Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Was It Worth It?

Well, its work-in-progress week here on the prairies and the last week of NaNo. I have worked my butt off so far this month! As of last night I had written 39,660 words, which is 348 words short of being right on target, but I’m still hoping to make that up by the end. I will say this - there is some heavy duty revising in my future. But was it worth it? Absolutely. In the back of my head I’m already planning what story will be the right one to write next November.

I’ve learned that I can write without revising. I can leave spelling and grammar mistakes unchecked. I can forget about writing in scenes and chapters. I can leave stuff that sucks and move on to create stuff that sucks worse and be glad I did because there’s always a little crumb of something in each ‘section’. I’m learning the last week is very challenging. Thanks, Janet, for listening to me whine.

I’m stalling out far more frequently then I was at the beginning of the month. I tried to blame it on knowing my characters better, on having a better sense of what they would or wouldn’t do in a situation. But that’s malarkey. I’m supposed to be able to write anything, make mistakes, not worry about it. What I am, is tired. Tired of coming up with new stuff when I chomping at the bit to start revising. But I shall resist and keeping working my way towards 50,000 words and November 30th.

Here’s a little snippet from Kate and Seth’s story, the second installment in my Aspen Lake series. I’ve ended up with a lot of dialogue so I’m going to share some of it with you. Excuse any and all other mistakes. First draft remember.

Kate glared at him.

“What?” Or better yet - what now?

“You answered my door. Naked.”

“I’m not naked. I acted out of instinct. And don’t you think you’re over reacting?”

“No, I’m not over reacting. She’s my mother. And you’re … you’re naked.”

“I think your mother is familiar with the concept of sex.”

“Not daughter sex. No mother wants to know about that.”

“And it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s me she saw and not someone more appropriate.”

“You’re being ridiculous.”

“I’m being ridiculous?”

“What if it had been Marbella Miller on the other side of the door?”

“So what?”

“So what? There are two thousand people in this town. All starved for news about the local girl slash disgraced model who couldn’t keep her life, marriage, or her career together.”

“And having people know we’re sleeping together would be bad publicity when you’re looking for good publicity.”

“That’s not what I said.”

“Then you aren’t standing where I’m standing.” He shoved past her straight for his pile of clothes.

“All I meant was, there’s no need for the whole entire town to know we’re friends.” She put the word friends in finger quotes.

“Is that what we are – friends?”

“You’re the one who said it didn’t need to be complicated.”

She had him there. He tossed the blanket aside and yanked on his briefs, his jeans, his shirt, his boots and his pride. Put his thumb to his ear and pinky finger to his mouth. “Call me. I’ll being waiting with bated breath for my next booty call.”

There you have it a little snippet. What have you been working on this month? Getting anxious to finish something and start something new? What are you writing plans for December?


Hayley E. Lavik said...

Karyn, Karyn.. what a fabulous snippet. He tossed the blanket aside and yanked on his briefs, his jeans, his shirt, his boots and his pride Loved it! Your perseverance through the urge to revise, to tweak, to go back and sink your teeth into it, is so impressive.

On my end (you know, since you asked), I'm chomping at the bit to get back into bring my arrogant hiresword back onto the scene, and must once again restrain myself from leaping ahead of the initial jerkass moments. Also need to get cracking on my gift of writing, for which I have concepts, but rather lacking an actual story within the space of a couple pages. Time to start fiddling, I suppose.

Janet said...

This is freakin' great, Karyn! I love this dialogue - short, snappy, oozing with character voice and tension. In such a short amount of time you've given us the exact reason those two are in conflict (her issue with what people think and his 'I don't give a damn' attitude). Brilliant.

And I bet you'll be surprised when you reread your entire document - they'll be tons of crumbs that you'll be able to flesh out and make your story stronger in plot and characterization. Just keep going - you can see the finish line, don't stop to regroup - just keep writing.

I started something new - but am struggling to finish something old. SIGH.

(And you're welcome - always here to listen :)

Helena said...

Stick with it, Karyn! You're so close, at this point you should be thinking -- clear sailing!!

I'm not as close as you, but I'm still optimistic. My number update last night was 31,430, and I'm going to keep on plugging because I think it's possible.

The big thing for me is that I have over 30K words of this novel written that I'm sure wouldn't have been if I hadn't gone into NaNo.

December? You raise an interesting point. I haven't thought that far ahead. I do have my Gift of Writing to do before the 5th, should be sooner in case the weather turns bad and I have to send it instead of taking it in person. Otherwise, I would hope that I can continue a bit of the momentum and get to work on the editing.

Loved your snippet. I've written a lot of dialogue, too, and it's amazing how fast the words rack up. Don't forget that you could be writing a lot of reflection by the characters (inner dialogue) which would pile on words pretty fast, too. You may delete it in your revision, but in the meantime, you'll be getting into your characters' heads in a big way.

Anyway, whatever works for you, good luck with it. Let's compare notes next Tuesday.

Karyn Good said...

Thanks, Hayley. Glad you loved that line I did the fist pump into the air after I came up with that one. I'm going to continue to resist revising. Less then a week to go. I can do it.

You've got some restraining of your own to do. Have fun with your arrogant hiresword :)

Oh yeah, Gift of Writing! I have a short story in mind but not sure I can pull it off in time.

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Janet. Glad you enjoyed the dialogue. I had so much fun writing with that section. I'm glad their conflict came across!

No regrouping - only foraging ahead!

Push through with the old and reward yourself with time on the something new. I know, easier said than done!

Karyn Good said...

Helena, I wish I was thinking clear sailing but I feel like I'm stuck on sandbar and can't push my way clear.

Congratulations of your word count. And yes it possible. We'll both be winners come November 30, because darn it I'm determined to get there. But you're right, without NaNo I wouldn't have written one word on this story let alone 39,000, so even if I don't get to 50,000 I'm way ahead of where I was November 1st.

Thanks for the tip, that's where I'm going to start today. Some heavy duty internal dialogue and go on from there.

Good luck to you and we'll definitely compare notes on Tuesday!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
Just from reading this snippet (I've never seen your story before) I get a real feel for these people. I'm guessing he has kind of a bad boy reputation in this town. Though he tries not to show it, he's hurt that she doesn't want anyone to know they are sleeping together. That really comes across. Kate feels she's screwed everything up in her life. She really needs to prove herself. But it's tough because she's back in her hometown where everyone can see every mistake she makes. And she's a little afraid that Seth is the biggest mistake she's making.

Did I get close?

I think it's a credit to you that I got so much out of this short bit of dialogue. The piece is filled with tension, which is fabulous. My new mantra (borrowed from Donald Maass) is "tension on every page" and I certainly think you lived up to it here. Well done!


Silver James said...

Blow. Me. Away!

I am going to hound you and haunt you and blow cold air up your britches until you get this book finished!

Good on you for plowing ahead and writing instead of editing/revising. It's a hard lesson, isn't it? I'm rooting for you!

Karyn Good said...

Thanks, Jana, I really appreciate your comments. You got everything exactly right except for the fact that Seth isn't a local guy but he is definitely hurt and feeling used.

Tension of every page is one thing I picked up from Donald Maass's book too. I'm glad it came across in this snippet.

I love the and she's a little afraid that Seth is the biggest mistake she's making line. That sums it up perfectly.

Karyn Good said...

Thank you, Silver. I'll hold you to that. LOL

Leaving the editing and plowing ahead? Indeed a hard earned lesson but I like to think that's the only way I'd write a first draft from now on. I'm hooked!

Ban said...

Excellent my dear - sorry I'm so late to the party but it was worth the wait ... at least for me ! Can't wait to see more of the two of them !!!