As with everything in my writing life, there is a death. Today I announce with mixed emotions, the end (therefore death) of Nanowrimo.
As who is this Nanowrimo? Why it is the National Novel Writing Month, which happened every November. It is the ‘write 50,000 words in one month’ for people around the world. It is the anchor your ass in a seat, type (dictate or scribble) like the wind and at the end of it all, have the first draft of a novel month.
At a session about how to succeed during Nanowrimo, the speaker was kvetching about how this is the wrong month for this endeavor. How badly Thanksgiving was going to disrupt the work, how it had to be invented by an single man without familial obligations. Naively, I thought even with Thanksgiving this is very do-able. The goal was to produce 1667 words every day. I looked back on some of my half completed novels, because in my head 50K words is the same as throwing 50K lawyers in the ocean, just a good start, and I saw that I have done it in three weeks. What I forgot was that in those three weeks, I let everything go to absolute hell. The clean laundry was down to one pair of clean socks, two pairs of clean underpants and my Saturday bra. We had been eating leftovers and anything that could be cooked and delivered by strangers. There was no cat box to clean, the vacuum was in the shop, the car was dirty inside and out, there were no doctor’s appointments. NO Problem! So I signed up, with the full intention of exceeding 50K words. Piece of delivered cake!
So I signed up and decided that I was going to work on the second novel in my police-procedural murder mystery series. I had the outline, about 3,000 + words and a few technical problems, but hey it was a good start and a good reason to forge ahead. This is where the story gets complicated. Disclaimer: the paragraphs below contain actual facts, they should in no way be misconstrued as an excuse for failure.
Reading those 3000 + words, I realized that they were not a good beginning for the story. They lacked. Many things. I was able to salvage only about a third of them and they weren’t a contiguous chapter. They are now scattered through the book like pieces of a jigsaw.
I was not a member of any writing group back then, nor was I a performing poet.
I did not have a retired husband and a cat.
I did not go to an all day Poetry Seminar.
I did not have a death in the family.
I was not writing for a local paper
What I did have was inspiration! The number of words produced is directly proportionate with the amount of inspiration that is hitting you on the head. It is tangentially related to how much it is banging inside your ‘little grey cells’ to get out.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very inspired to get The Canyon Clinic Murder on paper. I know that this story is fascinating, even if I say so myself. But, it has been a problem child of mine since its inception. And it’s concept was over fifteen years old.
So, here I sit on the last day of Nanowrimo, blogging instead of working on the novel. I have 35,000 words in a cohesive structure, but I am not going to make the 50K mark. Pity too. Now I know what the speaker was complaining about. I am proud that I have whipped my rowdy teenager of a concept into a semblance of submission. I am going to use the fragmented limited time of December to finish. Yah Me!