Well, it’s been another month of writing at Camp NaNoWriMo. I went back and continued my fairy tale retelling that I started last NaNoWriMo, which has become kind of a practice piece for me.
After my dismal failure with NaNo last November, I tried to give myself several options of ways that I would feel personally satisfied by my efforts this month (in order of lessening difficulty):
✘1. 10,000 words written (my ostensible goal, which was the lowest choice–I also opted to include blog posts in my word count total for the month)
- Yeah, did not make it. Word total: 5,943 from novel/blog combined
✘2. 10,000 words total in my novel
- Nope, but close: I am sitting at 8,866
✓3. More than 5,693 words written (my total from last November’s NaNoWriMo)
- DING DING DING.
So my consolation prize is that at least I did better than last time! And really, that’s all I can ask of myself, to keep improving.
I did a few things differently this month compared to last November. Mostly importantly, I kept reading. I read at least 3 novels and some short stories this month. Now that I am feeling more comfortable with my writing style, and narration especially, it didn’t really bother me to have to jump back and forth between my story and what I was reading. In fact, on occasion it was kinda inspiring, especially because I was reading some enjoyable YA fantasy (my story’s genre).
Obviously, I also kept blogging. For those of you who can do math, from the stats above you’ll see that I wrote 3,173 words for my novel this month vs. 5,693 last November when I took a blogging break for NaNo. So, blogging definitely cut into my novel-writing. But on some level, writing is writing, and my blog keeps writing fun, which I feel is also important.
I kept watching TV, playing SWTOR, and doing all my normal “fun” also, which I think will help me form a more sustainable strategy for incorporating regular writing time into my life, instead of just a one-month binge.
As for what I wrote, I’m pretty pleased with what I accomplished (although I hoped to be further along in the story by now). I wrote several major conversations between characters (sometimes writing out of order). I also feel much more solid about the narrator’s voice and character. I did do more research as I went, which, while productive, takes away from actual writing.
Whereas when I first started last year, I was treating this story as a training exercise, now I’m starting to see some joy and life in it. I have some revelations for the motivations of several main characters, and found some good ways to showcase various personalities. The parts that I was writing this time started to detail the fantasy elements of the story, which also more fun for me.
I do still need to find better distraction-free setting for writing. Our office room in the house is comfy, but my husband spends most of his time there, too, and he loves watching YouTube videos. And Netflix. I love marathoning Star Trek series and Warp Zone music videos as much as the next geek, but not while I’m writing!