Eid Sayeed! and 1587 words!

Man, this whole week I never got around to writing!  I seemed to be stuck on this one scene, too–when I would write, I’d write a little bit more of the scene, but never enough to finish it.  So, yesterday, I decided to just sit down and WRITE.  And it was good!

But…you see, I have a whole bunch of Arab friends.  And, if you understand at least a little bit about Arab culture, you know that the way they see friendships is a little bit different than here in America.  Specifically, with demands on your time.  Last week, one of my good Arab friends thought that something was going wrong in our friendship because it had been five days since I saw him.  That’s actually a little unusual, I hear–in Arab countries, they’ll think something’s wrong if they don’t see you every DAY.

Not that I really mind it all that much.  I’ve been hanging out with my Arab friends just about every day for the past week, and it’s been fun.  It’s also been fairly good for my Arabic.  It’s just that writing isn’t something you can really do while hanging out with friends.

In fact, writing is pretty solitary.  You can get together with a bunch of people in the same room, but if you’re really writing, you’re probably not going to be talking very much with those friends.  Really, writing is something that requires you to shut yourself up in an imaginary world.  Not a very social activity.

So, yesterday, I had just gotten back from an awesome jujitsu practice, and I was ready to take a shower and finally WRITE, when my roommate gives me a call and asks me to give him a ride from this party on 700 North up to Glenwood where Malik and Huthifa live. And then I started to wonder…am I going to actually get a chance to write tonight?

It didn’t really annoy me that much to break away and give him a ride, but it was a little annoying that he expected me to do it.  But I guess that’s the difference between our culture and theirs.  He probably couldn’t understand why I’d want to spend a Friday night by myself.   Also, yesterday was the last day of Ramadan (which makes today Eid!  Eid Sayeed!  Kul 3m wintum bakheer!), so he was in a party mood.  In fact, if I don’t hang out with my Arab friends at some point today, they’ll probably think that something is wrong with me.

Well, I gave him and Basseem a ride, and visited with Malik for about ten minutes or so, but then they started to watch a movie, and I excused myself.  I guess you could say I had a date with my novel.  Three hours later, I was 1500 words into my story, past the scene that had been hanging me up the whole week, and very very happy.  But…I’d told my friends that I’d come back in an hour.  I called my roommate, and he said that they were going over to Denny’s.  I contemplated coming, but it was 3am, so I ended up calling him back and apologizing that I couldn’t come.  You see, I wanted to actually be alive on Saturday (when I left the apartment at 11am, my roommate was still asleep).

So, now, I don’t only have to juggle schoolwork, but I have to juggle all my Arab friends.  Not that I don’t mind hanging out with them.  It’s just that sometimes I want some time to write.  How to balance all this out and not offend my new friends?  I don’t know.  I’ll tell them that I’m writing a novel, and hopefully they’ll understand.

question on novel length

So, I’m coming up to about 25,000 words, and I’m starting to get worried that I’m not as far in the storyline as I should be for this time.  I’m not all that sure what to do.  How long is a normal novel?  Is there a length in particular that I should aim for?  How do I know if the story is progressing as it should?

I figure (as with everything) that I’ll just write it and cut out all the unecessary stuff after I’m finished.  But I do want to know what I’m aiming for right now.  There is SO much stuff that I want to have happen in this story, and I hope I’m not at page 150 or something by now.

And I fell asleep like five times trying to write this.  Good freaking night!

only 278 words

Yeah, I know it’s not a lot.  I was going to write more, but I’ve been falling asleep while typing this.  Although, I must admit, it’s funny to read what I’ve half written in my sleep.

This week was crazy.  Next week probably won’t be quite as bad.  I’ve got a test I need to take tomorrow, and another one on Monday.  Plus a paper on Monday.  I don’t think it will be too hard, though, and if I don’t wait until 1am (like tonight) to completely finish all of my homework, I think I’ll be good.

I was going to write a couple thousand words, but everything in the world (including my own procrastination) is conspiring against me.  Wah!!!

All I really want to do is write in my novel

It’s true.  Unfortunately, the universe is conspiring against me.  The homework alert level has been raised to orange and a half.  Fortunately, it should die down by the weekend.

I’m still sticking by the 500 words per day goal that I had before.  I just decided to modify it so that if I write more than 500 words on a particular day, it will count for missed words from the day before.  I’ve noticed that when I sit down to write 500 words, I usually write 1,000.  Since, with papers and tests throwing things out of whack, I can’t always make 500 words each individual day, at least I can write 500 words FOR every day.  I’ll probably have some time to catch up on Wednesday.

1,066 words and I don’t think I’ll be doing nanowrimo this year

I put in about a thousand words.  I’m at a point in the story right now where a lot of stuff starts happening.  There are about three or four new characters that I want to introduce, and I have all these great ideas about how to do it, about who they really are, what ideas really move them, what they really believe and stand for, what they will struggle with, and how they’re going to play into the story, but I’ve been stuck at this one scene for the whole week–not because I don’t know how to write it, but because I haven’t had the time to just sit down and finish it.  It’s the scene where Leila finally gets back, and she talks with her father the King about Ian and Aaron and what happened in the desert.  It’s basically the kingdom’s first contact experience with the “aliens”–the rest of humanity.  There are going to be a lot of first contact experiences in this story.

So, the problem is basically that I’ve got a TON of ideas, I know where I want the story to go, I keep running the story through my head over and over during my free time…but I never have the time to write it.  It doesn’t help that I write really long blog entries, either. 🙂 Or have tons and tons of homework.  It’s honestly a huge incentive to learn how to use my time efficiently.  I think by the end of this semester, I’ll be doing my homework first thing after my classes (GASP!!!! I’ve NEVER done that before!) and setting more goals and stuff.

One thing, though: since I’ve got so many ideas for this story, I don’t think I”ll be doing nanowrimo.  I just don’t want to pull myself out of this universe and stop working on my ideas for this story.  It would be too big of a break in what I’m doing right now.  I will, however, be doing a lot of writing during November! We’ll probably be having some Quark get togethers for nanowrimo participants, and it’ll be a good opportunity to get some writing in.