Here we are at the beginning of Week Four. I feel like I should say something pithy.
Lucky you all, I am a writer, so I have two
pithy things to say.
1) If I write a thousand words a day, I will be over 50,000 in time, with some extra wiggle room for Completely Unproductive Days (Today, Thursday, Saturday).
But I'm in an odd position – 50,000 words is not going to see the end of my novel. I'm thinking more around 70 or 80k, so I still have a ways to go. The 50k milestone is simply the end of the official challenge, but it marks no real turning point for me. I'll still be elbow-deep.
I will need your help.
Get your hand out of your pants.
After this month is over, I will need you all to be tolerant of me still talking about this fucking thing
. You would not believe how helpful it is to be able to do this. Even if I'm not getting feedback on the actual novel, I'm still able to touch base with you lot, and I will consequently feel at least marginally responsible for turning out a few hundred words a day, since I know you're expecting to hear about it.
You very well may well hate it, but please don't disillusion me. I cherish the lies I tell myself. Besides, this is my journal, I can do what I like. Also, keep in mind: if you don't like what I write, and you annoy me, I can always have your face gnawed off by radioactive spiders in the next book. (And you know that's how spiders flirt, right?)
In short, once December rolls around, pester me about this fucking thing, would you? Just a little bit? Thanks. I don't want to commit libris interruptus
and quit for a month (or a year) in the middle.
2) What I have learned this week:
It is possible to love and hate what you're doing, all at once.
I adore the pulp fiction genre. Yet there are limitations to it, limitations imposed by the genre itself, and bending and stretching those limits is difficult, indeed. It is at once its own reward and its own punishment.
I feel like I've hit a wall. I can't kill any characters . . . I need them for future books. That's part of the genre. So there's never any real risk, which leads to lack of involvement. This is a crippling flaw in a normal narrative. You have to strike a balance between never putting your characters at risk, and killing characters randomly, viciously, and arbitrarily simply to "maintain realism" and keep the reader on her toes. The former approach means the reader never feels any real worry, and the latter means that the reader learns never to trust you, and as a defense mechanism, stops allowing themselves to care about your characters at all.
For examples of the first, any pulp series – or almost any popular series -- will do. As examples of the latter, I point a sternly disapproving finger at George R. R. Martin, whose talent is almost incredible enough to make up for the fact that he killed my two favorite characters in the very first book. He even managed the amazing feat of killing a third cool character before he was even born.
While I like a slightly grittier approach, and I loved the book to little pieces, I still have not forgiven him enough to read the others. Or even reread the first one.
The first approach is accepted for pulp, but I still find it frustrating. It feels as though the whole thing is merely "go to crazy location A, fight monster B, kill it or get interrupted, go to crazy location C, fight monsters D, get captured, go to location E, fight bad guy F, get interrupted . . ." etc., etc.
I'm retreading philosophical ground that was covered by theferrett
quite recently, though, and I'm even using some of the same examples, so I believe I'll just wrap up by saying that I accept it's part of the series. I will work around it when I can, and I can comfort myself by saving the deep and difficult work for the upcoming Vampire Angst Novel. Since my character now has a name, it's a given I'll be starting it pretty soon.
Unless of course my ship is boarded by the dreaded porn pirates, who then compel me at sword's point to write more smut.
It could happen.
(Especially if you lot keep sending me smutty links, and writing smutty fiction, which you post where I can see it.)
And now: my word count, the result of days of vigorous procrastination.link