Nano is like a relationship.
Theres the honeymoon phase where everything is excellent, the days fly by and wonderful memories are created. Then theres the slow rut where you're comfortable and stable without doing anything spectacular. Then there's this time that apparently all authors hit: the slump.
I'm here, and its where we artistic types get the sterotypes of being angsty and depressed. How can life go on when this story is so horrible? The plot doesn't match up with anything, the characters are horrible and everything is very, very distressing. Its at this point that you wonder if it isn't time to call it quits, find something new to write and forget about this drivel. This is where I am with Culture.
I have the same misgivings about this story that I did when I first started it. The previous story ideas keep getting in the way of the new ones and the plot seems to be stalemating. From a prose point of view, its actually coming along very well; the city of Sarient is taking on amazing shape. But its not exciting, not yet. And an adventure that isn't exciting isn't much of an adventure at all.
With that said here's my plan going forward ( heh if anyone cares )
1) I'm hitting the 50K word goal. I will accomplish this feat by use of what I'm going to call the 'Odds and Ends' approach. I'm going to try writing bits and pieces of what the final product should look like, experiment with a bunch of different scenes that may or may not find a place in the final version and try my characters in a bunch of different roles until I find something that fits. This will not make a complete story. As far as I'm concerned this will result in a big mess.
2) I'm going to finish it. I won't be finished by the end of November, not by a long shot. But I think I'll be in a position that I know where the story should go, how the major events should happen and, most of all, know who my characters are. Imagining my characters has been the hardest struggle with Culture, but hopefully they'll stick with me and get me through.
That's my plan. If anyone wants to read the resulting "mess" of Nano, you're more than welcome to. I would really enjoy any critisism that anyone has to give me on this one. Just know it for what it is, a first try on a very large piece that will come into its own someday, Just not someday soon.
Thanks to everyone who's encouraged me this month and thanks to Tina for listening to my rants and smacking me when I needed it. Love ya babe!
John, the Writer
P.S. 27559 words and counting ;)