Thursday, November 20, 2014

The writing isn't working

I'm having my worst NaNoWriMo ever. This month is usually a rush. Frustrating at times, exhausting, but oh - the ideas! the random lovely/scary things that appear and make me wonder, did I write that? where did that come from? I usually end up chopping up what I write for NaNo; a lot of it gets cut or heavily revised. But NaNo always gives me a solid diamond core.

Not so much this year. I have this vision my head that just isn't coming out in words. I don't expect the writing magic to flow every night, but the thing I've come to depend on with NaNo is that if I keep spewing the words out every night, then the drudgery momentarily turns to magic, here and there.  Into my third week now, and I'm not seeing any sparks flying yet. I'm holding onto my vision for this story, and trusting the process of visiting it every night, putting one word after another, trying not to give up.

My vision for this book (working title, Refuge) is a blend of the real world with completely magical mythical creatures. It isn't a portal into a magical world like Narnia, or a reverse portal where something magical finds itself stuck in reality; it's not a clash of two different worlds... it's sort of the real world and the magical one tentatively meeting each other, brushing edges  and sparking static electricty, but still hiding in the shadows. It's also about what the two worlds need to learn from each other. 

Plans for this story go back many, many years and includes inspiration from sources like Legend (the 1985 movie with Tom Cruise); the Island Stallion by Walter Farley and the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. More recently, the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Pegasus by Robin McKinley and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor have sparked new passion into my original vision. I have a rough draft and years of dreaming; what I had hoped to do during this NaNo was to stitch the new vision into the old but now I'm wondering if I have maybe too much "grand vision" and "dreaming" and not enough of it distilled down into concrete ideas. And yet, I have a solid outline, tons of world building and character sketches - but something is still missing to make all of the ingredients work together. 
Even if the magic doesn't kick in during this round, I love this story too much to give up.  A story like this deserves as much time as it needs to fully come together. Maybe its waiting on me to grow some more, learn some more, collect more experience and heartbreak and passion. 

There are 10 days of NaNoWriMo left and I'm going to keep plugging away. 


8 comments:

  1. Sorry you're struggling with this draft, Margo! But the important thing is that you love this story. This might not be the right time for it; doesn't mean there never will be a right time.

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  2. keep it up keep it up! It's never an easy thing, NaNo...and some years are harder than others, but that doesn't mean the effort will be fruitless. If nothing else, you will have tried that story that way...and decided that there's a better way! All roads will lead you to your destination in the end. Keep it up :)

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  3. Hope things turn around for you soon!! It's always the darkest before the light!!

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  4. When I'm in a bind like this, I do some free-writes on the parts of the story where I'm stuck. Good luck and don't get too much on your own case.

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  5. Hi, Margo. Keep at it. I added you as a buddy for NaNo. : )

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  6. Magical, mythical creatures ... you have me intrigued. When the time comes, I'm here to read for you if you need. Sounds wonderful. Keep up the amazing work, Margo!

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  7. It is entirely possible that the story isn't ready to be told yet. I've had a few like that. I gave up on one halfway through about five years ago and then wrote two more novels. Now I'm back to that one - and I am absolutely in love with the entire concept. I feel like now I can pull it off, that I have the writing maturity to make this into the type of novel I envision it to be. I know it can be SO frustrating, but maybe that's what's happening here...it's still gestating and not quite ready to be born.

    At any rate, you're still producing words and still writing and that is fantastic!

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  8. Keep plugging. NaNo works if it works for you. From what you have said, this sounds like a cool story. No one said you can't finish it after the fact. :)

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