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Latinam Scivi
Around a kid, a job, and other instances of life, I attempt to post something once in a blue moon. Restarted, for another attempt, February of 2012.
NaNoWriMo 2012 - Afterthoughts
NaNoWriMo, for those who don't know, is a month where people dedicate time to writing 50k words for a novel. This year, I participated for the first time, and hit just over 41k.

That put me in a personal slump the last Wednesday of the contest, because that was my last chance to write and I couldn't make it despite coming so close.

Excuses, excuses, right?

Yeah, somewhat. But at the same time, I did what I could with what I had. I knew beforehand I wouldn't have much opportunity on weekends or after work. I knew before the month began that Thanksgiving weekend wasn't going to be productive. I knew before the month began that I would be taking a trip to fetch a puppy, and that would kill a few more days before I even began. I accounted for all of this, and tried to pace myself accordingly. That pace was about 2.5k words per day, because there were 20 days I thought I had available.

I was wrong.

My initial information on the trip was that it would be Thanksgiving weekend, and would only cost me the Monday after. Nope. It was the week after Thanksgiving, costing me three days instead of one. This messed up my math, and was midway through the month when I learned about it.

Nine thousand words in three days is doable. I wrote nearly that many in the first two days. I felt so close, and stopped by an outside force.

That aside, I can't really say I had any ideas what to do with that 9k. My scenes vaporized in my mind, I kept putting one scene off because I couldn't get it formulated that way I wanted it to (this is the scene that I kept referring to having), and as a whole, I was feeling defeated before Thanksgiving break even began.

I still think it was worth it. I wrote stuff I consider substandard, but found that there are some aspects that I'm not good at. Some of that may have been the lack of planning (the idea that I wrote on came to me two days before the month began). Some people apparently diligently plan out their stories, and the characters follow through reasonably well. I fly along with a gamer's map, seemingly unable to even come up with a convoluted storyline. I have to be thinking too linearly, and I need to fix that.

My story was, ironically, written in a non-linear manner after day 11 or so. That lifted a huge block from my mind, and I'm still not sure why it took me 11 days to think of it. Perhaps that is a benefit of thinking early.

My problem with doing so, of course, is that once I start thinking of an idea, I start writing it. It took a lot of self-control to "procrastinate" the two days I did to start in the month. With deadlines being what they are, I didn't feel right writing early. Maybe if I had, I would have hit the goal. And then felt guilty for cheating.

Some of my other feelings are dashed out in the day they occurred. Most of the time, though, I didn't have a lot of time to expand on them (and when I did, I could probably have been writing something else).

Possibly the hardest part for me was staying motivated. I lost more than one scene - flat out don't remember them - and that was discouraging. I lost a few scenes as I was writing them, resulting in a reasonable setup followed by an awkward scene end. It really felt bad to do that to my characters; one of them was trying so hard to survive the world around her, it genuinely hurt to not give her trouble and just end a scene because it wasn't going anywhere.

It also didn't turn out creepy. I'd meant for it to, but with the difficulty of finding creepy movies (most horror movies these days are gore or action/gore), and not being well read in horror books, I floundered. There are a few moments when I think I hit a scary streak, but that's a rarity instead of the norm I was hoping for.

I fully intend to do this again next year, though with success. Not having days rescheduled will help, I'm sure.

May your stories be interesting.

LiaThistle
Community Member
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