Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winner, winner, turkey dinner...

Since it's the last day of November I figure this is the time for the NaNo wrap up. For those of you that missed it, I did it. Oh wait, spoiler did it. Hit over 50K on Monday. I let out a little Whoop! of excitement, posted a picture and then started playing desperate catch up with other things that needed done. One of those being a nice tidy little wrap up blog. So here we are...

First off, I did it. I just want to say that again because that was really the main point for me. I wanted to do this. It was important to me to actually get through it and do it. And I did. So I'm pretty pleased. There were lessons along the way and things that I need to think about now, but before I get in to the weeds with that part I wanted to say again, I did it.

Okay, lessons, first off it wasn't easy. I write at 1,000 words per hour so really 50,000 words in a month should be easy right? But I write at 1,000 words per hour if the ideas are flowing. And on some days they aren't. I had banked on being able to write a lot while Brent was in Denver. What I didn't bank on was getting sick during that time. The good news was that there was only one really bad day. Bad enough that if a friend hadn't surprised me with lunch I wouldn't have eaten a hot meal that day. But only one really bad day. I didn't get as sick as Brent did the week before so though I didn't get the stellar numbers I had been hoping for, I did get some decent numbers in that week.

So a few lessons, the dual deadlines worked for me. I had been working all along toward being finished by November 22 instead of November 30. And even though I got sick and didn't make that first deadline I had a giant cushion to make the hard deadline of the 30th. I ended up crossing the number line on the 25th. Not terrible. But to really make that first deadline I needed to have not counted on the extra time while Brent was gone so much. I should have treated it like normal time and then I might have still made the original deadline. As it was I looked at that upcoming "free" time as an excuse to slack a few days.

Writing a long story for me was hard. I like short stories, I talked about that before, but I want to mention it again. I noticed as I was writing scenes where THINGS happened to my main characters that the readers wouldn't really care because I hadn't given them any reason to care about these people. A lot of things I can get away with in a short story I just can't in a longer one. It was a good exercise in stretching for me. Why should the reader care? What did I need to add in to this story to make them care? I did a lot of back and forth writing. At more than one point I could envision the 6 year old me on the playground calling the shots in a game of make believe, "No, let's say that you did this instead!"

I also got a big glimpse in to what a lazy writer I really am. I told you that I had friends with kids and jobs doing this as well right? And keeping pace with me? My job this month? Writing. Hell, Brent offered to get me a cleaning lady for the month so I could focus just on the writing. I am hugely supported in this endeavor and extremely lazy. That I can fix. Though 50,000 words just for the sake of words probably won't happen again the schedule that I came up with will most likely stick. Breakfast, workout, writing. That's a good morning. Leaves the afternoon for the other things I need to take care of to keep this joint running and I also have the flexibility to move things around on days that I need to have the morning free for something else. But I did it this month. A busy month. And I did it.

As for the story itself? I don't know what I am going to do with it. For right now I am letting it sit. I know it will need a lot of editing. A lot of rewrites. Possibly a whole new plot line. But for now it's just sitting. It served its purpose. One continual story over 50,000 words. What it eventually evolves in to I would guess I won't know until sometime next year. I still think there is potential there. I still like the mother and daughter. I am just not sure what I need their story to be. In fact right now I have two different paths I merged in to one story (on purpose) but I'm not sure that they should be one story. Maybe they are two separate short stories.

And speaking of short stories, I think I am going back to those. I do believe that I will try out my other idea of stringing a group together to make a novel length collection. Recurring characters and situations that might dovetail, but stand alone stories. Now that I know I can just sit my butt in the chair and write daily without the world falling apart I should find it easier to get that done. That's the plan anyway.

Will I do it again? Hmm...I don't think so. I did it. I won. I got the huzzahs, seriously on the website when you win they give you a huzzah. I don't see the reason to do it again next November. I know I can do it. And I know that I can do a lot more on a daily basis than I was so for now it served its purpose and that's good enough.

And the last thing, thank you all so much. The encouragement I got from all of you when I posted my daily word counts meant so much to me! I really felt like I would be letting you all down if I didn't finish so thank you for standing behind me and pushing my lazy ass over the finish line, even if you didn't realize that's what you were doing!

Now on to December! Now I only have to catch up on Christmas shopping, cards, the letter, decorating, blogging, editing, starting the short story series....

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