I think I have NaNoWriMo hangover, and I didn't even participate in it. What's with the word count obsession? And why have I gotten sucked into the belief that I have to write a certain amount of words each day, no matter how cruddy they are, or I'm not going to ever finish this stinkin' book??
I'll admit my dark, dirty secret. I don't write fast, and I want it to be perfect the first time around. I know it isn't going to be. I know I will need to revise many times. But I want it to be as right as humanly possible. I can't continue to spew out utter poo and feel good enough about my book to keep at it. And better writing the first time around is less to revise later.
So what that means is that sometimes I have to stop and reevaluate. And make the hard decisions. Decisions that put that precious word count in a reverse mode.
Several months ago, one of my dear, dear writing partners decided to change her entire book from third person point of view, to first person. Don't get me wrong, her book was good. Her writing is fantastic because she is one of those truly gifted writers who probably is incapeable of utter poo. But still, she felt like she was lacking something – some uumph – and she decided to try the book in first person.
Word counts went spinning and spiralling rapidly backwards so fast we were almost sucked into a time warp. To have all that work done, and then essentially start over... BRAVE!!!
But this month she sent out her first chapters and they are AWESOME!! The beautifully written, gripping first draft pales like a ghost in comparison with how this story and it's main character now jump off the page. It may have been depressing and frustrating to start at square one again, but she gritted her teeth and did it, and it was so worth it!
She's my inspiration. Because this week I've gotten bored with my story. Not the writing it. I like writing it. I love my main characters. They're so cool and fun and I can't wait to spend time with them. But then I look back at what I wrote and one character comes off so boring. The narration is pretty, and lyrical, but there is no sense of voice in it, and as a result it's weak. And definitely not befitting my character.
So this week I turned back the word counts (oh so painfully) and tried it in first person. WaLA!! There was my feisty character!! There was her voice! There was her personality!
I'm keeping the male half in third person because his narrator is very good, and I think when the two story lines merge it will work better. So essentially I only have half to rewrite. But I'm going to keep at it for a while to see where it goes.
And I'm ignoring the word counts. Because all that really matters is that I'm writing a good story. And it will get done when I am done.