Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I play NaNoWriMo on hardmode. One of the biggest things they stress is to let yourself go crazy and not worry about little things like spelling errors and clunky sentences. Well, that was good for me in the early years, when getting three thousand words in one month was an accomplishment and I thought that description was something that happened to other people, but these days I'm no longer a casual, to continue with the gamer theme. I play NaNoWriMo on hardmode, and that means I correct spelling errors as soon as I see the little red squiggly line, and I'll rewrite sentences if I can think of a better way to phrase something at that moment. I don't compulsively edit my work on a large scale, and I have a healthy enough sense of what can wait and what can't, but these days I take some pride in my writing, enough that I don't care to be sloppy just for the sake of sloppiness. I also research without guilt. If I want to know the correct form of address for the eldest son of a duke, I will browse the internet until I find out, never mind how long it takes, even if I happen to be in the middle of a word war.

But of course I wouldn't humble-brag about my hardmode tendencies if it were just for those little foibles. Oh, no, when I say hardmode, I do mean it. Four days ago I took 8000+ words, scrapped them, and began again from scratch, simply because my story at the time wasn't holding my interest. And that, I firmly feel, is a much worse problem than any sort of writer's block. If you're blocked and angry because of it, then you have emotion towards your story. You want to finish it, and whatever's keeping you from doing so angers you because of the depth of your connection with the narrative. But a lack of interest... That's killer. If the author isn't interested, how could a reader ever be? I had a writer's block, I guess, but the real problem was the lack of any motivation to work through it. I wasn't cudgeling my brain to figure out what happened next because I didn't care about what happened next. The perils of writing with an outline.

So now, after four days of writing I'm back to pretty much where I was after ten. I switched to the new idea midway through a day and thus only wrote one thousand then, but these past three days have seen 2.5k apiece. I will need to see about 2.5k a day every day from now on, but I'm not worried. I like my new story much better. I get to use a character concept I've been itching to take for a spin for a while now, the setting is much smaller in scale, and I'm running two different plots concurrently, romance and adventure, which satisfies my main tastes. And with that, I return to my novel, getting closer to victory one word at a time.

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