Writing for Reals this Time

It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo to start and I was just browsing the rules to refresh my memory. 50,000 words, 1667 a day, I got that, but what I didn’t remember was that you have to start entirely from scratch, meaning no previously written prose. This poses a problem for me. I started working on a new novel back in September and it’s coming along fairly well. I drew an outline, I have note cards with all of my character information and my protagonist and I have an inseparable bond. It’s almost at the 50,000 word mark and I thought, “Okay, I’ll just use November as more motivation to write more and just count how many words I write a day and try to write 50,000 in November alone.” Well, this is apparently a problem. True, I could just do that and lie and end up with a 100,000 word novel, but I’m not sure I would feel as satisfied knowing that I “cheated”. I was also thinking about where it is so far. At nearly 50,000 words I have done nothing more than set up the background information and introduce the conflict. Pretty slow, right? My timeline spreads out over 2 years and I honestly do not know how to write a novel with a 2 year timeline. That’s a lot of ground to cover with few important scenes. I feel weird going from June to October to December to February and focusing on just one or two days in each month, so I think that the whole thing needs to be reworked anyway.

I do this. I start something, decide that I don’t like the direction it’s going in before even finishing it and start over completely. I’ve already started this one over once. I finished a whole draft of my first novel, decided it was crap, threw it out and changed it completely which is probably why I throw it out before I finish. Why waste all that time?

So I thought I would ask all of you, and I do mean all of you, for your opinion. Why? Because this conflict and character I seriously want to get out into the world. I’m not going to self publish it unless after 10 years (maybe not 10) I cannot get someone to legitimately publish it. This is a very personal and important topic to me. Can you guess what it is?

Cady Pryce – The anorexic girl trying to accept her body and her worth.

Untitled-1 copy

I want to write a real book that stems from my personal experiences and sheds some light on the reality of what anorexia, and other eating disorders, really are. I’ve read Wintergirls and while it was pretty good there were parts of it that were very unrealistic. The author does not have an eating disorder, but wrote it using letters her fans wrote to her where they talked about their disorders. She did a good job all things considered but I want something real. I want to put something out there that might help stop all the ridiculous ideas surrounding eating disorders; something that shows the truth.

So,

Questions:

1 – should I make it true to my own story and make Cady a high school girl or should I make her older? Right now she is out of college and on her own. 25. Yes? No?

2 – What do you want me to focus on and how much? I want to find a good balance between life and the eating disorder, so how much do I focus on her issues? Do I make Ana a constant voice in her head or something that just pops up every now and then? How tormented by the disorder is she? Should I just draw from my own experiences?

3 – The ending does not find Cady in full recovery. Good or bad?

4 – Should I include some recovery parts? I mean where she is actively trying to recover or just stop where she decides she wants to? I actually just had an idea of what to do with that but I still want to hear your opinions.

I’m asking you all because I want to write something that people will enjoy and something that is true. So I would really appreciate any feedback you have, even if it’s unrelated to the questions. I know mostly what I want to do but what you have to say with guide me in the areas that are still a little fuzzy.

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2 thoughts on “Writing for Reals this Time

  1. I would definitely keep her older. There’s a huge focus on high school eating disorders. A break is welcomed,and would help spread awareness on eating disorders.
    I like the realistic aspect that you seem to be including: a lot of people don’t ever fully recover from an eating disorder. Sometimes, it’s symptom management until the end. All hope isn’t lost in that prognosis, of course — if you can diminish your eating disorder symptoms to disordered eating symptoms, your quality of life can be greatly improved. So I like that she doesn’t end up fully recovered. I also think that you should include some recovery parts. Eating disorders aren’t linear. Even in the most chronic cases, there are still time periods of recovery.

    Just my feedback. Hope it’s helpful! Good luck writing.
    S

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