Tag: NaNoWriMo

In Which I Ramble About NaNoWriMo

It is November! National Novel Writing Month! Also, No Shave November, which correlates because there is less time for shaving when you have to write so much. Anyway, this is my third time doing NaNoWriMo. The first year went beautifully. I wrote a story that was based off the Cinderella fairy tail, which had barely been planned, and it just took off during NaNo and I finished easily. That was exhilarating, writing that story. The second year didn’t go so well. I attempted to do the same thing again, an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment story, and it tanked spectacularly. I got the 50,000 word goal, but only because the entire second half of those words was nothing but short stories, anecdotes, and historical essays about the story world I had been attempting to write a novel in. This year is a bit different because I’m not writing a new novel. I was already at least halfway through a story when November came around, and I didn’t want to put it aside for a month to write something else. So I decided to use November to finish that story, and if I had leftover words after it was done, I would fill out the rest of my word goal with short stories, like I did last year.


So far it’s going reasonably well. I’m not getting in amazing, ultra high volume writing sessions, but I have so far been able to make my word goal every day and not had too much trouble deciding what happens next. Picking up in the middle of a novel for NaNo is kind of a different experience. The characters and story are already established, and the real difficulty is just in continuing to plod ahead with the novel. I didn’t have one bit of the usual start of NaNo excitement, because the story-starting excitement had long since faded for this novel. But on the other hand, I didn’t have all the uncertainties that go with a new beginning. This story is familiar and comfortable to work with, which makes it easier in some ways despite being lacking in the excitement. I suppose that could be kind of a metaphor for relationships, now that I think of it. Novels are like people in a lot of ways, after all. Very ornery creatures.


At any rate, thus far NaNoWriMo is going well. Almost a third of the way through, and no major hiccups yet.


~ Jared


In Which I Rant About My Silly Story

I am so sick of this story that I’m trying to write for NaNoWriMo. I don’t care about it anymore. I don’t even like it anymore. At this point I’m seriously wondering whether or not it’s worth finishing. Sure, that would mean losing NaNoWriMo, which would kind of suck (especially since I’ve easily written a book in a month before), but I’m reaching a point where I have to wonder, what’s the reason I’m writing? Is it just so I can say I finished NaNoWriMo this year? Is it for personal enjoyment? To learn? To share a story that needs to be told? I’m not enjoying this. It doesn’t seem like it’s teaching me much. The story hardly exists (at least not in terms of plot or interesting, believable characters), let alone needs to be told. Is finishing NaNoWriMo really worth forcing myself to keep writing something that I’ve totally lost interest in and don’t think will ever be good or worth reading?


And I had a great setting, too. A really interesting world that featured vast wilds and castles built on the backs of giant snails. But now I think I’ve done something that I’ve always been afraid would happen: I snatched at the world before it was ready to be written about. It had been forming on the edges of my mind, ephemeral, fleeting wisps of another reality. It was beautiful. But I should have let it go for now. I only took up this story because the story I had originally been planning to write for NaNoWriMo didn’t work out–I sat down to write and couldn’t connect with the main character. So I started this one, which went beautifully at first. But now I can hardly stand it. I went after it before it was ready, and now, for the moment at least, it’s been ruined. So what do I do?


And again this brings me back to the question: why am I writing this story? Why do I write, in general? I suppose I’m writing this story because it was the only thing that it seemed like I could write. Despite all the ideas I have waiting to be written, this was the one that leaped out at me, that demanded to be written when I realized my original plan wouldn’t work. I didn’t know what it was about then. I still don’t know what it’s about. But I felt that I should write it, and so I started. I wish I could get back the feeling that started this story.   My instincts are rarely ever wrong. So I suppose I should be writing what I’m writing. But maybe I don’t know it well enough yet. Maybe I just haven’t seen what is supposed to come of it. Maybe I should keep going.


But what am I writing for? I write because stories are beautiful and life would be almost pointless without them. They shape the way we perceive the world and they are worlds within themselves. Without fantasy and without make believe there is a bit of the heart missing. Humans need stories. I need stories. Also if it is within my ability to create something beautiful than I should create it. Because creating beauty is one of the highest things a human can do. You can create beauty in all sorts of ways. But writing stories is one of the ways I do it which is most dear to my heart. And of course, I also write stories because I enjoy writing. It’s the joy of creation and of seeing another world come to life inside your head. It’s a joy that not everyone can experience and I feel blessed to be gifted with the skills of a storyteller. But is the story I’m writing beautiful? Is it worth it? Or is it just dust that doesn’t matter to me and won’t matter to anyone else? I’m tired of it, that’s for sure. But maybe it’s more important than my enjoyment. Maybe I won’t know until I finish it how important it might be.


I want to give up on it, but I suppose I won’t, not yet. If only the silly thing would be easier to write!


~ Jared