Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hunkering Down

I’m so tired. But I’m still behind on NaNoWriMo. I’m on par for my goal, and I set that goal so that I wouldn’t get freaked out about not achieving whatever the ultimate goal was. I don’t like failing. But now I want to get to the NaNo goal, too, not just mine. Because that equals more success.

Why am I so far behind? It’s not like I have a full-time job. People with full-time jobs manage to keep up with NaNo. I must be deficient. Then again, when I read posts in my region’s NaNo Facebook group, people sometimes refer to writing while at work. I don’t do that. When I’m at work, I’m working. If I have downtime, then I’m grading or planning for class.

I feel the darkness consuming me again, or at least nipping at me, because it’s ever-present. I’m trying to hold on to it and use it for my novel.

I’m stuck right now in the novel. One of my main characters, the one with the mental health issues, is supposed to be brooding. I can’t think of anything for her to brood about. I think, well, maybe I should just pretend like I’m writing a blog entry. But she’s already too much like me–the mental issues, the lack of friends, etc. I don’t want her to be a carbon copy of me. But if I’m mining my mental health experiences for her, how can she not be? Methinks I must not have much creativity.

Well, she can brood about the past, I thought, like I occasionally do. Except I realized I know nothing about her past. I know nothing about my characters in general. They’re just placeholders in the plot. That’s how I always write. How can I produce character-driven work if I focus more on the novel’s plot than on the characters themselves?

Most writers know their characters intimately. I don’t. Well, I know their vibes, but I don’t know specifics, like what they majored in when at college. I must be a hack.

I think I’m exhausted or confused or both. For the past hour, my hands have been shaking much more than usual.

I just grab characters and throw them into the story. Or throw a story at them and let them loose. This doesn’t sound like the approach of a successful novelist.

Now that I’ve said my piece, I’m going to try to hunker down for a night of writing. Sorry, I know I’m getting so behind on blogs right now. Hopefully I can get out of the writing rut and have the story flowing again.

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