30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 18: All the Fun of Writing in Circles

LS-NaNoWriMoProgress-11.18.14Where I Wrote: The Dining Concourse at Grand Central Terminal.

How I Feel About What I Wrote: Laughably bad. I should be horribly depressed and defeated, but there’s something hilarious about being stuck in a writing loop, trying one scene over and over again to no avail… and then finding a ridiculously simple solution.

The Mood I Brought to the Table: Absolutely expecting to jump into the beginning of the endgame of the novel but totally stymied by my gut; I followed it to a semi-random spot at the last minute… and then followed it right into what I thought would be a quick reread of yesterday’s work.

The Experience: Today was all about the gut feelings.

When I woke up, I was pretty sure I’d be launching into the next chapter of Memory, having ended yesterday’s scene with a solid cliffhanger. I took my shower, planned my destination for the day–a coffee shop I’ve heard about repeatedly and thought I’d try. A random variable (something I want to start including in my outings regularly).

But then, the gut reaction. It’s already almost 12. You’re going to try a coffee shop at lunch? There might not be seats and it is… stupidly cold outside. Right… No. Whatever. Blazing ahead anyway. That one coffee shop, here I come.

And then I was on the train, reading, when I heard “Grand Central Terminal,” and, again, the gut reaction. That coffee shop will SUCK if you go now. Remember how insane the City Bakery was? Besides, you wanted a random variable–you haven’t been to the Dining Concourse in a million years. You might still find failure there if that’s what you really want.

And somehow, that swayed me. I jumped off the train, oddly… not excited, now that I remember it. It’s almost like I knew what was coming–hinted at by my suddenly runny nose.


I got to the Dining Concourse, grabbed coffee, and found a small table under one of its weird, low archways. I popped out the tablet.

And… the gut reaction. You don’t know how to start the next chapter. Maaaaaaybe… you should reread yesterday’s scene?

I’m glad to say that in Day 17 Louis’ defense, the scene wasn’t bad. Ultimately, it only had one hiccup that made it… awkward. Not confusing, but loose in a way that I hate; have you ever watched a movie or show and noticed a major–but totally silent–jump in a character’s logic? Their knowing something that they shouldn’t? It was that kind of hiccup–a subtle error and easy to miss.

So easy to miss that I absolutely missed it yesterday… and today. My session started with me reworking the entire scene, changing everything else to fit that one logic error instead of just… fixing the one logic error. About halfway through, I realized that the reworked scene was worse, stopped, and stared at my tablet for a long while.

It’s at this point that I finally realized the culprit was a single logic error. It was also this point, sitting and staring and unable to focus, that I realized my runny nose had a hand in this mess–I just could not keep a clear head. But I was not about to give up.

Probably a horrible idea though, because not giving up meant groggily trying to fix everything but the one logic error again. I’m not sure if I forgot or genuinely thought it would be better to change the rest of the scene (I think I had a good few additions that I desperately wanted to work in, but I’m not sure because, at this point, hours later, I am significantly more disoriented).

After running my second circle around the one scene though, I was done. I packed up, determined to do no more damage to the scene by poking at it clumsily.

Only to figure out how to fix it with one sentence on my way back home.

Not willing to just let the day go as a total failure, I got home and fixed the scene in maybe… ten seconds? And then went on to add (apparently) 400 words that I’m worried will be absolutely horrible when I look at them tomorrow.

But, right now, from the bottom of my heart, I can honestly say… whatever. I will take those 400 words. And I will turn in ridiculously early and hope for the best tomorrow.

Published by

Louis Santiago

I'm a fantasy writer based in New York. One of my short stories, "Aixa the Hexcaster," was published at Mirror Dance Fantasy. You can read it here: http://www.mirrordancefantasy.com/2016/09/aixa-hexcaster.html.

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