Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, it’s officially been one week since I crossed the NaNo finish line and I haven’t gotten a damn thing done in this time, unless celebrating at Hard Rock and watching a few neglected DVDs counts as something. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, though, as far as productivity goes. I’ve come up with a few short story ideas and have spent a little time brainstorming over the last third of my novel, but I haven’t produced much.

This has to stop. Now.

I’m not even sure what the hell is wrong with me right now. Stress, work, decompression, who knows? However, I’m making a list of goals for the month of December that need to be met, preferably before Christmas. They’re in no particular order, really.

Write the “Lori’s Chain” story.
Finish the “inky eye” story.
Work on the novel, if not outright finish it (+30k).
Write every day, even if it’s nothing but story ideas and blog posts.
Finish reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide set.
Don’t buy any new books.

The last goal I can meet simply by being inactive, but it’s probably going to be the hardest one to accomplish. I’ve got boxes upon boxes of books, shelves of books, books on my floor and books under my bed. I’ve got enough books to start my own Library of Congress.

Alright, maybe not that many, but I’ve got a ton of them. I can’t stop buying them, either, even though I don’t have the time to read them all. I think I have a hoarding problem. There’s something about a collection of printed words that’s completely spellbinding to me, and it’s almost like buying an extension for my brain every time I get a new book. I mean, it is new information, right?

I need to absorb all the information I have boxed and shelved and stacked up along my walls.

On to the fiction writing. I’ve come up with several short story ideas, including a rewrite of a story called “Lori’s Chain” that I originally wrote back in high school. It was never published and as far as I know the floppy I had it on is gone. It was a good story, a bit over sentimental, but as an adult I could probably make it a much deeper story. I may work on that a bit. Aside from that, I have a story to write about an eye full of ink, aliens hiding inside jack-o-lanterns, vampires preying on pedophiles and some other things. I have no trouble coming up with decent ideas, it’s the hows and whys of my stories that I tend to have issues with. What makes the characters do what they do, and how do I stop/kill them or get them to their goals? I think this is why my novel is slowing down. I just don’t know how to tie the two antagonists to the protagonists without making their reasoning flimsy. Would a supernatural creature do something solely out of jealousy? I think this one would, and could possibly have the lesser antagonist in her employ, but how do I go about making it sound convincing?

I think I might worry too much. This is, after all, a rough draft. It’s not like I’m chiseling this into some sort of public monument. I’m not sure whether my hesitation comes from perfectionism or what, but it’s starting to become annoying. From here on out I’m going to be working on my stories the way I worked on them during November, getting them onto the page while they’re still fresh and fretting over the details later. That worked very well for me.