13,348 words. NANO YA. The morning has the look of tarnished silver. Yesterday was a long day of writing. I really pushed myself and caught up with the word count target, writing 4, 342 words. Today…more of the same. I’m writing in scenes, no chapter breaks, no imposition of any kind of structure, and I’ve been writing mostly by hand and typing-in the draft.
It’s been a long time since I steadily wrote by hand–ink pen and yellow tablet. Writing by hand eases my mind, the words fall out of my head and loop themselves across the page, line after line. It’s refreshing and energizing; keeps my anxiety at bay. Seeing a stack of lined yellow tablets and all those virgin pages makes my heart flutter. What I’m writing is crazy, nonsensical, exploratory at best, and pretty much what Ernest Hemingway said about first drafts. But buried in the nonsense are gems of discovery, shiny bits, the stuff of the second draft when its time comes.
My mind is never at rest, and even in the midst of writing the YA, I received one of those gifts of inspiration that Henry James called a donnee, a creative idea, not for the YA, but for, lo and behold, A Lamentation of Swans. The manuscript in its many permutations has a permanent place on my dining table, reminding me not to forget about it. I had an issue, a worry that’s been poking the back of my mind for a long time and I couldn’t figure out how to solve it. The answer came from an unexpected source: a documentary on sumo wrestlers which mentioned the two principles of sumo culture–tatemae and honni. Tatemae is facade; honni is hidden truth. These two principles illuminated my problem of how to thematically show the secret dichotomy in Raevani culture. Really, I think a light flickered on at the underside of my brain. I made a note and it’ll keep until I’m ready to work on A Lamentation of Swans again.
I’ve got to prepare for today’s writing. Forward!