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But I feel fine

So, I didn't come anywhere near my goals for NaNoWriMo. But you know what? I'm totally OK with that. I realized early on that this was not the month for me to write a novel. I have way to much going on already and the pressure to write as well wasn't helping anything.

I did get a lot of thinking about my novel done, and I'm in a much better place to work on it now. I realized I'm not the type of writer that can just write without knowing where things are going. It's how I've always tried to write, and I always get frustrated and stop. I need to outline first. I need to write up psych profiles of my characters. The time structure of "write 50,000 words in a month!" is not the structure I need, but I do need structure.

So instead of writing this past month, I've been thinking and reading other people's work. I'm reading classic horror lately, finished up Frankenstein and I'm about 2/3 of the way through Dracula. The 2/3 point is where you stop saying, "Stop dicking around, Van Helsing, and just tell Seward about the fucking vampires already!" and start saying, "Wow, Victorian men were self-involved assholes. How can they not see that Mina is being attacked just like Lucy was?" Basically, the whole book is these guys (2 doctors, a lawyer, a lord, and a... cowboy?) standing around saying, "Huh! If only I wasn't sitting on my ass thinking I was so smart last night, the women folk might not be dropping dead around me." Mina is the only character with a brain and they deliberately shove her aside as soon as she has finished unraveling the mystery (and literally typing it all out) for them.

And on Frankenstein, people don't believe Mary Shelly wrote this herself? Obviously those people have never read 18 year old girl fan-fiction. Because that book reads *exactly* how I would expect an educated 18 year old to write; implausible flashback within flashback (within flashback) structure, overwrought emotions, and a bizarre author stand-in. Victor even has a slashy relationship with "best friend" Henry. In contrast to this, Victor's feelings for "true love" Elizabeth are a pale second best. But then, Mary Shelly was dating (and soon to marry) Percy Bysshe Shelly, and hanging out with Lord Byron, so maybe she thought that was normal. I'm sure there are feminist essays on this delving into how the Monster - thrown out of society for his outward appearance despite his intellect - is a comment on women's reduced role in the society of the time? She even made the monster a vegetarian, just like she was.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
astrothsknot
Dec. 2nd, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
They don't beleive she wrote it? Really?

I didn't like Frankenstein. I thought he was an arrogant arsehole and I didn't like the monster because he was an arrogant arsehole as well.

I'd love to go and do my Higher English about homosexual themes in 19thC novels, but knowing what I know now.


la_anah
Dec. 2nd, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
There's a lot of speculation that it was ghost written/heavily edited by Percy. If so, he did a crap job and it's a good thing he stuck to poetry the rest of the time. I didn't hate the book, but Victor Frankenstein is a particularly unlikable character.

I mean, the dude builds a monster out of corpses in his dorm room, and when it escapes his first thought is "Horay! It left on its own and I don't have to deal with it." And when said monster kills his little brother, he lets the family maid be executed for the crime rather than say, "I made an enemy at school that I've seen lurking about. He's a more likely suspect." He's an annoying emo boy.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )