Ain’t No Redemption, Journal Entry Seven – NaNo Day 14

Total Word Count: 24,697

Well, it’s day 14 of NaNoWriMo, and I’m still on pace to finish 50K words by the end of the month. Yay! I will admit that my word-count could be higher, but while I’m not doing anything silly like editing as I write (ok, maybe in a spot or two), I still find myself taking extra care with what I put down on the page. The NaNo site’s daily updates made mention of trying some ‘stream of thought’ writing, to help with the get more words out. Well, to tell the truth, I generally despise stream of thought writing (Skinny Puppy’s The Process being the stand-out exception). I understand where they’re coming from, but, I don’t feel that I could be satisfied with that.

I am not a naturally quick writer – and not just because of my sub-par typing skills. When I write, one of the things that I try to keep in focus is the flow of the narrative. As I’m writing, I’m asking; ‘How does this passage affect the reader?’ ‘What sort of thoughts or feelings will this section conjure when read?’ ‘Does this sentence speak to the character’s experience or would it be better to break it up?’

Now, of course, I won’t let myself spend too much time fretting over this during the first draft. Still, I need the voice of the narrative to come through, even if it is a hint that I can use during revisions to complete the feel – such as an adverb in place of better verb for the time being. Despite all that, I am pleased that I’m managing to keep up with this crazy NaNoWriMo thang.

On the subject of word counts; I was speaking with a fellow author (Check out the Facebook Page for his upcoming novel, The Need) about word counts, and more or less, not fretting too much about them. And, a large part of my agrees – you can’t rush something good, it must be coaxed out and all that. But, NaNoWriMo is called a challenge for a reason, and I believe its in accepting challenges that we (writers or otherwise) improve.

As for the actually story, well, as usual I’ve found myself diverging from my outline. Not so much that I’m going in completely different directions, but instead, that I’m adding to it. A character, who was originally to be glimpsed in the background, is no longer sitting on the sidelines. She’s meant to be the catalyst for the Antagonists grand scheme, so I feel that giving her an actual voice will add depth to the overall story – and also provide me with the opportunity to play with the damsel in distress trope (She’s stuck where she is, but ready to fight for her life). On top of that, while writing the first six chapters, inspiration sparked, and I understood that one of the characters that I’m about to introduce in the next chapter needed a quick overhaul. Again, for the richness of the story.

And lastly, I must confess that I feel like I should apologize to Bates, my main character – six chapters in and I’ve treated him sorely: he’s been knifed, lost most of one ear, and savaged by the claws of a creature of wind and dust. I left him passing out in the desert, dragging his partner Jairo across the wasteland. I guess, if we want to get Biblical, I’m giving him the Job treatment.

And now I must go, Back to the Fiction!

-Marsh

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