Tolkien, artist

Assailed by Doubts

It's crazy...or I'm crazy...or maybe a combination of the both. Questions are plaguing me this morning.

Whatever made me think that I actually had a plot lying in this vision?
How and more importantly WHY do these two get together?
Come on already, girl. Whatever made you think you had a novel in you let alone a novel in this storyline?
What was I thinking when I signed up for NaNoWriMo?

As you can tell, second week doubts and walls are hitting me early *sigh*. I always was precocious.


This is my smaller state map that has my timeline
marked with post-it arrows and notes. It sits
on the desktop next to me within easy reach.

But I will work my way though this, and it may be that on December 1st I will put this novel into a virtual drawer and never look at it again. I am planning to put it into that drawer for at least a month anyway, but at this point I am thinking that I will open the drawer in January and begin revision work.


My smaller map, taped up onto a closet door
in my den, has one of the routes marked on
it. I'll mark the other route within a day
or so.

So I'm pushing my doubts away again and telling myself that I will find out in January, when I start rewriting and fleshing things out, whether or not I actually have a story here.

The novel actually comprises two separate stories one hundred years apart. The part that is in the past is coming together really well. The part that exists in the present...well, it's stumbling a bit more. But, as a friend said to me, "Just write through these roadblocks." So that's what I'll do. And hopefully when I open that drawer again in January what stares back at me will be the kernel of something surprisingly good. At least that's my dream.


My larger topo map is now on the wall behind
my treadmill. I have already promised my poor
DH that the maps will be coming down during
the first week of December. I expect all of
them will have a lot of markers and notes on them
before they are pulled and folded.

Of course, just because I'm signing up for NaNo doesn't change other writing tasks. I signed up for the Yule Fic Exchange, but only because it doesn't have to be large and ponderous. The only question is whether my muse will allow me to be to the point or if it will force me to push out within the deadline. But I'm passing on the November LOTR Community Challenge because I'll be involved in the mountains. With my maps. And my computer. And my particular and peculiar take on insanity. Only 6:16:16:40 days left until NaNo begins.....Eeeeeeeeeeek!!!!
Every year I've done NaNo 'properly', I've gotten those OMG WHAT AM I DOING feelings the week before it starts, too. Fun stuff, right? It's when the brain starts thinking that there's not enough plot or not enough this or not enough that and how can anyone hope to make a story out of that and especially in such a short time? Gah.

Good idea to put it away at the end, though. Writing so much in such a short time - yeah. So hard to be rational about it by the end. Better to stuff it away and then look at it in a month or two.
November is a bad enough time for me to have thoughts away from work. December? Impossible for a retail store. So I have to put it away for a month, whether I want to or not :-)

But I think putting it away is a good idea anyway. Then I can go back to it with a fresh outlook and less burn-out.

(Still panicking even though I have an outline growing in front of me. Arrrrgh!)

- Erulisse (one L)
Your maps look very organised. I think I must try the same thing for the new fic I'm writing.
For this story, based in a true historical framework, I really need them to help keep me on track. I have a framework of dates and locations that my characters have to fit within, and places where I need them to arrive or be. It's "challenging" to say the least - LOL.

- Erulisse (one L)
Hi,

Stumbled upon this reading my 'friends of friends' page. Personally I think it takes a lot of guts to do the NaNo thing and I admire you guys who do it. I'll be rooting for you.

Mel
Thanks so much, I'll take every positive thought I can get for NaNo :-) It's a special brand of insanity, no doubt. I'm also pleased that I didn't lock this post as "friends lock" as I often do because it's always nice to hear from someone unexpected. Thanks again...

- Erulisse (one L)
Pre-Nano jitters are normal. This is my ninth year, and I'm questioning my idea. (That I've had for months, know it'll work, and am really looking forward to writing.) Pushing through is pretty much the only way forward.
Oh, I'll push through even though I am usually a VERY slow writer. If I can keep my editor buried, I'll keep my word count where it needs to be. I've been wanting to write this for most of a year, so it will be a relief to get started on it at last. Thanks for the positive strokes, though. I needed shoring up today :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
I swear I need a pompom avatar or something. Alice Drumming will have to do I guess.

You can do it! Rah Rah Rah!

*grins*

So, you're worried and insecure? Frankly, my dear, we'd be worried for you if you weren't.
It's *normal* to feel that way.

And yes, you'll do it. Actually, it doesn't matter if you'll reach 50K or not; what matters is that you will write, and you'll love it. If you reach 50K, excellent! If not, still excellent; you'll have (a part of) the novel that you'll edit later. ;)
Yes, you'll do it, one way or the other. And you'll never wonder "what if" and you'll never say "I could've tried". Because you will try. And succeed. The writing itself is a success. ;)

Edited at 2012-10-25 03:15 pm (UTC)
What!? You mean I am commonplace? Walking in the wagon ruts of the thousands before me?

Oh good! I don't want to be unique in my feelings and fears, just in my plots and my characters.

What a relief! *bows*

- Erulisse (one L)
Breathe woman, breathe. You know that this plotbunny will turn into a plotpanda and that your plot runs off into a direction because it insists on being explored? It will work out, there are always rounds of editing but usually the Nano gives you an insight of stuff that won't work or was fun exploring because that muse didn't wanted to leave me alone in the bloody middle of the night. My experience with nano and historical fiction is exactly that... then months later while doing something completely different, your thoughts wander off and *click* it makes sense. You'll be fine!
*pant, pant, pant* I fear I won't have the stamina if my bunny develops some serious legs, but I'm on the ride for all of the ups and downs. The best part about the whole thing will be that I can finally start writing this story that I've been thinking about since the early Spring. Just getting it down on "paper" will be a tremendous relief. *hugs* Thanks for the support :D

- Erulisse (one L)
Just enjoy the ride and be prepared to be flexible, because once the editor is turned off, all sorts of strange ideas appear and need to be indulged (occasionally with a degree of horror) Have a clear timeline, understand the period you're writing about, and then let things unfold as they will. If you get to 50k, that's great. If you get to 20k and have the heart of a 50k novel to explore next year, that's equally great. The important thing is to have fun and to grow while you're doing so.

Leaving things for a month before editing is probably essential for mental health *g*, but don't leave it too long. It's a bitch getting back into the head space later (speaking from experience here)

Also, suggestion? Try not to make too many changes in the way you normally go about writing, because it's easier if the process feels familiar and comfortable.
As always, your advice is so valuable that I have printed it out and have it hanging by each of the two places I sit to write.

Putting the ms away until 2013 is not a decision made on the fly, but one of necessity. I actually have a real life away from the keyboard and that is owning and operating a retail store. The holidays are our busiest season (crossing my fingers and hoping that the people and dollars will come again) and I'll be working 60+ hour weeks in December. But in January I'll be back to a "normal" schedule and will have time to write again.

I will push through my Yule Fic exchange in early December but will have to pass on almost everything else until January.

You're right, the mindset will be harder to get back into, but the distance will also have it's merits. I just hope everything falls into place. I'll find out - LOL.

- Erulisse (one L)