It’s day 22 and time for a nano update.
Germany seems to be top of the word count score bored list (proof of this can be seen on the nanowrimo statistics page). After having met a couple of agreeable but slightly obsessed writers I can understand why.
This is now the sprint to the finish for me and I have covered much ground along the way. I still look at pages full of words with disbelief and wonder whether I really wrote all that and in what state my mind was in while doing so, because sometimes it all seems like a very long dream.
I am wondering now: will I ever wake up and see the end?
I am looking forward to writing ‘THE END’ at the end of my novel. It’s the final touch required to finalise my creation, a coming of age, a special symbolic gesture to certify that I am really done with this.
But my characters don’t seem to want to leave. They are only just developing and coming out of their shells, enjoying themselves even in this wicked world I have created. But it is really their world and they often walk me through it as if I had no choice in the matter. They seem to know where they are going. But will they be happy with the ending I have foreseen?
There are only around 10,000 more words to write and space is becoming scant. I wonder will I even exceed the word limit and keep procrastinating events so as not to have to say goodbye to my characters and plot? Will I find the right words in the right measure to reach this goal of not extending the life of the novel too much and being overprotective of my creation?
This is the time where I can allow things to happen more quickly and release all the built up tension. I think I’ve done enough introducing and musing and now it’s time for some action.
I just finished another 1700 words for the day. 1700 is my target, and I often look at the word count a lot in the beginning stages of the day’s writing, as I always have a slow start. When there are a thousand words left I usually start to panic and then I open up twitter or read a blog or an e-mail or whatever is available and that is often enough to calm me down and start up my brain cells again.
It is the best feeling to then be writing and not checking the word count once because the writing flows so easily onto the digital page. It’s always amazing to me to relive the transition between utter boredom, desolation, and frustration to a blissful feeling of motivation, relief, and achievement.
I never thought I could write so many words in such a short time. It really helps to read the pep talks from the NanoWriMo writers and know that there are many others struggling with the amount of writing that’s to be done.
So the novel-for that’s what this is supposed to be-is slowly unfolding itself and I am holding the reigns loose so I can be more creative in the wriritng process.
I wonder what it all means in the end and would love to have someone analyse it from a different perspective, perhaps gain some insight into my mind.
If the novel is crap, in the end, or the characters are all unlikeable and the plot makes no sense at all, at least one can get a glimpse of the internal workings of one’s own mind. It’s also a great exercise to declutter one’s head of straying thoughts.
Reaching this milestone in my <life> has required more sugar than I usually eat, so I will not reward myself with a sugary treat.But I can think of one sure way to receive a well-deserved reward: sleep.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more words up my sleeve.
I hate to admit it, but I want to meet people. I go out of my way to meet people.
Yesterday I was half an hour early for the NaNoWriMo meet-up that took place in a cozy cafe in a side street. I looked around and saw a woman eagerly typing on her laptop, with papers strewn everywhere, and I thought that must be what a true writer looked like. I wondered if the people I would meet would also be like that, obsessively writing and only looking up from their oeuvres to take a sip of their drink or perhaps eat a slice of cake.
I tried to introduce myself, to make sure they at least knew, even just for a split second, that I did not identify as female, and therefore I called myself Dominic, and thereby implying that female pronouns are also black-listed.
It’s quite funny that almost all of ‘us’ write fantasy novels, stories about something extraordinary, or rather out of the ordinary, as they include fable animals or magic, fairy beings and such like. I am also keen on writing a fantasy story, because it opens up different possibilities if I stop being creative. It’s easier to make things up in a fictional world. To me, reality requires too much research.
But what I also find striking is that although many write fiction or fantasy, when confronted with fantastical ideas or transhuman thought, they are not interested. I mentioned that I didn’t have breasts anymore as part of my plea to not call me any female things, and one of them blurted out (it seemed almost involuntary, the response was so fast and sharp): “I’m not interested”.
I wonder why are you sitting here for, then, if it’s not about the people you meet? You are immersed in your writing and that’s great, but I personally wouldn’t come here just cause I can write with other people next to me. I can do that at home, and much more succesfully at that.
