Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm a winner!

On day 29 - talk about cutting it close - I completed Nanowrimo.

50,000 words and change in 29 days. And don't think it was easy. I almost didn't make it. My friend Tim was keeping up with me until the final weekend when he shot ahead, scribbling at least five thousand words a day.

So I've done it... Or rather, I haven't. Because while I've completed 50,000 words, the story of The Bootleg Boys isn't yet complete. But it will be soon.

The truth is, Nanowrimo has taught me a lot.

It taught me write, even when the instincts told me not to. The toughest thing was the beginning, when the little bloke who sits on your shoulder tells you that what you're writing is no good. You need to STOP. Begin AGAIN...

You have to ignore it.

So I continued writing. And because I'd planned out the Bootleg Boys, it seemed to go fairly smoothly. But I did realise, as I wrote, that my original 'plan' for the volume of Eddy stories starting off the Bootleg Boys wasn't going work as it was.

Novels have to have a beginning, middle and an end. And so I started putting together the pieces that would make up the second half of the Bootleg Boys. A story I've called the Mycroft Auction. Something that would neatly close up the entire package into what people traditionally call a book.

Everything changed as I wrote Nanowrimo.

One thing that was never meant to change was the plot. But as I wrote Nanowrimo, something very odd happened. As the words flow and the ideas spilled out onto the page, the story evolved. And up popped something odd. A new character.

I'd planned on creating a boyfriend for Lucy Rogers - but not yet. Several stories in the future. But suddenly up he popped in the Bootleg Boys.

And I'd already planned on who he was - a stuffy councillor called Daniel Christoper. But as soon as the smarmy bastard's mouth opened, he was calling himself Alex. Alex Daniels. And he was a lawyer.

A lawyer? He wasn't meant to be a lawyer! The arrogant bastard! Didn't he know who was in charge here?

That's what I discovered, writing Nanowrimo. That writing is something that pours from deep inside and what emerges isn't always what you expect it to be. Especially when you force it.

I think it goes that 80% of people who start Nanowrimo never complete it within the 30 days. And those that do?

They create a monster!

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