And so it begins01 Nov 2010
What a peculiar day. It didn’t start well. 6:30am I was at my desk for my first two hours writing of the day. I have planned to do at least two hours a day. I knew this morning that the MS which has been threatening to kick in, had, and a trip to the doctors was fairly urgently needed. Hopefully pain relieving neuro meds will do what they do, within a short space of time - I have turned down the dozy making ones. Being mobility restricted for a few days will at least help with word count, I can type in bed!
The word count is currently 2512 and I am MS exhausted so think that will be it for today. I am not sure 2 hours a day is going to be enough. I type at breakneck speed so had thought 2 hours would be plenty for a measly few thousand words. I had forgotten the magic ingredient - imagination. It needs time to meld and melt into the words of the story and some people have breakneck speed imaginations but I guess I am not one of them. There is a significant time-lag gap between story and word.
What has been astounding and lovely is the fact that so many stories floated out of me. So far the 2512 words are a series of scene setters and a bit disjointed. I have a feeling they would be removed anyway if I ever actually tried to make this into a really tell-able tale. Its as if I am orientating myself to my eventual story. For NaNoWriMo word count is all so I wont remove them this month (for sure!). My Dad-like editor is still in play. I had a couple of scenes where I wanted to add grisly elements and couldn’t quite bring myself to. At some point I just need to do it. I think it must be a bit like the dare of taking all your clothes off in public - not a dare I am ever likely to take! oh no. Clearly elements of privacy related concerns going on for me. My psyche is not open to scrutiny thank you very much. I wonder what other writers do about this?
All kinds of elements of my own history are impacting on and giving detail to the stories. The influence of the women’s movement on attitudes to violence against women for example (I have forgotten how many reclaim the night marches I have been on). This is intriguing as I hadn’t had conscious thought that this would in any way feature before today although it does magically have resonance for later in my story. Some people advise new writers to ‘write what you know’. My experience of today suggests that to some extent you cant help but do this.
I have had some trouble with point of view. I decided to go with third person but have occasionally slipped into first person and had to go back and tweak the writing. I have also had problems with grammar and punctuation - this is strange as although I have never had any formal teaching of the rules I am generally thought of as a good editor of others work (I do this in my job to some extent). I am intuitively good at grammar, punctuation and spelling but that seemed to go out of the window today. Why?
So, apart from the obvious, its been an interesting day for the writing and I see why NaNo describe it an an incredible journey and challenge. Day one has been already.
The NaNoWriMo website has crashed. It is rare that I think of a crashing website as good news but it means that hundreds of thousands of nanoites are trying to put up their word counts and that is a gloriously lovely thought for those of us who love the written word. Thousands more stories are currently being told. Still, I hope the website is back up soon!
- at the doctors today I heard the following dialogue and it made me wonder all kinds of things.
“Hello Marlene, how are you?” a short chat followed when each compared ailments “oh well, I have to go, Mr and Mrs Cock-up are coming for tea”