I’ve been a bit absent this month, with the blog and in game. My guild have been incredibly supportive with it, and haven’t complained once. You guys are awesome! I’m interrupting the Warcraft posts yet again with this. Maybe I should change the tagline to ‘A mostly Warcraft blog’ as it’s been mostly not this month. I’m not going to go back to playing as much as I was, so I need to organise my playtime better so I actually get things done. Dailies, I am looking at you, I haven’t done you in a month, haven’t capped valor in even longer. Oh I’m a bad Warcraft player, but I just need to be a little more organised. Can’t do everything, but could do more.
Anyway, the month of November and the challenge of NaNoWriMo are coming to a close. So it’s time for a little bit of a recap on how the month went.
I sat down at midnight on the 1st and stared at a blank page. The lack of enthusiasm I mentioned in my first post was weighing me down. I wrote three sentences, all unrelated to each other and called it a night. The next day I sat down and I decided to throw out my preconceived plot, I decided that maybe I’d overplanned it and that what I needed to do was start writing, and not worry about what exactly I was writing. In Chris Baty’s book No Plot? No Problem! he describes the phenomenon of a story forming itself. I’d never experienced this but I did at the beginning of this month. I started typing, with no direction, no story in mind, and one built itself around my words. It was amazing but after writing 5,000 words I ran into trouble.
Have you ever seen CSI: Miami? I mean no disrespect to the actors, all CSI’s have those corny lines that the actors can’t quite manage to make seem real, but CSI: Miami is the worst for it. It’s just so fake and I watch it when I want a laugh, when I want to sit and crack sarcastic comments all the way through. Well on the third day of NaNo I started doing that to my own work. I barely wrote a paragraph and I knew I couldn’t continue. I still think that the spontaneous story idea has promise, it’s something I’d like to go back too, but I couldn’t write it this month. So, I dove back into my planned story. Maybe I needed to write 5000 words of something else to get back into the writing gear. I hadn’t written fiction for two years before this point, so I was a little out of practice. I hit my usual stumbling block at 20,000 words. This time it wasn’t due to lack of idea about how to continue, I had my plan for that, more that I’d written 20k and my mind kinda wondered if that was enough. I pressed on though and once I hit 30k it got easier and the 40,000′s are the easiest. You’re so close to the end you can practically taste it, and you want to get there so you don’t stop.
I wanted to win without any modifiers on it. I wanted to be able say I won NaNo, not I won NaNo but … and I did that. So technically I wrote a little over 55k this month, as I didn’t want to count the 5k I wrote on the first project. I wrote 50,000 words on a single project and I even kinda typed The End. I say kinda because I technically only hit what I’d designated as the halfway point. Thinking about it now I think maybe it’s too much of a story for one book, so maybe it’s split into two. Which is why I wrote The End and then To Be Continued right after it, well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
I’ve had this story, Perfidy, in my head in one form or another for over a decade. It’s unrecognisable from it was originally, but the spark of the story is still the same. I had a go at writing this in 2009 but what I wrote this year is very different from that too. There’s lots of similar elements but it’s like saying that The Italian Job starring Michael Caine is the same as the one starring Mark Wahlberg. They are both about stealing gold, and have the same brand of car, but that’s about it. The same, yet different, I don’t really know how to describe it, not a good thing for a writer. I wasn’t happy with the story when I typed The End in 2009, I knew that it wasn’t the story that I’d set out to write. This year when I typed it I knew that it was a lot closer to what I’d envisaged that this draft I could redraft and revise without needing a complete rewrite, that finally after a decade I’d got it on paper.
The only question that remains is where do I go from here? Today I ordered my winners shirt, sent my winners certificate to get printed, changed my twitter to have winner buttons on it. Today I won NaNo for the first time in two years. What do I do tomorrow? I’ve already decided that I’m not going back to not writing fiction. I think I need to take a week off and do laundry though, the ironing pile is getting ridiculous. Some people are taking up the challenge of Milwordy which is write a million words in a year. That’s just over 83k a month which is insane, even if I could do it I wouldn’t.
I’m thinking maybe I’ll set a lower goal, keep writing but at the same time start revising. I don’t harbour any delusions about my work, I very much doubt it’ll ever see the light of day. However, I want to get it right for me, I want to finally be satisfied with the story that I’ve been carrying around for a decade. There’s Camp NaNoWriMo which runs for two months, other than November. It was June and August last year, but I read somewhere that it would be in April and July next year. So three months of literary abandon, and then nine sane months, where I revise what I write in the crazy months? Sounds about right but that’s in the future and no-one knows what the future holds. All I know write now is it definitely holds more writing.
I wrote a novel this November. I wrote a freaking book.