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NaNoWriMo - Week Two

Updated on January 30, 2011

What did I tell you?

Ah, that was Hard! I knew it was coming, that big brick wall, that I would smack into, face first. Ouch.

Course, family things, such as huge piles of dirty washing, and meals are usually easy enough to avoid. My children can wear dirty clothes and eat junk for a month without suffering any lasting damage. But my mum's surgery, necessitating a couple of visits to the hospital twenty-five miles away (albeit, very pleasant and happy visits), have robbed me of two evenings of writing. Now, I'm not saying that my mum's selfish, but she might have picked a more convenient time to be ill!

But now, seriously, let's look at this from a more positive and proactive stance, shall we? Do I, myself, have cancer at this time? No, I do not. Therefore, do I really have any good excuse for moaning and putting off my day's goal of 1,613 words? No, I do not. Did I allow hospital visits to create a space for a little bit of laziness to creep in? Yes, I did. Am I actually behind in my overall grand word count? No, I am not. Should I take those two or three non-productive days and tag them onto the end of my month? No, I blinkin' well should not. I should stop making excuses for my momentary lack of commitment to the project, and I should get back in the trenches, on the double!

And so I am presented with a challenge within a challenge, to catch up to where I would have been, had I not missed those few days. It's a tall order, but by Toutatis,* I can do it. Well, quite possibly, I'm setting myself up to fail there, but we'll see.

All this falling behind schedule made me realise something though, and that is that every month usually presents some kind of delaying event. It's very rare that a month will go by without some surprises in it - for me at least, but maybe I'm just lucky that way. Cancer and other horrible things happen to most families, babies come along frequently, jobs change, break ups occur, household appliances go kaput, tragedy strikes when our favourite show is cancelled, but we must go on despite the odds, we must fight to the end, to the very last word.

But I have talked here only about not writing. Week Two is over, and I have indeed written for five out of those seven days. I am sure you are gripped with unbearable, even painful, anticipation to know how the writing has behaved as the fortnight mark approached.

Well, it's been rather strange. The writing took on a life of its own this week. It's almost as if I am subconsciously doing what the daily motivational cards say I will do. This Chris Baty knows this novel writing process inside out and upside down, it would seem. It's astounding me, one who expected to breeze through the whole process if I'm honest, that the wall cropped up just where Mr Baty said it would. It's also astounding to me that he knew that Week Two would be the time when my characters would start to misbehave. Will Tom go a-haunting as I have asked him to, as a good ghost should? No, he will not. Despite me trying to cajole him out of the house to track down his murderer, he will insist on sitting by the fire enjoying a cosy chat with his widow.** Does he not realise that we have only twenty-five thousand words left in which to establish the plot proper, add some twists, and reveal whodunnit? We haven't got time for domestic bliss right now.

Likewise, my murderer will not play fair and demonstrate his very good qualities, as my decoy refuses to get nasty. Come on boys, I'm trying to make you multi-faceted, please co-operate.

Needless to say that Week Two has disappeared somewhere, with barely any advancement in the story. But at least the body's been buried now - for the whole of Week One it was hanging around the mansion, causing much embarrassment to the lady of the house, and frankly it was starting to get a bit smelly. After much hemming and polite suggestion from the widow, I finally remembered to arrange the funeral. Next I have to book an appointment for the reading of the will, and then everyone had better stand well back.

So we are into Week Three, and I am hoping that some of the less well behaved characters will acquire a modicum of self control. It's time to get this show on the road, and I've no room for stragglers. I expect to see a marked improvement over the next few days. I want everyone to learn their lines, and remember their places. Remember, there are only two weeks until the final dress rehearsal. Okay, good. Let's get to work, people. Oh, and principal characters only, for the next two rehearsals. After that, I want to see the whole company, and no exceptions. If you don't turn up, you'd better be dead, or dying!

* If you do not read Asterix, it's entirely possible that you may not understand this reference. I don't understand it all that well myself, so I can only deduce that Toutatis seems to be an ancient Gaulish god.

** Oh, is he perhaps trying to tell me that his wife is his murderer?


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