I feel like I should be writing some more today, but I’m actually pretty tired and I figured I’d try and write up the second week commentary a little early for all that I’m still scheduling it for the Sunday. I’m not sure what the weekend will bring in terms of writing yet. It should see me through into the 30K total and comfortably on track for the rest of the month.
This is one of the things I was afraid of, though. Not burn-out, not exactly, but general tiredness. I’m comfortably on track, but I didn’t write anything for the past three days because I spent most of it either working or flopping around trying to get my brain to cooperate. It’s annoying. I just can’t seem to really let go of old habits to form new ones somehow. Still, it’s not all bad news. I’m still on track, after all.
And I’ve missed talking about my work, so why not talk about my UnNaNoWriMo projects some more. I’ve already discussed the first two I’ve worked on to some extent. I haven’t really talked about this project yet. It’s… interesting. It might be better described as “contemporary fantasy” rather than “urban fantasy”. I actually really, really dislike the term “contemporary fantasy” because we’re inevitably going to have to find a new one when these settings stop being, you know, contemporary. But it’ll do for now. It’s set in a modern-esque city. They’ve got cars and trains and phones, but no computers or the like. (Well, I say ‘no computers’, but I’m sure they’ve got an equivalent or some sort somewhere.) And magic. It’s a secondary world setting, so there is also magic.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the companion to The Passage of Pearl and I’m pretty sure Pearl is going to have a cameo appearance. The book certainly will. And this story is about a young man named Justin as well as a sorceress named Valerie. They’re both book geeks. They actually meet in the bookshop where Justin works and they team up to go track down an evil book. And… that’s all I knew when I started the story. It’s part of why I wrote The Passage of Pearl first. It gave me a pretty decent idea of what the stakes are, but that’s about all.
So far it’s been an interesting experience and I’m quite glad that I’ve decided to allow myself some unofficial leeway. For example: I wrote the first chapter twice. I’m much happier with it the way it stands and in some ways I do feel it’s necessary. One of the things I’ve noticed about my drafts if that I tend to underwrite what I’m doing and summarise things that I shouldn’t. It’s why many of my stories end up so much bigger than I’d originally written them. I leave too much out.
So, in the spirit of NaNo, when I realised what I was doing (about 300 words into chapter 2 of this story), I stopped and went back to the beginning and tried to write with the attitude that I can always cut rather than the attitude that I can always add.
I’m much happier with the first chapter now and I’m much happier with the shape that chapter 2 will be taking because of this approach. A happier Lynn means it’ll be easier to continue. (Presumably. See, happy Lynn is tired and half-asleep as she’s writing this.) It’s so interesting. I keep saying that I need to relearn the ways in which I work because they aren’t the ways I’m used to working in, but most all of my writing keeps coming back to that nowadays. To relatively little things like this, like finding that I might actually do better if I rework the first couple of chapters (at least) a few times before moving onto the rest. To discovering that yes I do need a backburner project so that I can switch between things as my brain requires. I think I’ll see which of the short story projects got the most votes after this longer one and add that in for variety next week. I may not need it, but if I do then it’ll be there. ^_^