Layer Cake and NaNo Pondering

There is no actual cake in this post; I’m rambling about NaNo again, but my birthday is Friday, so there will likely be cake to share then. In the meantime, have a picture of Skye.

Skye has the right attitude.

Skye has the right attitude.

NaNo start date looms ever closer, and I still don’t know if I’m signing. up for the official ride. Part of me wants to, because that’s what one does this time of year, I will be writing (and blabbering about it here) no matter what, so what’s the harm?

The big bugaboo for me is word count. If I focus on that, I get the aforementioned mental muscle cramp, I hate the story, I hate writing, I have to count every single word? Can’t I tell the story? That’s what I came here for in the first place, so why is NaNo trying to distract me with math? Did I mention I failed the really really easy math course in college twice? I love the idea of plowing through to The End; in fact, that’s one of the things I’m working on in my own personal writing renaissance, but there’s one problem with this. I’ve discovered I write most naturally in layers. Did I always work like that? (Long time crit partners, feel free to weigh in  here.) I couldn’t say, but it’s what I’m doing now. Get the bones down, quick and dirty, and then go over it again with a few more passes. Organs. Cartilege. Connective tissue. Muscle, skin and hair. Clothes, makeup, a few accessories, and good to go. How do I fit all of that into a daily word count when it’s as likely words are going to be subtracted as well as added, moved around, turned inside out…did I mention that college math class?

i1035 FW1.1

This is an accurate representation of my first-first drafts, and no, I am not opening those notebooks here. Lots of longhand, lots of bullet points and boxes with swirly corners drawn around them because that’s how my mind works. Different colors of inks and highlighters, sticky notes everywhere. Small Moleskine lives in my purse, in a comfy pouch with all the pens and highlighters and smaller pad of sticky notes. Spiral notebooks (current project, one of the two of which I am working on, at different stages; if I do sign on for  NaNo, I may split my time, automatically putting me in the rebel camp. I am probably going to work on both, NaNo or no NaNo anyway) are both for the same project. The one with the flowery (weedy?) cover is already full, white on black lettering about one third of the way there. Yellow legal pad is one of many culled from my dad’s house (vintage!) and somehow in all of that, the story comes together. Plus bouncing things off a critique partner (only the one for this particular story at the moment.) Don’t ask me how I do that; I just do it, and maybe that’s the best way for me at present.

I love writing again, I can blabber to my CP to my heart’s content without having too many voices get in my head and drown out not only the voices of my characters but my own as well (a big factor in the derailment of the last few years, I am sure) and still keep shoulder to wheel and nose to grindstone and get that story told. I know these people. I know their world. I know why they need to be together and I know why it’s darned freaking hard for them to get over what’s standing in their way so they can do that. The story is getting told, and isn’t that the whole point of NaNo in the first place? If I have to pick between words and story, I am going to pick story. Maybe I’m already fulfilling the spirit of NaNo if not the letter of the law? :shrug:

Skull socks make everything better.

Skull socks make everything better.

One thought on “Layer Cake and NaNo Pondering

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