Camp Nanowrimo 2016: fuck it

Profanity-ban lifted. Boom. Done.

I know what I’m doing for the rest of Camp Nano: finishing my motherfucking shitty YA werewolf novel.

Because goddammit, I like that novel. I liked writing it; I like the fact that I wrote so much of it, but I hate the fact that I couldn’t come up with an interesting way to include the ideas and storytelling elements that I felt I needed to – until a couple of days ago, when a strategy began to germinate in some forgotten crevasse of my brain-crags.

That strategy was the one I tried to apply to my shitty YA witch novel (the one I have, for the time being, given up on): having exposition done while action was happening. But not like how Game of Thrones has “sexposition”; this action would actually be stuff moving the plot forward and serve as a kind of exposition in its own right, showing how the world works and whatnot.

The first obstacle is my second chapter. I have a few versions of this written – none of them finished – and the thing is that all of them involve the supporting characters literally sitting down and explaining things to the main character, who is also sitting down. In one of these chapters he moves around a bit, so that’s the one I’ll be aiming to build on. My reasoning behind this?

They should be moving the whole time.

Well, maybe not the whole time, but you get the idea. And it’s not like there’s anything objectively wrong with having a sit-down with your characters to convey information, but it’s better if it makes sense, and in my story it doesn’t.

But more importantly it’s not enjoyable to write, and that’s the thing I’m concerned with, because at the end of the day I really am only writing this for me, because I am the only person I can count on to even enjoy anything that I write. And even then …

Well, in any case, I’m giving myself a 20k word-count limit. I doubt I’ll need that much to finish this novel, but it is around about what I estimated I would need the last time I was working on it. I currently have just over 51k words written, so this should clock in at just over 71k once I’m done. Which is … a tiny bit under 3k words per day, including today. As in when I wake up again today, because it’s almost 2am right now. I can do that.

It might mean I have to juggle some events in the timeline I’ve established with the chapters currently written, but I can also just save that for revision – as I remembered tonight while poring over my older posts for motivation and insight, I remembered that one of the most fantastic things about revision was how powerful it makes you feel to just uproot whole chunks of story out of one location and plant them somewhere new, changing the entire flow and logic of the story. I think this book will definitely stand to benefit from some of that, regardless of if I do my juggling act now or wait until revision time.

Regardless, that’s my plan. I like it. It’s a good plan. It means I get to finish a book in under 12 months from the point of starting it, for one thing, which I don’t think I’ve ever done. I might even have enough time and energy to revise it in however much time is left after that and still beat the 12-month timer. But first, to write some exposition and world-building action. Action should never detract from the story anyway, just like exposition; it should be part of the storytelling. If having your characters sit down makes sense for the story, rather than because it seems more “realistic” (which, to be fair, may be what makes sense for the story) – which is the problem I’ve been having – then go ahead. But if it makes more sense for something else to happen for the good of the story, then do that. Always go where the story wants to take you. The worst that can happen is that you’ll have to rewrite, and you’ll have to do that anyway.

All right. Feeling a little more optimistic right now. I think one of the many problems with the witch novel was that I was trying to make it work the same way as this werewolf novel, and that was a mistake. This witch novel needs a little bit more deliberation, and that’s fine. I’m looking forward to tackling that one day.

But for now, time to break the sound-barrier. Gotta write fast.

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