Day 13 of NaNoWriMo, Or: Going in Circles

Just a short update and modest rant on my progress so far.

Day 13. I’m at 16,062 words. Which means I’m about 5,000 words behind schedule. I’m trying to convince myself that 5,000 words behind schedule is no big deal, and it really isn’t, but I need to start making more progress unless I want to start despairing.

I’ve noticed several things: one, when you think you’ve got time to write, something gets in the way to interrupt your writing time. So you’re forced to schedule time to write, just to give yourself a couple of hours per day. Two, my story seems to be going in a circle that I need to uncircle my way out of.

I’m not quite stuck. I’d say I have way too many ideas I’m juggling at once, and I’m fine with that. I can eventually plug those ideas into their proper places. What’s bothering me most is the tone I’m going for. I’d like to think I’m writing something that’s darkly comic, but it’s veering more towards dark than funny. This has me worried somewhat. My main character is melancholy, my protagonist not-so-evil, which would suggest something a bit more light-hearted, but there’s some seriously dark roads my protagonist is taking. Truly depressing thoughts. Oh, hooray.

In other words, there’s very little of this that’s actually funny. Not even soft chuckle funny. And I know I’m making more of a big deal out of this than I should. What else is new? I’m over-thinking this again.

Just fucking write, Gus. And shut up.

Side note: I read Chuck Wendig’s post on what to do when your story feels like it’s not taking off – 25 Ways to Unstick a Stuck Story – and it’s helped me a great deal. Check it out as well.

So, really, I’m past that “this sucks…ARRRGGHH!” point. I’m committed. This will get finished. And it will suck, albeit mildly. But it will get finished. God-fucking-dammit.

I’ve also fallen behind on reading other blogs. I’m finding I’m not really giving as much time as I’d like to actually read blogs, so I’m forced somewhat to just read a handful of blogs, and go back and read others I subscribe to when I have more time. I’m afraid I’m subscribing to too many blogs, but I don’t want to start unsubscribing just because I don’t have enough time to read them all.

Anyway, more updates to come. How are you guys doing so far?

Speaking of circles, here’s a ditty from Soul Coughing…

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32 thoughts on “Day 13 of NaNoWriMo, Or: Going in Circles

  1. Hang in there! I just recently dealt with a similar problem–my comedic, juvvy novel took a turn that was too dark for either comedy or kids. Had to rewrite, of course. Tough in the middle of NaNoing, but maybe you can take time to figure out what went wrong and wrestle the story back where you want it as you go on?

    I say, don’t sweat the word count–write your arse off every day and if you need to stop and fix it, maybe that’s best. Rules are overrated 😉

  2. Oh goodness, I have completely fallen off the band wagon, so I am not even participating in NanoWriMo. However, there is a project that I am trying to finish before the end of the year. I have about 20,000 words left, which, if I keep up with my work flow, is about 20 days left. eek! but I am right there with you. I agree withyou though, rules are def overrated.

  3. Keep at it Gus. So lets say life won’t lessen its grip and you don’t make 50,000 by the end of the month… Shoot for mid-December. The goal is to finish and you’ve got the drive to get there.

    BTW, you have excellent taste in music.

    • According to the NaNo Stat-o-Meter (not to be confused with Strat-o-Matic…), at my current pace, I’d complete 50K around the 1st week of December. So I’m not too far behind.

      Funny enough, this is the only Soul Coughing song I can tolerate, and not even the original version, but the Ashley Beedle remix. I find Mike Doughty’s solo work far more interesting that what he did with that shambles of a band. I hear him recently on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast talking about how much he hated life with Soul Coughing.

  4. Gus…it’s been great following your progress. I’m around the same word count…gotta update. As a caregiver, I’m on-duty during all my waking hours (and even sleeping hours) and it’s been tough making word count or fitting in writing every day. I thought I’d have a little more in the way of “support staff” this month, but it’s not worked out that way. But I knew of this possibility going in. You’re totally correct in saying that the writing has to be scheduled…not “fit in.”

    I’m of the mindset that…I hope to finish by the 30th but it won’t be the end-all if I don’t. It serves as more of a catalyst to bring this character out of the woodwork and into the light of day. Besides, my chapters have been averaging about 4500 words, with seventeen chapters loosely planned, which means approx. 76K words for a finished novel. But now that he’s alive and kicking, I’m not stopping until this character has a story.

    Sounds like everybody, including me, has complete faith that you’ll finish. Your work reads great to my eyes.

    • Yeah, finding the right time is always the hardest, especially when you’ve got work and family obligations. My wife knows when I’m about to disappear into my home office to write; she knows I’ll be in my groove for a while.

      Truth is, I’ve gotten 20K words before hand, so it’s likely my story will be approx. 80K words when I’m done. That’s before the obligatory edits, of course.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Keep it up! There’s always December to fix everything. If it helps, I always thought it was much easier to make people cry than make people laugh. Melancholy just seems easier to create than humour, and funny things stop being funny when you start overthinking. I’d be willing to bet there are more laughs in there than you give yourself credit for.

    • I was planning on not editing during December, but I may not be able to resist the urge.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think my story is funny. I’m just wanting it to be funnier, that’s all.

  6. Just write Gus and let your characters unfold and develop naturally. Don’t force the funny. You’re so naturally funny, I bet your main dude shares that trait with you.

    Don’t stress the blogs either. Most of us will still be here in December and even January. NaNo trumps blog reading. You’re right in the middle of your “marathon”. Dig in, focus and stay on task. Ask yourself of any distraction or time demand, “is this moving me toward my word count or away from it?”

    Are you still reading this? If so, STOP AND GET BACK TO WRITING!

    Go kick NaNo Ass you crazy NaNer!

    • My main dude is pretty melancholy, that is, until he finally breaks out of his depressive funk and regains his mojo, including his sense of humor.

      Speaking of running, I signed up for the Cooper River 10K race in April 2013, in Charleston, SC. The race goes past the Arthur Ravenel bridge into Charleston, and I’m super excited about it – they’re expecting 40,000 runners this time. Wow!

  7. I know I’m a NaNo writer when I read a post title: “Day 13 of NaNoWriMo” and immediately have an anxiety attack. Day 13?? Holy shit, I’m behind on my word count. Love reading what other writers are going through. Makes me feel……Day 13?? Yeah, going to spend my day in an anxiety loop, interrupted by occasional outbursts of writing.

  8. ” Yeah, going to spend my day in an anxiety loop, interrupted by occasional outbursts of writing.”

    And tempered by massive amounts of caffeine to keep the jitters at bay. Not surprisingly, that’s not working.

  9. Pingback: Day 14 of NaNoWriMo, Or: Hot Streaks and Breaking the Deadlock | Out Where the Buses Don't Run

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