Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome to "The Wall"

I've hit the wall with my nano writing. I need to make it up to 23,338 words by the end of today to be on track to finish by the end of the month and I'm just over 19,000. These are the hurdles I will need to overcome today:

1. My main character is a boy, but I don't think I should have done this. I mean, JK did it just fine, but she was really writing from 3rd person (right?) and I'm doing first person, so I have to be in this 12 year old boy's head a lot more. Do 12 year old boys notice small clothing details about the punk girl in their algebra class? (Probably not.) Do they notice medium clothing details? (I don't know.) Big clothing details (i.e. she was wearing all black....maybe, but would they even mention it?)

For this reason, I am wondering if the main character should have been a girl. I really wanted to write a boy book, but my main character is turning out to be too wimpy for my taste. I need to turn it around. But will any boy want to read about a boy that is just like them with fears and insecurities?

2. I have to get my main character to a party. It needs to be the kind of party that is thrown by an older brother while the parents are out of town and there needs to be all kinds of "who-knows-what" there. I say "who knows what" because, contrary to what you might be thinking, I wasn't very popular as a kid and never went to any parties. I've read books and I know what's going on at these parties, but I just don't know if I want my guy to go there. I'm really struggling with it. It's probably not as big a deal as I'm making it. I know when I'm reading these teen books I never mind a peek into the crazy-teen-parents-out-of-town party. I just don't know if I can write about one myself. I think I have party-phobia.

3. The whole premise of my book revolves around a map that was delivered to the main character's doorstep and which he saw upon returning from his old neighbor's funeral. I have only the slightest idea what the map leads to, but I'm thinking about changing that. Meanwhile, I don't know what the map looks like and I don't know WHERE it leads to. I know there is a secret door in the back of the shed that is not readily visible and I'm pretty sure the map leads through that door, but I'm not sure what to make the map look like so it's not totally obvious to the reader but not so confusing that no one could ever figure it out.

So, other than being crippled with self-doubt about moving forward on this book, everything is going great.


Catherine said...

The middle weeks are the hardest. Just push through. You can absolutely do it. I say keep him a boy if you want him to be a boy but definitely make him more active. Kids (boys and girls both)don't want to read about how they really are - they want to read about how they could be if they were in top form most of the time. Plus, if he's doing active stuff you have more to describe and more words. I have to admit that my character is acting very dual personality. Sometimes she's aggressive and sometimes she's passive. She has wild mood swings too. I think it's ok for now. Just push through.

Have fun at the imaginary wild party. I'm no pre-teen party queen either and I bet most of your readers wouldn't be either so make it awesome for us boring wallflowers.

Anna said...

that is good advice. i am working on a story right now and I think it is totally boring. In my next one, I will have to make the kids more active.

I think it is impressive that you guys do nano. (I know your goign to say, than why don't you do it too) I've decided to start writing too, but children's books for now.

Afton said...

Well, my main character made it to the party. Actually, the party kind of made it to him. I faced my party phobia and attacked it head on.

I also watched 2 TV shows last night when I should have been writing.

Speaking of writing....