Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crossing the Ridge on Thanksgiving Morn

I usually go for hour-long walks each morning.  The territory around here is hilly, not mountainous but neither do I live on a flat plain. The walks therefore consist of uphill, downhill and level sections all of which I try to take at a consistent pace.  My progress through the month's NaNoWriMo challenge has been a lot like those walks.  I started out full of confidence that my brain needed no prior planning to produce a mere thousand or so words a day to reach the fifty thousand word objective and knew that if I maintained a steady pace I should easily make the finish.

The first week or so I breezed along, believing that the level path I was on would continue with little change. Writing the allocation did not seem that hard and allowed me to do some other, more serious work of editing, creating, and planning after I'd dispensed with my daily obligation.  In fact, the challenge was sort of fun as new characters, settings, and scenes rolled into being without forethought.

Then I hit the first uphill portion; when the lack of a plot began to manifest itself. I found myself needing, inventing reasons for the characters to act as they did.  I needed some sort of narrative thread that drove the story along. I needed drama, action, suspense, and lots of other stuff instead of just ambling down the path describing settings and holding pointless conversations.  Suddenly maintaining the pace became more difficult to the point where I began floundering.  My writer's mind had finally asserted itself and demanded that I produce a STORY, damn it!

I fell behind, terribly behind as I fretted about the story, unable to make my quota, worried that I was not going to accomplish the full fifty thousand words.  I felt terrible. What to write, what to write, what to write drummed endlessly in my head.

And then, as quickly as that, I somehow surmounted the ridge of difficulty and found myself on the downhill leg, picking up speed. Words poured out so quickly that I caught up with the quota and managed to get three full days ahead.

I have no idea of how this happened or why a story suddenly became so clear.  Had my subconscious been scheming to bring all of the disparate elements I'd created into a unified whole? Perhaps, but I won't know that until I finish the piece somewhere far beyond the fifty thousand limit. I don't care. I am ahead of the pace. I will make my goal.

Two more days!


1 comment:

Thanks for reading my blog!