So this blog is now temporarily my Waffles Writes A Nano blog! Because my Nano is something completely different.
I R CONSISTENT
Basically I ended up feeling like I didn’t want to screw my Park idea up by writing it in a month, so I’m going with this other idea that I’ve had floating around for ages. It’s not exactly a fanfic but there’s some really familliar things about it, because I have as much talent for originality as a chicken salad.
If anybody is wondering why my wordcount appears to actually have gone DOWN instead of up, it’s because I’ve only managed to start writing sensible prose that feels like it might work in the last two days. Since I basically started over, the new wordcount reflects the new stuff.
CONSISTENCY WHAT IS THAT WHEN IT’S AT HOME
So basically, from what everyone has very kindly been advising me and what I have been working out under my own steam, I very slightly jumped the gun on this one.
And I’d try to forge ahead anyway, but I really do not want to end up hating it. Things I start to see as Bad Things That Need Doing don’t get done.
I’m taking a break with the actual writing to plan some more. I’ll start the actual thing over again on the 1st September. which, conveniently, has 30 days in it.
Sorry guys, I just don’t need to be thinking about wordcount instead of what I’m actually doing right now. The idea was to end up with a somewhat useable first draft, not me upside down in a tree screaming about plot holes.
so my problem is
NOT ENOUGH PLANNING.
Which is usually the opposite of my problem. I have like four notebooks full of crap about Blue Sky, and some of that crap is very tight scene descriptions that I did as I went along. Stuff like
1) Wheatley discourages her. she goes NO U and leaves
2) Outside she runs into Garret etc. Facility heals
3) Poem and Wheatley adrift. Caroline convo
4) Chell RAGE (doesn’t give up though!) Portal opens. she goes through
And then I’d tick it off as I went along. I didn’t do that all the way through, but it helped a lot when I did. At the time I thought it was kind of redundant writing down exactly what I already knew I was going to write about, but apparently it helped me more than I realised.
I think that’s the kind of planning that becomes more important in the later stage of writing, though. Before you can even work out who is going to be doing what and why you kind of need to know who they are, and where they are. In fact, plots almost write themselves when you have a bunch of characters with traits that suggest the roles they could play, the things they might want to do, the flaws that might cause conflict between them.
WHICH IS A PROBLEM.
The very nice thing about writing fanfiction is that you do not need to do this. Here are characters, here is a world. Go to town. Getting inside the head of an existing character is so much easier than creating one from scratch. And it’s deceptive, because those weeks and months that you spend idly daydreaming about how x must have felt when y happened are actually a pretty solid method of getting to know a character, inside and out. You’re doing the work without thinking about it.
Without getting all method-acty about it, when I write Wheatley or Tracy I feel like I’m transcribing something that has happened already. The boundaries of what is in or out of character for them (or for my versions of them, anyway) are so strongly defined that knowing what they’d do if x happened is practically instinctive. Obviously, they’d do y.
With original characters, there is no obviously. There’s no canon examples of when they’ve been under pressure or sad or happy. There’s no rules. I keep thinking about that quote from the Christmas Invasion:
“See that’s the thing. I’m the Doctor. But beyond that I just don’t know. I literally do not know who I am. It’s all untested. Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy? Right old misery? Life and soul? Right-handed, left-handed? A gambler, a fighter, a coward, a traitor, a liar, a nervous wreck? (…) I really don’t know who I am. I don’t know when to stop.”
So basically my novel is at least half a dozen brand new Doctors (some of whom don’t even have names yet ) standing around in a construction site with big COMING SOON signs where there should be parts of a world. I am finding it practically impossible to write anything resembling prose because I don’t have any rules to follow. And it’s all my fault for only planning for two days before I started, and thinking that this would be easy, or at least as easy as writing fanfiction.
In conclusion, that’s why I’m coming into the second week monstrously behind and not very sure what to do next.
Back on Day 3 I went to the cafe that I wrote most of the better half of Blue Sky* in and set up on the couch next to the window, which is the only place in the cafe that has both a couchanda power socket for my Asus. After about half an hour this other lady showed up and asked if she could join me to use the plug.
I kind of kept half an eye on her for a while for the sole reason that her actions reminded me exactly of my own I-Am-Totally-Going-To-Write-Something-In-A-Minute-As-Soon-As-I-Am-Perfectly-Ergonomically-And-Karmically-Set-Up behaviour. Adjusting laptop, trips to get napkins, trying to sit crosslegged on chair, readjusting a billion times, putting Serious Writing Glasses on, the works.
I didn’t say anything of course because I’m the human equivalent of a deep sea clam.
This morning I spotted this on the tweet tag for my town. That is definitely her, serious specs and all.
Writing, you say?
It seems someone has been ‘biting’ me.
*the middle chapters and the second draft