It turns out I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I needed to be.
I was prepared enough to write a chapter, but when I tried to advance the plot, I found that there was too much I hadn’t thought of.
Last month, I talked about procrastination. Due to a lack of clarity, my attention wandered all day on Sunday. I think I wrote 500 words all that day.
Monday, I felt so bad about falling behind and freezing up, that I couldn’t even get out of bed. I was depressed and angry. I called in sick, and I didn’t go to band practice that night. I thought about the story, and I privately moped in my garage.
We all have days like that. Often, they’re Mondays. I let the bad emotions have me for a day, then moved on.
Tuesday, I went back in to work, and I felt a little bit better. I was able to step back a little and get some perspective. During my lunch, I opened Scrivener and started figuring out what went wrong. Why wasn’t I prepared? What did I need to do to be prepared, so that I could move on?
It turns out that I hadn’t given enough thought to my main character’s family. The whole first act is going to be with these people, and I didn’t even know how many of them there were, or what their names were. I knew their. I’d figured out their genesis and their religion. I’d done a bunch of world building in advance, but I didn’t actually know any of the people that my main character was supposed to interact with.
Of course, I didn’t have time to write at all Tuesday. I had to go straight from work to band practice.
I thought I would have time to write tonight at a museum. It was the first night of a new writer’s group I found via meetup.com. I thought we’d all be working on our Nano projects, but it turned out to be something else entirely. They all seemed like nice folks, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking forward to.
I’m probably not going to have much time to write Thursday, because I’m going straight from work to play a concert. I have 2 or 3 improv solos, and I’m playing music I’ve only looked at a few times. I’m a little bit nervous about the performance, but it’s not overwhelming.
I did have a little bit of opportunity to work on my story today, when I took my son to the dentist. I opened a new page in the Research section of my Scrivener project and started creating names that would be appropriate to my story. They’re simple names, but it was taking me forever. Now I have a list I can pull from. I also created a family tree for my main character.
I’m feeling more prepared. I’m frazzled and stressed and scared, but I feel like I have perspective now, and I think I can make up the lost time this weekend.
Those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I hope you’re off to a better start than I am.