|It's entirely possible that I misspelled my title. I can't get it to not look wrong, now|
And then this year I opened up my doc, and I felt like I had adequately drained myself dry if I could wrench 500 words from my chest and shove them onto the page. It was HAAAAAARRRRRRRRRDDDDDDD. *dramatic drape across the couch*
I can identify two reasons why this was so desperately painful.
- I was trying not to completely fail at work. I'm leaving in December and moving into the big city, and I want to go out on a high note, not on a "good grief, what is WITH that woman?"
- I didn't have a plot.
Reason one is pretty self explanatory. But it led into reason two, as well. You see, when I went into my last two nanos, I'd spent eight or five months thinking about the story. I knew who my characters were, I knew how the plot started and ended, if not the middle, and I knew the political structure of what was going on. (This is important when my default is to make people a. work for the govt, or b. rage against the govt.) So when I went, "Oh, I'll just put people on a train and make them talk to each other," I did have material to work with. This time I- what DID I start with?
Oh yeah. I knew one MC woke up with no memory, another MC thought she was going mad but really she was telepathic and in scene two she's going to be recruited by a government security group, and my other two MCs were going to escape an assassination attempt and, uh, survive. While all of this is terribly shiny, it isn't really what you would call a PLOT. And with me spending my time while working thinking about (shockingly) my work, I didn't have any time to MAKE a plot.
So then for 50,000 words, I basically flailed madly around trying to figure out who was important or not, and why people were doing things and if that was important, and HOW ARE THEY ALL CONNECTED? It was my finest moment. (Not really.) Fortunately after about 20,000 words I was able to recognize that I had whole sections that totally contradicted each other, so basically this wasn't a usable first draft. From then on it was able to be a world-building exercise, so my flailing was in broader and less coherent stripes. :D
Even so, by the last day I was 10 thousand words behind. Which led to amazing things like this.
Hmmm, his name was breathed pretty distractingly into his ear. Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The hmming here represents what’s happening because I can’t tell you Peter’s internal monologue. But I’ll do some stage directions.This is the first make-out scene I've really written with more of an "that looked complicated" write-off. I think I'm going to go back to that method.
AMBROSE: Put one hand on the back of Peter’s head, and rove around there. With the other arm, the one with the hand holding the knife, hang it down Peter’s back so that you hold yourself up with your elbow. Also, stand on your toes so you can knock teeth with him more efficiency. Also, make sure to knock teeth. Objective is to trade tongues, and you should try that diligently. It’s possible that the latch for your tongue is in his lips, so be sure to bite those several times. Otherwise, use your imagination. And your hips.
PETER: Do what feels right to you. NOT LIKE THAT- oh. Okay. Well, um. Yeah. We’ll take an intermission and you just- you do that. Okay.
When we left our anti-hero, he’d been breaking the law regarding legal ages for consent in the prep kitchen of a restaurant. (Peter is underage.) And when we return, Peter is STILL breaking the law regarding legal age for consent...
And he’s just produced handcuffs. I”M TOO YOUNG TO SEE THIS. *hides face while the cuffs levitate into the air by themselves, catch Ambrose’s hands and lock them behind her and hold her there while Peter steps away* Wait, what?
Yes, Audience, you read that correctly! (Audience? What are you doing in here watching freaky sketch happen? Not only many of you underage, there are sharp thing in here! You may become injured!) Peter mentally handcuffed Ambrose, and much more shockingly, he STEPPED AWAY. And it’s not just to admire the view with her shirt hanging open, though that was definitely a useful side effect of it. “Sorry, Ambrose, the Queen’s going to be paying for your meals for a while. You’re under arrest for illegal shellfish use, and use of mock firtute.”
“... and I don’t use mock firture!” Ambrose finished in angry, pretty tears. “It’s real!”
“That’ll have to go to a panel of experts to decide.” Peter said in his best tortured hero look, caught in the grip of virtue and following it nobly. Also, I hate myself. “But I know a holding temperature for mock eff when I see it. Did you really think you were fooling anyone?”
“You were fooled.” She glared. Breathing hevily, too! Well done, Ambrose, but Peter’s the virtuous hero, he’s too strong for you. He’s- um, Peter. Eyes up here. *snaps fingers* PETER. Eyes UP.
“I was having a little fun while we were waiting for the backup to get here.” Peter smirked. “Thanks for the entertainment, by the way, honey.”
EXIT OF REDNESS THEN WHITENESS THEN BLACKNESS THEN REDNESS THEN CHANGE SCENE.
But yes, due to complete madness and some creative use of punctuation, I finished Nano!