Random Musings: NaNoWriMo, Snow, Showers

Well, the first five days of NaNoWriMo are in the can (speaking cinematographically, not scatologically), and my word count stands at just over 11,000 words. I’m over 20% there already, though some of that is so that I can take a day off tomorrow. And I also suspect that the plot line I’m working on is not going to resolve itself nicely within the next 40,000 words. Especially considering that I haven’t even gotten to the main plot line yet.

But I’m having a blast! It feels good to write again. It feels good to make progress on something that has bugged me for nearly two decades. But perhaps best of all, it’s incredibly rewarding when I reach the point that the characters start taking on a life of their own. I’m getting to know them well enough that I find what I originally had planned doesn’t really quite fit, and that the characters are doing thing things I hadn’t considered.

I know that sounds weird, but that’s how it feels. Writing is a process that engages both the conscious and unconscious minds. My conscious mind is mostly focused on controlling my fingers and describing what is going on for the fingers to write. The subconscious mind tends to scurry on ahead, analyzing the established details and trying to map the path ahead for the conscious mind. Sometimes it reaches some conclusions that surprises the conscious mind.

Like my realization that my lesser villain is capable of some very nasty stuff. It should not have surprised me, because according to the background I came up with before I started writing, he’s already done some very nasty stuff. But when it came time for him to get nasty he rose to the occasion the an enthusiasm and competence that surprised me.

Okay, bottom line: Writers are weird, and probably schizophrenic. But so long as we keep writing, we’re probably harmless.

* * * * *

We got the first real snow of the season this morning. There was some on the ground when I walked the dog at 5:30 am (I know it’s Saturday, but I wanted to WRITE!). In the next couple of hours after that while I was hammering away on my novel we picked up a couple more inches. It’s quite pretty. We have a lot of trees, and they collected a lot of snow in their branches. The trampoline looks like the crimped top crust of a pie (I should probably take that down).

The sun is out now, which probably means it won’t last the weekend, but it’s almost magical for now. The first snow, and on a weekend when I can enjoy it. On a day when my villain stands up and becomes a man (albeit an evil one). It doesn’t get much better than this.

* * * * *

Is it just me, or does everyone do their best thinking in the shower? Several times this week, this morning included, I’ve been stuck on my novel, but by the time I’m through with my shower I’ve got it all sorted out.

My villain’s sudden burst of intelligent nastiness had me in a bit of a spot. He’d incapacitated the male main character to where he was not able to be heroic (which is good–builds inner conflict for later). He was about to incapacitate the female main character and engage in some nastiness I wasn’t entirely comfortable with, but would certainly make his getting his comeuppance all the more enjoyable.

The problem was that if he was allowed to continue unchecked he’d derail my entire novel. The heroine would be dead, the hero framed and disgraced, and the real villain of the novel would conquer the world unchecked.

So I sent myself to the showers. Bad writer! But in my warm, relaxing think tank the obvious solution came to me. The villain wouldn’t get to be quite so villainous, but the heroine would get her chance to shine, further developing her character and setting up a stronger contrast for later. Perfect solution–or at least the best idea so far, and I’ve got to keep going.

If ever I become a professional writer I suspect I’ll be one of the cleanest writers ever.