Thursday, November 8, 2012

Writing Hell week 1

So today is the end of the first week of Nanowritmo 2012.
What pray tell is nanowritmo?

Why Nation Novel Writing Month. It is always November because no one has anything else to occupy their time during that month. No impending holidays and the stress that they can compound. Thank the stars, that would making trying to crank out a manuscript for a novel that clocks in at 50,000 word in 30 days a nerve-wracking experience.

I'm all in. Let's start writing. This is my own personal method.

S.E. Toon's First Level of Writing Hell.
Now my process of writing involves taking extensive notes both on plot and on character development. I write the first draft in long hand because I find it an organic form of making my thoughts real. I can cross things out, put an asterisk on a passage and add to it or question it for a re-write. I can lasso parts and draw arrows to where it should be moved to. In short, to anyone but myself, it is an indelligable mess. The secret service should use my method. IMPORTANT: No one should ever read this draft.

S.E. Toon's Second Level of Writing Hell.
Then I decipher my mad scribbles and type them into my word processor. At this stage I am editing, waxing poetic, polishing as I write. Reading the computer screen, making another pass then print. IMPORTANT: No one should ever read this draft.

S.E. Toon's Third Level of Writing Hell.
Then its time to make the pages bleed. I take out my trusty read pen and correct grammar, dreaded adverbs, delete extraneous back story. Delete, delete, flesh out, delete again. Get another pen because the present one has run out of ink, and repeat. Then I type the bloody page back into the computer, futzing and tweaking as I type. IMPORTANT: No one should ever read this draft at this time but I let them just so they can drill me a new one. I've learned from my experience as a graphic artist that what you usually miss on your third pass, the final markups, is not the mouse type, its is what is in the largest font size. Same with writing for me. Dumb tense mistakes, passive phrasing, more show, less tell. Only another writer's eyes can take off my blinders.

Then its rinse and repeat.

You can't do this in nanowritmo! 

Nanowritmo's New and Improved (?) Level of Writing Hell.
This is a race, not a stroll. Your writing needs to be a stream of consciousness relying on your inner voice. The words need to go directly into the computer devoid of editing save for a smidgen of spell checking.  This is so against my nature I find it maddening. I still refer heavily to my notes to get me on a writing jag and I confess I have already broke down and hand written a passage before typing. So you do what's necessary, write like every letter is sacred and when you get to the finish line this warning still applies, IMPORTANT: No one should ever read this draft.

I keep thinking of what I tell my creative writing students. Writing is rewriting. First you need something to rewrite. You can't create a sculpture without a block of stone (and if you are some kind of smarty pants that wants to say, 'Sure you can. You can make a sculpture out of steel, paper, even macaroni.' I'll have to hunt you down and stab you in the throat with my metaphor.)

See what's happening?? ARRRRG! Now I so want to add this blog to my week's total (645 words) alongside the words I enter each week into (1602 words), even my grocery list (88 words, very hungry). I could use them all woven together as an example of extreme fiction to create a YA House of Leaves.

Or maybe I should just stop typing here and get on with my story.

Week One: 
27,103 words in 7 days
GOAL: 100,000 words (doable but at what cost?)

If you want to join in the insanity, better late than never. 
Share the misery. See you in hell!

No comments:

Post a Comment