November 16th, 2006

marie antoinette

They fight crime!

Still on 75 mg of Lamictal, and no return of the itching so far, but I'm getting dull, persistent headaches. I've gotten these before when starting or adjusting medications, so it doesn't seem like a reason to stop--but I do think it's a reason to stay at this dosage for a few more weeks, if I can convince my doctor. (I don't see why I couldn't.) It was just really hard to try to write last night with my head splitting in two.

I did, however, hash out some of my POV issues and I think I'm going to give one character a reprieve--I'd been going back and forth over whether to kill him or not, and then I realized that it would make more sense if someone else (someone who would be a far more satisfying death anyway) was there instead. I'm to the point where I'm viewing NaNo as a way to force myself to work on a single project for a month instead of four or five and finishing nothing, and even if I don't finish even the roughest kind of draft, or even cross 50,000 words, it'll have been worth it for the story problems I solved and the new ideas I came up with and the work I put into it.

I was, however, explaining NaNo to my mother last night thusly: "It's like training for a marathon. If you get yourself into good enough shape that you can run a marathon, even part of it, you've accomplished a lot and it was worth it. But technically, you didn't run the whole thing unless you cross the finish line. And almost no one expects to cross it first--just crossing it is the point. And some people don't even cross the line, and that's okay too. But crossing the line is what you're aiming for. That's what 50,000 words is." I think she's kind of interested in it, if not actually excited, because I'm so infamous for never actually finishing things, so anything that results in "something publishable" is A-OK with her.

The Snowflake Method of Novel Writing. After reading over it, I think I use a lot of these techniques already, albeit in a far more casual and less sale-based way. In fact, the one thing that put me off the Method was how proposal-based it was: "You may or may not take a hiatus here, waiting for the book to sell. At some point, you've got to actually write the manuscript." If you're writing for a living--i.e., you have already published one or more novels, and you are able to crank projects out with some regularity--this might be a good mindset for you. Those of us who aren't/haven't should probably skip this step, because there's a point when you need to be focusing your energy on the writing rather than the sales, particularly if you're the kind of writer who tends to get freaked out by deadlines and follow-through and actually finishing things (cough). So if what I'm saying resonates with you, and you'd rather not try to sell sell sell!, keep that in mind when you read through the Method. These character sketches and plot outlines are things you can tuck away in your writer's notebook/Word notes folder/PB Wiki for later.

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