Remember I said three weeks ago that I was going to do that National Novel Writing Month thing. You know the one where you write 50,000 words of a big story over 30 days for no reason other than to see if you can do it? I thought I'd just let you all know how it's going.
I am at 42,000 words with what...(checks watch) five days to go. It's excruciating. "Just keep writing!" the Nano gurus keep saying. Can't think of what to do next? "Just keep writing!" Think everything you've written so far is a load of old bollocks?" Just keep writing!" Run out of story before the 50,000 mark (that's me folks,why do you think I'm blogging?)? "Just keep writing!"
I have discovered that I am the sort of person who can only write so much everyday before I start doing that classic Barbra Cartland-esque sketch from Little Britain. You know the one. "Sarah and Jeremy went had in hand through the snow. "Let's go sledging," said Jeremy caressing her soft cheek in his hand. "Yes, let's,"she said as she positioned herself on the sledge in between Jeremy's strong masculine thighs.
"Wheeeeeeeee!" she said as they went down the hill at top speed through the white powder.
"Whhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wheeeeeeeh! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh"" she screamed as they rushed through the trees.
God that's good stuff..it's going in!
All those who've ever done NaNoWriMo will understand. There's a point at which your precious story idea comes second to getting past the 50,000 mark. Many Nano-ing correspondents have admitted to filling up their Word document pages with superfluous sex scenes. Not me! ( turns inside out at very thought) Others have admitted to pasting in stuff they wrote ages ago to bulk up the word count (you know who you are, lady!) Still more have ascribed their success to long languorous descriptions of every room their main character goes into and every sight they see at any point in their endeavours (Hey, it worked for Thomas Hardy, don't knock it!) You can edit all the shit out later, what's the worry, as long as we reach 50,000 by Sunday, go for it. Whatever gets you through it.
My secret? I don't have one other than pour yourself a Drambuie before you start. Write 1,000 words by the end of the glass or you don't get another one. I'm finding it tough (and expensive, and possibly health damaging). Much of my manuscript when I read it back may just be lines of "Whhasthch that lettle dog doinggg over there sed the lady whose name I forgot from chapter two (find out later) (yu know the one, the woman who looks like she miggght be a bitch at fiorst but who ends up commingg through for main charakter in end?? Maybee, don't know yet. Migght kill her off, she's duller than I thoughht shee'd be)."
Anyway, I'm going to do it. I'll see you on the other side of Sunday when I'm locking the manuscript away in a desk drawer never to be seen or heard of again or dousing it in lighter fluid and burning it in the back garden.
Question: Ever tried writing a novel? Hard, isn't it? Here's one of the Little Britain Dame Sally Markham sketches in case you haven't a clue what I was banging on about earlier.
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