seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I've been trying to figure out what creative projects I want to undertake this winter. Traditionally I've done NaNoWriMo in November and Yuletide in December, which keeps me busy. There's a nice synergy: NaNo involves writing a lot, but nobody will ever see it. Yuletide involves writing less, but more people will probably see it than anything else I write. So NaNo ends up serving as a nice practice run for Yuletide, getting me into a writing groove that helps me confidently move past the blank page. I wrote the first 3500 words of my Yuletide fic last year on November 31st in a NaNo induced zen state.

This past year I did NaNo/Yuletide/Festivids, which was too much. I felt creatively overwhelmed by Festivids, after writing 50K words in November and 12K publishable words in December, and while I'm pleased with my vid, I feel it was less ambitious than I'd hoped for. So my leaning is to go back to just NaNo/Yuletide, and if I feel up to it try to make a festivid pinchhit/treat.

But I want to do Festivids! And [personal profile] thirdblindmouse has been encouraging me to post requests. So maybe I will play the game of Festivids, making posts with my would-be nominations and my would-be requests, and then just not sign up.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I hit 50K in NaNoWriMo on Friday, shortly before sundown. I was not really racing the clock, since I had Saturday evening as my backup, but it was nice to have that secondary deadline as a safekeeping. I am unlikely to ever touch This Novel Takes Place Entirely in the Kitchen again, but I am glad for the writing exercise. On to Yuletide, which is a lot of fun.

I spent Saturday night at a last minute NaNo marathon, watching several people fight their way over 50K, which was a lot of fun. I started doing NaNo because of the writing exercise, because I wanted an excuse to force myself to write a lot of words and to tell stories that I'd been keeping inside. But I keep doing NaNo because of my local community of amateur writers. It is so much fun to hang out at write-ins, and to anyone who has ever considered doing NaNo, I want to make you aware of the support network available to help push you off the fence. They've kept me laughing and smiling through the month of November.


I also want to make people aware of this, because Amazon sent me a promo about it and I literally ordered it thirty seconds after I got the promo: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NBS5NE

It's the complete Haydn symphonies for less than 25 dollars. That is a mindboggling deal. I once paid fifty bucks for a box set with about thirty of the Haydn symphonies, recorded by Neville Marriner and his Academy of St. Martin in the Fields orchestra, and accounted myself as having gotten a bargain. Even though I ordered the set a couple days ago, I keep going back to the page and pinching myself to make sure I didn't make a decimal place error. Reviews of the performances on amazon are a little mixed, but the opportunity to hear symphonies I'm not familiar with and just get a sense of the parts of Haydn's catalog that I have overlooked is exciting even if these are not the finest interpretations of these pieces.

Haydn wrote more than a hundred symphonies, and I count at least a dozen of them among my favorite pieces of classical music to return to again and again. The variety, the humor, the emotional feeling, and above the power of an orchestra to sing together in a Haydn symphony is rivaled by only a very few things in the classical canon.

(Other music purchases taking advantage of amazon discounting for the holiday weekend included Kanye's newest album and a Norah Jones album I'd missed. Sometimes I look at my music collection and wonder how all of it ended up in the same collection)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Less than nine thousand terrible words to go on NaNo. Five days to write it. The optimistic plan is 3K tonight, 3K tomorrow, 1 K Thursday morning, 2K Friday. Pessimistic but still realistic plan is 2K tonight, 2K tomorrow, 1 K Thursday, 2K Friday, 3K frantically Saturday night at the end of November marathon party.

This Novel Takes Place Entirely in the Kitchen has evolved into a slice of life romantic comedy full of banter, relationship drama, and quarter life crisis, taking place over the course of a dinner party. It has very, very little in the way of plot. My great panic as I've written it has been pacing. It's been a perpetual struggle to figure out when to unleash plot seeds I planted in the early pages, how to let them interact with each other, how to develop them without it seeming like BAM! Plot twist! Bam! Plot Twist! Bam Plot Twist! all in sequence. Honestly I don't see how you can write competent romantic comedy without a very clear outline, he says forty thousand words into a romantic comedy written without any outline at all. But I think I do have a much better idea now of what I would need to include in such an outline, for the next time. NaNo is always a learning experience for me, and never an attempt to actual produce a novel.


