Well, I’m still chugging along with my word count for National Novel Writing Month but wanted to take some time out to post an update. My problem now seems to be that my NaNo story is going in a totally different direction than I’d planned. If “characters drive plot” then my characters are driving around the racetrack in circles. But slowly under a caution flag. Maybe a better way to describe it is this: You know how when you’re on the bumper cars and you seem stuck, lodged between two equally clueless drivers, and you have to hit the gas and turn the steering wheel a hundred times to get the car to go forward? That’s sort of how my characters are driving my plot. Spinning the wheel but getting nowhere.
My nine-year-old, JC, loves to talk and have an audience. Once he has adult’s attention, he’ll keep going … and going … and going. After nine years, I know exactly where to place my “uh-huh’s,” “oh really?’s” and “wow!’s” without having to listen all the time (Mom of the Year contender, I know!), and I’ve perfected my ability to deflect when I’m not paying attention and he asks a question (JC: Do you think that it’s possible? Me: What do you think?).
Sometimes though, he’ll go on forever and I need to do something or talk to someone else in the household. He gets angry: “I’m telling you a story,” he’ll whine. The other day in response to this I told him, “But your stories have no endings. It’s all just middle. A story is supposed to have a beginning, a middle, and an ending.”
Ahhh, I thought. My NaNo story is all middle right now. I need to progress so that I’m not writing a JC/bumper car/NaNo story that keeps spinning and spinning in one place until JC passes out/the carnival worker shuts the power and the spark on the grated metal ceiling dies/November 30th.
Tonight when I go back to the story, I’m going to set a theme in my head: Progression. I must progress my plot and characters. Wish me luck. Any NaNo’rs out there stuck spinning in the middle with me? (Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am . . . Sorry, fried brain).
All this being said, the NaNo philosophy is to simply get the words down. The phrase “embrace the suck” is often used to keep the writers writing. No Editing Allowed! Like my friend, David, says, next month will be “NaNoEdMo,” National Novel Editing Month. For me that may end up being NaNoEdYear, but I’m already looking forward to, and at the same time dreading, the editing phase. Theme two for the remainder of the month: Embrace the Suck.
Before I embrace my suck, today’s Daily Prompt is to answer the questions asked by James Lipton on the Inside the Actor’s Studio. You can see the Prompt and other responses here. These are the questions and my answers:
What is your favorite word? I like the word “resolving.” Especially in this lyric from Pearl Jam’s “Force of Nature”:
Somewhere there’s a siren singing
A song only he hears
All the strength that you might think
Would disappear, resolving.
I like the way Eddie sounds when he’s singing it. Also, it’s a great word. Its two definitions are equally awesome: “to settle or find a solution to” and “decide firmly on a course of action.”
What is your least favorite word?
If “MommyIcan’tfindmy…” doesn’t count, I guess I’ll have to go with the “c” word. It’s the only thing I can think of at this time of night.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Love. Creatively I enjoy a love story, whether watching a movie, reading a book, or writing. Spiritually I’m turned on by acts of love. Emotionally, love gives me the warm and fuzzies.
What turns you off?
I hate being cold. Creatively cold, spiritually cold, and emotionally cold. Also physically. I hate actually being cold.
What is your favorite curse word?
I enjoy the “f” word. One of JC’s first phrases was “for fuck’s sake.” (Mom of the Year, remember?)
What sound or noise do you love?
The ticking of my fingers pushing the letter keys on my laptop. I’m hearing it right now. Tick tick tick.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Slamming doors scare me. The slam is often attached to emotions and I always assume that I’m the cause of the slamming. Not sure if that makes sense.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
In a fantasy world, Princess. In the real world, a writer (hello?) or maybe a therapist (Ask my friends. They’ll tell you I missed that calling).
What profession would you not like to do?
I would not enjoy being an airline stewardess. Porn is out of the question too.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“You’re too early! Get back down there and go rock the living!”
Well, that was fun. Now it’s back to “NaNo-ing” for me (I’d like to make that an official verb, like “googling”). Thanks for reading and have a nice night 🙂