Blessed Samhain, or Happy Halloween if you prefer–the time of holiday is upon us today. As was said on American Horror Story last night, Halloween is the one day when you can always be yourself–though if they are really descended from Salem witches, they should be talking Samhain, but I won’t quibble.
Lets move on to the main story . . .
It was just after six PM. The soundtrack was Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derick and the Dominoes, followed by the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet. It was scene one of the prologue. It was writing time. I was on it, baby.
Though I said last night I would go distraction free while writing, I lied. One one hand I was checking out the TV every so often, and on the other hand I was “conversing” with someone in a way that was really more like an argument, and one not leaving me in a good, happy place. Enough of that: I got writing to do.
I’ve said before that as I grow as a writer, it takes longer to get the words out in a form I like. I caught myself making mistakes here and there, probably because of distractions, though I did catch them and get them fixed right up. I tried something in this scene that I’ve never tried before: removed the “said” and “asked” parts of a conversation. Instead of writing something like, ‘”Are you?’ asked Annie,” or “‘Of course I’m ready,’ said Annie,” I went another direction, setting up a descriptive moment before words were spoken:
She threw a hard stare at her father. “Are you?”
As she passed through the doorway Annie glanced back over her shoulder. “Of course I’m ready.”
I’m going to do this for the whole novel. I’m reminding myself not to use any sort of word that indicates a person is speaking, but rather set up the scene and let them speak. Make it natural. Make it seem the way it should seem.
Still, it was hard work. I feel that the better I become as a writer, the harder writing becomes. It’s because you know all these things that you don’t want to do, while at the same time you want to tell the story. I know the “rule” about NaNo: no editing as you write. I don’t believe your rules–I know how I am when I write, and I want to get things as right as possible when creating my first draft. So I watch what I’m writing, and fix things when needed.
But when I was trying to describe a lake–man, what a pain in the ass. No matter how easy you think it’ll be, it isn’t.
I didn’t do everything I wanted to do last night. I didn’t finish the first scene, but rather I’m probably a couple of hundred words from the end. Not a problem: I’ll finish that up tonight, then bring my other main character on stage.
In the end, however, I made my count for the night: 1,864 words. It’s been a while since I’ve written that much, and tonight I hope to do better.
I’m on my way, kiddies. NaNo has come early for some of us.