Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Month That Was: How My NaNo Went Down

*Things that I confirmed/reaffirmed/learned/realized during NaNoWriMo:

I did this last year, NaNoWriMo Aftermath, and it work well enough so I thought I'd do it again, so in no particular order...

1.  I AM NOT A PLOTTER:  Plotting backfired for me.  I posted about it when it happened.  How NaNo Confirmed My Pantserness.  This is my biggest realization with this year's Nano.  But now that I'm looking at last year's aftermath post, I kind of want to kick myself in the head (I'll have to get somebody else to do it for me, I'm not that flexible) because, go and read number five on last year's roundup:  Planning makes a difference.  Seems I had the same issues last year, just not as bad as this year.  Good news, I figured out how to fix last year's novel. I blogged about it here: Taking Flight. Again. I'll probably try and finish it sometime next year, I've got too much on my plate at the moment.

2.  I still love the rush of NaNo:  I confirmed this during the first two weeks.  I like the idea of something pushing me to do more, do better, and get done in time.  Best of all, I like how I push myself not to write a crappy first draft.  I believe you can do that.

3.  Mess with my rhythm and you kill it completely:  How many of you noticed when the Nano stats bar malfunctioned?  I did.  I definitely did.  When I started this year's NaNo I decided that I would write 2 000 words a day until the last day.  I actually kept that up until the day the stats bar stopped working for a while.  That totally screwed with my rhythm.  I would have been past 60k by now if that hadn't happened.  As it is I'm toeing 55k and things are about to pick up speed again.

4.  Haters gonna hate, but oh how the lovers love:  For some reason the NaNo hate was extra obvious this year.  Maybe I shouldn't say hate, and instead dislike.  I read a few posts where the writer/author/observer was dismissive, deriding and sometimes disrespectful of those participating. Ugh. I don't have time for that. BUT! The support was loud enough to drown out a stadium of crazed, soccer-obsessed fans, and that made me smile and think, I'm proud to be one of those crazed fans.  I loved seeing all the NaNo posts and updates in my reader whenever I took a few minutes to scan through it.  You guys rocked, it doesn't matter if you finished or not.  Just the fact that you started makes you a winner in my books.

5.  I can rock a deadline and meet it at the finish line without being out of breath:
I love deadlines, this is nothing new, but I like proving to myself every now and then that I can still keep to them.  The challenge for me?  How far ahead I can get of it.

6.  I still don't need to be inspired or motivated to write:  If I know my story and know where it's heading, my muse can go take a five week vacation and I'd be fine.  Sure I want him back(of course my muse is a guy, sometimes I call him Mike) but he deserves some time off now and then. 

7.  This year's NaNo novel doesn't suck!:  In last year's aftermath post I said that my novel sucked but I had fun writing it.  This year's novel isn't as much fun.  It's more of an emotional ride and it has a lot to do with the type of character my MC is.  Yes, she swears when the occasion asks for it.  Yes, the drinks once or twice to help her deal with certain situations that she refuses to acknowledge. No, she isn't an alcoholic or even close to it.  It's 'a party is a good way to drink away the issues and then hate yourself in the morning because the issues are still there' kind of thing.  She just needs to find a better way to handle things. When I stopped writing earlier today she was about to do something really bad.  It was a close call and I feel bad for putting her through it, but I have to keep pushing her to see how far she'll go.  I'm building up towards the climax so things will obviously be getting worse.  I just hope she doesn't make me regret it.
Although the novel doesn't suck, it needs a lot of work and there are quite a few aspects I need to work in that I kinda left out. Oops. Won't be too difficult to work it in, and it's part of the challenge that that I like.

8.  Support: Lastly I want to mention what an awesome support system I had.  On twitter I had a bunch of great writers who participated and wrote with me.  The first two weeks we took part in #NaNoCheckIn where we did short sprints that made a huge difference in my word counts, so thanks to all of you.  At work my colleagues regularly encouraged me and asked how I was doing, some even jokingly threatened me with dire consequences if I didn't make word count for the day.  It made a difference.  Thank you.

That's all I can think of at the moment.  My brain is still kind of in NaNo mode since the novel isn't finished yet and I'll be slogging away until the end of the year.  A quick shout out to the following people on my NaNo buddy list.  Well done on hitting 50k.
Brenda Drake

You all deserve high fives.  Take one from Barney, he's all about sharing.(Yes, I'm still on the GIF kick.)

 Everybody who took part, go have a good rest.  You deserve it.


  1. Yay for us!
    And I agree with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 LOL

  2. High fives all around. We rocked it, Juliana.