No Way November Will See Our Goodbye. Or: Reflecting on NaNoWriMo 2012Posted: December 1, 2012
The first day of November 2012 feels simultaneously a lifetime ago and just like yesterday. And now, here we are a month later and…
Yes. That’s right.
Last Saturday, I hit 50 292 words. (Although on my profile it reads 50263, I believe.) It feels really weird to say that I wrote a ~novel in November, but I DID. I was super nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do this, but I can now throw that feeling out the window. I guess in that respect the title of my November project, Fear Not The Fall, is even more appropriate that I’d thought xD
The idea for my NaNo novel pretty much came to fruition as a throw-away idea. I basically took something about myself, added an extremely dramatic detail, and then paired it with a really typical, obvious ending. Without sounding way too dramatic, the story ended up becoming more than just a throw-away tale. It seriously evolved into something that I’d actually fell in deep like with…
Confession: I did not like my main character on that very first night I started writing in November. She was so bitter and resentful. I had only written two scenes and she was already frustrating me because she just insisted on being a total b-word. I didn’t like where the story was going. I kept writing, however. Then a few days later, somehow the story started making sense. There was still bitterness in my MC, but as the story progressed with characters being introduced and facts about her life coming to light, I started to understand her, care about her, and the story. A LOT. I found myself staying up past midnight because the words and ~feelings were just flowing.
This story marks the first time I’ve ever CRIED while writing. Sure I’ve wanted to rip out my hair and throw my computer across the scene while editing stuff or while trying to figure out how to get a scene just right. These tears, however, weren’t tears of frustration or anger. They were tears due to the fact that I had become so attached to these characters and the scene I was writing was like, one of THE scenes and I just… I DON’T KNOW.
It was GREAT to write a contemporary because almost every project I’ve ever started in the past uhhh ten years of my life has had some sort of supernatural, paranormal, or scifi element. Even the ridiculous short stories we had to write in elementary school, I always included some crazy abnormal twist (popcorn machine that perpetually pops popcorn, for example). Writing a contemporary story had its different challenges, but it was a good experience.
I don’t remember where I read this, but someone wrote a blog post saying that the first thing you should do after writing a novel is to write another novel. I rejected the idea at first because NO I WANT TO REVISE THIS PROJECT NAO, but you know what? It is a good idea. It’s so easy to get trapped in the mindset of one project that you can blind yourself to issues, conflicts, etc. Taking a step back will definitely allow me to return to my other story with a clear, refreshed, and non-burnt-out mind 🙂
So yes, I’m really excited to get back to Verona Horse Mermaid (lol, I typed Veronica at first *NOSTALGIC*), but I am SO glad that I decided not to pursue that project for NaNoWriMo because I really think FNTF is a keeper. I was so ready to just be finished with it and set it aside in that bottom shelf of the drawer, but I think I’m actually going to come back to this when I get the chance and revise, edit, and maybe even send it out? Who knows, who knows.
November was kind of a crap month with regards to life/work/etc-stuff, but the one constant was writing – whether it was on my phone in the backseat of a car, on scrap paper while hiding in the bathroom at work, in a rowdy Starbucks, or at 3AM in my room. So this little experiment? Here are my final conclusions:
1) Holy mole, I can write A LOT. I didn’t think I could churn out 5K a day (that I didn’t devote a write-a-thon to), but I apparently I can.
2) If I organize my life schedule, it IS possible to write daily. Although I had to work 4-5 days a week and would usually stay at the office well beyond 6pm, I was able to fit in writing. Yeah, I sacrificed a few hours of sleep, but let me say that it was SO worth it. So yeah, daily writing despite a busy schedule: C’EST POSSIBLE.
Shout-outs totally made to Jen for her dauntlessness and the write-a-thon/writing-related hilarity throughout the month, as well as Christa for the NaNo-related chats, encouragement, and convincing me to participate this year. Also a huge thank you to all of those on twitter for encouraging tweets and the various 1K/1Hr sessions.
See you at Camp NaNo in August, maybe?