This is the month before NaNoWriMo. As some people call it it’s Prep October… and I am starting to feel the pressure.
I have been working on a manuscript, for a couple of years now, and in this year’s Camp Nano I saw myself setting its first two drafts in a limbo on uncertainty (more than usual) and started to test writing an english version instead.
I can tell you, it has been a wild emotional ride.
But first, some backstory. I’m writing a novel named ‘The Shapeshifters’ since 2021. You can read more about it the article: Drafts, writing plans and mind the gap
I have been imagining, and reimagining, and trying to create a story that has been with me for a long time. Mainly because I choose some difficult themes to work with… but this is personal, and it’s not for full disclosure at this point.
I was so happy when, in the beginning of 2021, I was able to put pen into paper and craft the major parts of this story.
Then I started working on a second draft, adding to the story, and getting my sub-plots aligned. Second draft completed and then…
I started writing the third draft in English.
It just came out that way!
This change gave me a pretty good amount of difficult feelings. I was supposed to continue this project, as planned, just trying to get it written in Portuguese, and polished to the best of my abilities.
But there I was… writing a new first scene, in another language.
It’s not that I want to translate what I have written. No, I want to write it anew, as if the first two drafts were totally exploratory.
And this added to the complexity of the writing process.
Very well, then!
One of my main goals/tasks for this Autumn was to finish my third-or-first draft of ‘The Shapeshifters’. Third draft because it’s the third time I’m rewriting this story. Or-First because it suddenly got rewritten in English.
It was reiterated in July’s Camp NaNo but I am still struggling with it.
As I wrote before…
“I need to go back to the drawing board and write a new plan for this story. There are some changes, that I want to make, regarding characters and story line. I’ve noticed that I designed a lot of backstory but failed to put it to good use.
Characters backstory, connections and past traumas are important and need to be carefully embedded in the story. How could I write a story with 79341 words and not put enough density is beyond me.
I’m always careful about not overdoing on what might be considered the boring stuff, an excess of whatever isn’t required. But it seems I trimmed it too much, leaving out even the important story details.“
As much as I see the need for all of this, the overthinking about the details, the decision making process, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the subject. I needed to get my real bearings and find a way to get back to ‘The Shapeshifters’.
And the Muse has to find me working, so…
Five days ago, in a fit of “I am really fed up with all of these thoughts that lead to nowhere, and mind as well stick with the program!“
I took a seat in the most improbable place of my apartment, (not the toilet, it must be the only place where I don’t find myself inspired to write) at the kitchen table. Accompanied by somme draft papers (basically A4 sheets, half used my my daughter’s scribbles, cut in A5 format) and a pen, and started chipping away at the work of putting all the scenes I had in those.
Oh, and it was after dinner, a writing schedule I usually don’t think very well of, since I’m more of an early bird, than a night owl.
It took me 4 blocks of about two hours to finish that work.
Now, I’m on a crossroads… again. I need to have a visual of the whole project and need to make a better effort.
So on the fifth day I went back to the drawing table and started rereading and adding and adjusting.
I do not know how this will turn out. I know I’m prepping this project to be properly written during this year’s NaNoWriMo, next month.
But let’s see how all of this goes.