Thursday, November 22, 2007

Twentysecond day of Nanowrimo, wordcount 22kish

About half of that is a secondary storyline that doesn't really go anywhere, but oh well. It may find its place later. So, parts of this are fun. Last weekend was more productive than I'd expected, so it looks as if I'm faster when I'm banging words out while in a cafeteria or sitting on a dorm bed drinking wine than I am when I'm dedicating specific time to at home.
Or rather, I'm more productive when I can't go online. That's the big time-suck for me. I don't seem to have any willpower that will keep me off FandomWank, or Making Light, or the ABE book forum. By forgetting my password, I did manage to stay off LJ for some days, but that's changed now.
In 2003-4 I was writing and revising the co-written novel on my desk computer, mostly keeping my online time to checking the Modern Herbal and googling things like the date of invention of strike-anywhere matches. But in 2003 my online social interaction was a smaller thing. Some badmovie sites, the book forum, not much else.
Story stuff: My MC is traipsing around N America, accompanied by a very attractive young woman who may be a (fallen?) angel, and a devil in a backpack. The devil is having to walk, currently, because the backpack is full of a wendigo. MC is unsure how to deal with the wendigo, now that she has it, and is asking advice of an old woman who was once an informant for the MC's folklorist parents.
Which has put me in a bit of an ethical quandary. On the one hand, if the old woman turns out to have already been taken over or replaced by the Evil Thing (and there's a cool story about a woman who skins another wife and wears the skin to fool the husband, which works until it starts to rot), we get a plot turn and some cool SFX. On the other hand, it's not the most original plot twist going, and the old woman is First Nations, so I'd be running the risk of the Disposable Ethnic Character, which I'd rather not, really. Plus I dislike the trope of having secondary characters die just to point up the danger to Our Hero--it brings out my Bolshie streak.
So I may jump past that into the next sequence and figure it out later. It would also be good if I figured out what she wants in her own story, so she's not just there to advise and warn the MC in that story.
The ethnicity of the main character is uncertain, since her name is entirely made up, and her sexual orientation seems to be either bi or lesbian. Things you don't know when you start writing.
What I am enjoying about the enforced speed of nanowrimo is that there's no pressure to write in what I call the 'drenched' style, with a lot of sensory detail. The narrative can be fairly stripped down, with minimal scene-setting. Because wordcount is desirable, I don't have to fuss about my character's inclination to ponder, and then muse, and then ponder a bit more. It's all good, and edit in December.
Not that I'll have anything like a novel, even in first draft, by then. My immediate goal is to get up to 25k by the weekend, and see if I can get above 35k by next week. I'm not going to beat myself up trying to hit 50k.
Next year I'll try this with an outline, and maybe try an 18th c. epistolary style thriller.

Arthritis: definitely this would be a flare-up without the meds. Yay meds! Yesterday my left shoulder was hurting, reminding me of this time last year, when I still thought it was a rotater cuff injury, and was hauling out the sling every time my shoulder hurt. Today is pretty good. An awareness, I might say, of feet and hands, stiffness in the shoulders. Nothing to be fussed about.

Not finished reading: Tinker, by Wen Spencer. I'm having problems with this, mostly related to my reading as a writer. I like the character Tinker okay, but she is one heck of a Mary Sue. She's a genius, she's cute, everyone loves her except the elf-woman who's jealous, she wins fights despite (as we are frequently told) she's just a little thing, she's related to the most important people you can think of in that world, and I'm getting the strong feeling she has a Destiny. The narrative is thick with info-dumps, just sitting there like lumps in mashed potatoes. So those aspects are slowing me down. What may cause me to stop is not related to the writing at all. It's my personal squick. SPOILER!! Tinker is turned into an elf.
I've only attempted to read Jack Chalker once, and it was exactly this that put me off. An interesting, imperfect, realistic character changes into a supernatural being. Just because, as far as I could tell.
There's an Andre Norton I didn't enjoy because the character ends up transferred mentally first into a wolf, then into an alien body, because his own body is murdered in the course of torture. I did read that one all the way through, because there was a valid reason for him to be changed, and because the way the story dealt with someone losing his physical self and losing that continuity worked for me. But it still made me profoundly uncomfortable.
Sometime I should examine in more detail why this is a disturbing idea to me. It's not as if I'm that crazy about my physical self. Taller, with cheekbones, and much less body fat would be preferred. Oh, and 20/20 vision and no arthritis. But would I take a completely different body if it were offered? I don't know.
Not that it's going to happen.

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