Having A Good Time

It’s a day short for my weekly NaNoWriMo update, but you’ll forgive me if I am a skoosh excited.

Why? Cause I’m having fun!

(And so does this little guy. Keeping up with the local NaNo mascot theme!)

You heard the owl. GIGGLE!
That might be a painful tickle in retrospect.

For the first time in four years, I am not only on track with NaNoWriMo, I am also ahead. Two days ahead, though that will only hold true once I get my minimum words down today. Because I’ve done so well on my day’s off, if I slack a little today I’m not going to beat myself up about it. There is NaNoWriMo write-in today at the old Underground Writers’ haunt, so there will be cheese (muchly missed) and some new words. The goal has been to get ahead so that when I am in Toronto the pressure will be off and I can relax and enjoy my trip.

(Granted, it’s sort of a working trip, as I will be attending SFContario, a brand-spanking new literary convention. As much as I am going to learn, I’m also going to have a good time. See new faces, new places. Stretch, grow, rejuvenate. And stuff myself with local sushi and New York-style pizza. Yanno, the basics.)

I guess the real kernel of this entry is that I feel good. Feel confident. Kicking the wordage into high gear with NaNoWriMo has kicked my brain into high gear. I’m living and breathing the story right now, up to my neck in it. All of the pieces — the research, the character sketches, the mind maps, the dreaming — have fused into place, the joints still blazing red. It’s hot, it’s still smoking. I wake up happy and ready to get to the page.

James Scott Bell, a prolific writer with bang-on advice, wrote in his book The Art of War for Writers that you should write hot and edit cool. Get the first draft out of you, get it down on the page as quick as you comfortably can, until you enter the “zone” of intense production. When you edit, be cold, be precise, take your time. He likened it to bomb disposal.

I have something to prove this year. I’ll be damned if I lose NaNoWriMo again. There is just one more big hurdle up ahead — my ending, which looms in the background, unfocused, unfixed. Everything Will Go To Hell (TM) for my characters, that much is certain, but the hows and whys and whoms are still up in the air. But I’m at the point in the story where it is starting to tell me it’s secrets, showing me the connections I subconsciously laid down that now make sense and inform the rest. I’m trusting the process and so far, it’s working.

So, I’m happy, as represented by the above ridiculously happy owl. (Careful, tho’. Some sharp talons on that happy little fella!

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