Maybe you’re like me and tired of all the writing updates. NaNo kind of consumed my life in November and the book reviews were kind of sparse – I know. So, if you’re here for the book related content and not the writing, know that in December my plans are to read more and post more reviews.
I’m glad NaNoWriMo is over. While I did have fun, between the crappy new site and losing all track of what my story was supposed to be, by the end it was a little tiresome. I ended with a count of 50,334 words, and I’m pretty sure I stopped writing in the middle of a scene. I’ll probably regret that later, but oh well.
Overall, I will say that I find writing a contemporary romcom incredibly hard. This was my first time writing anything like this (that wasn’t just a short little scene) and being confined within real world rules…it kind of sucked. It could just be that I need practice. I’ve been writing science fiction and fantasy for years, and I create the majority of the rules that happen there, and I have more freedom to make stuff up. I found that in contemporary, you can’t just magic or fate away something that doesn’t make sense.
I also know that I went into this NaNo, this story, woefully unprepared. True, I had an idea – one I was very excited about, but I had no idea how to execute it. None. I had no plot, very few ideas, and I really didn’t know the characters. I knew who I wanted them to be, but as it turns out, they wanted to be entirely different. I know my writing process is to write it wrong before I get it right, but this draft is a legit mess. I honestly can’t remember the last time a wrote a first draft that was this messy.
I know all my first drafts are messy, but I usually have some semblance of knowing where the story is going to go. I’ve even gone into NaNo before with no prep and not suffered as badly as I did this past week. I also found it really weird that ultimately, I couldn’t connect with my main character Cassie.
Every other main character I’ve written feels like they’re me – or at least a part of me, and I find it really easy to connect with them. The reason I find it so weird is that her life is legit inspired by my life. A bunch of the things that happen to her happened to me (to some degree, remember inspired by). But maybe that’s why it was so hard – maybe that’s why I didn’t feel as creative. I wasn’t making stuff up but pulling from real events. Which led into another headache. With this story being inspired by real events, I had to be careful to not inadvertently put a real family member into this book.
Not that they would get to read this draft, but I wanted to avoid the potential of pointing fingers and inadvertently calling someone out. Again, being confined to the rules of the real-world kind of sucks. It might be awhile before I dive back into this WIP.
I think it needs to sit in my brain for a bit before I go back to it – which is kind of a shame because I really liked Cassie and Chase. I also think I need to possibly age up my characters to college age – some of them already were, but I found it hard to connect with them due to their ages as well. This doesn’t surprise me since most YA contemporary, I can’t connect with, because I find most teens (in YA) immature and whiny. I think that’s a major reason as to why I tend to steer clear of it.
This post has kind of turned into a bit of a rambling one, and for that, I apologize. I don’t really know what happened with this NaNo project and this is my attempt at trying to think it through, but any rationalizing that I’m doing here, feels more like a lame excuse than an actual answer. I do want to tell this story, but clearly that time isn’t now. I’m glad that I have 50k written that I can come back to whenever I want to work on it again – and hopefully draft 2 will be leagues better.
Now for a quick overview of the actual event.
I managed to stay on track most days. There was definitely a day or two that I accidentally fell behind and/or forgot to update my account, but then the handy little “update past days” feature revealed itself and that was a life saver. I also input my words a little differently this year. In past years I would only ever update after I hit words, or during. This year – mainly because I hated the site and found it finnicky, I would input my daily goal prior to writing and then meeting that goal – and often surpassing it.
I wish this story had come a bit easier, felt a bit more natural. I also wish that my characters would get on board with the romcom aspect of the intended story. they all made it their job to make it anything but that, and just ugh.
Daily Word Count Graph (bar and line):
Overall, my daily writing was consistent, with a few anomalies. Due to lack of creativity and boredom and probably frustration I wasn’t able to stay ahead, like I usually do. I usually try to stay at least a day ahead, but this year I was lucky if I managed to stay a couple hundred words ahead. There were moments while working on this WIP that felt like pulling teeth. Very rarely did I feel inspired to write or hit a writing roll.
Okay, this post is turning out to be a lot longer than I anticipated, so I’m going to leave you with partial scene between Cassie and Chase – my two favorite characters from this WIP.
(If there are typos or tense issues in the scene, I got to a point where I honestly stopped caring and just wanted to get words on the page, so apologies in advance.)
On a final, final note: How did your NaNoWriMo Projects go?