December is Summer. December is Christmas. December is a lot of things, including the doormat for the new year, but the one thing December also is to me, is the end of NaNoWriMo.
For those that haven’t heard of it, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which in turn stands for trying to write a whopping 50,000 words during the month of November. Yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds, and for the second year in a row…
Ta-da! I failed. I wrote 25K, instead of 50. No, I didn’t miss a memo. You remember in Jurassic Park when Jeff Goldblum puts Chekov’s gun in his mouth by chatting about chaos so he could pick up? Life found a way… to mess with my writing.
An increasingly strange end to the failure though, is that while I’m not happy with my word count, I’m happy with what I wrote. I started November with an ambitious plan – I’d attempt to write a mostly unplanned novel with five characters, that were all antagonist to one of the other characters. What’s more, I’d do so in four different timelines, where each character was at a different stage of their lives. Adding to that, I would jump to the other timeline every chapter. What can I say – I was inspired.
Recipe for success, yeah?
Well, it kind of was. Just not the NaNo success that I was hoping for!
The stuff about the event I love happened. I met lots of new writers, tried my best to help out our lovely new Municipal Liaison (aka, boss), set up the #sydnano IRC, tried to organise a few write-ins and drinks nights, and did some tweeting on behalf of the ML on the @sydnano twitter account. Lots of social stuff. I also got to talk to a lot of people about their ideas, and I’m hoping that the experience at least didn’t rob them of any momentum they had in their respective writing.
The writing, though. Well. At around Day 10, I came to the realisation that while I’d envisaged the story being told one way and also believing it worked that way, each of the timelines stood on their own as a standalone story AS WELL AS also being all nicely linked together. At that point, I knew that come December, I’d be starting on the new timeline of my brand new fantasy setting. That’s where I’m at now, and the main reason why I consider my NaNo experience this year to be a positive one.