Hello, I’m still here, only I have been very busy with this novel thing. Those of you reading this through a feed reader (well, actually the one of you reading this through a feed reader) might not have noticed, but I have a little button in my sidebar with “NaNoWriMo participant” and my word count on it. As of yesterday evening I have written 20,505 words. So I’m on track though I had wanted to be a little ahead. Well, my son had another round of barfing, sniffling, feverish, almost better, and then ear infection sickness…
I’m quite confident that I will be one of the winners of NaNoWriMo. That’s somebody who has reached a word count of 50,000 words by the end of the month. But I didn’t manage to do this without disturbing my “normal life” after all. So I’m very glad that I told my husband. He was very still at first, and so I hastened to say, “If it interferes with our life, I’ll quit. I’ll do my normal housework, child care and errand duty. The time for this has to come out of TV and blog reading time.” Which it has. Mostly. And he only scolded me twice for doing it. So far.
Mary Tsao has given her readers a synopsis of her plot. I think that that’s a very good idea, so here’s my story:
I’m writing about a 104-year-old psychic woman married to an alien living on a star ship. Since it has aliens and space ships in it, I declared it to be science fiction. Though there is no science in it. The biggest part is a journal written by this woman to regain her sense of self. So far she has written about her youth, how she became interested in meditation, her first marriage, her six children, everyday stuff. For the sake of the word count this reads like my blog only longer and – more boring. Since she hasn’t had the time to tell anyone where she was going, she’s considered missing and there are two police-officers looking for her. Reluctantly. In the course of the last few days her great-granddaughter has arrived on the scene. She’ll probably be transported to the space ship too…
I really don’t know what will be happening. The only thing I knew in advance was that this woman (her name is Melissa by the way) would end up on that space ship. I really don’t know why or what will be happening then. With a plot like this you’d think this might be really interesting, but it isn’t. Telepathy, aliens, space ships… But I still feel like I have no plot. This is partly due to the fact that the whole thing is told through journals and dialogue. I didn’t plan it that way. Well, not much, I knew there would be journaling. I figured I’ d stick to what I write best… The dialogue was a surprise. I had always thought that I couldn’t write dialogue at all. As of now the people in my “novel” sound a lot like me, but they don’t sound all alike. Oh, and there are some paragraphs of “stream of consciousness”-writing where you can hear the alien think. That’s very easy to write when you’ve run out of ideas.
I told some of my students about NaNoWriMo. One dismissed it obviously as one of my spleens. The other one couldn’t believe it: Why are you doing this? Are there prices? Why don’t you cheat? They should be reading all the novels. What? Nobody is even reading the novels? So why do you do this? May I read your novel? It sounds really interesting. Well, I’m not sure. Nobody will read it in the state that it is now. It’s terrible. And boring, as I already mentioned. And I don’t think I’ll be working on it again after November. We’ll see.
So obviously I couldn’t quite make it clear to my student. But then, as much as I like exercising, I wouldn’t spend my days like him, training for three to four hours each day only to be fit for playing tennis for as long as I possibly could.
I’ve been quite proud of myself for having such a steady output. But every time that I congratulate myself like, “Yeah. I’ve done it! 20k!” I go to the German NaNoWriMo forum and find a thread like “I have reached 50k”. Argh. Interestingly my two writing buddies are nowhere near that word count more like 4,000 and 11,000. I really hope that they will speed up soon.
I’m spending the whole day procrastinating about the writing and then I spend my whole evenings typing as fast as I can. I write about everything, regardless of its importance to the story. This is not about quality. this is about the word count. Every day I have to force myself to sit down and write – and when I’m finished I find that I actually enjoy it. But I’m never looking forward to it.
And I’m already planning to participate again next year. (Which I didn’t tell my husband yet.)
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