I’m feeling a little like a NaNo failure this week. Last week, I didn’t make my word count, but at least I wrote every single day. This week, I didn’t make my word count, and only wrote three days. The plot for the next several scenes is in my head, but not on the page, and that feels like a failure to me.
I did research, though. I don’t think NaNo is really set up for historical novels, unless the writer already has a firm “historical world” built up in her or his head already. I’m finding it so difficult to write without a firm patch under my feet. The research really is necessary.
On the other hand, I spent all of October “researching” – rather directionless with only a vague idea as to location (New York, which is a very big city), and time (1880 to 1914 – which is a time of huge change). It’s only when I started writing that my research started forming that firm patch beneath my feet.
All I can say is thank goodness I’m writing in a time with lots of newspapers, pictures, photographs and people recording what went on – the exciting thing is that Edison’s wax records were available in 1899, and also, I can see short movies of people and places. The Girls in my Basement are having a great time, eating popcorn and eating up all the atmosphere.
The Editor in the Attic is t’ching at them. She wonders if there’s such a thing as too much research, and she’s looking at the wordcount numbers with a great deal of dismay and approbation.
Well, that’s what the Editor in the Attic is meant to do. But even she doesn’t feel like the poor man in the accompanying picture – so boxed in by information that she wants to escape. She just wants the Girls to take a break and put their fingers to the keyboard.
Maybe next week. I (and all the people in my attic, basement and in between) still have half of November.
How has your writing week gone? Be kind to the Girls and Boys in your basement, and give them a public shout-out here!