Thursday, February 8, 2007

Week Two

I have been blogging for just over a week so far and, not so coincidentally, today is the first day of the second week of my second "Write a Novel in a Month" month.

To write 50,000 words in February requires an average of 1,786 words a day. That means that I should have 14,288 words done by now. I finished tonight with 2,141 words, so I am now at 8,486, leaving me 5,802 behind schedule. I'm gaining! I actually wrote 2400+ words today, but somehow lost a chunk of over 300 words. When I'm this far behind, every word counts.

If it seems like I am obsessed with quantity over quality, it is because I am. The thing is, I am such a perfectionist when I am writing that if don't force myself to write this way, I spend so long agonizing over each word, each phrase and each sentence, that I give up and don't write at all. Besides, without a definite deadline, I am so lazy that I would get nothing done. This way, I write down the bare thread of the story in a relatively short amount of time, and then I can go back and fix it all later. Since plotting and maintaining a narrative thread is what I find most difficult, it frees me up in rewriting to concentrate on the finer points, like believable dialogue, good grammar and honest characterizations.

Speaking of the latter, I had an argument today with a coworker who agrees that Tolkien is too bogged down with detail to be interesting but disagrees that the core reason the books are boring is because the characters aren't believable or engaging. Ah well, as she says, we will agree to disagree. (As long as we both know I am right, I am okay with that.) This is the same friend who gets annoyed because I say that I do not argue unless I am right. She thinks that I am boasting, but actually I am just telling the truth. I will argue opinion, because my opinion is as valid as the next gal's and I think everyone has the right to express their own opinion, even when they are wrong. But, wen I say I don't argue unless I am right I am talking about arguments of fact. I will not waste my time or yours arguing about some fact or other unless I know what I am talking about. If I am not sur of my facts, I will say so, But, if I argue with you about what actress played what role in a movie, or what breed of dog we are looking at, etc., don't waste your breath. I am right, you are wrong, get over it. That's not arrogance, just the truth.

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