Epistolary #6: 50k Words and I'm Barely Halfway Through My Novel (Yes, A NaNoWriMo Post)

I’m alive!

Yeah, it’s been nearly two months since I set foot in this little book blog of mine all because I decided to take another shot at NaNoWriMo. I’ve grumbled about this before and I’ll grumble again but my first serious attempt at NaNoWrimo/writing a novel didn’t end as well as I’d like. Took me ages to even get to 50k words (the default goal). Back then my writing process was so all over the place that a single scene could take me days, even weeks, to finish because I had no idea what was going to happen next. When I realized that I was literally just writing in circles, I had to call it quits.

It wasn’t easy breaking up with my first WIP. I had spent nearly a year writing and it just felt like I flushed all that work down the drain. I considered salvaging it but, alas, the story was barely hanging by a thread in the first place. Rewriting it would have done me more harm than good. It’s hard to save a story that had little to offer in the first place. But! I did end up using the magic system that I oh so meticulously crafted in my current WIP. The thing still needs a lot of work but it’s something to tinker with.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a little self-indulgent personal blog about my experience with NaNoWriMo this year and how ’17’s failure taught me more about my writing process and preferences.

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POSTMORTEM: Why I Failed NaNoWriMo

Yes, I am fully aware that NaNoWriMo ended more than a month ago (last year, if you want to be cheeky) but I can’t seem to process anything properly without writing about it ad nauseam and posting my feverish ramblings on the internet for all to see. So I’m going to try and analyze exactly how I failed the online writing contest so catastrophically. I’ll review my tweets that November, cross reference certain good days on my NaNo stats with diary entries/tweets (Twitter is my diary now) and my actual novel-in-progress, and fathom the cause of long stretches of inactivity. Perhaps with this “comprehensive” investigation, I’ll be able to form a better response to my NaNo failure than a simple “I just couldn’t do it” because that is a shitty excuse and I refuse to accept it because fifty thousand words aren’t that impossible to write goddammit.

Let’s begin.

So my earliest tweet about my NaNoWriMo progress was on day 2. Let’s take a look at what tweeted at half past eight in the evening after presumably a whole day of fruitful writing:

Oh.

Yikes.

Looks like I was doomed from the start. I mean, with optimism like that, is it really any wonder why I couldn’t even hit the halfway mark? Case closed, right? No, no, let’s dig a little bit deeper. I’m sure the story’s much more complicated than this. I definitely remember going through several hurdles. Or at least trying to.

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