Word count woe

I’m currently on 13850 words and I feel like my story is going to end by 20000. I can pad and develop it further but not another 30000 words further!! A tad worried.

Any ideas on reaching the final word count?

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NaNoWriMo Update

My chapters are coming up too short, averaging at 1100 each. I’m progressing with the main plot well but my characters are lacking depth and my chapters are missing subplots.

Wondering if I should go back now and plump them out before I get too far into the word count or get down the foundations and adjust the layers later??

Only on 6851 at the moment – I missed a day yesterday which makes a real difference. So my aim is reach 10,000 today but I’m just contemplating the best way to go about this.

Irony

Somebody once said to me to write about my own experiences.

The funny thing was, this didn’t seem plausible enough.

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She was referring to growing up with my mother who couldn’t read or write due to various heart attacks and strokes which wiped her memory.

I thought, and still do, oh yeah a writer with a mother who couldn’t read, I just don’t see it. The irony is too saccharine for my liking. Like the blind musician or the injured athlete. It’s cheesy, slightly irritating and too novice like. 

The reality didn’t seem believable.

Ironic much?

Beatrice and Virgil – Yann Martel

After reading and being blown away by Life of Pi, I was compelled to give this book a go. However, my reaction was towards this was filled with ambivalence.

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The protagonist of the story is a slightly pretentious Henry. He is a published author overcoming writer’s block by replying to fan mail. This is all his got going on for him really. He lacks depth and interest, making the first 60 pages or so drag. Then the other character is introduced through the form of fan mail asking for Henry’s help in writing a play. This character is a taxidermist – a creepy, distant man preserving the lives of animals. He isn’t particularly great either but his ghoulish nature piques some interest. His play is involving two animals, a stuffed donkey (Beatrice) and an equally deceased howler monkey (Virgil).

Essentially bit by bit, in no chronological order, the play is unravelled. It is a nonsensical, artistic attempt at portraying the holocaust in a contemporary and controversial fashion. The animals have seemingly pointless conversations which make no sense and only hinder the progression of the story (if you can even call it that.) This book is only 173 pages long and only begins to make sense after the first 150 pages. By this point, I have kept reading because I’m hoping for the weirdness to take shape and I’m so far along it would seem pointless to give up. The last 23 pages conclude the story in a fast and violent sweep with tone altering from eerie to downright graphic as it proclaims itself to be an allegory of the holocaust.

After spending the time reading the book, I felt betrayed and deprived of what I was expecting to be a much better conclusion that what it was. The action happened all at once, so much so by the time my mind was figuring out what was going on the book had ended, leaving me with a sense of dissatisfaction. I was hoping the weirdness would add to the meaning and become clear yet I was left scratching my head. The reasons for me actually liking it were appreciating what Martel was attempting to do, even if I don’t feel he did achieve it. Also, it was so different and odd it does stick in your mind as months after, I’m still questioning if I truly understood it and it makes me question my own intelligence. You know when you don’t quite get something and you’re not sure if this feeling is unequivocal or if you’re just skipped over some important parts – this is how I feel about Beatrice and Virgil.

Any suggestions?

I’m after a good book to settle into in.

My recent reads include A gift of rain by Tan Twan Eng, Heartbreaking work of a staggering genius by Dave Eggers and Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. 

I have been meaning to read Infinite Jest for a while but every time I try, I lose interest within pages and I hate myself for it because I’ve been told it’s a masterpiece. 

So any suggestions for either a new title or for overcoming the mammoth of Infinite Jest?

NaNoWriMo

At first I was skeptical about the concept of NaNoWriMo, however now after just a few days in I’m loving it. 

I finally have something to sink my teeth into and having this challenge is extremely motivating and forces me to turn the laptop on everyday even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired.

I’ve found the thing which gets me most in the writing zone is to read through my plan again. 

Having a physical representation of how other people are doing is also a kick up the arse but it also gives a wonderful united sense of achievement.

My story has altered slightly, mainly with changes to characters and added depth to ideas. I almost don’t mind if I don’t reach the word count as long as I have a story or even a part of a story by the end of it.

My NaNoWriMo essentials so far?

My bed (also host to three sleeping kitties), bottle of water, breadsticks with chocolate spread (pregnancy craving, don’t judge), online thesaurus, Google images and utter silence. I would even say this blog – When i need a break i have a nosy at other posts and as most of them mention their NaNoWriMo journey, it gets me back on track.

I find I write best when I’m by myself as there is nobody to break that wonderful, almost spiritial state of mind a writer has when in full flow. There is nothing better than being so involved in your writing that you forget everything around you and surface a few hours later wondering where the last three hours went. Then looking at your screen, seeing pages of words and feeling immense satisfaction.

That said, I’m off to work on my piece. On 3694 words so far and I’m aiming to be at least 5000 by the end of the day.

Getting into the spirit of Halloween…

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Here we are, All Hallow’s eve,

Ripped shirt and blood upon my sleeve.

Bruises dusted upon my cheek,

Mouth so swollen I can barely speak.

Kids approve. Cool costume mister,

Is he serious, parents whisper.

Help, I say, he’s after me,

Call the cops or ambulance, I plea.

Oh, how they chuckle as they walk off,

Feasting kids, like pigs in a trough.

Disheartened, I wander the streets at night,

What an unfortunate time to get into a fight.