Saturday, November 3, 2007

NaNoWriMo Blues

I am thankful for coffee. Is that a lame gratitude statement? It is because I just picked something in front of me. Get the gratitude over with, so I can grumble. How pathetic is that?

I have been sitting at my computer for 3 hours on this Saturday morning. I am ready to bang my head against the wall. In three more hours, we are having company. It is a casual football-watching party that I must nonetheless prepare for by doing dishes, shopping for snacks, and supervise cleaning of common areas. I am not a football fan, so I never take games into consideration when I make out my to-do list. This far into the college football season, you would think that I would not be surprised that there is a game, and our TV is the only one around to get the game. I guess I got a reprieve last week, when Mark actually attended the game instead of watching it at home.

The real heart of the matter is not the football game. I am just using that as a scapegoat. The truth is that I am having a tough time with my novel for NaNoWriMo. Why can't I just write a straight-forward book? My strengths as a writer are my style and my sense of humor. But for some reason, I feel that there is a disconnect. Somehow, my writing keeps its distance from the reader. I want a reader to be wrapped up in the story. Here's my current dilemma. I am writing a book about a ten-year old girl for ten-year old girls. But my narrator is in the tradition of the fairy-godmother meets Willy Wonka meets Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The narrator is funny, all-knowing, wacky grandmother type, but my ten-year old girl is a blob. How do I connect with my readers when the character they are supposed to identify with is a blob? That's part of the story. She is unremarkable at first, but then she finds her talents and her voice and comes screaming into the world in technicolor. I guess I need to give hints of the girl-to-be and hope that readers can relate.

It's is driving me crazy. I have only the vaguest sense of the plot and where it is going. So the writing is not going well and it is only day 3 of NaNoWriMo. My gut tells me to push through this hard part. Keep writing and I can repair the damage later. I guess the worst thing that can happen is that I write a whole book that needs to be rewritten, but one that can be used as a guide when I do rewrite. The problem with this is that after a writing session, I don't feel a sense of accomplishment--I feel angry at the world for not connecting with me. Come to think of it, maybe I could use a break where I watch people smash into each other while I sit back and wear my molars down on crunchy snacks.


aliceinparis said...

Hiya, found you yesterday at Ning, (I'm AtlanticArtist)just popped by today to have a read and a look about. LOVE your painting "Being Venus". I have that as a photo over at Broomhill I can identify with the sentiment.
Good luck with your novel! Just push through:)
Cheers, Shelagh

feather said...

Sometimes when I have blob characters I'll put a hold on the piece itself and turn my attention to them -- try to write from their view, do any number of writer's exercises that are supposed to flesh out a character, just try to think of them all of the time with the question, "What would ______ think/do/say about that?" in my head. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes writing through it helps, but I often find that a blobby main character is a sign that something about my current plot or style isn't working.

Charlotte said...

I'm in awe at anyone doing both NaNo and NaBlo. Keep going, Jill!

(See, I make a good cheerleader.)