Lessons that I am learning

President Washibngton in profile
President Washington in profile

This is a picture from our vacation last month. It is a familiar view to anyone who has been to Mt. Rushmore, but I can’t recall seeing anyone else publishing it. I love the front on view of all four presidents that everyone knows, but I also like this one.


Last year, after I finished the NaNoWroiMo challenge I wrote a post about the lessons that I had learned while writing. At least I think I did. I know that I meant to. I’ll have to look for it. Anyway, I decided that this year I would write something during the challenge. So far I have learned three things in the first seven days.

  • I tend to add characters for whom, after their initial introduction, I have no real use. In the first two chapters I have introduced twenty-two characters. There were twenty-three, but I decided to combine two minor characters into one major character. I already had a character die. I’ve changed the name of one character so that I can use him later in another way. I guess that is the same as merging two characters into one. I have at least six other characters that I would like to shed, but unless there is a volcanic eruption or some other cataclysm, I see no good way to eliminate them all without rewriting chunks of my narrative. That means I have to get ahead on my word count so that I can spend time rewriting now rather than later.
  • I should never try to write and listen to music that I love at the same time. I made the mistake yesterday morning of putting on Jerry Jeff Walker and it has cost me dearly. I’m having trouble concentrating on my narrative, especially when Jerry Jeff is singing “We Were Kinda Crazy Then” or “”Couldn’t Do Nothin’ Right” or “My Buddy.” It is impossible for me to think about anything, let alone use a keyboard, when these songs and others are playing. Why did I do that to myself?
  • I have to take better control of my characters! Most of them seem to be giving in to sexual temptation rather than living repressed lives. Granted, most of the physical stuff is happening off-page, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Take it from me, they are all, or practically all, practicing safe sex. Still, I wish that the females would be more demure, but they seem to be he worst of the lot. Or would that be worse of the lot? There are only two sexes, at least in this book, so I’m not sure that one sex could be the worst. Would a grammarian please shed light on that one for me?

So, that’s what I’ve learned so far this year.