Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another NaNoWriMo Under the Belt

I finished Nanowrimo again!  This is the second year in a row.  *happy dance*

I actually hit 50,000 words on Monday November 26th -- 4 whole days early -- and that was after Thanksgiving weekend of 2 days of no writing or thinking and 1 day of only 1,200 words.  Yeah, you can Thank Starla Huchton for those words, she had me running scared she would pass me in word count. lol.  A good dose of good old friendly competition.  Thank you Starla!!

Then on Tuesday November 27th, I had more to write.  So I topped out and verified the story with 52,068 words.  Woot woot!! :D And the next night Jayda had more to tell me.  It's not in the total count, but that's okay, the story is going.

Thank you all!! For your support, cheering, and still stopping by to check in on me and my progress.  You are all amazing people!

I have several people that made a difference for me this year, and several that I enjoyed cheering on as what they shared with me with their experiences writing and doing Nano helped me greatly.  The personal touch people put into connecting with others while writing during Nano is amazing.  The community is an embracing one and I love them all.
   We have my wonderful Nano-ing buddy always - Jackie, @seolmara
   Skyla Dawn Cameron, @Skyladawn - as always is one of my number one cheerleaders.
   Starla Huchton, @riznphnx - was great to keep me going on the numbers.  You had me sweating. ;)
   Laura Nicole, @LN_dragonsong - It's wonderful to hear about your story and experiences.
   Doc Coleman, @scaleslea - You have really helped inspire me to want to get through the rewrites that come next with all our chats on your blog in your update posts!  I want to dig in.
      All these authors and others have been highlighted on Roundtable Podcast as they discuss what they get help and plan and talk for and during Nanowrimo.  I'll say, listening to these experienced authors really helped motivate me to want to do more, and do it again this month!

This year was completely different for me with this story.  I feel like I did more world and myth creating than story in the nano.  I did find the further along I went in the story, that there were more scenes I needed to add, and wrote them.  This year wasn't as much "kill, kill the character" as it was drawing the world and history here.  I like my action, so I'm going to have lots to add in.  It might be better than I think as I did add new scenes to go in the beginning as I went.  I don't think I was as ready for this years Nano, but I also am a pantser.  I have an idea of where I'm starting and where I'm ending, but the stuff in the middle...yeah, it's all not so planned.  So I'll see when I get back to it.

I had a huge scene at the end of the book, I was terrified of writing.  I knew what I wanted to happen, but wasn't sure how to write it, put words to it.  One step at a time.  Once I started, it started to come.  Oh heavens, it needs redone.  I know that.  But I have a better idea of what to say to get it across.

What I've learned and some advice...to myself for next year:  (it may not work for you, but helps me)
~~ The first words are always scary.  I don't think they will lead anywhere, but once on the screen it's funny how many doors open in my mind.
   1st goal - getting the courage to start that first word, sentence, paragraph, page, and on we go.  Even each day.

~~ Everyone has a purpose.  A friend told me this the first year of Nano and I reminded myself as I went through, There are connections here, but what? past? future? present?  That can create all new parts I didn't realize were to be added.  And give me options in the future of the book too.

~~ Don't look at the total number!  I'm grateful for any word I get.  It's truly more than what I had before sitting down.  It sounds like it contradicts what you are doing with Nanowrimo, but you can't sweat the numbers you start forcing words that don't work.  If you look at what the totals to be, you might panic.  That's a large number.  Your story might be more or less, if less I'm sure there's expanding somewhere to get you there.  Each day in Nano is like learning to walk, one foot in front of the other to close the distance between you and something you love.  Each word is a step getting you closer to something you want to share.  In the end you do stay aware of the number counts, but be proud of the number you get, no matter how high or low it is.  If you work full time with a family running wild around you, or at home trying to take care of everyone else, or even starring at the screen waiting for the inspiration to hit you.  If you only get 100 words, that is 100 more than you had before you started.

~~ Don't stress over what's happening in the story.  Don't worry about getting the perfect description and perfect scenes.  KEEP GOING FORWARD.  Really, you will go back and find you like things and hate others.  This is perfectly fine!  This process with Nano is to help do one thing...GET YOUR ARSE IN A CHAIR AND WRITE.  Oh! Yes, that's it.  Now, those authors out there that are published and pros, yes they are harder on themselves to get a solid story to go from, but me; I'm a newbie and to get a simple hard HARD rough story idea is a miracle for me.  I'm happy to have a beginning and an ending, and a bunch of stuff happening in the middle to get me from point A to point B.  That is the major accomplishment for me, and you.  We will have loads of work later, but I have ideas to print to work with, form, and mold to what I want.  Let you imagination run wild each day, like a little kid again telling fairytale stories.
   - this also goes for form and structure of the story.  Write scenes out of order (it's actually rather liberating), write them as they come to you.  Get something to work with later, in the here and now.

