Wednesday, November 15, 2006

So here's the thing. My nano was supposed to be told from the point of view of a 13 year old girl who's mother has just died. How I came up with that is another story but I'll save it for another time. Originally the whole thing was going to be told through her journal entries. The problems with that, when 50,000 words are required, are quickly evident. 1) 13 year old girls don't write 1,000 word journal entries. Mine are coming in at anywhere from 50 to 400 words, and it takes a whole dang lot of those to add up to 50,000. 2) She quits writing in her journal for about six weeks after her mom dies, and after that, her entries are even shorter and sparser-- two in the month she starts writing again, and then 3-4 per month for several months after that. So it is almost impossible to get a lot of words. But the story arc, at least the way it exists in my head at the moment, takes place in the space of about a year-- so in other words, I'm about six months into it right now with 8,000 words, and it's going to be nearly impossible to get more than about 15,000 done the way I have it in my head-- even if I pad pad pad and add a bunch of scenes with a traditional 3rd person narrator.

THere is a perfect solution: she is part of a group of four really close friends. So instead of the story being one girl's version of a year in her life, it could be told by four different voices, each of whom has her own things going on. Four x 12,000 words or so and there you are. Some of it I've already figured out: one girl's dad is an alcoholic, one's parents are hyper-religious. But it's a huge mental shift. Until I figured out this word count thing, I had only planned on Sarah's story. And I've gotten pretty attached to her. part of the problem is that I just don't want to tell the other girls' stories.

But on the other hand, it would also solve some major problems-- like this way the reader would get to find out what was happening with Sarah in the weeks when she wasn't writing at all or not much. example: there is no description of the memorial service, because I figure Sarah would have been too numb and miserable to write about that. But I could easily have one or all three of her friends describe it.

OK, not that anybody wanted to know all this but it's what I've been thinking about all day today. If I'm going to stay in the nano "competition" I really don't have any choice-- and it will probably be good for me just as an exercise. But it's going to take a few days to regroup, I think.

it feels like wrestling with peanut butter.
Aunt BeaN

1 comment:

  1. Wow - I like it.

    Don't give up on this.

    The other journals idea is good, too.

    I wish I could wax eloquent but all I can think of is hang in there. I'm pulling for you.

    p.s. "wrestling with peanut- butter" -- NICE