Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNo Magic

I spent several hours yesterday staring at my computer screen.  I'd read and re-read and re-re-read the last sentence, maybe come up with one or two more and then get stuck again.  I watched several Nanowrimo youtube videos to get in the mood.  I read pep talks.  I hoped on the twitter word sprints.  I even allowed myself to take breaks rather than beating my head against my laptop in exasperation.  Nothing worked.  And at the end of five hours when I'd planned on pumping out five thousand words in order to catch up, I had 2600 which I'd gotten through a process very similar to pulling teeth out of an alligator's mouth.  (At least I imagine.)  It was torturous.

Then today I managed to bang out 4,188 words.  Now, that is by far not my largest single-day word count ever, but it's certainly up in the top five list of word count days.  And I have no idea how I did it.

I didn't go back to my outline and flesh out my timeline anymore.  I didn't use contrived tricks to beef up my word count (some recommend not using contractions.  I don't have any characters that live in a world without contractions.)  I didn't sell my soul to Satan in exchange for words.  I just wrote.

Which leads me to believe that as much practical advice as is there is out there it's not the only thing that's going to get you to 50k.  There's a little bit of illogical, immeasurable and wonderful magic to the whole thing.  When you hit those days when the words just flow and all the questioning and doubting and judging goes away and you just type as fast as your fingers can go.  You don't worry about whether or not it's any good, you don't question whether or not it fits what you had originally contrived in your head, you just go.

Your characters' dialog comes naturally because they're starting to have their own voices as characters.  Your plot unfolds at a good pace because your words are flowing naturally.  The events that you had planned fall into place like dominoes pushing the next one down and you just let it happen.  It's the most organic way of writing I've ever encountered and I'm one thousand percent positive that I never learned how to do it- it just happens sometimes.  And I've had enough experience in this crazy noveling world not to question it or try to quantify it.  I'm just grateful for it.

Because today, for the first time since I started this thing two weeks ago I am back on par.  After spending every day of the past two weeks falling behind or staying as behind as I was I am finally back to where I need to be.  And it feels really, really good.

20,267 words and counting...

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