That blue & white bowl is for -- get this -- organic lollipops. Yep, I actually bought such a thing, on my pre-Halloween Good Food Store NaNoWriMo preparation shopping trip. I kept reading about all the food one consumes during this marathon, what makes the best snacks, on and on -- so, among several other things, I got these.
As it turns out, I don't actually eat while I write. How does one do that, anyway? Both hands are busy on the keyboard. But lollipops -- those work. One or two fruity lollipops per day.
If I'd thought about it, I would have realized that I never have eaten while I write -- even when writing by hand. Though occasionally I write while I eat. A different thing entirely.
Niki asked in a comment: Will we see results of your writing here at the end of the month?
And the answer is . . .
Because. Because I am writing without expectation. Because it is an exercise. Because I've no idea if there will be anything worth sharing -- and if there is, it will take several months, at a guess, to get it into shape.
Just now I am confronting the necessity to kill off a character I love. The necessity is as organic as those lollipops, and as unintended. I didn't resist the lollipops, but I am resisting this ... murder.
Story writing is so different from poem writing. More different than I had anticipated. One difference, for me, is that I'm avoiding reading fiction. In fact, I'm hardly reading anything. When I am writing poems, I am reading poems, with no fear that some other voice will intrude on my own; quite the contrary, nothing inspires a poem for me like reading other people's work. But now I am cautious, wary.
It will be interesting to see how -- if -- this experience changes the way I read novels, once I do so again. I've never read with a critic's eye; I tend to fall into a book, and then fall out of it at the end. It has to be pretty bad for me to watch it while I read it. But I suspect I am going to be more attentive to things like structure and plot and character development from now on.
I am still writing, and managing some
kind of daily post -- but what has suffered is keeping up with you. I
am not commenting, not because of my usual circumspection, but because
I am not there. Aside from the few days around the election, I have
barely been online. A bit of skimming here and there, and that's about
Yesterday began badly, with much pain and little
enthusiasm. I gave myself permission to skip writing, but pushed myself
though taffy to get to the local NaNoWriMo meeting -- and I'm so glad I did. They listened, they encouraged, and I came home feeling much better, re-energized.
I told my poetry mentor
last week that my 'novel' has the same problem that my poems often do:
a poverty of verbs, a paucity of action. Then one of the NaNoWriMo cohorts said that literary fiction is focused more on character and less on plot. Clearly, that is what I'm writing.
Literary fiction. Yes, indeed.
And when I'm not being literary, I am staring at undemanding TV. Mostly house & garden TV.
All visuals, little thinking. My brain is sort of -- dense -- right
now. I realized, during this morning's walk, that I'm not even taking
photos. I walk along, thinking about this unreal world I am making, and
not of the real one I'm walking through.
Three more weeks of this, more or less.
I hope you'll stick through it with me. Wait -- I hope you'll stick with me through it. This.
This week's prompt was: take a snapshot of poetry. I did my usual snapshot poem yesterday, but I also found this:
This is just what I pictured, when I named this blog: the ephemeral nature of poetry, of writing -- of everything, actually. We work, and write, and post -- and no matter how long it lasts, that lasting is brief. We catch a moment, and it's gone in a moment.
I didn't check the dictionary defintions before choosing, but it works even better than I had imagined:
a mark which is made on some types of paper during its production which can only be seen if it is held against the light;
a mark showing the highest or lowest level that a river or the sea reaches
Of course, I've been thinking about writing a lot lately, with NaNoWriMo pushing me to my expository limits. Yesterday, facing a blank wall, I realized I could read the next chapter of the book:
If you still don't know what your characters are doing in your book, Week Two is the point when you should panic.
Having a shaky, hazy, or problematic plot heading into Week Two is absolutely fine, and is a predicament common to many month-long novelists. . .