On Word count & Morning Pages, October 21, 2020

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Image by Bikurgurl

On Word Count

As I write out all the things in preparation for NaNoWriMo, I start to look at how I’ll meet my word count goal.

I saw a great post by Dani of @writinggibsongirl who suggested breaking the word count down into 417 words, 4 times a day. I’d never thought of that – but it would totally work into the way I count my word count!

I know it’s old fashioned, but I hand write my novels. As such, I decide on my paper and pen then start counting how many words fit on the page.

Swipe to see my morning page word counts – they are 504 and 475 respectively. Though I likely won’t have headers on most of my pages, my handwriting size can change {usually gets bigger} when I’m writing lots of words. Factoring in for this, I’m using the smaller number as my baseline for my word count goal.

At 475 words per double page spread, I’ll need to complete 4 double page spreads per day in November to meet my minimum word count goal.

Image by Bikurgurl

Of course, I regularly find my stories run well over the 50,000 word goal many of us set in NaNoWriMo, but I like to set the bar low to experience the success of finishing. Because for me, the devil is in the editing. I write it and find it difficult to return.

This year I’m changing my panster writing to plantser-esk writing. I’m fleshing our characters and story arc to try to actually finish – instead of meandering off into the sunset.

And I’m going to try a second writing practice daily this month which may leave me 2 raw books by December. The second will be typed and posted to my blog. I’m not sure the second will happen, but paradoxically, doing my small bit of sketching for Inktober has pushed me to be writing more. My new desk, monitor and office space is giving me the dedicated writing space during quarantine-COVID-global-pandemic to hide away and write for hours.

So on I go to reach my writing goals and tell my stories. May they be vivid with imagery and loaded with detail!

How are you going to meet your word count goals next month?

On Morning Pages • October 21, 2020

Morning Pages are a practice laid out by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artists Way. I write my 3 pages in the mornings in my Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook with my favorite 0.3 Pentel Energel Pen in black ink.

What I wrote on my morning pages:

“I keep reflecting on my conversation this weekend with my breakout group for discussing characters in NaNoWriMo Preptober. One of the participants said they were having trouble because in their story, what happens if their world ends. Their protagnist is dead and no longer in the story. I said it was easy, the show must go on.

Because here’s the thing: we may not like it, but even if our “hero: dies, the world still goes on after them. Life continues – or as Ian Malcolm so eloquently put it in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” He explains chaos theory and how you can go back and repeat events in time, but much like the small variations on Ellie’s hand, the drop of water will statistically never really make the same journey over it – even when dropped in the same place.

What I was thinking, but did not fully explain, was that ‘life will find a way’ meaning even if all life on this planet ceased to exist, the earth {Earth?} as we know it now exploded, those fragments of earth, of life, still have their own journey. How did life on this planet evolve? How did it occur? even though I’m a Christian, by faith I’m sure life can be explained through science. The “mystery” is only really a mystery because of our ignorance as to how it works. There’s always a logical explanation, even if we can’t see it or are ignorant to the process. I think that is the great truth many don’t want to accept: we may never have all the answers.

I focus my curiosity. When I think I know something for sure, I start to question it.

World Building or Destruction

So what does this mean for our protagonist? Even for our villain if they are killed off? This means that life, the story, continues. No, it won’t be the same without our hero, anti-hero, villain, Earth – whatever ends . . . but everything else moves on.

Even if you question science, no one can question the destruction an atom bomb creates. It literally levels worlds. Building fall, people are maimed and die, still others live only to have cancer and other diseases tear their bodies apart slowly, lingeringly, over time. Though from the ashes, new worlds arise. See Chernobyl as a perfect example. When that nuclear reactor melted down, the town was sealed off and the buildings, homes, everything left after the nuclear fallout. Now, forty-ish years later, trees, and grass are growing, wild animals have long since returned and are thriving. Granted, those animals are eating heavy metals contained in the plant life growing there and may reasonably be contaminated and have cancer as well, but life – in whatever form it can – does return.

Consequences of that return can be the jumping off point for the world destroyed, the protagonist, hero, anti-hero, villain – these may just be new players to the pervading morality laid out at the beginning of the story – and if morality shifts, this is an opportunity to say why it has shifted and how.”

Whew! Did you make it to the end? If you did, what do you think about world building and destruction?

@Bikurgurl_watermark

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