I’ve been trying to get the first draft of my great American novel finished, but nothing is going as planned.
I know there are supposed to be setbacks and the first draft is supposed to suck. But it’s one thing to expect problems, it’s quite another to deal with them in real life. So I keep getting frustrated and starting over, and over, and over. Which accomplishes exactly squat, and leaves me running in place pretending I’m getting someplace.
A friend is entering NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers Month, where the object is to write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words in one month. There’s no way in Hell I can beat that, but if they have a “most pages shredded” category I’m a shoo-in.
What the experts tell you to do is just type your first draft. No edits, no spell check, no nothing. Just type.
Shit, I never understood how OCD I was until I tried to take that advice. I can’t do it, it bugs the living piss out of me to leave a misspelled word or a singular/plural error uncorrected. And don’t get me started on sentence structure or dialog.
I’ve gone as far as to buy an ancient Neo2 word processor.
The NEO2 has a green screen with black letters that will display six, 16 character, lines of small text, five lines of medium text and four lines of large font text. That’s it.
I even bought a copy of Write or Die for twenty bucks. It’s a program that keeps track of certain word counts with warnings and penalties if you don’t meet your goals.
I especially like Kamikaze mode. “The wee little word monster that runs kamikaze mode has developed a more refined sensibility now. These days he only likes vowels. If you turn on kamikaze mode and allow consequences to ensue, your words will be systematically disemvoweled.” In other words, it removes every vowel from every word you’ve typed. How’s that for an incentive to keep up?