In other writing news, I have put together a very solid outline for Yuletide. I'd be very surprised if writing Yuletide doesn't go extremely smoothly. I know all the story beats, I have a lot of the character voices in my head, and I'm just really, really excited about writing this story.

Festivids I am a little more worried about, since vidding is further from my comfort zone. I've completely canon review, I have a song selected, and I have a second song I'd like to do if I have time or if the first song doesn't work as planned, but I haven't started clipping yet and that worries me. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I'm going to have slightly over a month to make my vid, after NaNo ends. That ought to be enough time, I think, for what I have planned.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I fell behind on NaNo because of Philcon, and in point of fact I'm still behind, but I did three consecutive days with word counts above 3000 to make up a lot of ground. Last night I exceeded 20,000 words. I am supposed to be at 25,000 by the end of today, but that won't happen.

I'm pretty sure that as a story it is not very good, but I am enjoying writing it anyway. A fellow NaNoer (I will use the official nomenclature 'WriMo' only when I am in company I am certain will comprehend it) keeps asking me if I think the kitchen is the main character of my story, but though I definitely do like writing the kind of crazy things where the kitchen the main character, I keep demurring to his question. This is a novel about three friends who share an apartment, not a novel about the kitchen, even though the kitchen is the setting that drives the novel.

Nonetheless, there is a lot of terrible food writing littering these pages. If I ever were to try editing this into something I would let other people read, the first order of business would be to actually research reasonable recipes to replace the shit I'm making up off the top of my head as I frantically try to reach wordcount. The recipes I am writing have the look of real recipes, but none of the logic.


The mechanics of writing for NaNoWriMo are not like the mechanics of other writing projects. Word count is king, and quality is your last concern. The trick is to keep forward motion by any means possible, letting momentum keep you from running out of inspiration. So any time you're stuck, you don't stop to think about the best way out of your problem, you write around it. Some people do this by skipping ahead to a part where they're not stuck, and I've sometimes used this technique, but mostly I do it by plowing straight ahead with stalling dialogue until something breaks the logjam.

You fill your writing with redundant adverbs and you repeat things as often as you can get away with. The very odd feeling I have when doing NaNo is that I know what I am writing is terrible, and I am constantly making little mental notes in my head not to use the technique I am using in NaNo for other things.

Despite this, I don't feel like I get many bad writing habits from NaNo. When I wrote "He Was a Beautiful Fiction," the comments keyed in on the way I switched narrative modes seamlessly twice, and I realized that I'd done this because it felt right, because I had experimented with such stylistic jumps in my 2010 NaNo "The Great American Metanovel" and even though it had been ridiculous and over the top and terrible there, the result was that I felt natural writing a much more muted version in "He Was a Beautiful Fiction".

NaNo is great for this kind of experimentation. Knowing that the result is bad is a fantastic license to try new things, things that probably won't work well. I very often deliberately attempt to write things in NaNo that I know I am bad at. I know that I'm reasonably competent at writing dialogue between two people, but when a crowd of people is having a conversation it gets tougher for me to manage all of the dynamics. In "This Novel Takes Place Entirely in the Kitchen" I am slowly having guests to the dinner party show up, so that almost like juggling practice I can transition from writing two people having a conversation to writing three people having a conversation to writing four people having a conversation to writing five people having a conversation. And hopefully this will build up a comfort so that the next time I am writing a story that has a big group conversation, I can just jump in at the deep end with the ten person conversation, having an arsenal of tricks and tools at my disposal learned in this practice session.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I'm attempting NaNo again this year, after failing to get started last year because of Sandy and failing disastrously the year before because I tried to write Nabokov fanfiction. I stayed up until midnight last night to get a running start, and wrote 500 words between midnight and 12:30, which roughly equalled the combined output of the other two people in our regional chatroom in that time frame. So, a decent start.

