writing your own myths

I am just over 40k for NaNoWriMo. I should be able to get to 45k by the end of the week and 50k at some point over the weekend, which is kind of excellent.

Not so excellent, depending on how you look at it, is the fact that I am pretty sure I am not even halfway through the novel. It seems to want to be a lot more complicated than I had anticipated, and characters I’d thought were secondary are insisting on quite a bit more attention than I had intended giving them. And there are several plot loops that are making their presence known that I having figured out yet.

It seems to be pretty sure of itself at this point, so I am just going to follow it along and see where it wants to go. After five (sheesh!) years of NaNoing I am pretty familiar with how I write and what works and what doesn’t, so while I won’t say that it’s easier I think it’s less frustrating. I don’t know who is drawing the doors in back alleys in New Orleans, and that’s ok. I’m not sure who Eleanor’s grandfather was, exactly, and that’s ok. I am curious to see where it goes more than I am nervous about not knowing. It will figure itself out, and mostly I just need to stay out of its way.

It has ended up being something of a Persephone story, and a bit of a Wonderland story with a great many Alices. Only one Persephone, though.

halfway there

So I have hit the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo. Lookit the nice little progress meter:

26132 / 50000 words. 52% done!

And I’m not entirely sure where it is going. I had grandiose aspirations of doing 75k this month but I really don’t think I’m up for it. I might see how far I can get beyond 50k since I’m on pace to hit it early, but I haven’t decided yet.

Not that I’m feeling bad about it. I rather like it so far. I’m learning interesting things about my writing style, having done this so many times. I am not an outliner, I am not even much of a planner. I think I like the surprises that come with not planning, with not knowing what’s going to happen next.

I seem to start with location, and then find different ways to explore it. Approaching it from different angles, telling bits of its story through different characters. My location for this one is, at least, in very good shape. And I have a thread of something or other flowing through it that is plotish if not fully grown plot yet. There are holes in it, of course, but there’s still a good long way to go.

Am guessing that it’ll end up much like the circus did, a 100k or so draft that can be reshaped into something tighter and more coherent. I do have a tendency to ramble off in different directions but I usually learn something or find something to bring back with me.

I think that’s my favorite part about the rough draft stage, that so much of it is exploration and I never know what might turn up on the next page.