FACT 173 – on deficits

the word count kind, not the 99% kind. (^_^) as of this evening, i’m just over 3000 words behind, and that’s including the 2300+ words i flew through (in two and a half hours, yeah, “flew”) at tonight’s write-in (which was held at the Thurber Center downtown, and was awesome. things i am learning this NaNo: a typewriter makes a great impression at write-ins!). it sounds like a lot, but honestly, this isn’t the craziest deficit i’ve come back from. actually, i’ve only missed writing on a handful of days this month. i’ve made it a point not to even think about my story on fridays, and actually that’s helped the non-fridays be more productive. i’ve also found that, outside of miracle situations like write-ins, i really can’t write for more than an hour or so before i start making up excuses to get away. this produces Really Crappy Scenes and An Unhappy Writer. so i am now admitting my limitation. one hour, a break, and then another hour. please do not attempt them one right after the other, self, we’ll both regret it in the morning. thus, being all written out for tonight, i am Planning. i’m in the middle on the planner/pantser debate (“and i didn’t know which way to turn, which was unusual for me.”) but i’m definitely confirming for myself this year that total pantsing is not for me. when i don’t have something set down for me to write for a particular session, Bad Things happen. or, more usually, Nothing happens. i started with a general sort of overview, a few scenes i knew i wanted, and a general-to-middling idea of what i needed in between. i’ve been working out a couple of new scenes every day at work, and then coming home and writing those scenes at night. well, last thursday, i ran out of Scene. of course, friday is No Writing Day, so that wasn’t a problem, but then saturday came along, and instead of being Make Up For Friday Day it turned out to be Run All of the Errands Day. and since i didn’t have any scenes sketched out for me to fill in at an imagined saturday night writing session, the session poofed right out of existence. sadface. so i’m taking this evening to plan more studiously. as i mentioned previously, i really am not good at middles, so any plot planning i do is this: write beginning. write end. work towards middle. i also tend to be rather rigid about structure. for instance, my running out of Scene this past thursday took place right at the Point of No Return point, that is, the Event which causes my main character (who FINALLY has a name, THANK YOU JESUS) to really be boned to the point where he’d not going to be able to return to his normal life. this happened 13 scenes in. so, between the Point of No Return and The Final Scene, i figure there should be 13 more scenes. could i break this rule? i probably will. do i have enough to fill out 13 more scenes? i sure as hell don’t. but it is a helpful device. i’ve already written the first two of these 13 Mysterious Scenes at tonight’s write-in, and i’ve got five or six scenes that need to happen in order for the final bombing run to happen, just as Bombing Run Prep/physics satisfaction (i.e., you can’t blow up a building without explosives, so you’d better go collect those), so that right there is 7/13 scenes. i’m more than halfway there, and feeling better already. and it’s given me a sort of half idea for the subplot i’m (desperate for) going to need if i hope to make the second half of this book relevant to (even half as long as) the first. not that any of this crap will make it past the first draft. i’ve already half-filled a notebook with notes for revisions. ~meredeth. 3030 words behind, and Not Worried. (i am not worried. i am not worried. i am not…)

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