Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day Twenty-Two: Vision

Wordcount: 38430
Minimum: 37928

I can't believe we're heading into week four of NaNoWriMo! A month is really not that long a time. Oddly enough, it also now seems to me that 50,000 words is not that many words. Of the many things I'm learning from this exercise, perhaps the most worthwhile is simply this: I can actually do it. I can do it without that much agony.

Don't get me wrong--I have basically no other responsibilities right now, and that has certainly made it much, much easier. But I think that even with a busier life, I could do almost this much...maybe sometimes it would take me two days to do what I currently do in one, but if I wrote every day, it would still build up pretty fast. And since my life currently isn't busier, that probably means I should set a more ambitious goal for next time so I don't start wallowing in hubris.

Yesterday an interesting thing happened. I was just writing merrily along, describing how Captain Pitt was recovering from being hit on the head by a villager disguised as Captain Farrowell (long story). Captain Farrowell was looking at Captain Pitt and thinking, gosh, he's looking better but he's still pretty pale, and Captain Pitt was smiling wryly at something, when suddenly--forcefully--I saw Captain Pitt's face. Really saw it. Sure, I knew what he looked like before--eye color, hair color, approximate height and build--but I couldn't have picked him out in a crowd. Now I could. We're talking teeth-shape, eyelash color, adam' s apple, not just the color of his eyes but how big they are and how far apart. I now know exactly who I'm writing about. Then he called Captain Farrowell "Captain F", which I really hadn't planned.

This is a very good sign. This isn't the first time I've seen a character's face, but it's the first time in this project. Usually I don't get that level of sight unless I've spent a lot of hours daydreaming about a character that I really, really like. I take the fact that Captain Pitt has solidified in this way as a sign that this is really going somewhere, that he's responding well to my efforts to give him things to do and thoughts of his own. It's odd that Pitt came first, because, as I noted earlier, I've spilled a lot more ink over Farrowell, but in a way Pitt may actually be a more interesting character. Farrowell is a little more of a caricature right now. Sometimes his words sound to me like bad imitation Jane Austen. But having that mask to turn to has made him an easier character to write about. So, I suppose my work is not done where he's concerned.

In other news, Darling Man's computer won't boot. I had to write at the library today, which was good in a way, because there are no twisty-ties or spinny chairs or three-legged tin elephant piggy banks at the library. I just have to survive like this until we go back to the in-laws' house for Thanksgiving, and I can get my Macbook charger back.

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