10 November, 2008

The NaNoWriMo Blues

I have not worked on my NaNoWriMo story since last Thursday. Friday I had my three year old niece overnight and Saturday I opted to finish a short story I'd been working on. I don't regret Saturday's choice because I finished the story and I'm very happy with the first draft! Sunday night I wound up falling asleep at 7:30, and by the time I woke up again, it was time to go to bed.

So here I am on Monday night, ten days into NaNoWriMo, with my word count still idling at 8560. I'm having issues with my main character. He started out vibrantly. His personality was coming across nicely, and then the action started. It was like the first sign of insanity kicked in and he clammed up. Sure, he made it through the action really well, but his personality fell flat. We can't have that.

I will be returning to the early half of the chapter to the place where the action started to see if I can give Ryan mouth to mouth. Hopefully he doesn't deflate, because his lackadaisical response to zombies is really pushing me toward either starting a new project, or just going back to the edits on my nearly completed summer novel.

I hope that all of my NaNoWriMo friends are having better luck. I know now that it's not that I don't want to write. I just don't know if I can keep on trying to breathe life into characters that don't want to live. In all seriousness, he's not even a zombie, and the zombies have more life right now than my main character. That can't be good.

I do have another idea, one that I am almost positive I can whip out 20,000 words in a week over if I actually start it. Tempting, tempting.


Morgan Mandel said...

No, I'm having worse luck. I think I'm deliberately thwarting myself. I keep finding other things that must be done. Of course, I did schedule some guests for my blogsites and had to promote them. It's only right. I've got another at Acme on Wednesday, another on Make Mine on next Monday, then there's always Angela's post to put up. I'm so in the blog web, but I do get a rush from checking my stats each day. Gratifying to see the numbers are slowly climbing.
Morgan Mandel

Jacquéline Roth said...

Are you fighting what Ryan wants? Is he trying to go in a direction you don't think you want him to so he's fizzing out?


This is Nano. The idea being to get the draft down on paper. Are you too worried about the quality at this moment?

I'd try interviewing Ryan. Type out a dialogue between the two of you. Even if you don't save it, type it out or write it out. What does he want? Who is he? If his personality or motivation has changed perhaps it's because you don't have a clearly defined picture of who he is.

Try doing a character chart. Madame put an excellent one on the forum...I have a copy if you didn't save it. It has helped me define and keep track of who should be reacting in certain ways.

Jenny Beans said...

Morgan, I think it is a little bit self-defeating when you do NaNo. Even the two times I managed to complete the requirements for a competition like that, I still played pixie stix until 8 days left. In the summer I did JulNoWriMo and I waded around the 12000 mark for most of the month. Around July 20th, I kicked it into high gear and finished the contest with over 70000 words when the month was out. I work online, so I'm on the computer quite a bit. Twitter is distracting and of course, there's blogging and MySpace. I could come up with about 10 bajillion more excuses, but in the end the motivation will either kick in, or it won't. You'll get her, and besides, maybe the blog tour you just added is more important right now.

Jenny Beans said...

Jae, I think his character shut down when the first attacks took place. He was really tired because he's always had trouble sleeping in the city. Part of the problem has been his reaction. It's like he went into survival mode, but simultaneously fell flat. There's no panic in him at this moment, and I'm sorry, but he just watched two suited men get their faces chewed off by a secretary before a third man, who had been bitten, shot himself in the head. He's been too calm, despite the fact that he's thoroughly confused and trapped in a building full of zombies with the most annoying woman on the face of the planet.

I did do a character diagram in the beginning. Madame's was still on the forum, and then Pru reposted it as well.

Maybe I'm asking too much of him, but I want a reaction.

Another thing is that I don't often write from the male perspective. That may be a big part in the problem. Maybe his reactions are normal. I think I'll ask Jason what he thinks. He's a guy. Maybe in the face of a zombie attack, he'd just shut down and remain completely calm. I know I wouldn't.