20,000 words and counting. I’ve reached a milestone of sorts in my novel-writing challenge (30 days, 50,000 words). And it is getting easier again. I feel like I’m over a hump. Here’s hoping, anyways, that the rest of the novel will just come pouring out of me a mile a minute and I’ll reach my deadline. Which, if anyone is keeping track, is fast approaching. And I’m only two fifths of the way there.
So far, it has been a funny journey. On the whole, it has been so much easier than I could have imagined. I have had two nights that felt like pulling teeth, but so many others that felt good. The time flying by, and the words almost writing themselves. I’d like to imagine I’m in my Element (check out my Daily Reading). We’ll see.
It feels like I’m starting to wax poetic here (watch out, I’ll be writing high school poetry again soon). Actually, when I finish spewing out this novel, which seems like a good way to describe the process of speed noveling, I think I will try writing poetry again. Although, I’m not promising to publish any here (I’m sure you’re thanking your lucky stars right now).
The hardest part so far has been writing dialogue. I actually started off with my character nicely isolated, hardly encountering another human being, and I thought, this could be my I Robot. I could just give this woman a dog (or, in her case, a baby) to talk to. And no one else. But, then, she’d still have to talk to the baby. If she was to be any kind of mother. And I’d still have to write dialogue.
Talking to your baby, by the way, is one of the best things you can do for them. I tend to go with the “Sportscaster Mom” approach, and narrate anything and everything that is happening around them. At least I did with my first child. The second one, dear Sylvie, mostly gets to listen to her brother talk. I wonder what kind of speech patterns she will develop. Of course, her brother is a bit of a motormouth, so it might work out alright for both of them.
So, dialogue. Ugh. It turns out, in my novel, I just keep introducing characters. All needing their own special voice. Their own unique sound and manner. I found this all extremely tedious, especially when factoring in punctuation: quote, comma, end quote, period, repeat. And don’t forget the words strung in there somewhere. I have read that dialogue is one of the hardest parts of writing, and I believe it.
So, for those of you who want to try something like this at home, here are a few scenarios you might consider:
- Your character is deaf. Therefore, can’t speak to anyone. At least not aloud. But, I think you’d still have to write the words they sign in ASL. So how about…
- Your character is the last person on earth. Period. But, as in I, Robot, there might still be animals. So…
- Your character is the last person on earth. And there are no animals. Or rocks, or trees, or anything else they might want to talk to. That brings us to…
- Your character has taken a vow of silence. And you are writing in the first person. There. That should about do it. It should also be a very speedy novel to write. As long as you don’t give them a pen.
Anyways, around word 18,000 or so, I realized something. I was hardly even thinking about the dialogue. It was kind of just coming. Like those pesky characters were thinking and talking those words all by their little old selves. Okay, it has only been 2000 words since then. By tomorrow night, I might be stuck again. Cringing at every line. Shaking my head at my pathetic attempts to master the English language and the nuances of speech. But, for now, I’d like to think I’ve made a breakthrough.
And, although I still have a long way to go, I have much to be thankful for. I’m 20,000 words in. I have written at least 1600 words every night since I confessed my project here, on my blog. And I am seriously enjoying the process. I mean, really enjoying it. I love it (most days, most of the time). So, for now, I’m going to bed on a high.
She pats herself on the back, and says, “Goodnight already. Geesh.” (I would never say that).
P.S. My spellchecker says “noveling” is not a word. I beg to differ.