Kat’s #NaNoWriMo, Day One, or ‘The Battle of Exposition’

I can tell you now, I won’t be blogging everyday. I’m just not that interesting. Sorry. I know it’s hard, but you’ll get over it eventually. That fact that I’m not blogging, that is, not that I’m not that interesting. You probably knew that already.

Anyway, yes, NaNo is here, woo! As I suspected, I’m too old to stay up late, and I went to bed just one hour shy of midnight. I’m made of fail. But wait! When the other half woke up to go to work at 5:30am, I woke up, too, excited like a child on Christmas morning. So I got up and wrote my first 1667 words (it was actually 1746, but shh, don’t ruin the dream) before 7am.

I used Write or Die, although I’m already having my compulsive behaviour spaz out because of it. See, it doesn’t automagically make your quotes into smart quotes, and it doesn’t make your … into ellipses. So after writing my first bit, I copy/pasted it into Scrivener then went on to correct all of the formatting, which took me to about half eight, when mixed in with finally getting around to watching MikeJ’s Halloween Shameful Sequel.

I particularly like how Scrivener 2.0 has changed the progress bars to show how well you’re doing. Red = Bad. Green = Good. Just in case you didn’t know. I’m not even sure if I’m being sarcastic here; I mean, I do like it, but at the same time I’m wondering who came up with the idea to suggest if you’ve only written a fraction of your target manuscript, it gets displayed as a fail colour. I don’t know.

Moving on!

After that, I went to work. Going to work was strenuous, I’m not sure how I managed it. Today involved the drama of pushing my cat off the work’s laptop before sidling it alongside my MacBook. Nightmare, right? Well, he did try to bite me. The cat, that is, not the laptop.

I also tried to cut my own fringe today. Guess how well that worked out. I used this guide to do it, although I wasn’t really going for the Bettie Paige look at first, it just sort of happened (read: I cut too much).

Onto the actual writing itself…as I expected, it wasn’t great. Unlike many, I don’t have a great beginning for my story. I have a fairly decent end, and a juicy middle full of character-developing meaty goodness, but the beginning is incredibly wishy-washy, mostly because I haven’t really decided exactly where or when it should start. If you look at it in terms of the 8 point story arc (Stasis > Trigger > Quest > Surprise > Choice > Climax > Reversal > Resolution), I know my trigger that sets the dominoes for the rest of it all in motion, but there is a considerable amount of filler that the reader will need to be aware of before the whole thing can start.

I’m trying to work out how much I can get away with, which — right now — just involves writing every damn thing that needs to be covered.

This is how it went today with scene number 1:

I’m there, in the zone, writing the first few paragraphs like my life depended on it, when all of a sudden, Exposition bursts onto the scene.

And Exposition’s like: “Hey hey! What’s this? You want these two people to have a normal conversation? Screw you, they’re going to tell everything that happened in the last book in explicit and jarring detail so that the reader knows in no unclear terms exactly where they’re ‘at’.”

And then I’m all, “You may have won this round, Exposition, but come edit time, you’re going down!”

And Exposition’s like: “Noooooooooooooo!”

I’m hoping that by about 5k words in, I’ll be able to leave all this nasty exposition behind and move into more important stuff. Then the entire thing can get cut out in the first edit. Yay!

Anyway, I hope everyone else had an eventful day 1, let’s keep it together, only 29 more days to go!