~~ Don't Stop!  If you get stuck, skip ahead to another scene, character anything.  That missing piece might come to mind next week.

~~ Don't go back.  This is a two part-er.
   - with the don't stop and skip ahead above thought, if that scene comes to mind, draw a line and write it.  You can move it next month.  Don't waste the precious word producing minutes and you might lose the feeling for the scene at that moment.
   - If you get off path pull back to where you want, don't go fix it.  Don't erase it.  Make notes and you can fix it later.  Those words all count!  You wrote them, put your heart into them, and they might have meaning you can draw from later.

~~ Stuck?  Don't know what to do with the story, world, or character(s)?  Try writing from another character view you have.  They might give you another view of the world and happenings to tell you what's happening that your main doesn't know.  You may not keep in the distant future of the finished book, but for here and now, MORE WORDS!! And could open more doors for you to spark what you need to go on again with where you were stuck at.

~~ Whether it works or not, write it.  Once you have it out you'll know what direction you want to go.  But don't delete it!  Not yet.  The idea could help later.  Whether crappy or not, they are words and give you an idea of what you want.  They set the stage, one way or another, for you.  Do or not do.  In thought it might sound good, but you may not know until in print if it'll work.  Keep it and delete in re-writes, but you know it won't work, note 'no good' in brackets or something, but mostly likely you'll know later as well.

~~ Keep a notebook near.  While writing and when on the go in life.  I found this helps me greatly.  As I write I realize there are questions that need to be addressed, either later in the story or added into a scene.  I note these to think on later and add in.  I've found once the creative juices start flowing, sometimes they come when I'm not at the computer.  Thank goodness for the notebook in my purse, there have been tons of notes added when I was at work or on the go with errands and such.

I know so many of my sentences can be combined to make one strong sentence, but that's what I can fix up later.  For now, the idea is in black and white (with some colorful highlights for me as well).  Now it's on to the next step with these Nano projects.  I was scared to do anything with last years, but now thanks to all I've been talking to, I'm ready to dig in and tear it apart!

20 comments:

  1. Yay, Mel! So glad you won!
    And look at you -- 52k+ words and still rarin' to go! :)

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    1. Thank you Rissatoo! :D And I still have more to share. lol. :D I was thrilled and surprised with myself. Never know if the story will have enough to hit the 50k.

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  2. Congratulations! Sounds like this was a really productive NaNo for you! And I love your writing advice, as there are several great tips there. I've never tried writing a full story, but maybe I'll give it a shot someday. Well done!

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    1. Thank you Alexia! Oh thank you, glad you like the advice. If you want to try Nano-ing, let me know. There are a few of us, and we love having more company. :) It make for much more fun.

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  3. You are just too awesome!!! :D Yay for doing it

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    1. Aw, thanks Blodeuedd. I just can't tell you how shitty the story is after all that sprinting. lol. :D

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  4. Well done on finishing and going over the word count! So proud of you Mel! :-)

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  5. congrats darling! I'm very proud of you!

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    1. Thank you Melliane! :) Now to see if I can do something with this mess. ;)

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  6. Aw, thanks for the recognition. Truly though, it was you that helped encourage me to even start it this year. If I'd had to go it alone, it wouldn't have happened. And I'm totally psyched for re-writes now!

    I have another tip to add: Think about things from the perspective of your character. If something hasn't quite formed in your own mind, make the characters ask the question that will help add more depth to a scene or situation. It's amazing how much it helps you as the author formulate the answers. Plus, it also add to the word count :)

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    1. Sure thing Jackie! And I'm glad I could help keep you going this year. :) You gave me the best hint of what to do when I needed it. ;) And I think I need that more through out the book, so in re-writes of this one, there might be more death. lol.

      And that is a wonderful tip! It really helps.

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  7. Congrats, that is a whole lot of words. I was thinking of doing NaNoWriMo, but only really started thinking about it around thanksgiving (a little late to join the party). I definitely think I am going to give it a shot next year and your tips are very helpful, even in the sense of writing in general.

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    1. Ashley, thank you! Glad you think the tips are helpful. I need to remember them for next year. And if you join in Nano next year let me know, the more the merrier with sprints and writing. :)

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  8. NIce!! Don't go back will be an important one for me!!! Love this.

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    1. Thank you Carolyn Crane! I keep wanting to go back this year. Add the little things I forgot the first time. But...that's what my note book is for too. I just need to remember to note it not go fix it. :) Good luck to you!

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