The Pickled Mushroom

6 Days into the Madness – and loving it! | November 6, 2009

Why, hello there. I am still alive and well and writing – the latter being the most important right now, of course.

If anyone has had a glance at my page over at NaNoWriMo, they will no doubt have seen that I’m doing pretty well so far – 22k words on day 6 (and I haven’t even really started writing yet for today) is an achievement I’m really proud of.

So, how has it been going? I started off with a great 7,225 words by midnight of the first day and did well except for Wednesday when I reached “only” 1,317 because I procrastinated my writing until past eleven pm and had to start hammering out something before I got a total of zero that day. At school I’m constantly being stared at when I explain that I’m writing a probably-100k-novel just for fun, and people are learning not to ask me how I am today, but what my word count is.

It’s a lot of fun and actually going somewhere. I’ve got my whole plot set up (or 90%, maybe) and am of course still flexible with changes, so I don’t worry too much if a scene is off or if I make lots of typos or something – that kind of stuff is left for editing.

However, the story is stretching quite unexpectedly. When I began writing I was worried that my plot was hardly going to make 40k and recognised that it’s because they existed in a vacuum with hardly any plot or characters beyond the two of them. Is that a really good, helpful realization? Hell yes. (Thanks to Harald Siepermann’s incredibly great character design seminar at this point, by the way.) Did I have a solution for this by the time I started writing? … No.

Now, what happened is something most writers will know: characters developing a life of their own. I was missing names for three out of the five characters appearing in the first scene but had a vague concept that my MC’S (= main character) best friend would be in it, and that his sister could pop in. Hmm, let’s have an older sister. How old? By six years, hmmmkay. Maybe we should have another sister, a teenager of sixteen? Nah, rather not, that would take the impact out of Abraxas’ (MC) inner conflict. Okay, then.

So, I had her appear at the door – and she took me by surprise by being the awesomest female character I’ve ever done. Wow. She just takes my breath away by being so lovely to write. Enter Jazz, Abraxas’ best friend. Beautiful to write, exactly the kind of guy I’ve always wanted to work with. Well, now the two of them have doubled my plot easily. I’m wondering what other surprises they will have in store for me!

I’m glad I stuck with the story after thinking of dropping it. Persistence is good. I really didn’t like Emilie (MC’s girlfriend) and even forgot her being in a scene for a good 2k, but then I realized that I’d been using her more as a plot device so far and not gotten acquainted with her as a person. Now, she’s almost as darling to me as Jazz – well, maybe not that much, but we get along. Way to go, girl!

Now. Jazz. (Short for Jacob.) He’s definitely my favourite male character. He has such a good-humoured air about him and is such a nice guy, but not an idiot. Add to that an impressive physique (as in, really tall and broad) and you’ve got a 24-year-old bear of a man that facilitates scenes with everyone (except his best friend at times… yes, I am looking directly at YOU, Abraxas Timothy Holt!) and becomes interesting once he gets into a situation where his calm go-with-the-flow-and-rock-it attitude goes down the drain. Reading over all this, I wish I had better words to describe him, but that little bit of oomph has to come from reading him, not about him. (And it’s entirely possible that everyone but me will hate him, but as the writer I’m completely happy.)

(Notice how even a vague character description has the longest paragraph in this whole entry? Talk about being a lovely character to write!)

Now, I’m 22,000 words in and still have to get to the “real” story. Things have been happening, but Albert (second MC) still has to appear and probably won’t make it until 30k. Whew! Well, I can’t expect him to butt in earlier if I still have a concert sequence with hanging-out-with-the-band-after-the-show scene to come. But after that, he’ll appear! For sure! … I hope.

Now, looking up, this post is easily 800 words. Oh dear, reminds me to get back to writing. I might get around to posting an excerpt later, we’ll see. (I have almost the whole weekend for writing! Weeeeh!)

For now, have a sentence that I wrote late at night, had me cracking up when seeing it the next day and is, of course, by Jazz.

They must be really desperate to be this desperate.

Talk about stating the obvious. Love you, Jazz.

Stay tuned.

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