So! At it eleven days now, I’ve got more than 16K words written. This has been an interesting experiment, and I can’t deny it’s great to be as far into the book as I now am.
This is not the way I write. I can only go so far forward before I have to go back and make things better. I get unhappy, otherwise. I start dragging my feet. The book is on to the next thing, but my brain is all I’m not done back there.
I see the point of turning off the “internal editor” if it’s a cruel obstructionist who tells you everything you do is no good, but I don’t really have one of those.
For me, it’s more the case that I just don’t work in a straight line. I layer. When I write a scene, the previous scene suddenly looks different to me, so I have to go back and put another layer of meaning or characterization over it, which in turn enables me to sketch out a subsequent scene, which teaches me something I didn’t understand about the beginning, which reminds me of something I meant to do over here…
And round and round, building everything up slowly. It’s like those Renaissance paintings where they layered on glazes of almost transparent colour, building up subtle gradations. It takes a lot of patience, but it’s my process.
I am going to take a few days off — completely off — and let my poor brain bounce After that, my “NaNo” may in fact consist of something slightly different than the rules. I shall take the emphasis off word-count, maybe spend a week doing a comb-over of what’s already there, and then proceed in my own way.
I’ll keep the emphasis on progress, but remind myself gently that in my process, progress can occur in a variety of directions.
For your amusement while I’m offline, here’s William Shatner, being way too William Shatner for words: