Emily's most recent publications can be found in "A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales" by the Bethlehem Writers Group.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
NaNoWriMo this year has felt kind of draggy. I think it may have something to do with all of the traveling I've been doing recently. As I'm sure I've mentioned, I traveled from Portland to Pennsylvania on November first, which not only caused me to lose three hours, it also sort of threw me off my game. Either that, or the trip to Portland in the first place derailed me. Or perhaps the trip to Portland right after spending a week visiting my inlaws. Or perhaps all of the above.
In any case, today was the first day I felt truly back into my routine. My hour on the elliptical was energizing rather than exhausting, and I finally had a decent word count day on my NaNoNovel. Unfortunately, I'll be gone over the weekend, so I may lose some ground again. At least I'll be staying in the same timezone this time.
Feeling draggy during NaNoWriMo is kind of a new feeling for me. This is my fifth year doing NaNoWriMo and thus far I've won every year. My first year of NaNoWriMo I did it on the spur of the moment. I'd heard of NaNoWriMo for about a week before November 1st, and thought it sounded... well... kinda crazy! I mean, 50,000 words in 30 days sounds like A LOT, right? But I had a story idea I'd been kicking around for a few years, so I signed on to NaNoWriMo and figured I'd give it a shot.
Well, let me tell you, when you've kicked a story around in your head for enough years, it can come out pretty easily during NaNoWriMo. I reached 50K in a couple of weeks, so I challenged myself to actually finish the first draft of that story before the end of November. I succeeded, writing over 100,000 words by the end of the month. Now, that NaNoNovel kind of makes me cringe when I read it now, but I figure if I let it kick around in my head for a few more years, it will be ripe for editing.
Years two and three of my NaNoWriMo experience, I worked on the same novel. Yes, I know *gasp* *tisk* *oh the horror!* But the two NaNoWriMos combined with a March Madness writing challenge from the Bethlehem Writers Group helped me finish the manuscript I'm in the process of editing now. It was totally worth being a NaNoRebel for my third NaNoYear.
Year four I spent October preparing one novel only to decide on NaNoEve that I would work on a different story. NaNoWriMo success truly does depend on following your bliss to a certain extent. As hard as it is to write a story you're not inspired to write, it's even harder to do it in a month. That year one of my characters took over the story. She went off on her own personal tangent, and took my novel with it. This is another story I intend to return to, but I think I need to keep her in "time out" and make her stand in the corner a bit longer, at least until she understands why what she did was wrong. Or I convince her to move to a different story where all of her radical zaniness will be more appropriate, and appreciated.
But all four years, despite varying levels of inspiration, preparation, and contemplation I've been able to fly through my 50,000 words pretty quickly. In fact, in year three I finished in ten days! This year just hasn't been as easy. I like my characters, but I lost my outline when my phone rebooted--never again will I outline a story on Color Notes-- so I don't remember all of the nifty twists and turns that made the story really pop. I suppose if I weren't living day-to-day with this novel, struggling to get my 1,667 words before midnight, that I would be able to really brainstorm this story and give myself a road map to December.
Well, I'll be traveling this weekend, so perhaps during the long car trip I'll have an opportunity to think... and write another 5,000 words.
Wish me luck!
Oh, and to join in the fun, be sure to check out www.nanowrimo.org