Day Six of NaNoWriMo and I’ve gotten a few emails/messages asking about my word count on the NaNoWriMo site. It was registering as zero up until the other day.
I know I can be slow and/or procrastinator, but I have written more than zero days!
Seems I was entering my word count incorrectly somehow. That word count thing on the website is counterintuitive and/or broken. At any rate, I’ve adjusted my total word count to date which as of Monday morning was 4,455 words — which sucks for 5 days of writing.
But to be fair, I’ve only written two of those five days.
You see, I hit a stumbling block when my son got sick last Thursday, which meant I needed to go to bed early instead of working through the night, and then wake up in the morning (WHAT?!) to watch him. So I didn’t get my full word count in on Thursday.
Then the rest of us got sick.
And I was pretty much watching him/feeling like shit for the past few days.
But I’m back in the saddle today and writing, and picking up right where I left off. Still feeling crappy, but hey, there’s people out there feeling worse than me or have more obligations than me that still manage to get words in, so no excuses!
Besides, it wouldn’t be the NaNoWriMo challenge if there wasn’t some element of CHALLENGE involved.
It’s all too easy to let real world distractions derail us.
Whether it be you getting sick, family getting sick, work obligations, feeling down in the dumps or down on your writing or super anxious, or just having unforeseen interruptions, there’s almost ALWAYS something that seems to get in the way …
… if you let it.
And, believe me, I let stuff get in the way a lot!
But the secret to actually finishing a book (something that took me decades to get to), is to not let the little things derail you.
Find a way to catch up and get back in the rhythm (side note and confession: even in my forties, I STILL need spell check to tell me how to spell rhythm.)
So, yes, I’m back at it. And I’ll update my word count when I’m done writing for the night, but I still anticipate finishing the book I’m working on this month.
As for how I’m feeling about the story, I’m … not sure.
Some of the character work early on is making me uncomfortable. I’m writing about a man who cheats on his wife, and that’s damned difficult to do while still also making the character sympathetic.
Hell, I’m not sure if I can make him sympathetic.
And early on, the character of the wife comes off a bit bitchier than she is, and I worry that both characters will turn readers off before the characters natures are more fully developed/revealed.
I think this is a case of me questioning readers’ patience.
I was recently reading some reviews of Yesterday’s Gone Season Two, which ends on some VERY grim notes for several characters, with a big fat TO BE CONTINUED … at the most shocking moment.
I was surprised by a few recent reviews from people who actually gave up on the series after that. They didn’t even stick around to the third book to find out if the people you think died might have lived (spoiler: some did live).
Granted, it’s just a few readers, not the majority, but still…
I’m surprised that readers weren’t more patient. It is a cliffhanger, after all, and cliffhangers routinely tease you. That’s what I love about them!
The impatience makes me question how long I can stretch out certain elements/ plot points before I lose some readers. And is it a fault with my storytelling or is it the nature of less patient readers?
If the former, I need to learn to pace things better. If the latter, then I need to decide if I stick to the story as I feel it should be and not worry about the few who are impatient. As a writer, you can’t second guess your story too much before it weakens your story and you as a storyteller.
So, I’m trying to find some balance here as I write this story.
Usually, this sort of thing would derail me until I figure it out. I’d stop everything and try to work out a fix. But, with this 30 day deadline for NaNoWriMo, I can’t afford that luxury.
I need to plow forward and assume that either me or Sean will manage to work out any issues in the editing round(s).
So, if you’ve read this far, you’ll see two areas where NaNoWriMo is helping hold my feet to the fire. I’m not allowing a brief illness or schedule changes to set me back too much, and I’m not allowing doubts about the story to, either.
I’ll update you on Wednesday with a new word count and some thoughts which might inspire you for NaNoWriMo.
Note: You may notice that the featured art in today’s post has NOTHING to do with the post itself. Well, I like to have art of some sort with each blog post. I’d prefer to draw it all myself, but time being what it is, that’s not usually possible.
So I’ve decided to showcase some Deviant Art artists whose work I like in posts where I don’t have anything else that goes with a post. And this piece, Fallen Titan, looks like something out of an open world video game. I love exploring big open world games to see what kind of landscapes that the game developer/artists have come up with. Plus, I’ve been on a bit of a thing lately where I really want to write something post-apocalyptic or fantasy. I’m building two worlds in StoryShop in advance of being able to write in those worlds maybe next year, and art like this inspires me.
Fallen Titan used with Creative Commons license. Original art here: https://josheiten.deviantart.com/art/Fallen-Titan-601220926