I’ve been scheduling my writing as the “first thing of the day”, though I woke up late and started writing at noon. In two hours, I had about 2000 more words, though it took a while to get into the groove.
I was tempted to restart the novel, and checked to see what the rules were on doing that. There are several schools of thought regarding editing of one’s novel as you go. The more serious story sites emphasize story planning and plotting ahead of time, implying that doing it any other way is not effective if the goal is to produce something you can publish. Sure, I can get behind that. However, the spirit of NaNoWriMo that is most appealing to me is the emphasis on just getting it done, ugly. All the advice about planning and plotting ahead of time is good, but I’m a strong believer in the school of hard knocks and doing it REALLY WRONG the first time out. Afterwards, planning and plotting will make a lot more intuitive sense as it will be based on actual pain. I’m certainly feeling a bit of it now. It’s part of the creative LEARNING process.
Anyway, this morning I took the time to review what I wrote yesterday, jotting a summary into an Evernote note. I also noted what I wasn’t happy about in the first pass; most notable was the feeling that I didn’t have a firm grasp on the social rules of the world I was writing about, nor did I have a good justification for it. So I spent 15 minutes writing up some preliminary thoughts to help me structure the day’s writing. And I decided NOT to restart the novel in favor of forcing myself through what I’d set up.
One of the hard decisions I made today was about the parents of the protagonist. After my 15 minutes of theorizing about the world, I realized that I’d made it very difficult to write about in a way that made sense. If the protagonist and his friend were the ONLY people who see what’s going on, having been raised in unknowing ignorance, then I’d have to write it from that perspective. Everyone else in the city would have to be equally ignorant, and perhaps stupid. I’d have to make up entire new social orders and rules, and I’m not prepared for it. So, I’ve decided that there the level of ignorance is merely willful, but certain details about the world are being revealed to the protagonist (who is 12) in the way that children learn about the world of adults.
It’s kind of a cop-out, but it allows me to keep moving and developing ideas as I go.