Novel is titled "This Novel Takes Place Entirely in the Kitchen." I don't have a plot yet- I've been half-jokingly saying that I'll pull plots from Plotto. I do have a pretty kickass first line: "He was crying, but only because he was chopping onions."

The three things I am trying to focus on in this project are building complicated sets of character-driven interactions, managing a non-linear plot in a linearly told story, and creating a fictional urban geography that feels real, a setting that functions as a character. If I can pull off those three things, I will consider this a successful writing experiment.

Already in the first 500 words we have met one character and dangled our feet in the dynamics of his relationships with several others. We have played lightly with time dilation effects, but continued to move the story forward in a linear fashion. We have seen evidence of several city neighborhoods that have personalities. And all of this while chopping vegetables.

I am excited about this project... I love the idea of the kitchen as a framing device that limits the reader's access to information, I love the idea of the kitchen as a meeting place, an intersection of family and friends and culture and food, a place where stories happen. Hopefully I won't flame out simply because I don't know my plot.

NaNo

Dec. 2nd, 2011 03:01 pm
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
I flamed out on NaNo pretty spectacularly this year. Just over 16,000 words, none written in the last week and a half. Considering I was trying to write excruciatingly dense fanfiction for an extraordinarily complicated postmodern novel I only finished reading in October while work exploded around me, I don't feel terrible about my failure. Also, I've stopped caring about NaNo as an excuse to write novels and pretty much only regard the writing of the novel as the buy-in for getting to hang out with interesting people and write and talk about writing. So there's that.

Given that, I went to November 30th's last-minute write-in despite not wanting to work on my NaNo novel. It was a nice crowd, I got to cheer on a thirteen year old as he worked his way from 48,500 to 50,000, and I poked at Yuletide for a while (net increase in wordcount of 300 words over two and a half hours, though I wrote and deleted another thousand words) and then we went out to eat cake and celebrate the successes of this year's NaNo.


Whilst eating cake, we kept checking on [livejournal.com profile] cyannas's NaNo profile. Despite giving birth in the first week of November, despite not having any words written until the midway point of the month, she rallied and as we refreshed the NaNo site we watched as her wordcount for the day climbed above 17,000 words and she hit 50,000 six minutes before midnight. It was really exciting.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
The best thing I have written for NaNo so far is a takedown of Giambattista Vico from a post-apocalyptic perspective. "Ricorso? What ricorso? We know only the sensation of slipping backward off the shoulders of giants."

It is a great sentence I am so proud of.

I also wrote this nutty Biblical criticism parody: "Everyone seems to have a theory about who is narrating the italicized sections of "Pale Fire". The proposed narrators span from God to a common songbird who happened to be flying overhead as Nyeiza hashed out this awkward scene with her blind date. One critic even proposed that Vladimir Nabokov, author of the pornographic novel Lolita, is being pastiched here by Shade."


But other than these scattered bright spots, this NaNo is way more frustrating than last years. I'm at 8500 words, a far cry from where I ought to be, and I'm not enjoying writing as much as I want to be. I have a strong suspicion I'm going to lose interest in this before the end of the month, but for now I'm determined to keep it up mostly because I love the social part of NaNo so much. I've already been to three write-ins and they've all been great fun.


I'm also a little worried about Yuletide. Not in an omg let's make wank way, but I think the combination of having to request someone else's nomination and only being able to nominate 4 characters is going to make it much easier to match- at the expense of actually getting the story I'm most excited about. And I'm not enthusiastic about that tradeoff. I think many people who request fandoms the way I do are likely to end up matched on their fourth fandom, the one they had to make compromises on.

Now, I had a great time doing Yuletide the year I didn't do nominations at all, and I love to death the East of Eden story I received that year (Lee and Sam can argue forever as far as I'm concerned!!!!), so it's not the end of the world. But I definitely think prioritizing the ease of the match over the goodness of the match is more harmful to people who request nonexistent fandoms than to people who request small fandoms for Yuletide.

In any case, Yay Yuletide! I can't wait for it to happen!!!

