The Best Laid Plans

So I’ve been doing the tweeting thing, and it’s been a little different than I anticipated.

I had an idea that I’d have some obvious choices for really good or really bad sentences; but apart from some egregious typos (and there aren’t even that many of those – I tend to reflexively correct typos as I go, even when I’m scrambling for word count), sentences out of context tend to be far more mundane. The ones that I like, that seem to fit the rhythm of the prose and evoke exactly what I want, are meaningless without the surrounding words. Similarly, the ones that are awful tend to be awful because they are vague, or they break the narrative in the wrong place. I’ve found a few egregious untethered pronouns and some annoying redundancies – but on the whole, the sentences I’ve chosen are unlikely to stand out to someone else as either good or bad.

What I think might be interesting is how the 30 sentences read in sequence (once there are 30 of them). Right now, the story reads very strangely. It’s clear there is liquor involved, and some guy apparently named for a playing card, and possibly some fighting. All of this is true (although he’s not actually named for a playing card; I’ve bastardized some Russian/Slavic names for my characters, and it makes a practical nickname), but it’s not in the least bit descriptive of the story.

One thing I do know: I am enjoying the writing of this one. Last year’s was rather random. I had a character I had come up with in another story, and I thought he was nice, so I set out to find him a girl. I did, and they fell in love and lived happily ever after, and it was about 53,000 words of happy people and not much conflict.

It was BORING. I needed some bad guys. I needed protagonists who were not quite so two-dimensional. Now I have bad guys, and protagonists who get stuff wrong a lot.

It is much, much easier to write about people who get stuff wrong.

I’ve set myself a personal goal: 2000 words a day. I started this on (I think it was) the 6th, and so far I’ve been keeping up with it. I like it, because it gets me ahead – I can skip a whole day now if I want to, but I won’t. I also like it because it’s personalized. It’s proving I’m doing it for myself, and not just for NaNoWriMo goodies. 2000 words take me between 80 and 100 minutes, depending on how sticky the scenes are. It’s a big chunk of time, but for a month? Piece of cake.

Of course, there is no way this story will be done in a month, even with the 32,000 words I’ll be writing between now and then. But that is a problem for another day.

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