...and I'm floundering. It was going so well. So, so well that I spent most of last week telling myself that it wouldn't last (whilst secretly hoping that it would). I wrote a lot, but more than that, I really felt like I knew where I was going. It felt like after every bit that I finished, the next bit would just pop into my head, and it was easy, and it was fun.
Now, I feel a little bit overwhelmed by it. I have 12036 words. This is a lot of words for me. Normally, I create my worlds in less than 3000, so I've got 4 times that and I know there is more to tell. I just feel like I'm losing it.
I have, however, learnt a lot from last year. Last year I took the whole no editing thing a bit too literally. I didn't even spell check, which meant that when I went to edit it, it was so messy I was disadvantaged from the start. This year, I've been spell checking. I have flashcards with my characters on them, and others with locations. I've been making a list of questions I need to research later. I just need to reclaim my confidence and take my story back.
So what if I've missed a day (Sunday) and the words I wrote on Saturday were pretty much just a big list. I tell more than I show in my first drafts, I know this. And so what if my characters aren't fully formed? I know I have too many characters, some of them will die (literally) and some of them will be written out, or amalgamated with others. I'm not going to know which ones are the most interesting and the best fun until later. The first draft will be like the first few dates, the re-draft is where the relationship begins. And so what if the chronology is all out of whack? I need to know what happens first and then I can worry about putting it in order.
Ok, so this is actually quite cathartic, writing it all down. Writing a novel in 30 days was never going to be easy. Writing a novel which retains some semblence of structure and sense was going to be harder still, but really, everything worth doing is difficult. And the Universe wants me to write this story. I read somewhere once that you have to learn how to read the signs in your life, and last week, my friend told me a story about how the police wouldn't let her boyfriend go back to his flat because there was a man with a gun in Percy Main (they don't just not let you back home, they check that you have somewhere to go and give you a number to call for updates. Oh, and they don't tell you it's because of a man with a gun unless they have to). Then, there was a link on BBC News website (I'm terrible for reading the news when I should be working) which was an article about gun laws and how incidents like the Whitehaven shootings could happen, and lastly, I received a Celebrity Death Beep informing me that Hall of Fame manger Sparky Anderson had died.
To put this in context...my story is called Sparky's War and is about a man who goes postal and starts shooting in his village. Coincidence? Hmmmm.
Anyway, so I think what I'll do tomorrow is work through chapter by chapter making notes of who is where and what they're doing. I can make sure I complete the story arcs, and I won't forget where people are. And I can write on and finish the little stories that I've started, and they can all knit together and become a first draft. That sounds like a plan...right...I'll get on it (tomorrow).