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quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

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"Oh, I know, I'll write a book! That should be easy and completely feasible within my current schedule and work load! HAR HAR HAR!" What an idiot I was, signing up for this NaNoWriMo challenge. If you're unfamiliar, the idea is you write a 50,000 word novel over the course of November. I chose to write a zombie novel I'd had kicking around my head for a few months that I decided to quit putting off. I figured zombie stuff is pretty easy to write, too: it's all "RRRaaaaagh!" and tearful mercy killings and looting. And really, that stuff just kind of runs through my head on a loop day in and day out anyway. I would just be jotting it down! I met my writing quota on the first three days and everything!

Then I went on vacation...

 

saint louis arch
St. Louis is THE vacation destination in and around St. Louis!

 

And it was five days of family-visiting bliss. We celebrated my birthday a few days after, we celebrated my mom's birthday a few days before, and tried to hang out with as many friends and family members as we could. In fact, it completely slipped my mind that I had a daily quota of 1,700 words.

Which meant that, when I came back, I was behind 8,500 words behind. Yikes. (Incidentally, I also came back to find I was the 36th Best Blog Source for NaNoWriMo Info after writing only one entry on the subject, proving that internet lists are well-researched as they are reliable.)

Suddenly, the thrill of the daily push to hit my quota and the "I can do this!" buzz I had been feeling was replaced with a gnawing sense of failure every time I saw NaNoWriMo's handy graph showing how I was slipping further and further behind with each passing day. I fell into a deep depression. A depression that could only be remedied by avoiding the whole thing altogether and playing Dark Souls on my Xbox. I did manage to find my way back to my Google doc and added a paltry 400 words; just enough to convince myself this month might be salvageable.

Okay, I know it's not. I know I'm in the lower decks of the Titanic with a bucket trying to keep the whole thing afloat. Still, I'm going to try and make a respectable show of it. I probably (okay, definitely) won't get published for free by hitting the 50,000 word minimum at the end of the month, but maybe I'll publish my pathetic attempt here just so I can say SOMEONE read it.

Are you a NaNoWriMo participant? How's your novel coming along? Commiserate or offer your condolences in the comments!





Flickr photo saint louis arch by Christina Rutz used under a Creative Commons License.

tcminnie


quality posts: 1 Private Messages tcminnie

I feel your pain. I derailed the second week and tried to get back on track last week, but I've given it up. I got about 18,000 words before the train left the tracks.

I'll do it again next year. I'll be better prepared and I know I need to keep writing when I have the time instead of meeting the quota and stopping.

November is a short month to start with, and with the holiday in it, and the big holiday behind it, I think it's crazy to do. Good thing I'm nuts!!

etripoli


quality posts: 18 Private Messages etripoli

I'm on track to finish this week. First time contestant, first time writer. It's definitely a commitment of time and mental power.

atf624


quality posts: 0 Private Messages atf624

Last year was my first year and I won with one day to spare. This year, I'm not doing so hot. I'm struggling to hit 30,000. Hopefully, once I get over that hump, it's all downhill. My story is semi-autobiographical and I think that's my problem. I have so many stories that I want to throw in there that I'm not really moving my characters forward. Maybe tonight will be the night that changes everything.

cindyscrazy


quality posts: 3 Private Messages cindyscrazy

Well, I hadn't committed myself to anything, so that's a good thing. But your blog got me writing for the first time in years!

I borrowed (stole) my daughters netbook (she's upgraded by now anyway) and bring it to work everyday. Instead of working through lunch everyday, I'm going down to the lunchroom and writing for an hour :-)

No promises on the weekends or holidays though.

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"--from a T-shirt

https://www.etsy.com/shop/cindyscrazyknits?ref=si_shop

choriskardia


quality posts: 0 Private Messages choriskardia

One trick is to plot the thing for the preceding 11 months so you know where the story is *supposed* to be going. Not that the characters cooperate - they fight you and take their own paths - sometimes in completely different directions - but if you have a character sufficiently well-mapped, that's ok, just let the subconscious take over and tell you the story.

Not that *I've* ever finished one as of yet.

tcminnie


quality posts: 1 Private Messages tcminnie
choriskardia wrote:One trick is to plot the thing for the preceding 11 months so you know where the story is *supposed* to be going. Not that the characters cooperate - they fight you and take their own paths - sometimes in completely different directions - but if you have a character sufficiently well-mapped, that's ok, just let the subconscious take over and tell you the story.

Not that *I've* ever finished one as of yet.



I thought I plotted sufficiently with a chapter blurb, but I really got stuck trying to create the connecting sections because I didn't have time to stop and think about it. Next year, I'll have more detailed outline with plot points and some clues to throw in (I write mysteries.)

Congrats to those who made the finish line!!

thewevel


quality posts: 0 Private Messages thewevel

just add 50 pictures to your book. problem solved.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
thewevel wrote:just add 50 pictures to your book. problem solved.



I'll change it from zombie novel to ASCII Art Coffee Table Book.

etripoli


quality posts: 18 Private Messages etripoli
choriskardia wrote:One trick is to plot the thing for the preceding 11 months so you know where the story is *supposed* to be going. Not that the characters cooperate - they fight you and take their own paths - sometimes in completely different directions - but if you have a character sufficiently well-mapped, that's ok, just let the subconscious take over and tell you the story.

Not that *I've* ever finished one as of yet.



That was my problem on past projects. This time around, I had a general idea where to start, and an general idea where to end, but everything in the middle has been off the cuff. Trying to force the story or map it out just doesn't work for me.

caeraerie


quality posts: 0 Private Messages caeraerie

I'm an eight-time contestant and eight-time winner for NaNoWriMo. Last year, I ran up a whole lotta words and hurt myself so badly in the process that I nearly had to have surgery.

That said, NaNo, like many other endeavors, is about patience, dedication and ruthless ambition. It is also about being willing to sacrifice awesome storylines on the altar of wordoucnt, about being able to stuff your internal editor into a box and keep it there and about realizing (usually around day 3) that this novel is NEVER going to see the light of day in its present form.

By the way, 50,000 words can be written in a single weekend. There are actually people insane enough to try that.

susanrm


quality posts: 12 Private Messages susanrm

Come back next year. Be sure to participate in local events if you can. In fact, I think St. Louis has quite an active Nano community. These inspire and kick your butt to keep you going.

Good for you for trying! It is not for the faint of heart.

(been participating since 2003)

*Honest 200 Member* Sept. 2012, and now