On Monday, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be meeting my self-imposed deadline to finish this story, despite the commitment I made last week. It wasn’t that there was a lot of story left to go, just… the story that was left was a bit daunting. This was the final set piece, the ultimate confrontation, and I knew it would be draining. And it was.
But I did it.
I keep sitting down to write this post, and it keeps not happening. There’s part of me that feels like it’s not time, yet: I haven’t finished writing the story, so how can I possibly think about any of this objectively? I didn’t write the postmortem for last year’s project until I’d finished the draft, and that worked out well enough. But this isn’t about the story, it’s about the experience.
And this year was a very different experience from last year.
I went in confident that I could do it. Last year was... I won’t say “easy,” but it was fairly straightforward. I wrote nearly every day, and I stayed pretty much on-target as far as word-count went, and then I crashed as soon as I hit 50K, because I’d had a cold for the last few days of the month and the only thing that kept me going was stubbornness.
This year wasn’t like that. At all.
At the moment this post goes live, I am almost exactly one day behind schedule on my NaNoWriMo draft. I’m closing in on the midpoint of the story itself - it’s running a little long, but that’s ok. It’s a first draft, and they’re always a little unpredictable, no matter how much I plan.
According to the official NaNoWriMo chart, I’m about two and a half days behind schedule. This is after taking four days off last weekend.
That’s not great. I’m not thrilled about it. But I’m not in panic mode, either. I can still make it through the month, and hit 50K - I could take weekends off, and my current pace would still carry me through.
So that’s kind of good.
This time last week, I thought I was starting to find the rhythm of the story.
I was wrong.
The first few days of this week were really difficult. I barely got anything written on the weekend, and it took until yesterday to actually get myself back up to par. I still felt good about the story, but the actual writing of it was… ugh.
National Novel Writing Month is an intense experience, creatively. And I love it for that. I love that it forces me to sit down and write - which is something I want to be doing anyway, but never seem to make the time for.
The downside? It’s an intense experience, creatively. Especially at the beginning, when I’m still finding my way into the story, it uses up pretty much all of my creative energy.
Three days into NaNoWriMo, and I have a title!
I mean, I’ve also got a little more than 5000 words, but I’m really most excited about the title. And the fact that a few of my characters actually have last names now. That’s nice, too.
It’s been a really good week on the NaNoWriMo-prep front.
Well. Mostly. It started out good.
It started out good enough that I’m not worried about the fact that I’ve come down with yet another cold (or possibly a mild case of the flu this time?), and I haven’t made any real progress the for the last day or so.
I’ve written my synopsis!
I still don’t have a working title, and I keep wavering between whether my story counts as sci-fi or fantasy (I mean… everything in it is based on “science,” but none of it is remotely realistic, and in the end it comes down to “I dunno… maybe aliens? Magic?”), but I have a synopsis, and I really like it.
Last year was the first time I bothered writing a synopsis for NaNo. I’d just never seen the point before - I knew what my story was, I had a full outline, so a synopsis felt like another variation on the theme. And… yeah. It kind of is. But it’s still really helpful.