NaNo 2010 Day 19: Longing for What Was

Starting Word Count: 4055

Last Word Count: 18,075

Words Typed Today: 159

Current Word Count: 18,234

Pages Typed Today: eh.

Writers’ Block Moments: None really.

Late Nights: 0

Snippet: None today.

Notes: Today’s post title needs some backstory.

I have started SJL at least four times. I say at least because I honestly can’t remember how many times it’s been. I have copies of the short stories, The first few times, I envisioned the work to be a short story. The first major restart involved a move from first person (Vaughn’s POV) to third (“my” POV). Then I tweaked some plot details and started over a second time.

I shared my work with my dad, and he suggested that I turn SJL into a bonafide novel. A project was born.

I started over again, and with this restart came the basic conventions of the story and the copious notes and ideas in pretty much the same form I’m working with today. I’ve written two attempts at a full length manuscript (at least two that I’m going to mention at this point).

One of those versions actually got in pretty far progress-wise. SJL has a dual protagonist set up, and I wrote a huge chunk of backstory for Bennett, co-pro, as I like to refer to him. I was actually quite pleased with the work I’d done in fleshing him out, and for once I was satisfied with my own writing, to some degree anyway.

Then my computer’s hard drive died and I lost everything.

Everything.

I backed up a most of my old stuff on an external drive. Amazingly, my most complete draft of SJL was nowhere to be found. I guess I hadn’t gotten around to moving it before the crash occurred.

So I was forced to start the manuscript yet again. The small bits I’d begun again before this November were from that most recent restart.

I think this clearly illustrates why I seem to have so much trouble getting back into the groove with this story. Today was a particularly sad day because I started working on Bennett’s backstory again, and I felt awful because I couldn’t recapture the feeling or the quality I’d reached the first time I started this segment of the novel. At this moment I am longing for that lost draft.

Not really related but relevant: I also feel like working on my screenplay, but I’m afraid that if I spend time working on it I’ll get so absorbed in it that I won’t get anything done with SJL.

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