So a few days ago I wrote a rant about how much I hate my current #NaNoWriMo project. I can’t remember if I’ve hated projects before for NaNo — and I don’t have time to go back through blog posts and find out — but I’m pretty sure I’ve disliked or been disinterested in them before.
Anyway, this is what I wrote:
I don’t remember hating a manuscript as much as I hate mine right now.
My main character is kind of a bitch. Beyond that, she’s kind of boring. She also doesn’t have enough agency or drive, beyond the whatever monologue in her head. Sure, there’s supposed to be a big character arc (if I can do it right) but nobody is going to read to that point anyway if they can’t connect with her at all in the first chapter.
My world is also boring. I mean, come on. Enough of the western civilization-esque crap that’s been written over and over again. Why can’t I write something original? Why can’t I write something really poignant and fresh and part of a culture we don’t really know much about or something?
My stakes are also crap. I’m really good at making my characters comfy in their situations and finding safe places to hang out for moments in time. UGH.
Then there are my tropes. Oh Lord, the tropes. Every time I’m like — I’m going to this! And then — wait… it’s turned into that instead (which had been done a million times already, of course).
I suppose all of this would be okay if I trusted my ability to edit afterwards. I’m really good at line editing — but developmental editing I struggle with, a lot. Once I’ve written something, the box has been created, and I somehow get myself stuck within it. That’s why I usually end up editing and writing at the same time, because I can really think through what I’m writing and make sure I’m happy with when it gets ‘on the page.’ But with intense, fast writing like NaNoWriMo, I cannot think much about problems or situations that arise in the moment because I just have to keep writing.
I have done a lot more plotting this time around, but not enough to deal with everything that arises (does anyone, really?). So I’m spitting out words and new exciting things are evolving and some more disappointing things are developing, and I’m feeling… like I don’t know what I’m doing.
This may be partly having to do with some poignant writing advice I’ve absorbed lately (and feeling overwhelmed by), which is another blog post all together (upcoming).
But either way. Is anyone else having these doubts and problems? We’re halfway done with NaNoWriMo. How are you feeling about your manuscript now?
… and then something weird happened. Here, let me show you the results of this ‘weird thing’ that happened:
That’s SEVEN DAYS AHEAD on my word count.
*cue shock and blank staring*
I’ve never done this before. Somewhere in all my insecurity I hit this weird plateau and just starting writing. It helped that I had several hours blocked away to write, and hit an interesting part, and suddenly my characters were talking to me, and I got excited about the current way my story is going.
I can feel the little doubt demons in the back of my head going — yeah, you’re going to regret doing this later because it’s too much like ____ trope.
And… somehow I’m ignoring them. I’m just writing my little trying-to-be-a-plotter-actually-a-pantser butt off and rather enjoying the ride.
But seriously — how is everyone else doing? Are the doubt demons kicking your butt? Are you hating/post-hating your manuscript?