NaNoWriMos Past | From the Writing Desk: NaNoWriMo 2016 #2

nanowrimo-pastHey everyone. Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? How have you been doing thus far? I’m above the word count goal, so I’m floating in heaven right now. As of the time I’m scheduling this post, I’ve written 10,000 words more than the required 5,000!! Thus far, my story has progressed as I expected. No major hitches and the feeling that it sucks hasn’t arrived yet. So all is well! In other news, my thesis results are out and I have to do some minor corrections before I can pass. They’ve given me three months to do it, so I still can focus on NaNoWriMo. Priorities…

Since it’s still early in the NaNoWriMo month and my story still hasn’t fully taken shape yet. I thought I’d talk about my NaNoWriMo history. I’m a proud three time winner of NaNoWriMo! So let’s dive in.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo from my sister ages ago. I think it was back in 2010 or something, when I was still doing my degree. I think. I’m not too sure… The point is that I’ve known about it for quite a while before I actually participated. I thought about it many times and finally decided to do it in 2013.

For my first ever NaNoWriMo, I did an adult mystery novel called Adulation. It was about an author who wrote mystery novels and the crimes in his novels start to happen in real life. He starts to doubt his sanity and his memory. The story also follows a detective who is investigating the deaths and a reporter who is trying to become the next big thing. Oh boy, I bit off more than I could chew with this one. First of all, this was my second attempt at a novel. The first attempt was an unfinished young adult rom-com I started writing in September to let myself get use to the tempo of writing. Secondly, I had three point of view characters. THREE. I had a HARD time juggling three Points of View. Thirdly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My plot was nothing more than a few bullet points. As the month progressed, I did eventually started lining things up chapter by chapter, but I only ever plotted up until chapter 15, which was roughly about 2/3 of the way into the story. Though I won NaNoWrimo, I didn’t finish the novel. I hit 50k and I just stopped. I was only starting Chapter 12. I might go back to this eventually. I do love the idea. And I think with a bit more skill and some serious tweaks, I could pull it off correctly. However, I did use the several scene for my last work in progress. So I’ll have to rethink some parts of it.

For 2014, I came back with a vengeance along with some experience under my belt and pumped to give NaNoWrimo another go. I had written two novels in the interim and completed both of them, so confidence was at an all-time high. Confidence in being able to finish novels, not necessarily that they were good novels. This time, I went with a young adult contemporary. It was the story of a young man who tries to find a girlfriend after realizing how lonely live could be without a family. He enlists the help of his friends, a serial one night stander, one who had trouble maintaining relationships and one who had no experience with relationships. Hijinks ensues.

I finished the story in 2 weeks. TWO! It’s my fastest completion by far. 2013’s took all 30 days and 2015’s took 25 days. I’m prettied satisfied with how this one turned out. Although it was cliched as hell, it has its moments. I think with some careful revision, I could turn this into something good. I still don’t have a name for it. I put From Me to You with Love for the NaNoWriMo title, but I’m not going to stick with that. It was called Declaration of Love before that. Now I just call it Book 3. Since it’s the third book I’ve finished.

2015 was the weird year. I wrote 2 of the 5-novellas-in-one experiment. It’s my eighth overall novel. I started two novels in the interim and only managed to finish one. I also wrote a short story and actually submitted it for publishing. One which I was pretty pleased with. Didn’t get published though. I wonder if I could put it up on WattPad or something. It was an open for all anthology, so the story beats and characters were set by the publisher… Maybe if I changed it…

Anyway, back to 2015’s NaNoWriMo. The experiment was mainly to allow me to focus on improving my character voices, since I had trouble with that. Still do, but I think it has helped. The novellas each focused on a different character as the group journeyed around the world, racing against an evil organization to search for lost treasures. The plan was to maybe turn this into a long running series that I could self-published, since one of the advice I’ve heard about self-publishing was making sure you had a ton of books to sell. Each novella has its own start, climax and conclusion and it played a role in the overall novel. Each novel would focus on a different relic the team was hunting. I don’t think it is good enough though. The novellas don’t particularly stood out, and I still haven’t even finished one novel. The novel was called Max Powell and the Fury of the Shaman Queen but the parts I wrote in this NaNoWriMo were called the Door in the Sunken Shrine and the Serpent’s Maw.

And those were what I wrote for the past three NaNoWriMos. All of them clocked in at around 50k, so I never did write more than that. I’m a slow writer too, so I don’t think it’s possible for me to shoot for more, so I tend to plan my stories around that length too. This time though, I planned for 70k. I hope to finish the remaining 20k in December and maybe write a short story too. I want to squeeze out every bit of new writing out from myself, since I plan to dedicate next year to revision.

Anyway, that’s all from me. If you aren’t doing NaNoWriMo, I hope you do give it a try, especially if you’re interested in writing. It’s still not too late to join now 🙂 If you are, I hope you have a grand time with it and wish you all the best and Happy Writing!

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMos Past | From the Writing Desk: NaNoWriMo 2016 #2

  1. I have to say Adulation’s idea was super interesting! And how come you reached 50k words but you were only on Chapter 12? That is amazing! When I think about writing a novel, I’d probably stretch out my plot so I could reach 50k, hahah.
    I actually think it is very interesting how you dedicate to writing novellas as well. I understand that this can be very helpful when writing different point of views. Everytime I write something, I feel like it is too similar from my previous work.
    I hope you share some of your work in the future with us, through Wattpad or something. I really enjoy reading other people’s work and your ideas sound amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I was really super excited about the idea, but I really couldn’t pull it off. Most of that 50k words was random paragraphs with useless description just to make up the words. So that 50k in 12 chapters isn’t that great, haha.
      That’s the issue I have with characters. They just seem like versions of the same person, so I went out of my way to create drastically different characters to write and challenge myself.
      I hope I’ll be able to do it one day and I’ll let you know if I do 🙂 Thanks!

      Like

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