Camp NaNoWriMo: Mid-Challenge Crisis


Whew. So I’ve made it now in this Camp NaNoWriMo writing challenge to 20,365 words out of 50,000. That’s way better than I managed last time! I have been able to completely replace the pages I cut in the first gutting with all brand-new material, and it feels pretty good. I’ve had nights where forcing myself to write more than a couple hundred words was just too stressful, so my progress has not been steady; but so far, I have been able to bounce back with big writing days. Right now I’m even a little ahead of the curve,

As I work to hit those word counts, though, I’m beginning to get a little dismayed about the quality of what I’m writing. Now, I know that the word count is what matters right now, and it’ll just be good to finally finish a draft–but as I’ve said before, I’m a perfectionist, which is one of the things that has kept me from succeeding at this challenge and actually finishing my novel up until now. I’m glad that I’m getting over that enough to pound out some pages, but I’m still plagued with worries over whether that finished product will be any good. Will it be engaging enough? How much of the explanations and history I’m including now will only bore the reader? How will I get the information across if I can’t present it the way I have? There are some things you really just can’t show, especially in a fantasy novel. Sometimes you have to tell it!

I know that the editing process continues long after the first draft is completed. The things is, I’m terrible at minor edits. Changes in wording, re-writing whole paragraphs. I’m bad at it. Even if I know that particular section could be a lot better. It’s because I’m a writing hoarder. I have a really difficult time letting go of what I’ve written, even if it’s to replace it with something better. In a lot of ways, my brain tries to make me believe that writing it now only to re-write it later is harder than actually writing it in the first place. This really isn’t true, and I know that, but a little part of me is saying, “Oh, why bother!”

But take heart! I am not discouraged. I have a fabulous editor in my friend GNA, and though I will try not to make her do all the work (she is working on her own editing, after all), I trust her to push me lovingly towards those necessary re-writes. It’s gonna suck, and I’ll probably get dismayed again (and again, and again, and again,), but I have to believe that it’s worth it.

After all, if fucking Twilight can be a best-seller, why can’t my book?

PS I also have a working title, finally: From Under the Mountain. The only thing that came up close on Google was a 1979 novel called Under the Mountain. From what I glanced at it’s some kind of supernatural thriller. Too close, or not to be worried about?

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