Posts Tagged ‘scenes’

Keeping Ahead of the Curve

Day two is in the bag, and I’ve plunked out another two thousand or so words.  I’m busy for the rest of the evening, so that’s going to do it for me for today.  I’m more than satisfied with my progress so far, too, since I’m about a day and a half ahead of schedule, and I’m actually on track for finishing out the month a shade over seventy-five thousand words.  Since my whole novel will probably range somewhere between 110,000 and 150,000, that’s certainly a good chunk to get out of the way in just 30 days.

Specific to the NaNoWriMo challenge, I think it’s very important to me to keep myself ahead of my goal.  The idea is not so much to give myself a buffer in case I have an off day – but believe me, that’s certainly going to help.  Rather, it serves as sort of a pacer.  Given the option, I’d much rather pace myself ahead of schedule than behind, and I find the challenge of pushing ahead to give me extra motivation also.  I like the idea of knowing that I’m doing more than maybe some other people are. I’m not one to rub that in anyone’s face, but it makes me feel good.

With regard to my actual novel, I am already seeing things that I know are going to cause headaches in the future.  Specifically, my lack of planning is going to be an issue.  While diving headfirst into a novel is definitely the ‘nano’ way to do things, tackling an entirely new planet with it’s new political structures and races and money and social constructs is… well, daunting.  The biggest hurdle I see myself running into is going to be going back, as I’m writing, to be sure that those things are internally consistent.  I’m going to give myself a little license, at least, though, because I know most of those kinks will be worked out as I take notes for my first rewrite.

Characterization has always been my strong suit, and I’m trying to use that to my advantage as I write this novel.  It’s not so much a matter of making sure that I explain every detail of my characters’ thought processes to my readers, but I find that drinking deeply of their motivations and concerns, anxieties and tendencies, really helps me to flesh out the scenes that I’m writing.  I don’t have to wonder what’s coming next, because the story really starts to write itself.

That brings me to my last thought. Scenes. I have tended, in the past, to only break novels down into chapters, which are convenient dividing lines at spaced at approximately even intervals.  What drives a novel, though, I’m finding in the writing, is the individual scenes.  I spend less time worrying about how much of the chapter I have left to write, and I’m focusing on what scenes are coming up.  Some will be longer than others, to be sure, but it really has changed my thinking about what the building blocks of the story are.

All that said, I am falling in love with my protagonist, who is as antihero as they come.  He has just enough charm to be likable, and everything else is grit and gristle.  He’s so much fun to write about.  I’m on the verge of introducing my first major supporting character, too, and I have some great ideas about her as well.  But, that’s all for tomorrow.  Cheers for now!

Advertisements