Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo RIP

NaNoWriMo has come to an end (or it will at midnight) and I ended up with a word count of 20022.  That is far short of the 50K word goal, but that was never my goal anyway.  I'm very pleased with my word count since I thought I would never be able to top 10K.  But I did.  Yay me.

Our little local NaNoWriMo group is still grinding it out right now at the library but I have chosen not to join them since I'm still sick and possibly infectious.  I could continue to add to my word count here at home but one thing I discovered during this process is that I can't write at home.  Well, I can't write stuff that I have to think about at home.  I can write a blog post cuz we all know I don't put much thought into those.

I even stopped my novel mid-sentence, which is strange for me and triggers my OCD tendencies if I think about it too much.  But those same tendencies tell me that if I go in and finish that sentence my word count will change and I will lose the lovely number 20022.  It's not exactly symmetrical, but there's a certain roundness to it...a visually pleasing quality...it makes sense.  I'm keeping it.

From the beginning I ditched the official NaNoWriMo goal of 50K words in 30 days and made up my own goals.  I thought this would be a win/win situation because even if I didn't "win" by reaching 50K, I could still win by reaching my own goals.

I never considered the fact that I might not reach my own goals.  And I didn't.  Which made the whole thing a fail/fail situation.  Which is par for my course so I'm good with that.

One of my goals for this past month was to see if I could write fiction.  I know I can write non-fiction, essays, stream of consciousness type stuff but I've never even tried to write fiction.  I discovered that it's not as easy as I thought it would be.  I thought that all I would need is a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.  Once I had that in my head, I could start writing and the details would just flesh themselves out.

Yeah, not so much.  It's those dang details that had me wanting to gouge my eyes out.  They were necessary details, not just filler, but I got bored with them.  Having to build a character and describe a scene was like trying to cut down an oak tree with dental instruments.  I already knew how the story would end and I just wanted to get to there. 

At about 10K words I thought about giving up because I was bored to death with the story and really wanted to just kill off all of my characters to put them out of my misery.  Instead, I turned the hero into the bad guy, but of course my main character did not realize that her hero had gone bad and it was a little exciting to know something that she didn't.

Eventually even that got boring until I discovered the secret to keeping myself from losing interest.  Every time the story got dull, someone had to have sex.  That little literary tool worked like a charm for the next 10K words.

My other goal for this past month was to see if I could write consistently.  I knew that writing 1667 words every single day was not going to happen.  I had hoped that I would write at least something every day, even if it was just a paragraph, but that didn't happen either.  A few times I had reasonable, understandable excuses for not writing.  There were several times that I just plain forgot.  But on most of the days I didn't write it was because I just didn't want to.  I wasn't in the mood so I didn't do it.  I'm really spoiled and selfish that way.

To my surprise, I discovered that I like writing in a group.  This is a little strange since writing isn't exactly a group activity plus I really don't like people...not individual people, just people in general.  You know.  Humanity. When given the choice between hanging out with friends and spending time alone, I always prefer to be alone.  That's just how I roll.  Even so, I really like our motley little writing group and I hope to stay in touch with them.

Overall, I liked my NaNoWriMo experience and I will do it again even though I have never in my life invested so much time in creating something so awful.  But...this was about the process for me, not about the product.  Will I finish my novel or edit it or maybe submit it for publication?  Yes I will.  Just as soon as polka dotted pigs fly out of my butt. 

2 comments:

James the Greatest said...

"Every time the story got dull, someone had to have sex. That little literary tool worked like a charm for the next 10K words."

LOVE IT!! XD

but you made great friends (many of whom hope we stay connected with you!), and learned a lot about yourself. I so don't see that as Fail/Fail.

Shannon Green said...

My new friends are the best part! We should get together, maybe next weekend? Jerrit kept saying something about sushi and that's sounding pretty good to me.