As I reported earlier this month, I decided to spend February doing my own personal NaNoWriMo and write a novel within 30 days. As of late Thursday night, I finally crossed the 50,000 word threshold, a full day ahead of schedule. (cue golf clap) I don’t know if the book I wrote is any good, but I wrote the damn thing, and that’s all that really matters. Now that I’ve had a few day to decompress, here are some thoughts I have on the experience for those of you who may be curious.
-Last week I found myself daydreaming about getting back to writing. Strangely enough, this month has felt like a ‘month off’ of sorts, as I haven’t worked on any of the many scripts that I’ve been tinkering with for the past year or so. Also, I haven’t written hardly anything with pen and paper, which is my typical writing tool of choice.
-The last week was easily the most grueling as a result of getting sick a second time in a row. I had more than one night where I sat myself in front of the computer and couldn’t think straight enough to even write my name.
-It felt strange to celebrate finishing the first draft of something. I’m a big believer in rewriting, so I generally won’t tell anybody I’m done with a project until I’ve done at least two rewrites.
-If you’re a writer, I can’t recommend a NaNoWriMo type experience enough. Even if you write something that’s complete garbage, it’s a huge ego boost to know that you’re capable of actually writing a novel.
-Writing this much so fast allowed me a chance to play around with a few narrative techniques that I’ve been wanting more experience in. I generally don’t write in the first person, and the majority of The Sausage King was in exactly that.
-For the first week’s worth of writing, I leaned hard on swearing. For some reason, it helped me give myself momentum, and I wanted to get it out of my system before I started up on a children’s novel. However, I quickly tired of it and dropped it from the book, and I’ll probably take it out completely during the rewrites. I’m glad I got it out of my system, but it’s one of those things that can be exhausting to read.
-I realized that I hate writing court scenes, and ended up writing around nearly every single one that popped up.
-1,700 words a day is almost the perfect amount of writing for me. It’s enough that I’m forced to actually set aside time to write, focus, and get into a nice flow, but not so long as to completely exhaust me when I’m not feeling like writing. I think the most I’ve managed to write in a day is 4,000 words max, but generally I crashed after 2,000 words.
I think that’s it for now. Nothing too deep or spectacular. The official book of NaNoWriMo makes this to out be a fairly life changing event, but I think that goes more for people who aren’t already writing on a regular basis. As for me, I’m just satisfied that I was able to get in some much needed practice with narrative fiction quickly, and now I can move on to other things. Like updating this site.