For reference, I am most likely nominating Marriage of Figaro (again), The Autograph Man, and Midnight's Children. If I had a fourth nomination it would go to Space Opera Peter Grimes, but alas...
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
HOLY SHIT I'D FORGOTTEN HOW COOL NANO IS. I'D FORGOTTEN HOW YOU ENTER WITH THESE VAGUE IDEAS AND THEY BECOME CONCRETE AND IT SURPRISES YOU.

I've written 400 words and um... I have narrative threads to follow! I have storylines! Character rivalries! I'm foreshadowing events that I don't have planned! Where did it come from? Apparently there are rumors that John Shade wrote "Pale Fire" prophetically???? WTF???


SOOO FUCKING COOL.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Whew! Kaleidoscope story first draft is 'finished' at 5200 words. Finished meaning two major sections that don't advance the plot but without which the story is meaningless are unwritten, but I can at least send it off to my beta and get that process moving.

I did not anticipate this story being this complicated to write, but I'm really pleased with it. NaNo starts tonight, so I'd better finish up those last two sections so I can move on to my next writing project.

I've written the last few thousand words on my new shiny HP Touchpad, by the way. With the wireless keyboard I find writing pretty straightforward, and my writing program syncs to Dropbox whenever I'm connected to the internet, which is sweet. Overall, I'm pleased with the Touchpad. It has a nice email program that integrates my yahoo and gmail accounts, plays video well, works as an ereader, plays music both locally and via Pandora and other internet radio services, and has a well thought out interface for multitasking. For the price, it was a great deal.

Now I just need to settle on a writing song for NaNo. Last year it was Justin Bieber's "U Smile" in that ambient version slowed by 800%. I kept listening to it again and again as I wrote. I'm hoping to settle on something that hits a similar balance of ambient yet rhythmic. Maybe the Orb. "Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld" might be a little too distracting in places, but it's a great album anyway.

Oh, I also need a plot, but I guess we'll see about that tonight.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Hi guys... I'm experimenting with ideas for NaNoWriMo, my Pale Fire megafic. And yeah, by the way I finished Pale Fire last night and I'm about 65% convinced that writing Pale Fire fanfic for NaNo is actually going to be a rewarding and fruitful idea.

Pale Fire is a weird and confusing novel that I don't feel like I have a grasp on at all. I think the thing that's got me stumbling is that it's a parody of an academic critique of a poem, but if I were to find this book for real, if some real half-baked academic had really written Kinbote's criticism of John Shade's "Pale Fire", I would totally read it: Because it's so bad it's funny, I would say. I might stop and mull some of the theory of poetics, but ultimately I'd feel they were compromised by the critic's clear lunacy. So the question is kind of: Does the fact that it was intentional change anything? Does the fact that 'nix's friend Nabokov clearly knows that "Yankees Win On Chapman's Homer" is not a printer's error change the fact that Kinbote doesn't?

Basically, Nabokov breaks all kinds of critical theories about authorial intentionality here, and that's the only thing that emerges untainted from the glorious, hilarious mess.




But since I'm playing around in my head with writing styles and plot ideas, I'd like to ask you fine people to help me with a writing exercise by generating prompts.

Suggest a famous line from a book, any book. Suggest some sort of technical specialty of any sort (Bio-ethicist, basketweaver, I don't care).

I will write a footnote on that line in the voice of someone with that speciality
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Kind of proud of myself for telling my aunt's brother in law "You know where my Muslim friends are from? They're from America." Pissed at him that I had to.

Also pissed at myself that I came perilously close to Godwinning the conversation... [personal profile] roga, I understand how you felt. I... just... anytime someone defends immigration quotas, I get... out of control. It's a sore subject for obvious reasons.

So um... yay Thanksgiving? Honestly, other than that conversation everything went well. I haven't seen some of this family since last Thanksgiving, and I haven't seen a lot of the rest since Pesach. It was great to catch up with everyone. And 'taste testing' Scotch with my uncles was a lot of fun.



