total Word Count: 56,494 (as verified by NaNoWriMo)

Average Word Count per day: 2,260

Worst Day: Day 21 (post 50K Blues) with 0 words written

Best Day: Day 19 with 3,998 words.

Winner Statistics: 56th person to be awarded official “Winner Status” in 2008.

The Coveted Winners Badge

The Coveted Winners Badge

Do the Heroes win in the end? – Day 23

Word Count: 54077

As it so happens the age old question as to whether the heroes are victorious in the end is not resolved in this story, recently re-titled from “The (not so) secret society of corporate heroes” to “Zetoec”.  I am more than comfortable though that there is no clear resolution for there never is in life, and any decision we make we could always contemplate a what if scenario.

The heroes are not so perfect and the villains are not intrinsically evil – they all have their own individual histories.

Over the past day I have resolved the logistical dilemma in the plot of getting my heroes from Point A to Point B.   They needed to get to Point B, otherwise the earlier written opening and concluding chapters were  not going to make sense.  Perhaps it’s flagging motivation, but my inner critic has reared his ugly head in these final stages, and finishing the story is becoming a challenge.

I sense that within a day or so, I will be drawing the line and marking the end of my NaNoWriMo journey for 2008.

Little Progress – Day 22

Word Count: 52112

The third last chapter is proving troublesome.  I sense that my characters are feeling their ultimate demise and that soon, they will no longer be a part of this incredible journey.  For 21 days they have been able to argue and fight over parts to play in the story, but soon they are all to be silenced.

A riot is ensuing – and they are battling each other to get another word in, to share a little more about themselves or what they know to have 15 minutes of fame.  This chapter is essentially written in the Absurd.  Overall, throughout this journey, I have found the storyline in the Absurd the easier sections to write – for here my characters do not need to subscribe to the mundane habitualty of ordinary lives.

This will probably end up being a very long chapter.  As much as I want to blame my characters for it’s progress, perhaps it is I who wants to write the never ending story?

Until tomorrow – power to your words.

Post Script – Day 21

On Thursday, I hit the NaNoWriMo word count target and gave writing a rest on Friday – hence the delay in this post.

Yesterday was a chance for the characters to take a break before they launch into the final assault and actually finish the story – the third last chapter in the book.  The last chapter is complete, however, what I originally thought was going to be the final chapter turned out to be a premature ending. The final chapter subsequently written is something very different, which is a nice surprise and so there are no spoilers in the excerpts that I have published.

It was good to take a break from the novel though, 20 days consistently writing something towards the word count targets and posting to this blog each day has been an effort of endurance. I was amazed though how good it felt to get the winner’s badge. Small things do count.

So the end of week 3, ended without a single word written.

Until the next post, thanks for dropping by.

Where did those words come from – Day 18

Word Count – 45,812

As I write this post I admit that I am in shell shock.  I am not sure where all those words have come from.  The rush to the finish line on word count is well in my grasp, but am I writing a never ending story?

This is my first year on the NaNoWriMo journey, and my first attempt at writing a novel.  I have no idea what I am doing but thanks to the generosity of other bloggers I am getting a sense of it all.  I have surprised myself that I am even at this point at all.  The last 10K are just getting gobbled up.

I have been so caught up in the flow that I haven’t even posted more characters as promised days ago.  I think at the time I was procrastinating.  It was fun making them on HeroMachine than tackling the then monumental word count.

Last night, I did take time out.  I want to do the 50K but not much more, but I do want to finish with a reasonable story line – well one that at least will have a start, a middle, and an end.  I am getting all these other ideas now on twist and inneuendo that I could build into the story line, but there are some half chapters still there that to be finished, and I have to complete them, otherwise the chasms are too great for even the most inspired reader to navigate their way through the story.

It is only now, with just over 4K to go, that I have any sense of this storyline.  I hadn’t actually planned on my MC to be the MC (I guess that is the joy of writing with literary abandon), other characters have simply fizzled they have run out of things to say.

So, as much as I first thought that this was going to be a story about the eternal battle of good and evil in a corporate/ mashed fantasy context, it has become a story of internal struggle from possession – through doubt – to utter dismay – to acceptance.  There is still evil, there are still heroes, there is change, corporate takeovers, and magic but they are contextual and not as extreme and juxtaposed as I initially thought they would be.

Time to take time out.