Sooooo, November’s over.
Total word count: 5693
So I did not win my first NaNoWriMo. I wrote only about 10% of the goal.
I will say, I am happy with what I wrote. And I discovered a few things, which is also part of NaNo.
- I write slowly. As a perfectionist, it is really hard not to labor over every word and sentence. NaNo is the supreme test of my personality. Some of what I wrote is crap, and that’s fine. But some of it is good, and I would rather have a few good paragraphs than pages and pages of crap. How can I learn to write well if I don’t practice writing well?
- I get cranky when I don’t read. One of my biggest challenges in learning to write novels is developing my “voice” as an author. When I read, I internalize the writing style of whatever I’m reading, and then that influences my writing style. So for the sake of consistency, I did not read fiction at all in November. I think this may be the longest I have gone in my adult life without reading a novel, and I am sick of it. Also, I didn’t play any TOR–I left my Imp agent languishing on Belsavis and I don’t really remember what was going on in that storyline. Good thing it’s still a double XP weekend!
- Most importantly, I learned that I am just not ready to make writing a priority in my life. I am not willing to change my social calendar (and obviously I can’t change my work calendar) so that I can have more time to write. I took 2 weekend trips at the beginning of the month, and while that really started me off on the wrong foot for NaNo, I am glad I traveled. I am not willing to sacrifice sleep or family time (or clean clothes). I think this realization will not kill my writing dream, it simply means that I have to manage my time better. Maybe a little less Tiny Death Star for starters…
Anyways, the project that I attempted last month was a kind of writing exercise that I have been planning on doing for quite awhile: a fairy tale retelling. More of a fairy tale expansion, really. This may not have been an ideal project for NaNo because I was locked into a plot, and the historical setting I wanted to use required a lot of research (which, of course, I was too lazy to do in October). It also reads more like a children’s story, so I might be finished before I reach 50,000 words anyways. But I think I will continue this project and see how far I can get.
Luckily, the NaNo website tells me I should be done next July.