Saturday, November 1, 2008

One thousand eight hundred and one words

I did it! I wrote the first 5 pages of my novel. It isn't very good, I am aware I haven't found my tone, it suffers from repetition and a lack of research--which for a historical is a tad troubling--I freely accept that it has the depth of coffee lid and the stale aroma of refried plots, that I was a fool to turn from verse to prose, but it is getting written. Welcome to the first draft.

It was lovely to join a back room of fellow nanowrimo enthusiasts at a nearby Cosi restaurant. I much enjoyed their company. And how nice to answer the odd questions, as in "what did people cook with in dorms before microwaves?" which I was in a position to answer, "toaster ovens and hotplates." Or "what would be a good name of a fake literary novel in a lit course?" And I said "the somethings daughter" since so many novels are named this way lately. As in the Mapmaker's Daughter or The Kayak Maker's Wife... And they helped me with finding names for characters.

They had 10 and 15 minute timed drives, to type full speed ahead with no other aim than quantity. Some were able to type twice as fast as me. I was astounded. Such speed... But at my rate, I realize that it will take me a minimum of two hours a day to do the writing. That pausing for research, quality, or even good plotting probably isn't necessary, and if I must do these things, do them later after the rush of just writing.

And in the small world department, the lovely funny young woman to my left who goes to Barnard turns out to be friends with the one person I know going to Barnard. So I told her to say hi to Hilly and she tells me Hilly is also a nanowrimo-ist and maybe the three of us should get together to write sometime and I am just so happy really that there are all these other people going through the same struggle at the same time.

There is also this delicious urge to write more than our equivalent city. Are we competing with Toronto or London? Does it matter? We are in this inexorable flood of creation, even if it is all dreck, it is dreck in progress, a novel, a rough first draft. Doable. Only 170 pages to go.


Elizabeth Yalkut said...

I am already 1,500 words behind myself -- what is with my professors assigning work during November? I have a novel to write!

Seriously, if you & H. & I can co-ordinate, I would love to have a wee NaNo party.

Claudia Carlson said...

Yes, let's meet in the hood. Like now. That would be great.