Week One was a little of each. Not quite as bad as Hell Week at the old Kappa Sigma fraternity house - sleep-deprived, starved, dehydrated, hectored, harangued and thoroughly mindf***ed. Not as good as the week my wife and I honeymooned in Great Britain, bouncing like pinballs from Portsmouth to Gretna Green to Hay-on-Wye and getting our first gawks at London. But it had some of the highs an lows of each, and left me almost as exhausted.
The first two days were the honeymoon, with the words flowing free and clear and well over quota. Then on Day 3 my Left Brain kicked in, yelling "Whoa!", and I spent a couple days in Hell, tossing out my original plot, adding and subtracting characters and scrounging for ways to raise the stakes. Finally came out of it when my wife and I went to dinner and I laid out the problems I'd yet to solve. The talking helped a lot and she had some great ideas, and next day I was burning the keyboard again.
It's easy to write 1700 words a day. The trick is writing words that advance the plot and build character and foreshadow events and all that other stuff necessary to turn them into a story. For inspiration, I have a post-it on my monitor reading WWJRD? And everytime I get lazy or discouraged or bewildered or braindead I glance at that and think What Would James Reasoner Do? And the answer is always pretty much the same: He'd plant his Levi's in the chair and pound the keys until he'd kicked the problem in the butt. So that's what I've been doing.
Other than my wife and JR, my only companion on this journey has been Booksteve, he of the always entertaining blog Booksteve's Library. Thanks, Steve! I made the mistake of going to the NaNoWriMo site and allowing emails from other participants in my region. Portland, it seems, has 2,457 participants and a good percentage of them spend their time dashing out vapid emails and planning late night write-ins instead of actually writing. My box was so clogged I longed for the good old days, when all I got were offers for Viagra and congratulations on winning the lottery in Lower Slobbovia.
So now it's Week Two, and though I know what dramatic events will take place at the Mid-Point, I have very little idea what will happen in the 12,500 words I'll need to get there. Luckily, I have that WWJRD? note telling me what to do about it.