Day 3 of NaNoWriMo is waning but my energy to keep writing hasn’t and that feeling has been present each day so far — sort of. And I’m ahead of myself, so allow me an explanation: I think this will be an important place to think about what I’m learning about myself and writing throughout this process and not so much a place to catch anyone up on exactly what I’m writing.
I feel good about this decision, but I also feel a bit sheepish and wondering if anyone is thinking along the lines of if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound? In other words, if I don’t share what I’m writing, am I really writing? Am I just writing words? Does it matter?
You’ll have to trust me. I’m writing. I’m writing words in sentences I’d love to rearrange as I write them, but am resisting that old urge to get things just right. I don’t have a plot, but as I write, one is emerging, which is no surprise. In fact so much is emerging I’ve felt the beginnings of holy crap what are you going to do with that? begin to surface before I calmly fill out a note card with the idea to let it sit alongside all of the other ideas.
I know this isn’t making sense because I haven’t explained my self well enough, and because I’m still learning to use aspects of Scrivener, I’d be challenged to make more sense of it all.
For what it’s worth, here’s the scoop just so I can get it out of the way.
There’s this woman. She was supposed to be 40 something for all kinds of good reasons I can think of, and she turned on me, surprising me with her need to be 35 instead. And before I knew it, she was 29. I gave in. I just didn’t feel like forcing it all and no, it’s not because I have some desire to be 29 again. She wanted to be 29.
She’s not a carefree spirit. She’s never been married, her relationships with men are few and far between, she’s a drone to her job, lives in her grandparents’ house… get the picture? I’m not giving her a lot of credit here, but I have to make sure you wonder about something. And because I’m not a big fan of heavy, dark fiction, please know, this isn’t going in that direction no matter how huge the list of accolades for that type of writing goes. And yes, I was tempted. I still may be tempted, but not yet.
I just need to make sure I have something solid to work with by December 1st when I upload my working draft. It doesn’t go anywhere — I just get bonafide credit for writing the 50,000 words, which to me at this point are inconsequential. But we know that if I don’t keep my ass in the seat (or in my case, on the big grey ball) then those words won’t make it to the screen and I’ll not be able to get beyond where I am now: without a reason to write about anything other than food. And I can’t do that any more or I’ll go mad. Well it sounds more dramatic than it really is, but still.
Back to my book.
Imagine current day Los Angeles, old neighborhoods, restaurant industry, with back story spanning time from WWI England to the dawn of the movie business back in the late 20s. There are four more big characters in this and they’re messing with me as I write. I struggle to not take the story to away to focus on them instead of that 29 year old woman. I realize that this is an excellent exercise for me. Distractions to avoid — even inside my writing — and staying focused while paying attention to possibilities. It’s fun, actually. Too bad it doesn’t burn calories.
Expect to learn about the odd factoid that I dig up on my Google excursions when I need to know if something makes sense. As much as I truly am trying to embrace the idea of just writing, I have too much common sense to ignore that a completely ridiculous statement can cause me a lot of problems I’ll spend time trying to fix later. And after all these years, I can’t ignore common sense.
Other than all of that, what I guess I’m most in awe of is that when I begin to write, it truly does just come easily if I don’t fuss over anything. I choose a card and just write. Occasionally, I realize things are going in a different direction than I expected, I stop and think about it, but not too much. Then keep writing.
Check back with me about a week from now. You can remind me I said it was fun.