November Is The Coldest Month

November 22nd, 2004 · 1 Comment
by Booksquare

Yes, that headline is indeed the reason why we abandoned poetry in the 12th grade. However, in this case, it is half true. Last year on Thanksgiving, we hosted dinner in our backyard. This year, we wouldn’t be so cruel. The snow level in Southern California is at (what is surely) an all-time low. It is the kind of event that confuses the locals. Surely it’s too early in the year for weather? We believe we should be hibernating.

But no, we remain resolute. We will finish this darn NaNo thing if it kills the rest of you. This is supposed to be where things come together. According to our spreadsheet, we are ending our third week and cruising into our fourth (after which, due to Jill and her email problems, we will embark upon a marathon editing/rewrite frenzy. It’s too complex to explain.). According to the NaNo literature, which we read faithfully, it’s all coming together now.

Okay, seriously, they are on drugs. We have just worked out major details and conflict. No need to elaborate, but we have reinforced our belief that all the plotting software in the world will not make us a more discplined craftsperson. It is the act of writing that helps us form the story. This may be why we will never be a first draft sort of writer. Not a bad thing, but it makes us wonder how anyone can do it right the first time. The way we imagine it, there must be much agonizing on a word by word basis. Surely that takes away from the joy of the fourth draft, where such agonizing is par for the course?

We will skip the joys of the seventh draft, as they are obvious to those who practice such magic, and unbelievable to those who don’t.

Our esteemed and informal partners have stopped pretending they are participating, though they continue to support our fantasy world. One had a book being due to her editor (there was word count involved, but, we suspect, not NaNo levels). The other has all manner of excuses (we admire a good excuse, so will detail hers: jury duty, lack of Internet access, excessive phone bills due to lack of Internet access, trying to find a reviewer for her first book, agent issues, Girl Scouts, cleaning house [!]…let us just say we won’t be surprised if she calls tomorrow to announce she’s cooking Thanksgiving dinner).

One week to go. By our estimate, we will be on the road four of the next seven days (the road meaning no reliable Internet access). We must (slightly) exceed our daily estimate to make up for a few days where we (slightly) missed our goal. We are humbly requesting that next year, when we think this is a good idea, someone reminds us that this year required far too much math, and we would be better off in Bora Bora (because, yes, one always writes more and better on a tropical island).

File Under: Square Pegs

1 response so far ↓

  • Susan Gable // Nov 23, 2004 at 6:38 am

    You GO! Come on, you’re doing GREAT! Nobody said it was going to be easy. (And if they did, they LIED, and you should throw something at them.) At least you’re getting writing done – which as a writer is something you need to do. So, stop whining about the cold, and about the fact that some other people (cough, cough) fell off the NaNo wagon, and keep going. Now that the book is in to the editor, I have to pull myself back onto the wagon and salvage something of the month toward a new draft myself. Or I guess I’d better at least get some better exucse that you’ll admire, since getting the stuff to the editor doesn’t seem to cut it. lol.