Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Voices


Okay, maybe I freaked out prematurely. Thank you so much to all those who doled out advice and confidence as far as NaNo is concerned. Being the chicken that I am, I couldn't just dive into it on the first day. I wanted a crash course. I needed a bit of a head start anyway because I've committed to write 90K instead of the required 50K. I tend to overwork myself anyway, but the truth is I haven't written a novel in over a year. That scares me and NaNo provided the perfect dare to see if I can still do it.

Well, so far I'm up 12,803. The last couple of days I wrote close to 3K. I haven't written that way in a long long time and it felt unbelieveably liberating. It's the way I wrote my first four novels. Just writing. Not over-thinking it. Just sitting down, laying my fingers over the keys, and trusting them to do what they do best. I got to the last scene in chapter three and an unexpected scene cropped up. Instead of hesitating and rethinking it, I went for it. Before I knew it, the chapter was nineteen pages and I had to inject the heading of chapter four in the midst of it to give it a structural boost. Turns out, trusting my instincts really pays off. I found an intriguing, unforseen character who will add her own little dash of color to the plot.

Then it was bedtime and my head was brimming with ideas for subsequent scenes. I opened up another document and began to tap out 2,010 additional words of notes for chapters four, five, six, and seven. I even brainstormed a key scene for the latter half of the story as well as a few tidbit ideas for the two sequels. Even as I closed my laptop, the voices were still buzzing. They didn't stop in the shower. They didn't stop when I laid my head on the pillow. It was 3 a.m. before I could finally go to sleep.

I love sleep. In fact, the one thing I do better than writing for hours on end is sleeping for hours on end. Yet I can't begin to imagine how many blessed hours of sleep I've sacrificed because that voice in my head won't shut up. Though I need sleep (especially with a part-time job that's really picking up at the onset of the holidays ) and the voice gets annoying after tossing and turning and my dh tells me to turn out the light and just go to sleep for heaven's sake, some worrisome part of me doesn't want that voice to go away. There's no on-and-off switch, and that is both a frustration and a comfort. What if I switched it off and I never heard that voice again? I've lived with its quirks for over ten years, and these past few months of staring at the blank screen hit me hard and made me realize that it's a very vital part of me.

So, winding around to the point of this very long narrative, NaNo hasn't even begun. Until two days ago, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do it or not. But already it's done wonders. It's made me get reaquainted with my love of writing instead of the business side of it which I've been dealing with on edits for my two contracted stories over the past few weeks. It made me remember the whole point of starting this blog to begin with. Not for promo. Not for procrastination. To share my love of writing.

Though I know by week two I'll be cursing whatever questionable impulse that compelled me to sign up for this insanity to begin with, NaNo's already been a blessing!

1 comment:

Jill James said...

Amber, I look forward to Nano every year, this will be number 4 for me. I loved that you are so determined to do it that you just write. Sometimes we forget that's what it takes -- just write.