That’s it – I’m officially done with NaNo 2013 – and I managed to make the 50k word count (51, 881 to be exact). I was going to save my Sheldon/Amy ‘happy dance’ for the end of Outlanders, but after the painful writers block in the first two weeks of NaNo, and then swapping to do most of the work in the last two weeks, I am feeling pretty chuffed today – so this is what I’ve been doing. Oh yes – I got a little medal too!
The ‘Faris’ story is just over 25k words, and is complete end-to-end; the ‘Cirque’ story is also just over 25k, but is a mish-mash of scenes and dialogue, roughly in chronological order. It will probably by around 75k words when completed.
NaNo this year was much tougher for me than 2012, partly because work/life has been very busy in November, so I’ve had less ‘brain’ time than I’d liked, but I think the main issue has been trying to blast out a story I hadn’t had much time to plan.
In 2012 I wrote a lot of Outlanders and so the characters, plot, scenes, etc. were really well mapped out. It’s not always easy writing 3k words a day – but I found last time that I will get well over that done in one day when I’m on a writing roll, then I’m not forcing myself to write on other days. This time it was much harder because, although I was really excited about the ‘Cirque’ idea and characters, plot, etc. I just didn’t have enough behind it to really get the scenes written.
I should have realised it wasn’t a good idea going into NaNo – in ‘real world’ I tend to think through all the options and mull things over before making a decision, it doesn’t always take a huge amount of time, but that’s because things are more flexible. In writing world, because whatever you do will be final and has to fit with everything else in the story, the ‘thinking through’ stage for me has to be much longer than a couple of weeks. I’m also not great at planning things out for books – I’ll put odd bits down, like thoughts on a character or ‘rules’ for the world-building and maybe make a sequence list of the scenes, but I’m not normally one for creating a lot of information in advance of writing. Plot plans, character guides, mind maps – I suck at putting them on paper – a lot of it just sits inside my head, churning around until they come together like a little movie. It might not be the best, or most logical approach, but it works for me best because I like it when things are left a little loose and then the characters surprise you with twists that you didn’t see at the beginning.
So there you have it – NaNo 2013 has helped me kick myself into writing a prequel and starting a new, stand-alone novel – not sure what will happen next, but I got there. Not sure if I’ll go NaNo in 2014 though, unless I’ve already got something I’m in the middle of – the support can certainly help you get motivated then.