Well now, this is a riot. Turns out the dream about my laptop coming on fire was prophetic. The day after I posted, my baby Blue Screened on me! I need better dream interpretation skills! Thank God for my netbook.
I had to spend half the afternoon travelling to drop off my laptop at a computer shop, but at least I got to meet and chat with a lovely friend who saved me from a potentially bad decision.
Plus, it was a stunning blue sky today. Wish I’d taken pictures!
I nearly didn’t make today’s word count, simply because time was lost in getting my laptop repaired, and because earlier in the night, my hands were freezing despite me huddling under the duvet with the heating and my shiny new electric blanket on.
I found out later the temperature was a mere 1 degree Celcius – absolute madness. I have to wonder how the Scots of ancient history ran around storming castles and waging war in this kind of weather!
Today was also when I read the Week Two section of Chris Baty’s No Plot No Problem book. Apparently we’re only supposed to read each of the weeks only when we reach that stage, so it’s a bit of a treat. The most useful advice I got from the Week One section was to:
- Turn Off Your Inner Editor (lovely reminder, as it drives me to keep writing)
- Avoid rereading what you’ve written in favour of chugging ahead (it certainly save time!)
- Keep the story to yourself
As for Week Two, it seems I am heading for a storm in “three or four days”.
You’ve wrapped up the exposition, and now something book-like has to happen. Someone needs to fall in love. Or get amnesia. Or go on a road trip. But who? And how?
The questions just keep piling up and your first impulse will likely be to chuck out the whole thing and go back to the blissful life you led before this five-headed literary monster began devouring all your free time. As you write your way through the next seven days, know that Week Two hurts so bad because you’re making huge strides in your book, solving a year’s worth of plot and character problems in one over-caffeinated week.
The answers wll come. Just keep at it, and before you know it, Week Two will be a distant memory. The sun will be shining again, the way will be clear, and the writing will be fun once more.
What’s assuring is that I still only have a vague concept of a plot in my YA novel, and the book says that’s okay.
The best thing you can do for your story is to really let your characters move this week. Give them space to show parts of themselves they may have kept hidden in the first seven days. Encourage them to act out, indulge their desires, no matter how zany or destructive those desires may be. Allow change, and plot will happen.
I have this vague sense I am about to boot my main character into the wild, as it were. I even have the means, I just don’t know what’s going to happen. We shall see!
Update: Third day I’ve not been able to write Malaysian novel with all the interruptions. I plan to make up for some of it tomorrow! Which is technically later today. After I’ve had sleep, ahem.
Update #2: My friend Matt alerted me about this lovely Eastern-themed anthology, which challenges writers to reinvent some of Eastern myths. “–As adults, we’re sometimes bugged by the moralistic, simplistic way these fables are told. We’re aching to hear these tropes subverted, perverted or simply adapted to reflect our times.”
It’s due 31 January. I even have a book of Malaysian fables! Can’t wait to try my hand at this. Thanks, Matt!
Nine am now. Time for bed.
12165 / 50000 words. 24% done!