A Little Friendly Competition

And so, I’m ‘doing’ NaNoWriMo this year. We have always had a strange relationship. Past attempts have seen me bang out 20,000 words and then well, edit them. Note to self and others: Don’t. Do. That. I have a penchant for abandoning projects in favour of others which I think ‘sound better’, and I don’t finish anything. Except really short stories or ‘novel excerpts’. Novel excerpts are short stories that wouldn’t shut up.

See, I don’t like writing that sounds like writing. The minute I’m aware of words on the page, I stop and write another scene playing out in my head. I have a lot of computer files and notebooks and thoughts. Most are non-sequential. Really. Try having a conversation with me.

This year, I promised myself, and Sarge, and my Dad that I would see one single novel to the end of its first draft. Because everyone is fed up with the frustrated writer. I’d just love to be a writer.

First, I said I’d hit 2k a day. Not so much. Then, because my brain goes faster than my typing speed, I thought I’d dictate the thing. Not so much. Last week, I just parked it and started typing. And the phone rang.

It was my Dad. And this was the conversation:

Dad: You may be interested to know I am writing a novel. (That’s how my Dad speaks. I kinda love it.)

Me: Really? Cool!

(He tells me about his novel…)

Me: Really? Cool! (Inside: Aw, shit. Really? For real, really? I know we’re psychically linked, but this is like, ridiculous…this whole line of thought took 5 seconds. I told you my brain works fast.) Well, Daddy, you’re not gonna believe this, but…(I share my plot.)

Dad: Oh. Well. Every book is different. Good luck! (I’m paraphrasing. Or something.)

I couldn’t write any more that afternoon. Because my mother called.

And when Sarge arrived home I was writing in actual notebook.

I told him about the conversations with my parents. And then the plot of my book.

‘Oh. That’s basically your Dad’s book. But not.’

‘This is what I’m saying,’ I said

‘Well. Every book is different.’

‘That’s what he said.’

‘Would you be upset if your Dad finished his book before you finished yours?’

‘No, I’d be happy. Having said that, shut your pretty mouth.’

What I have now is a book that sits at 5,861 words. I also have a supportive boyfriend who keeps plying me with gingerbread lattes, new notebooks and other things. And a father who is writing a book, which may or may not compliment my own. The only way to find out is to finish it.

A note to my Dad, and anyone else who may be writing a book: Please don’t stop. And I won’t, either. Back to it.

Back before the Word Wars...

12 responses to “A Little Friendly Competition

  1. Go! Go! Go! I am finding the @nanowordsprints to be critical to my motivation. I like feeling all competitive, and a 15 minute sprint can really get me to crank out the words!

  2. I am making a second attempt. I came up with three story ideas. On October 30th I scrapped them all and decided on something else. I don’t know why, but as soon as the story in my head starts to turn into words on the page I totally hate it. I had an entire weekend and I didn’t write at all. I’m way behind at 599 words. I should work on it tonight. But the Walking Dead keeps calling to me.

  3. Yay! It’s back! Great blog, made me laugh! :)

  4. This is great. And I LOVE the photos. Go go go!

  5. Ha! From where I sit, the plots are different. The device may be the same, but the plots are different. What I find curious however, is that we are both seeking to fill the same shared void – the loss of close family – through the medium of the novel. This isn’t a race, kiddo. You and I write from very different perspectives. The books will be different. The feature I hope they both share is success. Given our relationship, it might be an interesting marketing slant with potential publishers. Good luck!! x Dad

  6. Good luck to you and your dad! I think it’s wonderful that you are both participating. Whether you reach the expected word count or not, I feel that the participation is what leads to the experience that will make you a better writer. There is no losing, just winning! Besides, look at your dad’s lovely comment. Now that’s what I call cheering a daughter on! :)

  7. I’m doing it too, I’ve been surprised how much I’ve managed to write so far, it’s kind of crazy but I’m really enjoying it – I may change my mind next week though!

  8. Pingback: Give Me Your Best Shot « Gin & Lemonade

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