I’ve been robbed!

Two weeks in to NaNoWriMo, and it has not gone as badly as I feared. Time has been an issue, but  I haven’t fallen behind as much as I thought I would. In order to manage that, I’ve had even less downtime than normal. All of my free time has been spent on homework and writing for school. My novel has been written in big chunks, three thousand words at a time.

The sad part of this year is that it robs me of the greatest part of NaNoWriMo. This is supposed to be a month of daily writing, of working on a project in a near constant stream of consciousness. Last year, when I was not writing, I was thinking about what happened next, what my characters were like, what they were thinking, and what they were doing when they weren’t involved in the story.

This year, when I am not writing, I am thinking about how part one of Alice Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman provides a parallel display of life cycles that will become a predominant theme in the rest of the book. Instead of wondering what makes Mac so sarcastic and cold, I am comparing Aristotle and Hume’s concepts of aesthetics. What is the role of critical research within the arts? Apparently, the role is to delay my fiction writing.

The work on Heaven’s Edge is getting done, but I feel like I am getting robbed of the best part of the experience. Perhaps the worst part is that I know next year will be the same. Hopefully, November of 2014 will be a focused submersion into my writing world. However, for the next couple of years, I don’t have that luxury.

Still, the story is moving along. Someone is dead, and Mac has something to do. He is feeling like himself again, which makes him certain that something bad is about to happen. Of course it is. Fiction is the art of bad things happening. At least Mac expects it.

Speaking of expectations for later in the story, I found a picture last week that unlocked a new aspect of the story, particularly the beginning of the third act. I am excited. It should tie everything together very well. It will be a special moment, when Mac decides to take his place among a tradition of great heroes. We’ll see how that goes for him.

I am a little behind on word count, but I am right where I want to be as far as story development. This is the exciting part of the story where my mind starts making unconscious connections that will pay off later. I don’t know exactly where it is going, but it should be a good ride.

Almost halfway through the month. Hopefully, I make it.

Jack Campbell, Jr. is a dark fiction writer in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared in various venues including Twenty 3 Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Insomnia Press. He writes about reading, writing, and life on his blog at www.jackcampbelljr.com.

1 Comment

  • Ted Boone says:

    Batch writing during NaNo does take away a bit of the magic from the experience. But it sounds like you’re making it work. Keep it up!

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