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.
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.
The bad news is, I didn’t get a lot of prep work done this week. The good news is, I knew that was going to happen - my schedule’s been… weird this week.
I got a little bit off-track this week.
I’ve been trying to expand my one-page outline, figuring out my scenes and subplots and character moments and, you know, all the things that turn an outline into an actual story. And, because I’m still tweaking my outlining method, I’ve been looking at what other people say about their processes, reading about outlining techniques, that sort of thing.
(Also: by Tuesday afternoon, I had to accept that I was coming down with a cold. Studying craft was a way to feel like I was being at least a little bit productive, even when I didn’t have the attention span to be working. On the bright side, I’d rather get a cold now than in the last week of November.)
It was probably a mistake.
Last year, I approached NaNoWriMo as an experiment.
I won’t go into detail (I’ve done that already), but the short version is: it worked. I discovered that I can still write, and I can finish a draft without hating both it and the world in general. Yay!
I knew going in that April wasn’t going to be a very productive month. There were a million little disruptions to my schedule (this is actually the first full, uninterrupted week I’ve had this month), but I’d planned for them, and I’ve (mostly) been able to work around them.
The story outlines are progressing nicely; I still really love having two different projects on the go. It slows both of them down, of course, but it’s fantastic being able to switch from one to the other when inspiration starts to flag. (And inspiration always starts to flag at some point. It’s inevitable.) For now, I’ve pretty much abandoned the daily freewriting that I was trying - I still haven’t found a way to make it work.
And I’m still looking for another writing project, something low-pressure to work on in my downtime, and that doesn’t require months of world building and outlining. It’s… surprisingly difficult. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing that’s quite clicked for me yet.
But, yeah: it’s been a pretty good month, despite everything.
Ok! The last two weeks, I've been: fixing | working | having | running | re-watching | finalizing | doing | looking | playing | making
This has been a strange month. (Another one.) Not bad, just… strange. In a number of ways.
I’m currently planning the second draft of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year, and I’m in the earliest stages of planning a different novel. I’d worried that it would be confusing, trying to work on two different stories, but it’s not; they complement one another, but they don’t get tangled up together.
It does mean that I’m working on two different stories, but not actually writing either of them right now. I’m not putting words on the page. And the writing routine I built over the last five months doesn’t quite work when I’m outlining, or researching, or trying to make sense of the notes I made last November. I’ve been trying to do some free writing, but… meh. I don’t quite have the hang of that - I always reach a point where it feels like I’m just typing, rather than writing.
So, keeping myself on track - and feeling like I’m actually being productive - has been a bit of a struggle.
I don't know if the last two weeks have felt so odd, or if it's just the last few days. Either way, I've been: wishing | having | loving | thinking | wanting | starting | buying | getting | trying | hoping