Sunday, November 4, 2012

NaNoWriMo Journal: Week 1

Note: I apologize for any typos that I will make in the next four weeks. I have been writing madly and thus am not entirely accountable for my errors.

                I woke up last Thursday with a story burning on my lips. For months, I had thought about this story, and now it was time to write it down. By “thinking about it for months,” I mean I did think about it for months, but that I had never made a plan or outline. All I had to go from was a list of hastily-scribbled names, a bad chart, lots of strikethroughs, and a vague idea of some of the relationships in my novel. As I avoid outlining whenever possible, this wasn’t the best plan, but it’s how it went. My idea of coming up with a fantastic outline during my Spanish class that afternoon didn’t work out so well. Although I went into it with no plan whatsoever, it’s been going brilliantly so far.
                On Thursday, I wrote about 1300 words, hampered by my bedtime. On Friday, however, it was the weekend, and so my writing took off. I wrote 3,000 words and read an inspiring pep talk. It went much better than I thought. I was picturing myself crying, and spending hours trying to type out those 1,667 words. However, that hasn’t been the case . . . yet. Yesterday I wrote 4,000 words of sheer madness that may or may not have made sense, and today I wrote 3,500. Right now my novel is 20 pages, single-spaced (12,000 words) and positively filled with typos. I love my story and characters, just as I have since June, so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem. A setting took shape quickly, and now I have a plot, unlike in June. Mainly, everyone’s getting mad at the MC and she wants to leave. Still, it’s a conflict. My story has been going very well, and so I’m very happy with that aspect.
                There is, however, one aspect that I didn’t plan. (There are many aspects that I didn’t plan, due to my anti-planning nature. This is simply the one that I found the most confusing and then very amusing.) My dystopia setting is very rigid. I’m having the setting similar to The Giver. For example, everyone wears light-colored tunics, and their food is a grain that the workers in the community grow. They live on the prairie, so that’s not colorful, either, and they don’t have many animals, either. I was having a hard time describing the world, because I enjoy using similes and metaphors, and if you don’t have anything to compare something to, how do you describe it? I was confounded for a few hours, and then I found a solution. My solution was to make comparisons—just only using trees. Therefore, my manuscript is full of sentences like, "My worry dried up like a drop of water on a sun-baked leaf," and "To me, it seemed to be like resin from a tree; sticky at first, but then you grow used to it and forget about it as it seeps more and more onto your hand, leaving you covered with tree sap." Yes, these are lines from my actual manuscript, taken for your amusement. Feel free to use them if you like; I’m sure I’ll edit them out once I get to my second draft. Here’s to another week of literary abandon!

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