NaNoWriMo Day 18

28505 / 50000 words. 57% done!

I’m now a day behind. I couldn’t gain any more because I hit a wall after 2000 words; a combination of running into scenes that were harder to write (but not to be avoided merely in the name of racking up word count) and, I think, just hitting nearly my limit for writing sensible words in a single day. I seem to be able to hit 3000 words on weekend days, and under 2000 on good weekdays. And that’s it. That’s the wall.

I spent some time reviewing my work to see how much damage I’m going to have to do when I create Draft One from Draft Zero. It’s not as bad as I feared, but it’s going to be significant. I’m probably going to hop right into draft one after NaNoWriMo is finished, because this Draft Zero is nothing more than planning. I’m going to have to bake in the ideas while they’re still hot before I can let the manuscript cool its heels for, say, a month.

Which brings up the question of sustainability. I have a day job, and it’s a significant reason why I can’t put in 2k to 3k words regularly like some professional writers do. I’m going to have to cut down on my schedule somehow, while still having a schedule of some kind. And also I need to get in some reading, because it’s not doing me any favors to write blindly without researching some of the topics I’m touching on in relatively intimate detail.

In the meantime, I’m extremely pleased I took the plunge and bought Inuit Shamanism and Christianity: Transitions and Transformations in the Twentieth Century, which covers a lot of ground from mythology, religion, sociology, etc. Even covers the concept of namesakes. It’s quite a complete book, and makes clearer some aspects of Inuit culture that I’d been wondering about:

1. There are no gods/goddesses in Inuit mythology. They are best referred to as powers. Nevertheless, the argument is often made by folks in other cultures that the powers are just like gods/goddesses and should be called such, but as the Inuit disagree I rather think their opinion takes precedence.

2. Defining gender as part of the “title” of a power is an artifact of translation from Inuktitut to more gendered languages. For example, in English we refer to Sedna/Sanna as “the sea woman”, but that specifies gender in a manner that’s not present in Inuktitut.

3. Inua means “master” or “owner”, and is the personification of what I’ll call a force of nature. The sea woman (Sedna, Sanna, many other names) is really the sea inua. Similarly for the Man in the Moon, the Mother of Caribou, etc. Inua has no meaning if it’s not specified with what the subject is an inua of, and in this way it’s similar to honorifics in Japanese (-sama is always used in the context of a person, not by itself, to mean “lord” or “lady”).

Right now is possible a good time to mention Chuck Wendig’s 25 Ways to Unfuck Your Story, which made me braver about writing a draft zero in the first place.