Day 9: Doldrums

Facing a severe case of the doldrums with my novel. I’m just shy of 20k into it, and I find myself severely bored with what I’ve done to date. A big problem with it is that I honestly don’t know where its going. For a short story, its fine to start writing without a direction. Generally speaking, by the time you find your point, well, pen down, your done! Like marriage and fatherhood, there are lessons in writing that can only be learned the hard way, through experience.

And experience is telling me my story is committing suicide as we speak.

Not even teen angsty, glitzy suicide, with drugs and rock and roll, but cliche ridden suicide. My characters are literally running from one cliche to the next, not even taking the time to exploit the cliche they find themselves in before running to the next. Characters? Hah! There’s no depth to these one dimensional fascades that is worthy of the moniker of “character.” Caricature is more like it, cheap depthless shells barely containing a modicum of emotional reaction to the story unfoldinfg around them.

So where to, Oh Captain? To forge ahead and see if I can recover as I go? To start anew, perhaps this time with a semblance of a “big idea,” maybe even (say it isn’t so) a plot?

I honestly don’t know. My gut says better to start fresh, wipe the slate and find the story for real this time. My accountant taps his foot, points at the clock, and points out the time already invested that’s been lost if I do that.

Damn it.

National Novel Writing Month

Well, I blame Dan, really, for reminding me last night via twitter that today was the start of National Novel Writing Month. So…I succumbed to peer pressure (sorry Mom and Dad, I know you always warned me about this, though I think you were more worried about slightly harsher addictions).  Of course, the website is being hammered hard today (all the other budding writers signing up on the first of November like me, probably), so good luck getting the page to load. I don’t expect that the novel will be completed by Dec 1 – no with only 10% currently done after weeks (and me thinking about hacking out a lot of the imported stuff to start fresh). But I think the extra pressure will be a good thing. It’s kind of like my 100,000 word goal – if I can get more than that, great, but I actually set the bar at 100,000 so I’d have room when editing to cut out 10-15,000 words to tighten the writing.

Unfortunately, blog posts don’t count towards word counts for the contest, and I’m squandering some free time with teh kids that I could be in oowriter for, so….bye!