Monday, 21 November 2011

Ideas, Six Sentences and NaNoWriMo

I'm hoping that I can avoid just using this blog as some sort of horrible progress report (not great, for what it's worth - barely 28,000 words, but I'll come to that). I'm new to the whole Twitter thing, but I've seen a couple of things that have really caught my eye on there, things that I like the idea of doing on here.

The first was Flash Fiction Fridays. I thought I may put up short stories on here on an irregular basis. Maybe some will be new, may be some will be scenes from my work in progress that stand well on their own and that I like (or think merit feedback!). So... I may well have a go at that, soon.

The other was Six Sentence Sunday. This one is pretty self-explanatory, and it just so happens that I've picked out six sentences from my (unedited) work in progress that stand nicely on their own. Our protagonist, Erin, is returning home from her adventures in the wild, and this is the reader's first view of her home town.

The town blended almost perfectly in to its surroundings. Nature had largely reclaimed the valley that had once been a huge sheep farm, nestled amongst the mountains. Trees had sprouted everywhere, with reclaimed clearances spotted here and there for arable and livestock farming. A small, shallow river made its way lazily from its source up in the mountains down through the town, and out through the one narrow mountain pass to the south, the runnelled wagon track running along side it. A small cluster of stone buildings, once the centre of the old farm, now marked the Town Hall and the centre of Redemption. Spread through the woods were newer timber-framed and log houses, all built out of wood and whatever other materials could be harvested or reclaimed from the nearby desolation.

Thought? Yes, I know it's Monday. We'll get over that one together. And I'm desperately bad at names. Desperately. I've taken to using an online list of all the placenames in Britain now to find names that don't sound as terrible as what I've been coming up with when left unsupervised in charge of my own imagination.

As for NaNoWriMo... as eluded to above, it's not going too well! I managed to power through the first six well-outlined chapters, but as soon as I reached the unplanned chapter seven, I ground to a stuttering halt. It's like writing through treacle, if that makes any sense. I've written maybe 1500 words in the last five days, which is less than I should be doing in a single day. I should be hitting 35,000 words today, so I'm just under 7,000 behind. I can do 3,500 comfortably on a good day with a fair wind and a full outline, so it's not impossible for me to turn it around. Three or four good days in a row and I will be back on track...

The question is, as I've posted elsewhere on Laura Lam's blog, I'm not willing to write garbage just to hit some magic number. My writing has a hell of a lot of room for improvement, but I'm really happy with the story I'm forming. Do I write 22,000 rushed words, just for my ego, or do I sit back and start revising what I've done, and start really learning my craft now instead? The latter seems far more logical, to be honest.

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