Sunday, October 25, 2009

NaNo approaches

as Nov. 1 gets closer, i'm getting more scared. to put it bluntly, my inner editor is trying so very hard to escape the little box i've locked him in. my characters are all mary-sues, the plot has no point, i can't write worth anything etc etc. how do i get him to shut up?
another thing, though this is good news, i've figured out that writing the required 1667 words a day isn't actually as hard as it seems. i did a little experiment. i just sat down and wrote about literally the first thing that popped into my head "hmmm, a girl standing on a street corner in Manhatten, with her dog, in the winter. because of a fortune cookie. waiting for someone. aaannnndddd...that someone is in the military" *rolls eyes* anyway.....i just wrote, no idea what was going to happen. what do you think? is my inner editor lying to me about the quality of my writing? or is he right? if so, tell me what's wrong, so i can fix it before november!

it was a cold afternoon. Jane pulled her coat tighter and sniffed her nose. her golden retriever pulled on the leash, urging her to go forward. but Jane wasn't ready to leave just yet. she wasn't superstitions by nature, but for some reason she put stock in the mass-produced fortune that she had got at the Chinese restaurant the night before. as the sun set the temperature dropped, but still she waited. her dog, Maisey made a whining noise. she flipped her straight, brown hair out of her face as the wind kicked up. with a sigh, she turned away from the street corner and headed back to her Manhattan apartment. she couldn't believe herself. she had gone and caught cold because of a stupid fortune cookie. 'you will meet the person you are missing where you last said goodbye' pah! who would believe such rubbish? she sighed again. something inside of her had begun to hope, but no. she knew john had died in iraq, but why was she still expecting to see him everywhere she went? she picked up the pace, partially to keep warm, and partially to burn off the anger she felt toward herself at that moment. maisey picked up the pace too, until Jane was flying down the street behind a half frozen dog racing to get to the warm apartment and dinner she knew awaited her.
the thing Jane did not know, was that an army veteran had just stepped on to the corner that she had left. but he wasn't john.


Jane blew her nose hard into a tissue. her cat jasmine was intertwining herself around her legs. Jane was home late, and this disrupted jasmine's usual routine, and she was not happy about it. Jane got her pets dinner, and sat on her old green couch to have her own. out of habit, she reached for the tv remote, but stopped as she realized she didn't want to watch.
"Am i crazy or something? what makes me think that he's suddenly going to come back, huh?" Maisey looked at her with what seemed to be an amused expression.
"yeah, i'm crazy. even my dog thinks so. aren't you guys supposed to be extremely loving?" Maisey just licked her lips and went back to eating her kibble. Jin pressed her mouth into a thin line. she knew she had to get over this. it had been a year. if for nothing else, she knew that john would not like to have her still wrapped up in the past. if she couldn't do it for herself, she'd do it for him.
she got up and stretched, and headed for her computer. she had a deadline to make, and her characters were getting impatient. as her antagonist started threatening to kidnap her cat if she didn't start writing his story soon, she said,
"i'm coming! i'm coming! give me a minute to put this in the sink!" this was probably precisely why she could never get a boyfriend. she was a freelance fiction writer, and her characters frequently talked to her. what was the real problem was that she talked back. no one but john ever understood that. not even her father, who was a author as well.
Jane shook her head as she sat down at the computer in her bedroom. she needed to write about her characters, and their problems and thoughts. she needed to keep herself out of this. but try as she might, she couldn't. she kept thinking about that corner, that deserted corner, save a silly woman and her freezing dog. and this time, no matter how her characters complained, she wouldn't even try to take her mind off it.


the next day, Jane walked into her friends cafe. she glanced down at her watch. Nancy should be on break soon. meanwhile, she sat at a table and pulled her laptop out. she set it up and wrote about whatever came to mind. half an hour later, Nancy came and sat facing her.
"Hey, what's up?" Jane started. she groaned as she realized she had written absolutely nothing in twenty minutes. Jane replied, frustrated,
"i don't know nancy. i just can't seem to get anything out anymore. i'll have these stories running around in my head, but when i sit down to write, nothing. it's like i've lost my voice." Nancy looked puzzled.
"i'm not sure i know what you mean," she replied as gently as she could.
"i'm stuck. i can't write anything worth keeping, i talk to you and my pets, and i'm still expecting john to come home any day. you know the fortunes we got?"
"oh no, do honestly believe those? you know that they're just made up my some guy who still living in his parent's basement, right? please don't tell me you went to that corner."
"i did nancy. i went there. it's not like i honestly expected john to show up. i don't know what i was waiting for. some sort of sign, i guess. did it ever bother you that he just disappeared? poof! with out a clue what happened?" a waitress came over and handed them some hot chocolate. after they sipped for a minute, nancy replied.
"Jane, those kind of things happen some times. it's part of the risk of serving in the military. you knew it, and john knew it. and he went any way. he knew it was the right thing to do. honey, you've got to accept that he's gone. you can't live your life in the past. you've got to let go so you can have peace. it's affecting your whole life. you're becoming a social recluse. you can't write, which has always come to you easily. you haven't been on a date since the letter came."
"i'm trying nancy, nothing's working. just when i think i've let go, i get a stupid fortune, and i go freeze my butt off, waiting for who knows what."
"Jane, you're not really trying. you're still in that apartment. you've got pictures everywhere. he gave you that coat for your last birthday. et cetera! you don't want to let go. you've got to! it's taking over your life."
"nancy, honestly tell me, why would you let go of something so wonderful?" to this, nancy sighed and said,
"i gotta go, my breaks over." even though she knew perfectly well that she still had half an hour.

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