Monday, October 25, 2010

Writing Update

So my writing has been going infinitesimally better since my semi-freakout about my lack of motivation last month.  I started the Steeplechase, and I've pretty much just made it up as I go along.  I found another link by a student at Columbia College about the behemoth and with both in mind, this is what I've come up with: twelve installments of approximately two pages each (with 1.5 times spacing).  Each moves forward from the scene before with some vital element changing.  It may be a bit shorter than what is intended for this assignment, but I kind of like the succintness.

So far, I've written about two and a half installments.  I'm using it to explore the relationship between Lori, the main character from my short story collection, and Anna, her college lover that she abandoned in favor of a more traditional (and more miserable) marriage.  Having always told the story in the third person from Lori's perspective, I have experiemented with Anna both old and young, and now Lori in the first person.  Oh, have I mentioned that I abhor the first person?  No?  To be brief, it generally feels unnatural and forces me to ask too many questions, which distracts me from whatever I'm reading or writing (the obvious exception to this is when it's meant to be in an epistolary form, in which case all my questions are answered).  In general, it's going better than I thought it would.  It's been helpful to understand Anna better, which allows me to make her a fuller character.  She's always been something of an ideal for me, meaning a stereotype, so it's nice to make her into a real person with flaws and whatnot.  I think that next I will be telling the story from an outsider's perspective and after that… who knows?

But after this week I'll be taking a break from all that.  Why, you ask?  It's because I've done it.  I've taken the plunge.  I've signed up for the behemoth - NaNoWriMo.  For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) is not exactly a competition but more of a challenge where participants attempt to write a 175-page, 50,000-word novel during the month of November.  I'm peeing my pants just thinking about it.  It's intimidating and a really great way to get me to have a breakdown on at least 15 days out of the upcoming 30-day month, but also sounds like an excellent way to get my ass moving and write something.  A novel in particular.  I tend towards short stories though I've always really wanted to write a novel, and hopefully this will make it happen.  I even have an idea and everything.  PLUS, there's apparently going to be a little widget that I can put on here that will show updates of my word count so that whenever I see it I can feel bad for myself and go make a soy chai latte and get cracking.  Or crying.  One of the two.

At the risk of sounding like a psycho, I'm so excited.  And off to buy some kleenex.

Incidentally, I had to choose not to participate in Vegan MoFo (or Vegan Month of Food) which I've been looking forward to doing since last year.  Vegan MoFo is an event similar to NaNoWriMo (and apparently inspired by it) in which a whole bunch of bloggers try to write about vegan food for the entire month of October November (shooting for about twenty posts).  Usually it takes place in October, which means that I could have done both, but this year it was changed to November which means that even while being employed only part-time, attempting it would have been sure to short-wire my brain.  I chose NaNoWriMo because:
a) I don't actually create recipes which means you would have been stuck looking at pictures of a month's worth of my meals with occasional links to the recipes,
b) I've always wanted to write a novel, and
c) oh yeah, I'm not actually a vegan (though I always usually eat like one at home).

So yeah, NaNoWriMo it is.  Though I can promise at least one vegan posting in the upcoming month in the form of a vegan Harry Potter dinner party (yes I know I'm the biggest loser in the world but hey, at least it appeals to both aspects of my blog!).  And feel free to yell at me via comments if my word count seems to be falling behind.  I need all the motivation I can get.

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