Monday, November 30, 2009

Just When You Think It's Not Going to Happen...

This time last week, I was pretty sure I was throwing in the towel on NaNo this time around. I had far too much ground to make up, and far to much other stuff to do...and far too many unexpected real-life twists were preventing me from maintaining my normal schedule. Friday I was scheduled for a gallery sit at our FASM gallery in the Milton Mall, where I'm taking part in a show this month. If I was going to have a shot at getting to that 50K, I needed Friday's four hour stint at the gallery to be productive! We weren't talking the 1,667 words a day needed to maintain a steady pace throughout the month, I needed to put out 5,000 words a day to make it there on time.

Lucky for me...I hit my stride. I kind of had to throw my MC into a bit of trouble, and that revived the story enough to let me really roll. And it's not polished, nowhere near perfect, but last night I was close enough to actually making the total ahead of schedule, that I pushed and wasn't going to be happy unless I made it. It wasn't as late a night as the one before, when I was up for the same reason - trying to get those words down as fast as I could! So sometime after midnight last night, I plugged my copy into the word verifier on NaNo, and finally...FINALLY! got the fireworks. Okay, so they're not like the fireworks we saw in Dubai. In fact, they're pretty static as far as fireworks go. But considering I thought I was a goner, to be done, and done *early*, that felt good.

And I like this story better than last year's. This one has more potential. It's somewhere in between the LGN and last year's effort when it comes to storyline. Not quite a rags to riches horse racing plot, but something like that. It might merit some actual attention to see if I've got something there. And while I was sort of hoping it would fit the YA genre, I'm not sure it worked out that way.

The one thing I did with this story was write in a tense I absolutely never thought I'd write in. I've never been a fan of first person present - maybe there's another name for it, but I hope you know what I mean:

“Why don’t you just try him with your other mare here? You never know. She’s got lots of milk, and she’s pretty laid back, isn’t she?” Ben, our vet, says.

Dad nods, slowly, but I can tell he’s skeptical. It’s a little too much like Disney. He glances at me, and I shrug.

“Kinda don’t have anything to lose,” I say. Stranger things have happened. Like having two foals to deal with in the first place.

I think I maybe ended up enjoying it. It's kind of how I tell my informal stories, like if I was relating something that happened out in the barn. And now, of course, everything I write (such as this blog post) sounds a lot like that!

Who knows, maybe I'll go back to the beginning and start reading and hate the whole thing. Or maybe there's hope. We'll see!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Almost on Track

I've had a kind of up-and-down first week with this NaNo thing. With everything else that's going on right now - three art shows starting up, a horse to ride, commissions to do, on top of my usual responsibilities - I fell behind pretty quickly on my word count. Then on Friday this cold virus that I'd somehow been able to avoid finally caught up with me. The interesting this is, all I seem to be able to manage with the cold is - well, the horses of course, because I have no choice - then writing. I'm not quite caught up, but I'm pretty close, and hope today I will get there. I'm envisioning a Zenyatta-like run here: a bit of a poor start, hanging back, watching the others race ahead, then finally starting to move up, heroically weaving through traffic, and then hitting with a powerful turn-of-foot mid-stretch to gallop on by...hmm, nice analogy, don't you think?

I'm certainly at the point in this novel WIP that I have to get things moving. I've laid a foundation of sorts, spent lots of time in the MCs head, and now I need to pick it up a bit. It's the point when I realize, hey, 50,000 words isn't a lot...especially for someone like me who would really prefer to write an epic! I'm not sure it will ever be the kind of novel anyone else will want to read, and seeing as there are no vampires or zombies or wizards, probably not destined to be popular YA fare...but I'm having fun all the same. I think I'm indulging the inner wise-cracking teenager in me...the one that never really went away!