NaNoWriMo has been going well, considering that I’m afflicted with whooping cough, my entire family is afflicted with whooping cough, and when you’re sick, production levels go only one place. Down. I’m about 3,000 words behind, which is where I’ve been almost all week, and it’s not the greatest feeling in the world. Especially since last year I took the NaNo world by storm (after only a day of preparation, no less) and reached 50K in about twenty days. Maybe part of the reason I’m having so much trouble is that I had a lot of time to prepare, to plot everything out, to get used to the story – while everything was spontaneous last year. (and in case you’re interested, I’m at 9,942 words)
Anyway, I’ve had to resort to something I almost never do – bribery. I bribe myself. How weird is that? (at least I think it’s weird) What, you might ask, am I bribing myself with? ‘Combat!’ A delightful television show all about the trials and tribulations of a squad of men fighting in France in WWII. (delightful my foot…the thing is depressing as Les Miserables) For an hour or so every day (if I’ve done my writing), my sister and I forget all about terrible word count and incessant coughing and all that stuff and watch other people go through much worse situations than we ever will – it’s oddly encouraging. (shameless plug: WATCH COMBAT! It’s amazing. Especially Doc 2. Who I will include a picture of because it’s my blog and I love him dearly.)
A typical day of NaNo-ing goes something like this…
- Wake up. (obviously)
- Have breakfast.
- Write for about half an hour.
- Break. Play Uno with my siblings/read a book.
- Write for an hour.
- Watch Combat! with Elisabeth.
- Break until after supper.
- Write for half an hour.
- Go on Pinterest, send emails, catch up on Facebook.
So, I’m taking a gentler approach to the challenge this year, with plenty of breaks, but at least I’m still getting words down. Although I don’t even want to talk about the quality of those words. I’ve decided that I’ll share a snippet at the end of every NaNo post this week, but honestly, I’m not proud of it at all. I’m definitely placing quantity over quality. The plot’s there, and that’s about it. My characterization and dialogue skills have seen better days. But here’s the snippet anyway 🙂
“Skye Amsden, here to take my memory test.”
The desk receptionist in front of Skye hardly glanced up. “You’ll have to wait.”
So Skye sat on one of the soft chairs that instantly molded around her to create the best possible experience. The technology was a luxury, even for her, but she couldn’t enjoy it.
Arriving on time was something she prided herself on, and she’d walked through the thick glass doors at exactly nine in the morning. It was now two minutes past nine, she could see no one from where she sat in the spacious waiting room, and the receptionist moved with all the ambition of a half-dead slug. All in all, not an auspicious beginning.
Nevertheless, it was a beginning.
She sat in the most professional, elegant manner she could think of for the benefit of both the receptionist and anyone who might come in. She was a prime candidate for the selection – even if she didn’t want to be – and being a lawyer was all about public image. She’d be poised, polite, and placid. After all, it wasn’t all that big of a deal. The whole dead files thing just took weeks, if not months, out of her life and leave her less time to study for things that were actually important. But no big deal, right?
Inwardly, she rolled her eyes.
The door she’d entered from opened again.
“Don’t touch the glass,” the receptionist said, without looking up, in a sepulchral voice that had the potential to raise the dead from their files, just because they’d think one of their own was in the building.
Nia walked in, data pod in hand just like Skye, and rolled her eyes, in reference to the receptionist. Then she grinned, and sat down a couple seats away from Skye. She placed her data pod on her lap in front of her and appeared to be reading something off it. Skye looked away. None of her business.
Several minutes passed. The room was so silent, Skye could hear her own heartbeat, everyone’s breathing, extremely faint sounds from somewhere outside the room, and a single sheet of paper falling from the reception desk.
Nia tapped at her data pod a couple times, and then put it in her jacket pocket, right side.
“How long have you been here?” she asked in a hushed voice.
Skye shrugged. “Maybe ten minutes.”
“They said nine o’clock.”
“I know,” Skye said. For a moment they had something in common and commiserated silently. But Nia was a rival lawyer, even if she didn’t seem to be resentful or outwardly hostile to the fact that Skye’d won and she’d lost, and Skye didn’t feel right in trusting her. Better to keep rivals and potential enemies at arms’ length. Far enough away to not fall into any traps but close enough to observe them. ~Chapter 2
How’s your NaNoWriMo going?