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What was the biggest obstacle between you and 50k this year?

External circumstances (family, school, work, etc.) 0.5 50.0% [ 27 ]
Technical issues such as crappy software, pencils, or laptop batteries 0.092592592592593 9.3% [ 5 ]
Carpal tunnel or any other writing-related injury (excluding acute writing-related mental illness) 0.074074074074074 7.4% [ 4 ]
Acute writing-related mental illness (e.g., self-loathing, delusions) 0.16666666666667 16.7% [ 9 ]
Willfullness and impertinence on the part of your characters 0.16666666666667 16.7% [ 9 ]
Total Votes:[ 54 ]
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Waltzkrieg's avatar

Smitten Businessman

Integral
I with there was an "other" option!

I did not write 50k this month. I decided to be a rebel instead, and work on finishing/editing my novel from last year.

Last year, I met the 50k goak and had about 55k or so done by the end of november, but I was very dissatisfied because I was not able to finish my story. "winning" felt meaningless to me because the story wasn't finished. I know that's not the point of the whole personal challenge, but it was hard for me to feel proud of myself without a finished work that I could hold above my head and say "SEE WHAT I DID?!?!"

So this year, I decided to finish the last two chapters or so of the book, then go back and edit. I was able to do a first pass over the manuscript and correct changes by thanksgiving. I ended up adding a few chapters for character development, editing out a TON of redundancies, etc.
(In some cases, I said the same thing three different ways in one paragraph. NaNo is not good for that. haha)

I'm happy with what I've done, but I have a little bit of rebel regret for not starting a new project and doing the 50k. There's something exciting about working on a new story and figuring it all out.

Still, I'm done with what I challenged myself to do this month, and I'm happy about it. Now I feel like a winner, but I don't count as one! Maybe next year, if I decide to do it, I can get everything together all at once so that I finish a story, AND the word count, AND I feel good about it.

I totally get this. I'm gonna be working on completing this year's novel long after November into next year. I still think writing 50k is something to be proud of, but it'd be that much more magical if I could actually finish. xP

Good on you for returning to your story from last time and whipping it into shape.

The Illusionist 1993
My characters just decided it was time to hate me and made my brain go "...WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?!!?!?!??!"

So now I'm stuck for a bit. It's sad.

This keeps happening to me, too. Soldier on! Write about the foliage for a few pages. Unlike your characters, it can't give you back talk.

Chouryou
Thank you, both of you! *blushes*
I wasn't really too keen on instruction books myself, but I realize now they're going to help me a lot, especially since I've never had any creative writing classes.
Thanks again for the titles, rabbit and coyote. Will look them up. smile

You're welcome! Writing classes are great fun, too, in my experience. I had a really exceptional teacher, though. Give 'em a try if you have the chance.
rabbit and coyote's avatar

Tricky Roisterer

Chouryou
Waltzkrieg
Congrats on your first win! Now that you know you've got it in you, I bet you'll be writing even more.

Distractions can make all the difference either way. Sometimes you just need to recharge. Personally, I found that drawing stuff helped me visualize some things in my story AND do something that wasn't all words for a little while.

Research is no big, and characterization is just craft-- you can learn to do it better! I know not everyone is into writing instruction books, but I found them really helpful for stuff like that, myself.

rabbit and coyote
Like Waltzkrieg said, if you need help with characterization, there are all sorts of books about how to develop your characters/how to get into their heads. A few that I can think of off the top of my head are Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress, The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon, What Would Your Character Do? by Eric Maisel and Ann Maisel, and 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. (At least, these are the ones one of my local library systems has.) I especially liked the last two - What Would Your Character Do? has all sorts of interesting scenarios to throw your character in to see how he or she would react, and 45 Master Characters presents character archetypes for both male and female characters as well as male and female hero journeys.
Thank you, both of you! *blushes*
I wasn't really too keen on instruction books myself, but I realize now they're going to help me a lot, especially since I've never had any creative writing classes.
Thanks again for the titles, rabbit and coyote. Will look them up. smile


Some writing books are good, some aren't...just like any other kind of book, really! Always take the advice with a grain of salt - they're only helpful if they actually help you. :3
Ysavvryl's avatar

Peaceful Lunatic

How I reached my goal... well I'm something of a writing addict. I started writing around a thousand words a day a little over a decade ago, and I keep with that 90% of the time. So I always double the NaNo goal, just to make it a challenge to me. Many times, it's the lure of a later 'wow it will be AWESOME!' scene which I have to build towards and aim for, plus laying all sorts of plot hooks and potentially important things to play around with. Once I hit said awesome scene, it's playing out the results, any fallout, and finishing up any dangling plot.

The challenge for editing is not getting attached to another writing project, heh. But I tend to leave first drafts for several months so that I come back to it mostly fresh.

Post Edit: Biggest obstacle to me is not exactly on the list. I'd pick the 'general life' option, because chores had to be kept up with. But another big obstacle was my cat, who I think is jealous of my computer. She jumps in my lap so that my attention is on her. I end up just taking a five-minute kitty break.
Waltzkrieg's avatar

Smitten Businessman

Ysavvryl
How I reached my goal... well I'm something of a writing addict. I started writing around a thousand words a day a little over a decade ago, and I keep with that 90% of the time. So I always double the NaNo goal, just to make it a challenge to me. Many times, it's the lure of a later 'wow it will be AWESOME!' scene which I have to build towards and aim for, plus laying all sorts of plot hooks and potentially important things to play around with. Once I hit said awesome scene, it's playing out the results, any fallout, and finishing up any dangling plot.

The challenge for editing is not getting attached to another writing project, heh. But I tend to leave first drafts for several months so that I come back to it mostly fresh.

Post Edit: Biggest obstacle to me is not exactly on the list. I'd pick the 'general life' option, because chores had to be kept up with. But another big obstacle was my cat, who I think is jealous of my computer. She jumps in my lap so that my attention is on her. I end up just taking a five-minute kitty break.

1k a day is GREAT and I am envious of that level of dedication. I love writing, but more than that, I'm addicted to editing as I go, which means I finish very little. I will have to learn from your example.

I like to let drafts sit for a while, too. If I've been working on something right before I edit, I tend to skim instead of really reading because I still remember what I (think I) wrote. And that doesn't lend itself to a careful reading. xD
Mayor Gravity's avatar

Questionable Borg

My biggest issue with it has been finding the time between work and school to write. I work at a daycare, so the last thing I want to do when I come home is think.
Ysavvryl

Post Edit: Biggest obstacle to me is not exactly on the list. I'd pick the 'general life' option, because chores had to be kept up with. But another big obstacle was my cat, who I think is jealous of my computer. She jumps in my lap so that my attention is on her. I end up just taking a five-minute kitty break.


Yes!!

My damn cat jumps up onto me every time I get in a groove. Both of them leave me alone when I have writer's block, but as soon as I get back into the swing of things, all I hear is meowing.
I started with enthousiasm...

Then school threw in a few projects. Way to go stare

and when i was over 10k words behind on schedule, i was like: screw this, ill work on my schoolwork. I'll get frustrated if I'm trying to get back on schedule.

So now I'm going to try the same thing, but another month. And hopefully, I'll finish it before 2012

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