Friday, November 26, 2010

On Winning NaNoWriMo


I've been a terrible blog-owner for the past few weeks because of NaNoWriMo. I apologize. However, I JUST WON NANOWRIMO HOLY SHIT. Last year was my first attempt at NaNo, and I distinctly remember being deliriously sick and pounding out 14,000 shitty words on Black Friday. Today, I wrote 3,486 to push me over to the win. 

Towards the end (like the past few days) I was feeling incredibly non-inspired. I would have to wordwar to get anything done and didn't meet my word counts for a few days in a row. I would always write, but I wouldn't enjoy it. Now that I've finished NaNo, the enjoyment is back. The pressure is off. I can keep writing and not worry about needed to meet my self-imposed deadline of sometime this weekend.

I wrote 50,000 words in 26 days and I'm no where near done with my story. In fact, I just started to write where I know the story should start. It might not make a lot of sense to other people, writing what I know won't be in the book because it happens so far in the character's pasts, but I enjoyed it. It was like 50,000 words of character study and development. Something incredible that I've never done before, that I don't know if many writers ever bother to go through.

People are always so concerned with getting the story out that they never take a change to let it grow. They never let it become something of its own. This year, this NaNo, I let my story breathe. With the help of a friend who shall not be named, I now have a second main character who is just as important as Lee and Cam. I never would have had him in my story without NaNo. I never would have written anything that involves him without letting myself go and write whatever came on the page.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't outline, shouldn't attempt to marginally control what becomes of their art. Because I think that's awesome. I just think that it's a skill you must learn. It's a skill that I was able to hone and refine with the help of NaNo.

Now I'm letting myself take off from writing (but not character developing) until Monday. Then I'm going to start seriously outlining and figure out where what I wrote falls. I don't know what I'll keep and what I'll toss. I do know that I'm rewriting all of it into the past tense  (I wrote it in present because that was how the first sentence went) but I don't know what themes and general scenes I'll save.

I do know that I'm happier with my characters, setting, and general plot than I've ever been.

That's what NaNo did for me this year. 

Now I just have to keep up the writing pace of at least 1,000 words a day and remember to update this thing at least once a week.

(also, I find it incredibly ironic that Echo Taps is playing on my iTunes throughout the writing of this post)

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!

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