no, this is not about my hiatus from this blog. i mean, i guess it could be. but i feel like hiatuses- hiatusi?- are deliberate things. and it’s a perfect blend of pure laziness and lack of inspiration that keeps me from updating this blog.
no, i’m talking about my hiatus from Whedonopolis. instead of doing anything editorly, i was busy writing 50K words of a new novel for NaNoWriMo.
i’m sure i babbled on about my plans for this NaNo sometime in October, since this is unintentionally a writing blog, but i didn’t realize how much time i spend working on W stuff until i wasn’t working on W stuff. i feel kind of overwhelmed picking it back up again. i’m like, did i seriously do all this stuff all the time? how did i have time to do anything? but then, that might explain why i never left my house except to go to work.
anyway, enough bitching. i didn’t come here to bitch, and i’m sure you didn’t come here to listen to me bitch. what i did come here to talk about is the fact that i still have to write at least 30K more words before my story is finished. i keep feeling like that’s too long, but then i remind myself that i’m writing an alt-universe urban fantasy, and that most fantasy novels stretch past 100K, so tying it up around 80K will make it rather curt.
length qualms aside, i’m still quite confident about my story. which is extremely rare for me by the time i’m wading in the great swampy middle. usually i’m pretty disheartened and feeling like i should save the world from the incredible suck from ever being created and stop writing. somehow, i have yet to actually stop writing during this slog through utter despair, but then i also don’t kill myself when i feel suicidal. so, i’m probably some kind of neurotic glutton for punishment. or i stubbornly ignore my instincts- which in both cases ends up being a good thing? so, yay? anywho, i digress. point is, i’m in the middle, yet i’m still feeling pretty good about my story. i still know where i’m going. i’m even pretty confident about how i’m gonna get there. so this is new and different!
also, this was a weird NaNo for me. for the past two years, i’ve built up a two or three day lead and could take off Thanksgiving comfortably without having to worry about falling behind. that WAS NOT the case this year. i struggled to keep up the WHOLE TIME! i felt EVERY WORD this year. eking each one out was like pulling teeth. except without the whole painful tooth pulling or mouth numbing. and without giant pliers or that awful creaking, cracking sound of expanding bone and yanking teeth. and without someone’s latex-clad hands in your mouth or that weird vacuum tube sucking out your spit. okay, it was pretty much nothing like pulling teeth. but it was HARD! even scenes i liked- that i was enjoying on the whole- were hard to lay out one paragraph at a time. …that makes it sound like there are scenes that i don’t enjoy. which, fyi, is a complete waste of time. if you’re writing a scene even you don’t enjoy, you can’t expect that a reader will enjoy it.
ah! did you hear it? the little ding? do you see the light bulb? we’ve come upon this post’s epiphany. this NaNo, i learned in practice something i already knew intellectually. i should be enjoying what i write. technically, i always like what i’m writing because i like the story as a whole, but i’m not always enjoying a particular paragraph or chapter. this is the first time i’ve been writing scenes and wondered if i’m starting to ramble too long in dialogue because i’m just having fun. wondering if i should shut my characters up, buckle down and get them back moving along the all-important plot. i’ve seen this in writing advice, and it makes sense, but- well- there’s reading about how to ride a bike, and there’s getting on an actual bike. you can know how to it works technically, but you’ll never know how to ride it till you climb on the actual apparatus.
either way, this insight is going to make editing easier. all those scenes that weren’t fun to write can be cut. and if they’re absolutely necessary, then i should rewrite them in a way that i enjoy. (Theta, i’m looking at you.)
anyway, it’s all good and well to talk about writing, but it’s about time i got down to the actual business of filling up that dreadful blank page. (at the beginning of a chapter right now.) so, i’m off to finish this novel. and then i’ll let my aching, swollen fingertips rest* as i turn my focus back onto editing the two novels i already have. well, by then it will be three, won’t it?
*my fingertips are not actually swollen, nor do they hurt. i do, however, suffer from an affection for melodramatics.