Friday, June 27, 2014

Potential

Nanowrimo Day 11 - 20,592 words.  Par for today is 18,333.  The goal is to stay ahead of par just in case I miss a day of writing (which will probably happen right around Thanksgiving).

The word for today is Potential.  Not a bad word, but depending on how it's used and in what context, it can either encourage or discourage a person.  I never thought too much about it until the first time an editor used it in response to my work.  I was at a writer's conference and had sent my novel chapters ahead of time to get feedback from editors that were attending.  I had worked for several years on my story, gotten a lot of feedback from really good writers, made some useful changes and was on about draft 40 or so when I received feedback from one of the editors:  "You have some POV issues, but I can see that the story has a lot of potential."  Ouch.  In my mind the comment was equivalent to describing Niagara Falls as "cute."

There has been a running joke in my modern dance class.  The instructor will demonstrate a sequence, and then we'll try it out on our bodies.  If we don't do it exactly right or if it's messed up technically, he'll say, "Ok, well, let's say that was a dress rehearsal."  Then I'll chime in with, "Oh, yes, it had so much potential," and make stabbing gestures at my heart implying "just kill me now."

But as I'm working on this new novel, even though it's messy, and I'll have huge amounts of research and clean up once November is done, I'm happy to say that the story has "Potential."  Eleven days into the month and I've written 20K.  I have three different beginnings to experiment with; I have some nice moments of scene and dialogue; my characters are beginning to speak up and define themselves; and I have 30K and 19 days left to play in this sandbox.


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