It’s been over a week now, and I’m starting to emerge from the Nanowrimo headspace. The goal was 50,000 words in a month, which I reached on November 26th. I kept writing, though, because the story had me in its clutches by then. On the 28th, I thought I was done. But two more scenes rattled around in my head all night, and I wrote one each on the following two days. On the 30th, there it was, a completed first draft of Birdie’s Journal.
This week I’ll read it over, because I’ve already had ideas on things I want to fix and straighten and deepen. And because I’m not really ready to leave the characters behind. Usually I take much longer to write my first drafts, and so get more time with the story floating along in my head as my alternate reality of choice. Nanowrimo was a faster and more intense acquaintance, too soon over.
Writing a first draft is always more than a little magic: how the unconscious mind places little hints and moments early on that become crucial later, how the story threads intertwine, and, in the case of Nanowrimo, how the story exactly filled up the allotted writing time. Most of the time it feels like I’m not really the creative agent, but rather that I just show up and open the tap and make myself available to take dictation.