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May 22, 2015

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NaNo Fail

Ok so I attempted to do NaNoWriMo this November [read previous post about it], and it was an epic fail! Waaaaahhhh!!! Pout! I was pretty bummed.

I just could not for the life of me figure out which project to spend a whole 30 days of being insane with! Trying to pump out 50,000 words of one rough draft in only 30 days is definitely a commitment to crazy. Or in my case, crazier. The thing is I have tons of projects, most involving writing, for me picking which to ride for that long proved to be more difficult than I ever thought it would be.

It turns out that sticking to the same writing project for more than a week consecutively is an extra level of crazy for me. Somehow I need the freedom to bounce into which ever project is occupying the most of my brain space that day. That’s a bit discouraging for the idea of finishing a whole novel in a reasonable amount of time. But then again it’s not unusual to hear of people taking two years or more on the same novel.

Naturally, all this leads me to wonder if NaNoWriMo is going to ever work for me. Then I wonder, well, hey maybe if I select a project & do a little bit of prep work on it in October, so that my first 15 days of November aren’t spent trying to pick something out. The preparations should help me get off on the right foot and invest me in that selection as the one I’m actually going to do, get my head in the game, so to speak. It’s probable that I’ll try that next year.

It’s also a good idea to spend this coming year being accustomed to achieving a word count goal regularly. Say a minimum of 250 words of blogging and 250 words of story-writing most days to start with and then increase from there. I’m not used to paying any attention to my word counts, nor holding myself accountable for specific length goals. In fact the idea of keeping track of my word count goal during the writing of the draft, rather than  ignoring it completely (or just checking it between edits which seems a less neurotic approach), used to piss me off quite a bit. I’m only just now beginning to have a begrudging tentative acceptance of the concept of word counts. Could have something to with most of my writing until recently being only in notebooks (never gonna hand count ‘em, no freaking way). In theory it should be beneficial to start tracking the stupid word count.

But will it be enough? That I cannot predict.

I suppose I’d be happy enough to just make a little over half of the 50,000 words on the next attempt & then increase each year from there. Better than less or not trying.

Another thought plagues me though. Another very large problem I faced when attempting this year’s NaNo was that all those other writing projects my mind kept wandering to were not novels, they were my Decadent Angels series (which is an ongoing horror story-poem I post online), and several of my comic book projects. How does one devote a whole 30 days to knocking out the rough draft of a novel when all they can think about is comic books & a serial story-poem? Would it be too much of a deviation if I were to do the rough draft of a script for a graphic novel? Or the roughs of several episodes of Decadent Angels, or of several issues of a comic book series?

That’s definitely something I’ve got to get some feedback on before October.

Also, I realize that 50,000 words is a proper & reasonable size for 30 days, but I cannot for the life of me imagine ever writing a novel only 175 pages long. Couldn’t imagine being very satisfied reading a novel of that small size. It’s definitely been said that a writer should write what they like to read. I love big, grand epic-y stuff. So the question there is – since the goal is to write a completed novel weighing in at 50,000 words, is it too much of a deviation to have 50,000 words but not a completed rough of a novel? Sure this paragraph may be putting the cart before the horse, but I can’t help it, my mind does love to torture me this way. Besides, when writing hot I never know how much I could churn out. My record on that is one time in the space of about a day and a half I pumped out 90 pages handwritten in a notebook of a comic book story arc. My hand hurt for days. Pretty sure typing hurts less…

At any rate, it seems I am left with more questions than answers. Too bad I didn’t have the presence of mind to pose those questions to the NaNo forum during the challenge. It’s not a total loss though, since it vigorously renewed my resolve to get more writing done this year and at a steadier more measurable pace.

Who tried out NaNoWriMo this year? How did you do? What discoveries did you make? Who’s going to try it next year?

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