I hit 50,000 in NaNo on Monday, which I'm grateful for because Tuesday I was taken with a vile cold that left me dizzy and dehydrated. I spent the day either in bed or at the kitchen table chugging water and tea. Actually, it had already hit on Monday night when I wrote the last 1800 words in a blurry hour that I don't remember much of. I'm not sure how my story ends, to be honest with you. Still, 50,000!
seekingferret: A computer rendering of a system I designed at work. (gfhc)
Word count for NaNo is at 47,500. I have today and tomorrow to write the remaining 2500 words. I'm not really worried. I wrote 4400 words yesterday and I have a pretty clear vision of where the next bit of story is going. Of course, I have plans to go out both tonight and tomorrow night, but if I have to, I'll skip out on the FreeDarko reading tomorrow to finish. I hope that doesn't happen, though.

Opening line of Chapter 144 is the silly "Reader, this chapter is gross." Jane Eyre allusion and a pun! Um... yes, it's going to be added to the list of reasons why I'm a bad person.

I've been thinking about editing. The original plan, when I entered the month, was to put this text in a drawer after NaNo and forget about it. This novel was an experiment in styles and characterizations and I would take what lessons I learned from it and move on. Part of me wants to continue with the original plan. This is a very bad novel, and sections of it are bad enough and out of place enough that editing would consist of deleting the whole section. But there is a skeleton here, which I've been sensing more and more as I progress, that might be worth holding onto. The meta-plot that developed, totally unplanned at the beginning of the month, is interesting enough that if I thoughtfully worked with it I might be able to get somewhere. I may try picking this up after Yuletide is over and seeing what I make of it then.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Today's 11/23, which must surely be called Fibonacci Day. I've been thinking a lot about the sequence lately because I'm using it as the numbering sequence of the chapters in my NaNoWriMo story. I'm up to Chapter 55, which is I suppose the tenth chapter I've written. Both of my Chapter 1s began with the same sentence.

At first, it was just being silly. I was planning to make the chapter numbering be a typographical joke, but otherwise go sequentially. But with a self-aware narrator like my Galen, I couldn't help but take the chapter numbering seriously. There are greater and greater narrative jumps as the story goes on, to the point that by now, each chapter is a narrative island of sorts. It's linked to previous chapters by shared characters and themes, as well as by permanent changes that may or may not be detailed in the chapters the reader sees, but plot is a series of disconnected motifs.

Needless to say, this is leading to greater and greater disorientation on the part of the narrator. I have to resist the urge to open every chapter with her wondering where all the time went, because it becomes tedious and I need to do some in media res openings, but her confusion is to some extent also mine. I am losing what little control I ever had over this story's direction, surrendering it to the novel's structure. Slightly over 35,000 words, I'm a tad behind, but tomorrow's Write-in, combined with Thanksgiving Morning and Black Friday, should be key pushes toward the finish line. If things go as I hope, I should be at 50K by Sunday.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Finally got around to grabbing El Madmo's debut album from a couple years back. El Madmo being Norah Jones's "punk rock" band. Apparently Norah Jones regularly does this thing where she dresses up in a costume and plays music you'd never expect her 'brand name' AC albums to have. I saw her last January as "Avril Lavigne", wearing a black wig and playing classic country covers with her all-girl trio Puss 'n Boots. And let me tell you, Norah Jones singing Johnny Cash while strumming along on a guitar is a wondrous and surprising thing.

El Madmo's songwriting is haphazard and lazy, rather than the tight, carefully considered construction you expect in a Norah Jones song. They seek to make up for it in buoyant enthusiasm and a lot of the time, it works. This is music determined to pretend it's not gimmicky. It is so much fracking fun. They seem at times to be intentionally trying to break every rule a good musician follows, just for the hell of it. Jones howls, screams, and shouts her way through songs. They go for the obvious rhyme always, like a mantra, especially in the opening number "Carlo." Songs are overproduced, underproduced, misproduced. The last track, if you listen through a minute or so of silence, gives you a 'hidden track' of ridiculous outtakes. It's these three phenomenally talented musicians whose usual show act is polished to mirror-finish, taking off the polish and just having fun. The last song is called "Rock Yer Balls Off".

Um... in any case, I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I'm sorry I didn't listen to it earlier.

