This blog has been somewhat abandoned in the last few weeks, but not because I suddenly decided I was bored, or because I had lost my enthusiasm to write, but because of NaNoWriMo.
If anybody isn’t aware, NaNoWriMo is an annual effort by a large number of people to write an entire novel, equaling roughly 50,000 words, in the month of November. It’s a dramatic test of motivation, endurance, and most of all, time.
You see, to some people the idea of throwing out 50,000 words in a month wouldn’t sound too difficult. Sure, 50k is a lot of words, but it would be doable, right? Right. But easy? Hell no.
Fun fact: NaNoWriMo is an incredibly intensive and time-sucking task that nobody should ever enter into without thinking it through beforehand. You especially need to consider what attempting and subsequently failing would do to your future motivation, because I imagine there’s nothing quite as debilitating as falling behind everyone else and knowing you’ll never catch back up–and I also imagine it’s the kind of self-doubt that would plague you in future efforts.
Personally, I’ve found my attempt at NaNoWriMo this year more successful than I ever imagined. I’m currently sitting at 35,252 words accomplished, with the final stage of my story about to be commenced tomorrow afternoon. I’m not entirely convinced that what I’ve written thus far is anything worth lauding, but I’ve heard time and time again that a novel’s true beauty comes through in the editing and rewriting process, which I’m sure will be a lengthy and laborious journey when it comes to my creation.
On that note, I know for certain that the alterations I will need to make with my story will be plentiful. Right now it’s an Epistolary story, but such a format is providing obstacles almost everywhere I turn, such as finding restrictions in how I present dialogue, which I surprisingly love writing. It’s proving to be such a foe that I’m convinced the editing process will see me change the entire format, reverting to simple first-person past tense. I would lose some of the personal insight diary entries naturally provide into a character’s inner feelings, but I feel like I would gain the freedom to utilise dialogue in the way I want to, which would be an acceptable sacrifice.
There are many more changes I know I will need to make, and I’m not looking forward to doing them, but I’ve put too much time and effort into writing this story to let it evade me now. But right now, I’m looking forward to the day I can hold a copy of my completed first draft and know that I survived my very first attempt at NaNoWriMo, which I figure is the point of the exercise. And that day is not too far away.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, and that’s why I haven’t had as much time to write the kind of things I usually write on this blog.
I’d be extremely interested in connecting with other people who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so please feel free to contact me if you are. I’d love to share story ideas and brainstorm, as I’ve come to learn that doing so is an enormous help when you’re struggling with plot and characters.
And also, if anyone is interested in reading what I’ve written, or better yet, providing a helping hand with the inevitable gruel of the editing process, please drop me a message in the comment box below or elsewhere. I already know a lot of what I’ve written is trash and needs to be binned or corrected, but I’d greatly appreciate the insight of someone else.