Gra’s writing journal 2008 – issue 1

Word Count: 38,0021 – Stress-level: Medium

I'd started with such a good plan. Simple. Elegant. It was the night before i'd start my new novel and i had notes aplenty, a cast of quirky characters in my head and some weirdo concepts to mash together.

At 11:00 pm i dutifully went to bed. The alarm was set for 7:00 am and i planned to get up, have a quick breakfast and write 10,000 words before 1 pm. Piece of cake.

At 1:00 am, i lay in darkness, awake, stressing about the stupid novel.

At 2:30 am, i gave up trying to sleep and read a book. I reset the alarm for 9:30 am.

At 5:00 am, i decided to skip getting up with an alarm, sleep in and try to do what writing i could in the afternoon. Finally i slept.

At 9:30 am, my alarm, which i had forgotten to turn off, tore into my brain like, uh, some sort of metaphor or simile.

After making sure my alarm clock would never harm anyone ever again, i dragged my sleep-deprived carcass to the kitchen, which i had by then re-named “the caffeine dispensing room.”

Somehow, by midnight, i had “written” 10,000 “words” for my “novel.”

I mean, it was a “novel” in that it had “words” strung together, and i had “written” them. But i've come to think of novels as containing “plots” and “character” and nice little turns of phrase.

But i trudged on, tap tap tapping all 53,932 characters into my word processor until fatigue covered me like a scratchy simile and i took my aching hands and crushed spirit to bed.

My first day provided a useful model for the rest of the week. Highlights were lack of sleep, poor nutrition and absolute despair over my novel, my abilities as a writer, and in general my worthiness as a human being.

It's been a hoot.

Then yesterday, somewhere around 27,000 words (or 144,616 taps of my sad overworked keyboard) i had a breakthrough. These were characters! They might want things! Maybe they should do stuff! They could even *gasp* talk to EACH OTHER!

It was just the kind of radical thinking my book needed.

After seven drudging days, yesterday i knocked off another 10,000 words (actually waking up early, after having, *gasp*, slept.) And you know, i almost had fun!

I've got plots hatching left and right, people fighting and TALKING to each other. I've got big problems and sub-problems. I even (once or twice) turned a nice phrase.

So, today, i think i'm going to kill off most of my characters.

Um, it makes sense in the book. I guess you'd have to be there. I'm not really sure what happens next though. Maybe a bunch of ghosts will sit around and discuss what a loser the author is.

You can read an excerpt and track me on the NaNoWriMo site:

ACT II, after everyone dies … wish me luck.

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