As much as I like computers (and make my living on them), I’m not the biggest fan of documents on them.  I find them tedious and difficult to reference compared to textbooks and papers, so even when I’m working on projects that are computer based, I tend to print out my references, task lists and suchlike, rather than keeping it all electronic.

I’m currently in the process of doing something similar for the novel, collecting together the various references and bits of background information I have drafted into a single summary document that I’m going to print out, to go with the character summaries I already have sitting in a pile beside me.  This is the Not Much Fun part of writing, I think — collating, preparing, researching.  Occasionally interesting but frequently dull.  I remember reading something to that effect once, by Robert Asprin; he described how, while the writing was always fun to do, the work you had to do before the writing could be pretty tedious.

However, it’s what I need.  In case I didn’t make this point clear, the internals of my brain seemed to be pretty disorganised — there’s plenty in there, but actually getting at it and pulling it out is a challenge.  Having external prompts is a huge help, as I have access to the things I’ve thought of that I might forget about otherwise.  So while it’s not much fun, I think at the end of the day, it’ll mean everything turns out better; and since I’m planning to keep on buckling down through the NaNo period, I really want all this to be complete beforehand…


NaNoRebelApparently, this is what I am this year.  Interesting, but not a lot so; I’m mainly interested in trying to get my novel moved forward, so as far as it being National Novel Writing Month, I think I fit the bill; it just doesn’t fit the rule of starting a fresh novel from scratch in November, which means I’m being awfully rebellious.  I’d wave a pitchfork if I had one.

I started a new novel from scratch on both of the last two years, succeeding in hitting the 50k mark (which would, allegedly and entirely untruthfully, make me a novelist) in ’07 and failing in ’08, and in both cases, failing to actually finish anything even close to a completed novel.  Experiences since have taught me that starting over from scratch is a bad idea for me if I’m already on a writing roll;   so it’s very much time for a break with the rules.  My real goal for 2009 is a finished novel draft, all the way from prologue to epilogue; I’ll never manage that if I put down this WIP and work on something new for November’s NaNo.

Naturally, as a rebel, if I hit the 50k then I’ll be validating my word-count at the end; but only for words written during NaNo.  Validating everything would defeat the purpose of joining in at all.  And while I may not “win” legitimately, I’ll be aiming to win within the bounds of my own goal.