Still behind and slightly worried

I seem to have some sort of mental block with this novel. This is the third time that I’ve attempted to write it, and I’m having only slightly less trouble writing it this time than I have in previous attempts. Part of my problem is that this book is primarily about how we see people, and how our perceptions change once we get to know someone, and I’ve never been very good at slowly changing characters’ minds.

Another problem (and probably the main problem) is that this book has a lot more dialogue than any of the others that I’ve worked on. I don’t dislike dialogue as a whole, but the dialogue in this book is more difficult because one my characters is one of those peppy people who can talk to anyone and is always giggly and happy (or at least almost always is), and that is so completely not like me at all. I was at my boyfriend’s house all day on Saturday for a family get-together, and I was extremely proud of myself because I spoke one time. That’s how much I hate talking to people. I’m not good at it. In a work setting, it’s different. I’m considered loud at work because I’m the one who gets people attention and tells them what to do. When it comes to personal situations, though, like with friends and family, I clam up. It’s not that I don’t like people – I just don’t know what to say. Which makes it extremely difficult to write about a character who does know what to say.

That said, I’m working on it. I’m currently at 21,464 words. I’m about 10k behind where I should be for Camp NaNo and 17k behind where I should be for my personal goal of 60k. But I’m also further into this draft than I ever have been with a draft of this novel, so I’m not completely devastated about that. I wrote a little over 3k yesterday, and I’ve written about 1,500 words today and still have a little over four hours before I have to leave for school, so I’m hopeful that I can get closer to where I’m supposed to be. If I write about 3200 words a day, I can still hit 60k by the end of the month. I’m not entirely sure that’s going to happen, but it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, so I’m going to go with it.

I’m not going to let myself get distracted anymore. I read and reviewed four books and a short story in the past two weeks. While I’m happy I got some more reading in before school, I should have been focusing on reading AND writing. I’ve finally finished all of the library books that I had out, so at least I don’t have to worry about finishing them before their due date anymore.

In vaguely related news, my first day of grad school is today. I have classes Mondays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm. I already have the syllabus for my Thursday class (Planning and Organizing Instruction for Secondary Education, for those who are curious), and I’m already freaking out a little. Two tardies (15 minutes or more) equals 1 absence, and 2 absences mean that the highest grade you can make in the class is a B, which is the lowest grade you can get and still pass, according to this program. If you get lower than a B, you have to retake the class, and you can only retake two classes before they kick you out of the program. And, okay, sure, I never got lower than a B+ in any of my undergrad classes, but I’m sure their standards are higher in grad school.

My main concern is actually getting to school. Most people with jobs go to the same place every day and therefore know how long it takes them to get to school from work, so they would know beforehand if it was possible for them to get to school on time or not. I, however, don’t have a normal job. I’m at a different school everyday. Some days I’m five minutes from home. Some days I’m two hours from home. Some days I get done at noon. Some days I get done at five. It varies that much. I’ve already talked to my team lead, who agreed not to put me at middle schools on the days I have school (since middle schools don’t usually get done until 4, which means I almost can’t get out of there before 4:30 or 5), but there’s only so much she can do. Thursday, I’m going to be way up in the mountains. It takes an hour and fifteen minutes to get from that school to my school, and that’s without factoring in traffic. That school day ends around 3, which means that it’s possible that I won’t get out of there until 3:30, which would only give me an hour and a half to get to my school before I’m late. I’m hoping that that school will get done early, but I’m still freaking out that I won’t make it to class on time.

Oh, and one of the textbooks that I bought from eBay probably isn’t coming. It already charged me $40, and now it says that the member is not longer registered with eBay. Since I already paid, the only thing I can do is wait a week and see if the book still shows up. If it doesn’t, I can get my money back. Of course, I don’t have a week because class starts today and I probably need to have read something by the next class, so no matter what I’m going to have to buy another copy just in case. I guess it’s better to have two copies than none, but it’s still a pain in the ass, especially because now only the expensive copies of the book are available.

And now that I’m done freaking out about something that I can’t do anything about right now, I’m going to focus more on writing. The plan is to at least finish this chapter and the next chapter before I have to leave for school.

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Posted on August 20, 2012, in CampNaNo, Keep Going, Reading, school, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Keep pushing ahead, a little at a time. You’ll get there. The words pile up that way.

    Regarding showing the way people gradually change their minds, look at the books you’ve read and how those authors do it. Examine the process that unfolds as your own mind changes. After that, it’s just a matter of the specific thoughts as relate to the situation/person being considered.

    • That’s a good point. I don’t usually change my mind about people, but it does happen sometimes, so I should really pay more attention. Now that you mention it, I do have a couple of stories that I should go back and reread and see how they did it. And I’m slowly working on adding more words to it. I’ve been managing to write a little at work, so that’s always nice. 🙂

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