November 30th is upon us and I’m not quite sure where the month has gone. Between furiously hammering away at my story and wasting the rest of my waking hours playing Skyrim or reading A Game of Thrones, I’ve barely noticed the passing of 30 days and nights.
The story I started writing on the 1st of November is a bit different to the one I’m sitting with now. While the general idea has remained, a lot of things have changed. It’s been (and still is) a very organic process. This is both a good and a bad thing I believe, and I’m not sure I will want to be this organic for my next novel. Not only is it frustrating that I still don’t have a solid ending in mind, but the vast amount of inconsistencies I’ll have to go back and fix will be… time consuming. I’ve never been good at planning or keeping a schedule, but for my next novel I’m going to try to do more structuring before I set out. Even if it’s a very basic skeleton it will be more than I had when I started writing on the 1st. I have stopped to brainstorm and jot things down as I’ve gone along to kick the muse back to work, which has so far been effective. But as of now I don’t know whether my main character will live or die. Nor do I know if she will ever find out the truth behind her parents’ “accident” and many other things. Hopefully by December 30th, these things will be clear to me.
In many ways, the challenge of NaNoWriMo was a lot easier than I expected. Since I’ve never actually been confident enough to write anything on such a large scale, I’ve always convinced myself that handling a plot and making things fit together wasn’t something I would be able to do. NaNo has shown me that I can. It might be clumsy and in need of a lot of editing and fine-tuning, but I’ve done it. I’ve managed it for 50, 000 words and 15 chapters so far, and though the story itself is not finished, at least now I know that I can.
However, fighting that inner voice is difficult. I lost a few days after listening to it and being convinced that the story was about as fascinating as a pile of dirt but with help from Boyfriend and some forced brainstorming I managed to get back to it. Then, of course, I lost several days to Skyrim and getting my priorities straight. I was stuck in a difficult place in the story and at the time it was easier to just forget about it. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, and I don’t think it really did. Being me, I’m scarcely able to finish something ahead of time no matter how well it seems to be going.
It’s not been quite as difficult as I thought to silence my inner editor. Oh sure, she has revolted on occasion and when I’ve sat next to Boyfriend while he’s read through new chapters I’ve felt her cringe and wail and bemoan the horrid sentence structure et all. But I haven’t edited, I haven’t read anything back, and I’ve managed not to obsess. Beyond anything, the victory over my obssessive nature is one of the more satisfying.
As December rolls in, the writing will continue. For now I’m still unemployed and time is something I have more than enough of. I’ll feel better if I spend it doing something that might prove useful and rewarding. Boyfriend has given me a deadline for the end of December to have the first draft finished. From my guesstimations, the manuscript will need another 30k words, give or take, before I can slap a “the end” at the bottom of a page and start editing. If I keep writing on a daily basis it should be doable.
I’ll keep updating the blog and writing about how it’s going with small excerpts now and again. Hopefully I’ll still have readers even though the big NaNoWriMo is over. Thank you for your feedback and support and occasional finger-slapping. It’s all been helpful and appreciated.
See you in December!