So, I took part in my first NaNoWriMo in 2005, and crossed the 50K word line by a hair’s breadth just prior to the stroke of midnight, but in terms of storyline, barely squeaked past the first chapter -- I just sorta picked the resolution of a mid-plot conflict and chose that to be the point where I stuck "the end." And ever since then, my goal has been to:
Get the number of words written and actually get the entire plot written.
And that accomplishment still alludes me.
This year was actually a third attempt at the same story. And I still didn’t actually get to writing the final scene... Though I did get about 7/8th of the story written? or maybe 3/4ths?
And even that word count win is kinda-sorta, because maybe half to three quarters of what’s on the page is either: the same scene written multiple times (with different wording/p.o.v./voice), rambling as an author about what I want the scene to accomplish, rather than writing the actual scene, or multiple versions of author ramblings.
On the other other hand: a) after ten years of having this story in my head, I am still not sick of it, and want it to be a thing (and I vow that I will revise), and b) at least, even if I didn’t write the final scenes, I at made a list of them, so I have them on record.
And at least I made it past chapter two (yay?)
I’ve learned two things about myself, in the process, the first is neuro-cognitive, and the second is ... what’s the word?... philosophical? Or political?
First: This year, for the first time, I mostly wrote using the offline version of “Write or Die,” which keeps track of your typing speed, odometer style, and also requires you to set a timer for writing. Those two features together revealed that when I’m just writing words in the abstract (such as those bits I mentioned above, where I’m describing what I want a scene to accomplish) I can easily write 25 words per minute. But when I’m writing an actual scene, and visualizing it through my P.O.V character’s eyes, I struggle to reach half that speed. And, further, when I’m writing in a rambling way, I can keep going for 40 minutes without getting tired, but writing in-character wears me out at around 20 minutes -- and that’s even when I have the scene detailed clearly in my head, and I’ve been “rehearsing” it for days.
Who needs an fMRI machine to tell you that visualization and language production take place in different regions of the brain, and compete for resources?
:::Brain go FLOP!:::
Second: while "gentle fiction" may be my favorite thing to read, it turns out that writing it? Not so much. I mean, I love the gentle resolution, but in process of the getting there, my mind is drawn to the ugly guts of cruelty like a moth to the flame. Like opening up an alarm clock, scattering the gears and springs across the table, and then, sitting down and examining each gear in turn, admiring how the light glints off each cog... And that kinda makes me uncomfortable?
I tell myself it's 'cause I feel the need to plant flags all over evil, in order to make sure that no one can ignore it, ...but I dunno...
Can you kink shame yourself? Can you fiction kink shame yourself?
Final word count: 51,864 (by NaNoWriMo's counter). Probable word count after I revise it will probably be half that, but it could be double -- depends on whether "Backstory" stays in the back, or moves to center stage.