Monday, November 28, 2011

Jewel of Jeopardy

Last Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, I was sitting at my rolltop desk, eyes brimming with tears, tapping out the words, "...for the last time." Having finished Chapter 33, I sniffed loudly, put my computer to sleep, and a little shakily went to stand outside in the wind to clear my head.

I had done it.  I had killed the very character I had decided so firmly that I would not kill.  She is a central part of the story and I felt killing her would be the easy way out.  Somehow, such an act of rebellion did not make me hate my story, but it made me want to write more.

When I came inside, I gave my dad a few of the details so he would know why I was wandering around with a rather blank, empty look on my face.  After family prayers, I could think of nothing else, so I "went galumphing back" up the stairs, woke up my laptop, which was rather testy at me, fired up my radio, and started writing.

I listened to a variety of music that memorable night, including the soundtrack for Pirates, Crooked Still, Enya, and Blackmore's Night (an odd, Rennaisance-rock band whose lyrics I have been using as my post titles).

I had started with a word count of around 45 K and I kept checking my word count, thinking to myself, Only _ K more! You can do it! I think it was about three and a half hours later, ten minutes to midnight, when I did it.

I hit 50,000 words.

via pinterest

It was the most amazing feeling, even more satisfying than I had thought it would be.  Unfortunately, since it was ten to midnight, I couldn't scream and dance and jump on the bed get the point.  So I spent ten minutes telling Facebook and the Nano forums about my victory, then I turned off my computer and radio and slipped into bed.

My Nano win was definitely something to be thankful for, as well as the fact that my family had a relatively quiet Thanksgiving holiday and I was free to spend that Thursday with them and help make some of the food.

The book's not done, of course - I thought it could be, but it would require a sequel and I didn't know if I wanted to do that.  So when I started writing again (during a relaxing hour on Thanksgiving), I just typed "Book 2" on a blank page and went from there.

Naturally, my writing has slowed down a great deal since I won, but it's still going steady.  For all of you doing Nano, if you won, I congratulate you! If you didn't, just remember that without Nano you probably never wouldn't have written what you did this month!

Anyway, the moral of the story is - when I defied myself, I shocked myself into a writing storm.  Sometimes a little change of rules and thinking outside the box is just what you need to get the gears of your story grating again.

Happy End-Of-November from a very happy and relieved,


P.S.  Link of the day: Minimize distractions with Write or Die, a web app that punishes you for cat vacuuming!
P.P.S. About my laptop - it needs a name.  I'm going to put up a poll soon so you can help me choose :) No guarantee I'll obey the majority, of course, but as Sarah always says, it'll help "cement" my choice.


Mia said...

I feel a need to bullet point this comment.

~*giggles manically* Congrats on the win! Goode Lucke on the continuation, too.

~You have my sympathy over the dead character. :')

~Blackmore's Night is so neat! Their whole weird mixed-genre vibe that creates that danceable music makes me smile.

~Nice selection of names. It's a hard vote, but I think that out of those, Simon is my choice. Volger is definitely close behind, though. :)

~Write or Die! I haven't used it before, but it looks splendid.

Okay. I think that's it.


Ashley said...

Now you've done it. Gone and gotten me addicted to Blackmore's night! They are so freakin' awesome! I think Faerie Queen and Midnight fires!

Ashley said...

Oh, and CONGRATS on NaNo!

I might just be odd, but I LOVE killing characters! {giggle} If it was up to me, I'd probably kill them all. However, not all readers would enjoy my taste and style.