I am lucky though, though the people all left without saying a word while I was still in the bathroom, a man with a top hat drove me home cause it’s on the way to where he lives. It was refreshing to hear someone talk as fast as he does and be able to talk about things others might find disturbing..aka: ideas…but one thing did bother me. It only occured to me to be upset when I was already safely home and able to re-create the whole conversation. He basically related to me how he knew a thing or two about bullying and being deprived of his freedom and being different, because he wore hats and these are not fashionable. So he sometimes gets strange looks. ! . Are you comparing having someone throw your hat in a tree when you were a kid to being transgender, excluded from society, deprived of your identity, doubted, poked, prodeed, raped, villified, accused, killed? (I obviously haven’t been killed yet, so who am I to talk).
Do you think the type of erasure is so similar, middle aged white cis male? (You probably don’t even get the fact that I am trying to stereotype you, too).
Then he talked about one of his most beloved movies, wherein a filmmaker shows stereotypes in a cicrus, people with lost limbs and strange faces, and generally different conditions and talked about this in the context of transsexuality, comparing how similar people reacted to disabled people and to trans people, practically creating a link with disability and being trans.
We all have our priviledges and are all on a quest either to gain them or more of them, or not to loose them. I still have many priviledges so I probably shouldn’t be too upset at people’s offhand remarks, but that’s exactly the point. That people speak their minds so freely abut topics they know shit about, and that they feel content and, moreover, entitled to show their emotions and pry into people’s lives and make judgements or dismiss someone straight out because, well, who represents the norm….? Right, not I.
This guy is divorced and he said his family couldn’t understand how his divorce happened so quickly and without problems, and how the divorced parties could still communicate normally with eachother. He even got criticised for his exemplary behaviour, and why, because it’s unusual. It’s normal to fight, and therefore you’d rather support such behaviour than laud a person for acting differently.
He of all people should understand the fact that we try to shape our world into what we want to see and what we want it to be like. Perhaps he should take another look at me and people who have a gender disconnect and really see what it means to live like that. Perhaps he should take his hat off.
My progress so far: 3758 words
The first thing I did for NaNoWriMo was buy a small writing desk from a IKEA and a chair I could comfortably sit on. Then I bought some chocolate (Amicis-even the name suggest that they would be my friends throughout the writing month) and then I lay a couple of empty notebooks on the table to make myself look more studious and in order to be able to tap into the symbolic energy they posess when I felt my motivation and creativity lapsing. Just looking at notebooks makes me want to write something, they are to me what a Bible might be to a priesterly person.
I started writing, I just started, without concept or story-line. I had a story a long time ago, but dismissed it when the characters in it got too creepy and started developing their own personalities, or so I thought.
They weren’t ready yet to come out and be written, there were too many conflicting emotions in regards to them, so maybe these ones are a slight modification.
They are, of course, allowed to develop, but with a bit more restraint and purpose: the story should also have impoartance, not only the characters.
I don’t know how I will continue to write and not loose the overview of the novel. I have no notes to guide me, just obsessive thoughts about how to proceed. A lot of the time, and this is just the beginning, I don’t feel like sitting down and writing, but once I start I keep thinking about it, so, in order to get some peace, I have to eventually write my thoughts down.
That is my ‘plan’ for the next month: basically not having my head explode due to fustration and an over-active mind.
I’m still hoping the story will write itself or everything will come to me in a dream and then I’ll just have to relate what I dreamt about, which shouldn’t be too much work.
It’s awkward to write and spend so much time with characters, even if they are one’s own production. When writing, especially without much concept, you allow your unconscious more free reign and it’s always a bit scary: What will come out of my pen/keyboard? Are these really my thoughts? Where did these ideas come from? Who am I to write something and give life to these characters, when I don’t even have a stable identity myself?
The main thing is not to get too upset or critical with myself or the characters I create: they are allowed to be there and I am allowed to write. I don’t have to write about an important message or have a perfect story and it doesn’t always have to make sense.
Isn’t that what being creative is about?