Friday, October 9, 2015

Another Brief Update

photo by Rooze - I love this one and I've used it before. And it's true.
Another update.

Not that I have anything really important to say. Not that I don't have anything important to say, either.

I mean - what constitutes importance? Right? No, now I'm blabbering in the page. In public. Not a good idea.

So the update I alluded to elsewhere (yes, it was on Facebook). I posted that I've been doing a lot of reposts and posting about interpreted performances, as well as some other things which touched me in some way. But mostly about theatre and interpreting. Which is all good.

Then it hit me that I wasn't posting much about what I'm doing personally. Or what I'm doing with my writing. So I posted something - about my kitchen witchery experiments with fermentation. Which are continuing and we're still alive to show that I haven't poisoned anyone yet! I have handed off one set of multiplied kefir grains to a friend (both water kefir grains and milk kefir grains) and I'm preparing to pass off another little bundle of milk kefir grains. That is all going great and it's fun and I really do feel like I'm brewing up some concoctions. And they taste good. Most of them. Like with my daily green smoothies. Mostly good but once in a while I hit a less than stellar combination and I make it through by thinking "healthy" as I drink it.

So. The writing.

I have already set up my 2015 NaNoWriMo page. Which is way, super early for me. Yes, I do have a title already. Which is also super early. And I have already done some preparation.

Whoa! Wait! Did I just say that? I am actually preparing to write this novel? I'm not being a pantser?

Yes, that is what I typed. I don't think I will have a full outline with backstories and graphs and plots and photos with circles and arrows and names on the back. But I have a plan.

See, what I'm planning for this year's NaNoNovel is to rewrite an earlier novel. It's one I liked at the time, but it had some major flaws, of course. A pre-draft of a novel and it was all over the place in terms of story and a mess. I've tried reworking and revising, I did some research, I workshopped parts of it. I did scene breakdowns and character breakdowns and on and one. It was the one I took with me to the Rockaway Beach Writing Workshop with Lori Lake last year. There I mapped out the entire story and had some helpful and amazing insights to the story. And the characters. And I did more revision and rewrites. And then ....

I realized the only way to save this story I really like is to rewrite it from the ground up. Well, not 100% because I do have a plot, I have some characters (though I need some changes). I have places and some scenes. Though many scenes will change, I believe. And big pieces need to be completely removed and replaced and reordered. What I feel like is that the novel I currently have is actually a narrative style outline (with extra material) for the novel.

So, in preparation, I read the book which has a central role in my novel. No, I'm not telling you any more about it than that. A few of my writing friends and partners know more, but that is all I'm going to write about here. So I did actually read the whole book, from start to finish. One translation of the book, anyway, and I have two more translations to read.

Yes, this book plays a major role and, yes, I had not previously read the entire book. I read about the book. I read excerpts from the book. I read criticisms of the book. But I had not read The Book Itself.

Now I have. Read the book.

What I found in my reading is that much of what I incorporated is not that far off from The Book's story. Some of the characters which reappear - sort of, no, I'm not telling more - in my novel were a good surface level match. In reading the actual book, I discovered that my premise for the inclusion of The Book and the inciting incident (which was one thing I discovered at Rockaway Beach last year) were very compatible. There are decisions I need to make and details to add to bring some things and people more to life, but at a basic level, I didn't do too badly.

There are also some things I need to figure out, such as about how some of this stuff works in the world of my novel. Those decisions and rules may not be overt, but for my story to hold together I need to make some policies and consistencies.

I also have some decisions to make about characters. The current characters and The Book characters and some other things which happen which I'm not telling you about right now.

No outline to follow. Except for the map from the workshop last October. The map basically lists who is in which group, the major events, and the order in which they happen. I will not have a written outline of who does what when and how and then fill in the words. But I will have a character list - with the expectation that someone new may show up! And I will have a few pieces of character development I need to include. And I have a few events which need to take place for congruency with The Book.

So I will be semi-pantsing? Or maybe not.

And, perhaps, this is all too early and when I open my laptop to write at the midnight transition from October 31st to November 1st, all of this could go on hold and a new set of characters with an entirely different story may show up to dance on the page. I will follow them, I think. I have learned that forcing my writing is almost never productive and it certainly isn't fun.

NaNo is coming and I'm ready. I think.

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