Sunday, November 13, 2005

230 Questions... And Not One on Jenny Crusie

I am a bad, bad NaNo contestant and I deserve to be spanked. Or at least dropped by my critique/blog partner.

I am officially out. I thought I could handle a new ms, but I was beaten before I even started. Well, you know what they say. Don't hate the game, hate the size of the dog in the player. And now I suddenly want to watch Laguna Beach.

The revisions continue. I've reached the middle and the real work begins. Mashing chapters together. Removing characters -- I killed off an entire family of servants, and took a little too much joy in it. Oh, Jarvis family, we hardly knew ye! And adding scintillating yet wacky tidbits about Parliamentary procedure.

And getting my ass kicked 18th-century style by the GRE subject test in Literature. I think I may have finally uncovered the most perfect instrument of torture ever devised by man or woman. Take a small child. Teach her to read early. Tell her how very, very good they are at English all their life. Encourage her to apply for a freaking PhD, for God's sake. And then spend 3 hours slowly stripping away any ounce of belief she had in her ability to do graduate work. Add a massive head cold and a fever, and the pain is pretty much complete.

Seriously, is there not something massively wrong with asking one to differentiate between excerpts of Pope and Johnson when they're both written in heroic couplets? That's just stacking the deck!

If it weren't for blueberry pancakes, a wonderful house guest from out of town and a massive plate of bacon, I would probably be crouched on the sidewalk somewhere near Washington Square, rocking back and forth and asking passers-by to hold me.


Kate D. said...

Thought 1: Oh, flitgirl! My heart bleeds for you. At east when my grad program attacks my self-confidence it's only about teaching. That's what I do... it's not who I am. But reading? If anyone ever stripped me of my confidence in my reading abiliities I wouldn't just be asking strangers to hold me. I'd be drinking from a bottle of wild turkey and holding a crazy-person placard about the end of the world.

Kate D. said...

Thought 2: You do not deserve to be spanked for doing NaNoWriMo! You deserve medals because you've actually finished your first draft! To be honest, I'm not doing NaNoWriMo as religiously as I shoudl, either. I'm probably not going to end up hitting my word count and I don't really care... what I'm using it for is to establish a writing routine. That's something you already manage to have. But for me, working on Jessi and Jude has been so hard. And I've felt such pressure to "get it right," whatever that means.

So basically I'm using NaNoWriMo to foster a skill you innately possess, and even after said skill is fostered I'm still stuck on Chapter Nine of my novel and howling at the moon.

Hm. Wild turkey and crazy person placards... starting to look good right about now.

theflitgirl said...

Kate, the three years I spent writing the first (and only) 30,000 words of my first novel attest to the fact that whatever process or routine I now have, it is not innate. Actually the first 24 years of my life and the 3 or so notebooks filled up with outlines, sketches and openings of novels that never went anywhere belie that. Finding the right first book was like finding the right just know (aww, I'm such a romance writer).

And there's a bottle of Pinot Grigio with my name on it, but my head mucus is steering me away...

Terri said...

So glad to be of service . . . Haven't seen P&P yet, but will soon. Details on my most recent crazy weekend to follow . . . It seems I had 3 dates in the same weekend, and not one of them does medieval role playing.