October, for most people, it’s the long wait for Halloween, the day they get to dress up and scare their friends. For writers, it’s one of the most fun, yet most stressful prep months ever conceived. . . From this, I mean the following month, NaNoWriMo. Yes, the most amazing and most stressful month out of the year for every writer.
Every writer who participates in NaNoWriMo knows that November is the month they’ve been waiting for. Avid writers spend their whole year preparing their novel for this one month, amateur writers begin planning the closer it comes to the month. No matter who you are, we are all in agreeance, that this month pushes us to our writing limits.
Some finish their full novel by the end, then go on to revise it.
Others get halfway through, and then push on after the month is over.
Some only get a part way through, and abandon the whole novel by the time the month is up, or by the end of December – going on to something new, or nothing at all.
NaNoWriMo is an experiment for some people. It’s a way for them to learn if they really, truly, love the world of writing, or are only enamored by the mere thought of publishing their own work. For many though, it is a way to finish what they have begun, even if it’s only inside their head until the first of November. It’s a pressure that ensures total completion, or destruction. That’s not to say, don’t do it if you don’t feel comfortable with stress. Destruction isn’t only leaving what you thought you liked, it’s learning that writing is actually way harder than most writers make it out to be.
NaNoWriMo is a teacher. We, the students, learn about our novels, but we learn a lot about ourselves. I remember my first year, actually last year, that I participated. I learned that I could get far with the simple thought of determination. Now, I simply wrote only 14,000 words in one month, eventually, like the third stated above, leaving the novel by the end of the year. I learned much about myself, of what I love to write, what my style is, and how I like to tell my story. I learned through other people, that styles don’t just range in one circle, but in a thousand circles, all classified under their own words.
Everyone’s thoughts are different, so don’t expect to always understand them, and them to understand you.
I learned that writing is stinking hard when you actually sit down and do it. I learned that even through a drought of inspiration, it’s still good to keep the writing juices flowing. I learned that the stress of NaNoWriMo was a motivator, but the stress of myself was an inhibitor. In essence, I learned a lot through one month of someone telling me to write, than in a full year of simply meandering through my thoughts, hopping from story to story.
This year, my story is much different than lasts. That’s not to say I didn’t like last years try, but I can’t say it was my best work. This year I am writing about my character Sage Callister, a young girl living in the Solitude, the seventh city built before the ‘infection’ seven years ago. Now, this isn’t the story I have been working on, but I still am working on that one – I’ve simply put it aside for NaNoWriMo. I’ve found that the story I was working on was getting strained too many ways, and as fun as I was having, I had to shelf it for this month, and come back to it with a new perspective.
So now, I’m following Sage’s story as she learns new things about herself, is sent to the first city ever built, Ward, finds a mismatch set of unlikely friends, and learns many things about the good she and her friends are supposed to be doing.
Interestingly enough, I got this inspiration from Pinterest. While browsing through the writing prompts, I found one that said to write a story counting down, or up to ten. I took that as a course starter and wrote down ten things about my story, which set a plot for me. The plot has since then changed, but much of the original stuff is still there. Doing that gave me thoughts and inspiration, who my character was, why the world is the way it is, when it all takes place, where it all takes place, and how the world exists.
I’ve also taken some things from other stories I have scrapped. One in particular that I used to call Consumed. It wasn’t the best work I had, but the creatures I had put inside it were pretty creepy and perfect for this story. I felt bad leaving Consumed to the pits, but oh well, I guess that’s just how life goes sometimes – either way, it’s still moving toward another story, so there’s not total loss on it’s behalf.
So, I guess, even still before this year has started, I’ve learned some things. Before this, I found it hard to scrap my old thoughts and stories, wanting to come back and make a novel out of them. I’ve learned though, that if you know it’s not going to work out, don’t force it. That doesn’t mean you totally obliterate it’s existence, but take what you loved and put it into where you know it’s going to get real use.
Honestly, to tell the truth, I’m really hoping this story will be done by the end of November. I have so many great ideas, and I’ve even written thoughts out for a second and third book.
Some people think a trilogy is cliche.
I say inspiration is a leader, so if it says to do so, you follow, no matter what others may think. I think that’s all I have for now, and though I do know I haven’t updated in a while, I am hoping to keep track of this month on here, to keep me accountable and to revitalize any inspiration that may want to trickle away.
“Fear is like a river dam made of twigs. They are there, yes, but all it takes is one little push and you are on your way to achieving your dreams.”