NaNoWriMo: November 18 – different trains

I chose Musashi-Kosugi as the location of Mari’s english school, because I have fond memories of the school I worked at there and its staff, and it’s in a great spot roughly equidistant between Yokohama and Shibuya (where Mari works) on the Tokyu-Toyoko Line.

I realise that this probably means nothing to people who haven’t lived in or around Tokyo. Your life becomes consumed by the names of train lines, their timetables, the station names. The stations you stop at, you come to know extraordinarily well – to the point of knowing which carriage to get into so that when you reach your stop, you can step onto the platfrom right in front of the stairway. The stations you don’t stop at take on a mysterious quality, with convenience stores that have the same branding but are a slightly different shape, and maybe a bar that you’ve haven’t seen anywhere else. You see these stations every day, but if you ever have occasion to stop at them, it is remarkably disorienting. The longer you stay in Japan, the more disorienting these sojourns to different stations become.

None of this is from my NOVEL so I wonder if my good friend was right in saying that I need to add a lot more detail to place readers in the scene, because the above paragraph gives very little idea of what it actually feels like – only one quite small aspect of it. For now I’ll parrot my usual defence, first draft lol, and say that I’ve now reached 6,955 words.

One last thing: I’m finding it very difficult to write for longer than about half an hour at a time. That is probably as much a result of all the distractions (email, bookface, twitter) open while I write as it is a result of my usual piecemeal writing style and method.

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