Already behind but still not worried
Yes, it’s only the fifth day of Camp NaNo August, and I’m already behind where I’m supposed to be. According to the NaNo calendars I’m using as my background, I should be at 8,065 words today. Since I’m aiming for 60k this month instead of 50k, I should really be at 9,670. I’m actually at 6,511. I’ve written the prologue and chapter 1, and I’m at least halfway through chapter 2, probably a little more. According to the Camp site, I have to write 1,611 a day to finish on time. I can do that easily if I actually focus.
I generally get like this when NaNo starts. For the week or so beforehand, I’m excited to start working on this new project. Then the day before and the day it starts, I panic and realize that I haven’t planned enough and that nothing I write is good enough, and I drag out the writing process. I sit at my desk with my coffee, but instead of writing, I watch TV. I watch movies. I play games. I read blogs. I start making notes on other novels I want to write in the future. I pretty much do everything but write.
Most of the writing that I do have so far is based on the chapters I already had from previous attempts to write this novel. The first time I tried to write this novel was NaNo 2008. I wanted to try pantsing a novel, so I wanted to start with a character and just see what happened after that. I ended up with four characters (which eventually evolved into three), and I had an overall outline in my head before NaNo even started. I got about 10k in and then quit. I tried writing this again back in August 2010. In order to prepare for NaNo, I was going to try to write a novel over the span of August and September. I got about four chapters in before I gave up.
Now I’m more prepared. I understand most of the characters. I have a clear view for the first several chapters at least. Now I just have to deal with the fact that it’s never going to be as great in my head as it is on paper. The rational part of me knows that that doesn’t matter, that it’ll get better when I edit it and that my second draft is always better than my first, but the other part of me is still afraid to keep going. I think part of my problem is that I’ve now done a bit more editing with Tilt, and I don’t want to make it harder for myself later. Both Tilt and Learning to Lie had to be completely rewritten, and I’m afraid that most of Degeneration will be, as well. I already know that The Story of Em will probably need to be tossed, or at least reworked, if I want to make it a completed draft. Part of me just wants to slow down a bit with this one and see if perhaps I can actually keep the first completed draft of this one. Obviously it will still need editing and reworking, but I shouldn’t have to redo the entire thing.
I think that’s throwing me off, though. I should just write. If it ends up needing tons of editing later, that’s fine. Editing Tilt is actually proving to be rather enjoyable. I have tomorrow and Wednesday off work, and possible Tuesday, as well. I forget how slow the first few weeks are. My plan tomrrow is to get caught back up with where I’m supposed to be. That means a little over 5k and 4 chapters (since I wanted to write at least 1 chapter a day). I’d rather keep up with the chapters than the word count, but I’d be happy either way.
And tomorrow, the TV stays off.