Failure to ignite

Well, as Dave and Adam are blogging about their Nanowrimo experience I figured I should throw up something as well. Luckily mine also offers a nice negative counterpoint to theirs.

I’ll begin with an excuse, I’m a good two weeks behind on my research for my PhD and I have to have a 12-15,000 word review done in the next six weeks. I sadly also have to turn up to the ten hours or so I’m teaching each week (only nine of which I get paid for, cheers for that Irish government). Prep for said classes (as well as correcting CA etc.) takes a weirdly long amount of time. Now if I managed my time better this really wouldnt be an issue. But I didn’t so it is. Until I catch up with my research reading (which I’m finding very hard going, I think starting a PhD straight after my MSc may have been a mistake) I really shouldnt be spending time on other stuff.

On the other hand I really would like to write a novel. And as I generally prioritise what I like above whats important (pro-tip – dont do it) the issues outlined in the previous paragraphs shouldnt really matter. No, to be honest my main issue is that I can’t decide on what to write. I’ve got two or three idea’s but I can’t really work out how they’ll pan out and I’m loathe to start writing before I have a solid plot framework in place. I know that at this point I should just bite the bullet, pick one and crack on. My plan for the moment is to do some writing during the weeks if I can squeeze it in but really to largely ignore the novel during the week and dedicate all Saturday and Sunday to writing it. Which means writing around 12K words each weekend for the next four weekends. Sadly this plan has already run into trouble as I’m using this weekend to catch up on some essential reading before the inevitable disastrous meeting with my supervisor next week.

I’ve also noticed that while trying to pin down and refine one idea that I’m getting a lot of bleed through from other ideas. For example, my main idea was supposed to be a rather irreverent actiony take on modern conspiracies, basically modern life is rubbish meets a slutty version of Foucaults Pendulum – so basically a Dan Brown novel. However now its become some weird trans-reality superpowered thing fuelled by apocraphyal eschatology and the works of Jung. I seem to be ok coming up with ideas, but developing them? Yeah, not so much

I’ve also noticed that I tend to visualise stuff like a manga/film which doesnt always translate well (at least in my head) to the written word. I really should read more books would seem to be the moral of that story. That or find a talented artist to make my glorious comic dreams come through.

I suppose I could just pick an idea and write with no ending in mind. But that just feels weird, and vaguely like cheating. The idea is to write a novel, not just churn out 50,000 words on some random characters.

So my wordcount should be ~6668 and is currently:

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