Writing Quote

"Don't write merely to be understood.
Write so that you can't possibly be misunderstood."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Tardy Update on NaNoWriMo

When I finished my last blog, I made the mistake of blinking. Not only is it a different month now, but it's a different year! How did that happen? Oh well.

My 2011 NaNoWriMo experience was insane. There were a few times when I seriously considered calling it quits and just focusing on the "more important things" I had going on in my life. But why, oh why, would I do such a thing? So what if my brilliant idea was completely hampered by my utter ignorance of prep schools and high school football? What did it matter if I got a few hours less sleep per night? I am a WRITER, DANG IT! This is what I DO! So I pushed through and ended up with 52626 words and a swiss cheese plot and a couple of MCs I can't really relate to. In short, I don't think I'll do anything with this particular story. I still like the concept, but I don't have enough interest in prep schools and high school football to make it worth my while to do the proper research. I may be able to pare it down at some point and make it a short story. But mostly, I'm just ready to move on. The dreams that inspired me to write this story have stopped and that was kind of the point all along. Unfortunately, I immediately started having some other too-real dreams once NaNo was over. But maybe that concept can wait a while...

So what was the point of NaNo if I just ended up with recycle bin food at the end of it?

Aside from getting rid of the dreams, I got a bit more experience. I learned more about myself as a writer. I learned that YA fiction is highly unlikely to be my niche. I should have known that, since I didn't relate well to young adults even when I was one. I learned that you really do need to write what you know, at least to some extent. If I had gone into this project having some knowledge of at least one aspect of my story, I probably would have had a much better experience. But it didn't matter which facet of the story I worked on, I was clueless everywhere I turned. It was so frustrating, especially since there really isn't time during NaNoWriMo to do much research. I ended up constantly skipping ahead to the parts of the story I was excited about writing, or else floundering in the scene, hoping my characters would come to life and take action on their own. That's one of my favorite parts of writing and it never really happened with this book.

SO the book goes on the shelf, indefinitely; and my lessons go into my pocket. I plan to give it another go in 2012. In the mean time, I have other stories that need editing. So much editing.

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