Thursday, November 6, 2008

Noms for Everyone!

So, I've already whined about how different this NaNo is for me compared to years past. Last year, Nano was a blast. I was done by around the 20th and just played and padded my wordcount for the remaining 10 days.

I easily breezed out 5,000 word days. No sweat. It was good fun. The words just tumbled out so easily.

2008? Not so much.

Methodical. Plodding. Deliberate. All those words come to mind. Now I happen to love this WIP and have hopes for it, but it is not the giddy delight of last year. The difference? I think it's the book.

Last year was a breezy paranormal mystery told in first person with a sassy chick lit voice and a snarky humor. It was so much that it ought to be criminal.

My current WIP's style of prose requires much more thought and precision. I have been unable to simply vomit on the page and let the ugly hang out. Oh, it's still ugly--damn ugly in places.

Last year was chocolate mousse, fluffy and light and delicious. Speed is an asset when making chocolate mousse. If you take too long the cream settles and you lose the whip. It's all a scurry of motion and rapid chill.

This year is black forest torte, dense layers that take time to craft. The secret to making a perfect black forest torte is patience. You need to cook the first layer and then let it cool completely before adding the next. If you put a cold layer on top of a hot one, the hot one bubbles through and the layers mix. It loses its texture. You need to cook the chocolate mixture. Let it cool. Fill the pie crust. Add the cherry mixture. Another layer of chocolate. Whipped cream. More cherries. Curls of dark chocolate. It takes time, but oh so worth it.

We'll just see if I can keep the thing from collapsing into a hot mess.

But whatever the WIP, however it needs to be written, we shall all nom.



Jen said...

OMG, I just about died laughing at today's LOL! Reminded me of being a kid. Used to eat a lot of pot pies back in the day, and I'd always pretend I was a giant, eating up the denizens of the poor little pastry town, and drowning them in the gravy or the milk.

Yah, I was a weird kid. And your post made me think of food again. *drools*

Chocolate mousse or black forest tart? Who can decide? They're both incredibly delicious. :D

And you're right, I think, in that what genre you're writing matters when it comes to speed. Not that any one genre in particular is harder to write than another as a general rule, I suppose, but some books require more research than others, or more expertise on the conventions or what have you.

That's one of the things I like about's so easy to break the rules, and you can fudge a little on the research in the draft phase. It appeals to the lazy part of my little scribbler's heart.

Now, I must go rummage in my fridge for some cheesecake. NOM!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,

I *loved* this post. Chocolate mousse and black forest tart. What a great way to describe different tempos of writing.

Keep at it. The more you write, the more the Muses will shine upon you.

AC said...

Love your analogies. If your blog posts are any indication, I bet your WIP is completely fabulous.

My WIP is moving at a glacier-like pace. I keep telling myself I just have to suck it up and write, and go back and fix later. SO much easier said than done.

Kim said...

I can haz noms? This post made me hungry! =)

I wrote a first person Stephanie Plum type book a few years back and did 80k in about a week and a half and let all the ugly hang out as well. It was a breeze, but it's a trunk book (as are the two others in the series - at least for now)

It definitely takes more thought to write historical, or you run the risk of tossing in a zillion anachronisms. And those are uglys that have to be taken out and shot.

Okay- I can haz choklit now? ;)

Melanie Avila said...

Ha, I love this post! I think you've helped me figure out my problem. My last novel was about a guy on a journey and I didn't really need to research much because he didn't know much, lol. Now I've got police detectives and all sorts of things that actually require a little thought.

You really shouldn't write about such yummy treats without including at least ONE picture of said treats. :)

Mary B said...

Chocolate for all my friends!

I actually felt much better when I realized that this was just a different type of writing. Not harder. Different.

I can do this.

And chocolate is better noms than lettuce. Yes!

Polenth said...

But you can't beat chocolate coated lettuce.

This year is going slower for me, as I don't know the characters. But I think it'll speed up after a bit. I hope. Or no lettuce for me. It'll all go to the snails.

Ruth Cooke said...

No fair, Mary! Now I'm hungry, and I just had some chocolate. :)

Seriously, though, what you said makes sense, which is why I'm doing so well this year compared to others. This year, I'm going for the mousse. But I'm not going to give up on the Black Forest Cake, now that I know how to make it. :p

Anonymous said...

Excellent analogy! Fortunately I just ate breakfast, though, or I'd be running out the door in search of something to do with chocolate...

Marian said...

Between your blog and Cake Wrecks, I'm now unsatisfied with fruit and yogurt for dessert. :)