Cathy Eats Her Words

November 3, 2007

Author’s Note

Filed under: Author's Note,NaNoWriMo — jeanne @ 6:38 pm

So, how’s it going?

Well, I’ve been writing for two days. According to the National Novel Writing Month guidelines, if you spend every day writing 1,666.67 words a day, you’ll have 50,000 words at the end of a month, which is the whole goal of NaNoWriMo. In my case, being the realist I am, I’m not even trying to write on the weekends, so i’ll have to put out, say 2,500 words a day for 20 days.

However.

My goal is to write a first draft of a novel, and as far as I’m concerned, a novel is at least twice the number of words they’re shooting for in this contest.

The reason I’m doing this is because I love to write, but as with all things, shit happens,and I have been blocked from writing for about a year. I wrote Splat, and then I tried starting Construction News, but friends came to visit, and other stuff happened, and then I had no time to write, so I just let it slide. Another unfinished, unpublished novel. My fourth.

It took me a year to write Splat, and I did it very differently from how I’m going about writing Cathy. Splat was carefully plotted out, just as Cathy is, but I handled the sections chapter by chapter, instead of daily, and did the first and second rounds of editing as I was witing it. With Cathy, I’m writing for 3 or 4 hours a day, correcting the spelling before I quit, and then  spending several hours in the evening editing it and then posting it.

Another difference is that I’m not sitting here at my computer at home writing it. That’s got too many interruptions attached to it. There’s my internet connection. There are the dogs. There are endless cups of coffee, the laundry, the garden, research, and writing my blog. All the things Cathy does, incidentally. Write what you know.

What I’m doing while I write Cathy is I’m going off with my husband to a commission he’s doing, a mural on someone’s wall, and I’m sitting there with my laptop and a carafe of coffee, pounding away at the keyboard, and only getting up to have a lunch break and pee.

And I’m putting out 4,000 words in just over 4 hours. I love to write. The words just flow out of my fingertips, and often when I look at what’s on the screen, I don’t recognize it, don’t remember having thought it up. It’s a shoemaker and the elves kind of thing.

The problem they warn you about on the NaNoWriMo website is that somewhere in the middle of the month, you lose your enthusiasm for writing. The plot fizzles, the details get tangled, your energy flags. I didn’t experience this with Splat, but I sure had that kind of trouble with Construction News. So we’ll see what happens in the middle of it. For now, I’m having a great time, and leaping out of bed in the morning to start writing.

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1 Comment »

  1. yah! way to go! I love to write too, and I agree, 50,000 is a novella; 150,000 makes a novel… that’s my aim. Day 3 and I just hit 9031 today! I haven’t finished any chapters yet, I’m jumping around all over the place. Good luck! Here’s My NaNoWriMo Profile if you want to find me on the forums.

    Comment by EelKat — November 4, 2007 @ 5:41 am | Reply


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