Uncanny Vale

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of Erin Wilcox

Writing-Wise

National Novel Writing Month: Day 15

I’m at 23,597, which means that tomorrow I should hit the midpoint. I’m going to go ahead and rejoice when I earn my badge for 25K. NaNo is not an easy challenge, but all the support that’s in place really does make a big difference. Today I had an okay morning with 350 words in a half hour. Then I spent an hour or so in the evening researching something that didn’t lead to any tidy conclusion. This left me frustrated, and I had absolutely no taste for the work left before me, another 1650 words starting at 11:00 p.m. It occurred to me that I might just go to bed.

National Novel Writing Month: Day 14

A strange calm descended this evening after a rocky start. It didn’t help that the management company for the complex where I live failed to pay the water bill for the whole building, so we were all stuck without running water for the afternoon. During this phase of the day, my partner and I left for a few hours of writing and got some dinner. It amazes me how quickly inertia can begin to set in, creating resistance. Once I got past the “thinking about needing to write” phase, my brain started to loosen up, and I got a pretty interesting couple of scenes written.

National Novel Writing Month: Day 13

Somehow, it took four hours to write 1570 words today. I may have been thinking too much, or maybe I just hit one of those places where it became necessary to pontificate. I keep running into things like, Oh she has way too many handy things in her backpack to deal with this [evil creature]. I’m going to have to fix that later. I would really, really like to fix it now. Because I’m an editor, damn it. I fix stuff like that for a living! But this is NaNo.

National Novel Writing Month: Day 12

The NaNoWriMo website asks us to self-decribe as a pantster (going by the seat of her pants), plotter (has the project’s structure all figured out in advance), or plantster (somewhere in the middle). I chose plantster, and that continues to feel pretty good as I follow the rough shape I made for this novel into act 2 territory.

National Novel Writing Month: Day 11

Today my word count climbed by 2,142, but one of its main lessons was the gap between word count and real progress. I believe I resolved the novel’s main tension in a key scene because I couldn’t stand for my protagonist to subject herself to a certain kind of torture. It’s likely that I will need to go back and better motivate her decision to subject herself to said torture, but for sure—in hindsight—I was too quick to allow her to veer away from the torture itself. While her turn was satisfying to write, I suddenly felt lost at sea (in a Géricault painting) after finishing this scene.