Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another NaNoWriMo, Another Year Without a Book Written

I'm calling it now. I completely ran out of steam on National Novel Writing Month about Day 10, after having written practically nothing for more than a couple days before that. I've never been great with long term projects, preferring and excelling at the pressure cooker of timed tests and essays. I really wanted to get something "on paper" this year, mostly to say I had done it, but also to get Scrivener at a big discount. It's on my wishlist this year for Christmas. I guess I'll have to pay full price for it. I love Scrivener, having used it last year, as well.

While I was a little better organized this year—and had more time, in theory—I just didn't have inspiration to fill in all the details of my plot outline, much less the level of detail required to fill 50,000 words worth of story. Sctrz says I am much better at essays than stories as far as she can tell, and I can't deny it. At the beginning of this month, I wrote almost a thousand words extolling the virtues of a movie, and barely got twice that in scenes for my book. Then I posted false word counts on the NaNoWriMo site to avoid the embarrassment. Who cheats on a for-fun creative writing project? This guy! :\
That Moment When . . . (cc) Alex E. Proimos
So the Great American Novel won't be rolling off this keyboard anytime soon. I'm good in short bursts, but found that even the lengthiest short story I've written for this blog was agonizing to finish. I read somewhat slower than many, and write even slower than that. I'll think I've included plenty of detail in an action sequence or description, only to realize that I have a few paragraphs instead of a chapter. Do I need more action, or more detail?

At 382 words, even this post is turning out longer than I'd anticipated. I'd like to think I have a good story in me, maybe several. But I fall down in the details of it. Maybe 50,000 words in a month is too much for my writing style. I'd be interested to see professional authors go through their writing process. As John Scalzi pointed out on Halloween, for him and many other authors, every month is Novel Writing Month.

11 comments:

  1. Good try, at least you attempted this year, which is great!

    I work better under pressure too, which is why telling myself I have to hit the daily quota of 1700 words a day is more effective, vs. thinking I have a month to write 50K words. Of course, it's very tiring, and I'll be glad when November is over. I'm probably a bit burned out, especially with the baby this year and Christmas art commissions on the side. Every month may be Novel Writing Month for many professional authors, but don't forget, a lot of them don't have to juggle that with a full time job like you do!

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    1. That is true, writing is their full-time job. But still, I think I might do better with a slower pace, and a little more organization.

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  2. I think it's cool you tried. If it's something that you really want to do, you are the only one stopping yourself. It will probably take years, and will probably be more pain than pleasure for a long time. In our instant gratification society, that's hard. Even attempting it is a step in the right direction. I didn't even try, gave up before I started.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I think I may just need to take it slower.

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  3. It's better to try and fail than to just not try. I've done that twice myself, and the only reason I haven't participated the last two years is I want to keep plugging away at the story I started in 2010 rather than start on anything new.

    You know you don't have to write a novel, you could always to a book of essays.

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    1. LOL For National Novel Writing Month? But seriously, I don't know. It depends on the essays, I suppose. Who would read it?

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    2. Well probably not for NaNo, but you can always to your own thing. I tried making up NaNoFiMo last year without much success, but one day I'll finish this novel.

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  4. I think it's great that you gave it a go, and it's NOT about "winning" at all, it's about trying. You were motivated enough by the event to give it a shot.

    Also, scrivener rocks.

    This has been a REALLY rough month for me too, and I've done NaNoWriMo 4x before. I don't normally have any difficulty writing, and this year I started 5 different stories and gave up on them all (but still used their word counts, I mean I did write, after all). Now we're down to the last 4 days and I need to write almost 5k words each day to make up for all my non-writing mood days. Ugh. Still going to do it though. Just because.

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    1. Whew! I sometimes wonder what it would be like to do what Piers Anthony did years ago and go to work full time writing, to see if he could make a go of it. His wife went to work, while he wrote and tried to sell a few books. It took a while, but he eventually succeeded. He also got the the point—which may be more common now—where he would only write a book after he'd sold the idea (as a short treatment), saving a lot of effort.

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  5. Well, at least you made the attempt!

    I tried Nanowrimo for four years, and only 'succeeded' in 2007, which ended up half a story and a collection of rambling, random scenes after my plot completely derailed midway through. It did have a beginning, an ending and 50k words though... just no middle.

    I learned 1667 words of story a day was akin to squeezing blood from a rock for me. That month took a lot out of me (no games, no nothing but work, eat, write story and not very much sleep.)

    I haven't been able to work up the guts to attempt it again.

    Perhaps we can make a Reduced Word Count Club and try Unofficial Novella Writing Month instead. :P

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    1. Sounds great!

      Wait, how many words are in a novella?

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