Yeah. I fucking WON that shit.
I wrote over 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Technically, in fewer than 30 days, but who’s counting? Other than me.
Now. I should tell you, I started a bit late. And a week into the process, I discovered that the thing I was writing would be better suited to be a short story. As it is, 50,000 words is more of a novella than it is a novel. Most novel-length works start at around 60,000 words. While I can probably still eke out a few thousand words to fill things in here and there on this beast, I don’t think it’s going to stretch out to an actual full-size novel.
In week three, I missed four or five days of contributing the required 1700 words a day to the effort. This left me with two weeks of serious catch-up that needed to be done. And let me tell you, when you do National Novel Writing Month, the death of you…THE DEATH OF YOU…will be catch-up work.
This “novel” was painful. There were times (quite a few, actually. Ask His Nibs and SmartyPants) where I sat on the couch or at my desk and whined and moaned and complained because I didn’t much like what the story was doing (not much), I didn’t much like that I was changing voice throughout the thing (I can’t seem to stop my internal critic), and I couldn’t get over the fact that I was just crapping all over the page. There were several times where I threw my hands in the air and shouted “this SUCKS! Writing SUCKS! I HATE WRITING!”
That being said, my little tantrums over (for the most part – I did go on a few walks and I did think about this thing while at the gym quite frequently), I finished the bloody thing. I wrote more than 14,000 words in a single 12-hour period during which time I *also* watched the final two episodes of my new favourite programme, took the kids to music lessons, and had a nice long bath.
No, I’m not particularly proud of myself. I would like to finish one of the projects I’ve been working on for over a year. One of the things I actually want to shop. I know I can do it, and I’ve proven to myself twice that I can “win” at NaNoWriMo. But I can’t seem to get my arse in gear to finish things I actually want to write.
So what’s this novella about?
Here’s the synopsis of it from my NaNoWriMo page:
In the midst of a rapidly-spreading virus afflicting children, one boy sees things no one else can see. Things which may hold a clue to the nature of the illness.
And here’s a little excerpt:
Aidan listened to their bickering and let his mind wander up above his bed, up to the ceiling, then out of the ceiling, through the small attic and up near the treetops. When Aidan’s mind wandered, he could see everything perfectly. He even saw colours. Or what he thought were colours. His mind wandered through the tops of trees where birds that weren’t quite birds roosted silently and watched with glowing green eyes.
He heard his name, and turned his mind toward the sound. The lake had called his name. Aidan’s mind wandered over the tops of the trees to where they parted to make way for the deep, black water. Aidan’s mind floated at the edge of the lake and waited to hear what else the lake had to say.
Something deep, deep inside the lake blinked. The vibrations from its unfathomable eye made ripples on the water’s surface. From the place high up above the trees, Aidan saw the ripples. A flicker of light rippled through the water. The voice in Aidan’s wandering mind was not speaking English. He understood the words inside his head, but not in his ears. The words his ears heard sounded like gibberish.
In his bed, Aidan sat up.
Let me also say it’s *far more difficult* to write things from the perspective of a blind kid than I ever thought it would be. I had no idea how many visual cues I had in my generic ‘go-to’ writing style. And also, I think I’ve decided that if I do NaNoWriMo again (which I’m not sure I will), I’m going to choose a specific narrative voice that I can now tell lends itself well to churning out great gobs of words in a relatively short period of time. In short: not this one. Third person perspective blows chunks.