Last night was packed, with a NaNo write-in followed by a late night D&D makeup session that pitted half the party against the other half in the quest to find magically-laced Drakes and harvest their magical energies for fun and profit. NaNo wordcount is up to 27,000. I was saying at the writein that 26,000 is an important milestone because it's where Ferret and Florence and the The Da Vinci Code Code crashed and burned two years ago. I feel like if I can pass 26,000, there's nothing between me and 50,000.

My novel... it is fucking weird, even for me. And I haven't even gotten to the part where I use LaTeX tabular mode to do a scene in two columns.


Tonight, going to see Strauss's "Intermezzo" at New York City Opera with Talia. Looking forward to it!
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
NaNo is going startlingly smoothly. I'm just shy of 20,000 words after a pleasantly prolonged write-in last night. After three hours of chatting and plugging away at our stories in communal fashion (interrupted by a break as a fellow NaNoer helped me pore through baby naming books for my main character's name), we adjourned to a nearby diner and talked for another hour and a half. For the past two years, NaNo has been the one time of year when I have a locally-oriented social life, and it's strange and wonderful. No delayed NJTransits! No exhausted 2AM arrivals home! No accidents in the tunnel! (Just cheerfully hellish I-287)

I've hit what feels like an important moment. My protagonist has discovered a challenge that could potentially occupy the remainder of the novel and remain healthily unfulfilled. Of course, the next thing she does is enter into a thousand word digression on the power of naming, but that's who she is. This has been a novel of unexpected discovery, and I'm charting out a path that promises to continue that, but it's comforting to have, if not a map, a destination. Especially because most other aspects of the story remain terrifyingly uncertain.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
Evil pondering...

a)Post-Modernists are rip-off artists. They steal/borrow from anywhere they can, from other books, from movies, from advertisements, from boring philosophical tomes, from real life... It's the repurposing, rearranging, and reinventing that makes it art.

b)I need to fill 50,000 words.

c)It would not be out of place to fill many of those words with someone else's words, that is to say. This is probably outside the spirit of NaNo, but then again, I'm never sure I know what the spirit of NaNo is.

or

a)Post-Modernists are playful with the written page. They recognize that the novel is a structure full of conventions and they enjoy breaking those conventions.

b)My character is wrestling with the fact that she cannot stop talking without the story ending and consequently without her life ending. I want to work with this.

c)I need to fill 50,000 words.

d)I am going to have to figure out how to count meaningful blank space toward my wordcount.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
NaNoWriMo began today. What fun!

I don't take NaNo very seriously, which is helpful. Wordcount is way more important to me than quality. Humor's also a plus. I like writing things where I can grab a snippet and share it with people and make them laugh. And I've been on a fairly serious post-modernism kick of late, what with working through Midnight's Children, Tristram Shandy, and Infinite Jest, not to mention various less voluminous tomes by Percival Everett, Roberto Arellano, Charles Yu, Colson Whitehead, etc...

So my NaNo novel this year is titled "The Great American Metanovel," and it's just a venue for me to experiment with language and characters for thousands and thousands of words. And make bad jokes. I've written my first 2000 words, introduced my narrator and her boyfriend Hamlet, and mucked around with metafictional tropes for a while.

It's totally writing by feel, and it's kind of terrifying. I've already hit several moments where my fingers outpaced my brain, then I stopped, contemplated deleting something unexpected, and decided to keep it. That's how my narrator became female. That's how Hamlet became mute. I have no idea where this story is heading, strongly doubt it can be sustained for the whole month at this pace, but it's exhilarating as hell to be embarking on an adventure like this. In some ways it's more surrealist than post-modernist, but I'm okay with that. The surrealists were accommodating of metafictions, too.

One of the other cool surprises? I'd planned to be digressive, because a)digressions are good for word length and b) digressions are a trope of metafiction, but I actually came up with an in-story motivation for the digressions that fills every ramble about something irrelevant with deep meaning: my narrator is trapped between the beginning of the book and its ending, and she knows that the longer she spends in the middle, the longer she gets to live. Digressions are her way of stalling for more time to live. It's a shockingly effective metaphor to just stumble on randomly.

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