S2, E49: NaNo 2014, Wrap Up Episode


It’s NaNo wrap up time! For this episode, I talk about how I did with this year’s National Novel Writing Month, what I learned about myself, what I love about Duality, and evaluate what I did wrong and right as I went through the month.

Updates:

  • NaNo 2014 is over!!! Woo hoo!!! Despite the slow start, I won on the last day, finished out with just over 52,000 words!
  • How was this year’s NaNo? (first three from NaNo team sent to all participants 🙂 )
    • Most proud of achieving this month?
      • Managed to come from behind, fight through some heavy down cycling, and still make it to 50k!
    • What did I learn about myself as a writer?
      • That while I still can’t say I am excited about reading first person, I apparently did find it fun to write in it 🙂
    • What excites me about this draft of your NaNo-novel?
      • A lot! I love it!  For one thing, it’s a different sort of story. Few stories tackle more “alternative” or “taboo” relationships, like polyamory, incest, or open relationships. When they are, it’s usually either an erotica or porn work, or it’s a cautionary tale that ends with the lovers being punished/suffering for being different.  Even in historical fiction, will see socially acceptable relationships of the time period given a bad result to match modern sensibilities.

        From my experience, it’s rare to see a relationship that goes against America’s rather puritanical societal views of “the norm” being shown in a more positive light in American novels. With Duality I wanted to make sure that while all three of my characters have some messed up stuff going on around them, the triad between them is good, right, and what works for them regardless of what society might like to try to dictate.

      • I also really love the characters and where they led me. As I got further in, they revealed a lot of facets and things about themselves that just made me want to write more and more about them.
      • The story gave me a great excuse to visit Hakodate again and I had a lot of fun throwing in a few easter egg references to Aisuru that fans of that novel can enjoy spotting 🙂
      • I also really enjoyed writing in such a different style from my usual, especially with doing the multiple first person POV. I’m sure in this draft I didn’t always keep the voices straight, but it was a fun challenge to make sure I “flipped” to the right one for a scene mentally so that the right one would then come out in my words.
    • What I did wrong?
      • Tried to be a planner in a year when I just had way too much other stuff going on that it had me too stressed, triggering the down cycles
      • Trying to do the crowdfunding campaign for Aisuru in November – made a lot of mistakes with that (more in a future episode), but also trying to do it was a NaNo mistake
      • Not listening to my own instincts initially and trying to force the story to be what would be “correct” instead of what would be right.
      • Too many non-writing days! I had 11 days this month I wrote nothing, that is NOT how to succeed in NaNo!
    • What I did right?
      • Trashed the first 3k words or so and started over the way I knew it had to be written
      • Gave myself permission to ignore what little outline I did have written – once I let myself write in pantser mode again, my words flowed so much better
      • Most importantly, gave myself permission to write this story, in all it’s wonderful twisted, dark, glory, and to let my characters be their broken selves! Again the initial temptation was to tone things down or scale them back to fit what a more “proper” image or the like, but that stifled my words.
      • Going to in-person events! I went to more than ever this year, and I seriously would not have won without them. Did a huge chunk of my writing at the local write ins, and it really helped.
  • So what now?
    • I’d like to say rest time, but that’s really only for today (and only in terms of writing obviously since I’m doing this episode LOL)
    • For the first two weeks of December, Duality has to go back on the shelf while I give Aisuru some intense focus to fix the first round of issues found in the first chapter in the sample edits and give it a final read through to fix any other little issues I find. And one last spelling/grammar check too (which seriously takes WAY too long on a nearly 100,000 word novel!)
    • Then get Aisuru off to my editor, yay!
    • With that done, I’ll be focusing on getting my site’s WordPress template more like I’ve been wanting while also returning to Duality to finish it up and probably also start really deciding for sure which novel will be #2 of my releases. Thus far, I’ve been leaning towards Reconstruction, but will probably also chat with a few folks to get some feedback too. 🙂 Duality is also certainly a possibility!
  • Non-NaNo stuff right quick
    • Back added some entries in the blog for my goal updates – I didn’t go all the way back to the start of the year, just a few months to have it in there (and really, most of the year was kind of bleh goal wise)
    • First two episodes of December will be covering the failure of the crowdfunding/lessons learned and the process of choosing an editor and getting Aisuru ready for it, probably in that order. I’ll also be doing some sort of season wrap up for the last episode of 2014 (and last of season 2!)

Final Word Count: 52,600 words