So, here’s a fun thing. I have 20,000 words to write this month. I’ve scheduled out the days I can write, and what my approximate word count for each of those sessions on those days should be to hit that goal. The second day I was tracking, I went to check my word count. -104. NEGATIVE 104 WORDS. Revising. It’s like trying to explain the shape, color, and shade of a specific painted turtle while it continually dives in and out of algae blooms, and then ducks under yet another water lily leaf. I lived in a house on a pond when I was younger, and one year my parents gave me a hand-me-down canoe for one of my birthdays. It was by far my favorite birthday gift, and I spent many a summer out on the water, reading, writing, and watching the turtles.
I’ve written stories before. I’ve seen turtles before. But each one is unique, and when we’re trying to find them in the revision process, each swims in a pond of its’ own.
The next session I wrote 1,448 words. This feels like good practice for NaNoWriMo. (And perhaps a pre-NaNoWriMo challenge? Maybe.) Those 1,448 words included the start of two new chapters, and then some revision to existing chapters. A fun thing during that session too was being able to illustrate more about my main character. For him, the mountains are hugely important. As I was trying to figure out what he would do for a particular other character, where he would go to say goodbye, I didn’t know if he would do this, and if he did, where. The mountains I realized, but that was only one part of it. I needed to figure out if they would have a moment together. When I put him there and approached the time where they might have a moment together, I realized that it wouldn’t be right for them, not in the way I was thinking. Instead, I backed it down, gave him more space, and it shaped up beautifully. It was exactly what he needed, because it wasn’t everything. Every chance I get this week will be spent revising the chapters, chasing the words, and shaping the story.
What’s something from your past that helps you work your way through the writing process? Is there something you’ve done since you were a kid that either helps you unplug enough to go back to a project with a clear mind, or an analogy that helps you work through a problem the way you’ve done before?