So, as some of you know, I took the challenge of participating in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. As of last night, I have completed the first draft of my novel.
Yes, that was my reaction. That, followed by me basically knocking out until the sudden realization of me having to do my assignment for school came up.
Now, the point of this post is to chronicle some important things about my NaNo experience. One reason being to give you an update, and the other to highlight this great opportunity (in case any of you are considering doing it in the future).
Let’s start at the beginning; the very, very beginning.
I like how NaNoWriMo (which, for the future of this blog post will only be known as NaNo) forces you to wait until the first to write. So yes, you may have an idea by October 15th, but you can’t begin writing it until November. I’m the kind of person who dives into a project without really looking around to see where I’m going. NaNo forced me to add on ideas, which I definitely needed. So honestly that’s great. Absolutely great. The more time you have with an idea, the more you can really put into it.
Then it came; W-Day (which is a lame way of saying ‘writing day’). At 12:00am on November 1st, I opened up a new document and began writing. I was in the zone; channelling all my repression of writing this into my novel. I only looked up to see what was happening around me, but I was barely paying attention.
Then I checked my word count, and I had barely hit one thousand. Matter of fact, I barely got to five hundred. That was horrible. But that is the tough truth you need to accept about NaNoWriMo; it is very, very, very, very hard.
That’s why, for those who don’t complete it, it’s totally understandable. I thought my story, being extensive enough, would make it to 50,000 words (which is the word count you need to reach in order to win). My story wasn’t close at all; there were many moments I had to improvise in order to make sure I hit the word count. However, this worked out for me better than I had imagined. I was able to add an amazing side-plot which added brilliantly to the actual novel. It made me more excited, and made the character more real.
As the month continued, so did the actual test. There were days I could not write, and there were moments in the story where I felt I could not continue. Luckily, I had a lot of time (which came at the expense of paying attention in class) and could write for hours in a day.
However, it did teach me how to best get into my writing mode. I definitely can never be home when I want to go on a writing spree, nor can I really be somewhere quiet. Also, once I know what I’m writing about, I can go on a spree of writing and never need to look up. Mind you, half of this post was written at home (whereas the other half was written in front of a few friends while we were getting ready for a school project).
But seriously, writing a novel is tough work. Especially when you’re cramming all of that in a month. However, don’t be deterred if you’re considering this contest; with hard work you can really accomplish ANYTHING. I was damn near convinced I wasn’t going to make my word count at one point, but I worked incredibly hard. It’s great experience. It taught me not to judge my writing, but wait until I’ve finished it to critique it (there were many projects where I felt halfway it was going nowhere, and didn’t even make it to the end. NaNo taught me to finish what I started, and not to ever look back)
So if you’re considering it and ever need advice, or if you want me to go into detail, let me know. Honestly, it’s great to have a friend that is heavily invested in your novel. Especially who gives you such a great idea such as fighting robot chickens (which, when and if you read my novel, is a thing)
SO you made it to the end of my post! I’m so proud of you. I didn’t want to go on, as these were just general thoughts and I’m just so tired of writing. Besides, the journey of this novel has only begun. I still have to edit it.
However, since you made it this far, I will tell you this; I have a surprise coming very shortly. I cannot reveal it to you, as it’s somewhat a surprise (like I had mentioned in the last sentence), but I promise you; great things are coming. Truly. Just don’t look at the tags of this post.
For the month of December, I will be working on that surprise. I hope to have it public very soon, and will be posting a blog post about that shortly. Also in December, I want to go back to music making so you’ll see some stuff on my SoundCloud and whatnot. I’ve got some songs written which I think are really good, and some great friends (or that might be singular) who want to collaborate. We shall see, folks. We. Shall. See!
OH and just remembered. Poetry. Yeah, that’s coming too.