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NaNoWriMo – 21 Oct 2009 (T-10 days) 21 October 2009

Posted by The Inimitable M in NaNoWriMo 2009.
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Stall tactics.

Good lord, I haven’t even started, and already I’m finding things to do that don’t include working toward the NaNoWriMo goal.  This surprises me, because I would have figured that I’d have the most fun putting this together, developing the characters, and doing location descriptions.

I cleaned the kitchen, took the trash out to the rubbish bin, and seriously considered mopping and polishing all the hardwood floors.

Stop it, Maggie.  Men’s Cologne is calling you.  Stop putting your hands over your ears!

My friend Alegra posted something the other day about eating elephants, and I’ve really thought about using/abusing that philosophy with this.  I even went so far as to print out the graphic of an elephant with a big bite out of it and putting it on the office wall.  This makes sense for the work in the office, but the puzzle analogy I used last night really fits this project better.

The artist in me now wants to create a puzzle and put the pieces together as we go.  Picking a picture to mash about wasn’t going to be easy, or so I thought.  I decided to take the NaNoWriMo logo for 2009 and cut it up.  Yeah?  Yeah.  Thirty pieces.  One for each day of the month.

I’m adding a caveat to the pieces.  I have to have met the word count for that particular day.  NaNoWriMo says 1,667 x 30 = 50,000(ish). It’s actually 50,010, but once you hit 50,000, the rest is pure cream. 

All that aside, I essentially have only 20 effective writing days because of other things going on.  My count for each of those writing days, then, has to be at least 2,500. 

BUT

No pieces until the previous days’ counts have been reached, and you can’t put up a day’s puzzle piece until that day has been reached.  If I’m behind 1,500 that day, then that day doesn’t go up.  If I’m 2,500 ahead, I don’t put up the next day’s.

I am so going to hate myself by the time I am done, but you know what?  I am a bonafide analytical Aspie geek.

What do you mean no one cares?

Last night I started identifying characters.  In the hierarchy, it’s one primary, one secondary, and then it spreads out from there.  Does this story require narration?  More specifically, does it need a separate neutral narrator?  Do I need a different colour of sticky notes for this type of development?

I sticky-noted that thought.  Off to the side.  Black ink.  (Everything else is in blue ink.)

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley

I received a call from Lael shortly after 10.  Our chat brought us around to something that happened in 1999 that I had thought at the time would make such a beautiful story.  He convinced me to go that route.  In fact, he demanded it.  I will admit that one of the reasons I’m willing to make such an abrupt change is because it will be easier to do. 

I looked at the wall – at the 250+ sticky notes – most in blue ink, quite a few in black.  (The bruising reference is not lost on me.)  Do I take them down or do I leave them?  I looked at the empty wall opposite.  Yep, new wall, new idea, more sticky notes, more black and blue ink!

You know what’s funny, though, is that the title Men’s Cologne works for this one, too.

Got an email this morning from one of my writers looking for edits.

I know that time frames and adjustments to each and every title that goes out the door are lost on most writers.  They’re anxious and excited.  I don’t blame them for feeling this way, but the behaviour of the writers is factored into every project we undertake.  It’s one thing to have a good title.  It’s quite another to have to deal with a writer who feels the need to micromanage and/or needs excessive handholding.  If their poor behaviour outweighs the value of the title, we let it go.  I believe that philosophy still works today.  It’s not as if one of us hired the other.  It’s never just “doing a book”.  It’s always a relationship.  Publishing should be an enjoyable walk for both the publisher and the writer.  If it isn’t balanced, it can’t be good.

I think I’m really going to have to explain the concept of dog years to this writer.  It goes like this:  If in your mind you think your editor/publisher should do something by x date or within x time period, recalculate it in dog years.  You’ll be surprised how relaxed you become after that. 

I wonder if it will get to the point somewhere along the line that it will all blur together – work and NaNoWriMo?

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Comments»

1. Origami Tsunami - 21 October 2009

I think if I ever finish one, I’ll be glad to put it on someone else’s desk and let them have at it! *snicker*

It’s SO FUNNY to read about you getting organized to write. You do it entirely differently than I do, of course- but everything else is the same. You make me smile!

theinimitablem1 - 21 October 2009

You know, I never did this for the articles I used to write. I had notes and I threw caution to the wind. This process, as my brain is handling it, just begs for more organisation. It’s fun, though, because I’m using a trick I learned at UNMC when we were organising web pages for the different departments. It’s working, so far, and I’m sticking to my black-and-blue stickies!

2. katsuragi - 21 October 2009

i think i know what i’m going to write about. i think. notebook’s being used. it’s all a jumble now but.. it’s a start, right? haha!

have a great day, Ms. Maggie! 🙂

theinimitablem1 - 21 October 2009

My biggest fear in using a notebook for this is that jumble thing. It works like lists for me. I go through alot of paper just straightening out my list for the shops. This way, with the stickies, I can move, shift, create little sections I can call “chapters”, identify character moves, etc. much quicker.

I’m glad you have a theme for your novel! FABULOUS!


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