The tyranny of letters

This is going to be a very short entry. More because I don’t want to break my “One entry a week streak” than anything else. While I don’t think I could have avoided it starting Nanowrimo with ten days to go was certainly something I’m not in a hurry to try again. Five thousand words a day is onerous to say the least and I think the super accelerated pace is solidly impacting the quality of the writing. I’d prefer the text to be a lot more concise and “punchier”. Due to the fact that not a lot really happens for the first part of the novel the meandering, expansive, word heavy style that prioritising word count over all is forcing me to adopt is really hurting it I think. What was meant to be clever and mildly sardonic feels like it’s overly verbose and vaguely mean spirited.

I still like the basic idea but if this is going to be anything other than just something written for the event its going to need some serious editing/re-writing and I’m going to need to increase the technical quality of my writing. One area where I think I’m really shaky is dialogue, every time I write some it just feels odd and stilted. There’s nothing natural about it and everyone ends up sounding the same. Another problem area is female characters. I don’t think I have a good understanding of how women think so I fear all my female characters simply come across as male characters in drag.

One good thing about Nanowrimo is the element of competition or shared effort it creates. If I wasn’t spurred on by Dave and Adam posting their updated wordcounts I think, because I started so late, that I probably would have just said “Fuck it”, sat back and played all the fucking games that came out and I bought this month. As it is I’ve managed to stick to my five thousand a day target (well on average at this point as I took Friday off and just did 9K+ on Saturday instead). If I keep it up I’ll be done by Thursday. Well that’s not quite right. I’ll have the 50K words done by Thursday but it looks like the novel itself won’t be finished. Whether that means I’ll just finish “Book 1” on Friday or push on and write more afterwards I don’t yet now. But I really want to, and am looking forward to, hitting that 50K.

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