Friday, November 30, 2007

NaNo Blogging: Cashing In My Chips

With my recent brush with the offline world - a place I found cold and uncomfortable - I decided that it wouldn't be in my best interests to wait until the last minute to validate my word count. So, as soon as my connection came back, one of my first steps was to scramble my manuscript and plug into into the magic counting device. Since someone told me that you can make an aggregate count, I threw together the currently unfinished version of my current novel along with the work I did on the first and, for good measure, added that third novel I've been working in on the side for good measure as well, and stuck them in a single document. As my word processor chugged and chugged and then chugged some more with the laborious task of replacing every single letter with another, I began to realize that I just might have overshot the mark.

The final tally? Almost 160k. Actually, probably a bit more by now but I'm not going to bother updating my count unless I finish my story which is not looking very probably at the moment. About 65k comes from novel one, the Wolf - my failed, overly ambitious project. Another 60k comes from my current novel, Candlelight. I guestimate I'd need about another 20k to wrap up the story and then maybe another 10~15k for a prologue that sets everything up but my current thinking is that I really don't need it at all. The final 40k, give or take, comes from the quote unquote novel that I'd work on whenever I was stuck. I've never mentioned it before now and there's a good reason. It is basically porn. The kind of awful, adolescent porn that I'm embarrassed to show myself let alone anyone else. With only the barest of plots to get to the screwing it's full of nasty people doing nasty things to each other and betrays my Catholic school upbringing more than anything else I've done to date, I think. But I was just using it as a way to vent, a means to keep the pen moving while I let plots tick over in my subconscious. Maybe next year I'll do serious erotica.

This year, however, I think I'm just about done. Once I hit the submit button and saw that purple bar my worries just vanished. Along with my motivation. At the moment, what I'm looking forward to most is the BMP. And the siren song of other project, other works is calling out to me. Have a few more things for it that I'd like to get done and I'd like to cull through it for some choice excerpts to post up.

But I think that I'm going to put Candlelight on the backburner for now. Let it sit a while and marinate before I come back to it (Although I hear the Frenzy's been moved up to April for some inexplicable reason and that might throw me off stride entirely. Just an awful time of the year for me, generally speaking.) while I move on to other things. This weekend, I'm going to sit back and veg out. Past that, I think I'm actually going to revisit my novel from last year. Which, if you'll recall, I didn't finish either. Yes, it's time to resurrect ClotH. But, first, I'm going to work on a bit of a gaiden, a dangling but smaller project just so I can get something done while I explore my new conception of that fictional digital world.

In the end, though, was it worth it? Absolutely. This month was an awful one for me. One filled with setbacks and tragedies large and small. From a dead dog to stubbed toes, it seemed like the universe itself was conspiring against me. And, yet, I somehow managed to rise above it and get done not only most of my obligations - like school and updating this site - but, somehow, also to find the time to write 160k words of pure, blazing creativity pried from the cavernous reaches of my mind. It could, actually, have been more since I went back and restarted my second novel and I didn't include that first, well, first draft in the final count. I didn't meet a lot of my goals like finishing a book and writing every day. But I did meet some of them. Like writing more than 100k and mentoring some fine new folk on their initial voyage into madness. I often feel like I'm not living up to my potential. That I could do more, if I just tried a little bit harder, just had a little more energy and enthusiasm. I walk away from this month feeling the same thing. That although I did better than a lot of folks I could have done oh so much more. If only. But the fact that I did anything at all is the accomplishment that I'm proud of the most here. It would have been so easy to give up, to quit, but, instead, I kept plugging away. And while I might not have as much as I'd like to show for it or even a good final product, I have that at the very least.

But it's an effort that's left me completely exhausted even as it's left me unsatisfied and craving more. Another chance. Another mad month of creativity because this one was so doomed to failure from the start. At the moment, though, I think it's time to rest. To catch up on some reading. To play some games. To relax, for a little while.

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