This year was my fourth NANOWRIMO. It’s begining to be a habit. When November comes around, I must WRITE A NOVEL.
Now that the month is over, and here are the results from 2015:
I have the winner’s badge, but can I really claim to have ‘won’ nanowrimo?
I began with an ambitious goal, ambitious for me at least, of wanting to write 10-12 short stories around 2000 words each. So, that by the end of November I’d have around 50,000 words written, which is the Nanowrimo goal. I planned a few stories ideas, mainly just titles or character types. I even had a name for the short story collection – based on one of the stories I wanted to write – Beyond the First Degree of Magic. I made a book cover. November 1st rolled around and I began the first short story about a girl wingwalking.
Skip forward to the end of the month, and let’s see what actually happened.
I have two half-written stories, one finished short story and half a novel. I started a story called The Thorn Path intending it to be a little longer, maybe more like a novella, but it kept going. Yes, I managed to write a total of 50, 090 words in one month, but I didn’t finish a novel. I can’t really call it a win.
I enjoy the Nanowrimo way of writing, where you spend countless hours forcing yourself to write thousands of words day after day. Having that words goal everyday and watching the count slowly rise all month is very fulfilling. You can’t edit anything, (although I allowed myself to strikeout words.) Every word counts toward your goal, which you’re allowed to brag and complain about to friends and family for an entire month. (Look family I’m a writer, I wrote over 2000 words today, what did you do?) You have to put aside time to actually write and that’s when the magic happens. If you want to call it magic. Writing happens. Stories happen. Yes. Magic.
Most of my half written novel is terrible. There is a lot of bad writing, it’s first draft stuff, but it has potential. It has conflict and action and suffering. I care about the characters and then I kill them off. After stumbling around initially, I found an opening line I actually plan to keep. It sums everything up:
Demons are hard to kill and even harder to live with.
Have I mentioned before why I love to write fantasy. The metaphors can be taken literally and figuratively. What kinds of demons are you fighting?
Toward the end the month, actually on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I had a health scare. That day I was unable to swallow solid food. It made me a mess of tears, hungry and terrified that I was about to lose the ability to eat. It’s the way I am now, my esophagus is badly scarred and sometimes it doesn’t work like it should. So, yeah, on the day before the biggest meal of the year my esophagus broke.
Swallowing begins after you put food in your mouth and chew it. You consciously chew and swallow, but everything that happens after that moment is involuntary. You can’t control it and when it doesn’t work, you can’t control that either.
This is also what my story is going to be about. Control. Not having it, and a demon that lives inside your stomach. There is also white magic and black magic, an Academy with a White Tower, a toxiology club, a forest called the Thornwood, a girl with a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality and a demon with gourmet appetite.
When I started writing the novel in the middle of Nanowrimo I didn’t know how personal of a story it would be. So, I’m not complaining about not winning here, because I think I did win Nanowrimo, but not in the way I expected. The story I began is not finished yet, but I know how to fix that.
I’m going to spend December writing.
Currently reading: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
On my Kindle: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Next up a Cinderella retelling called Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell