Tonight, erm, this morning, she who is typically verbose shall provide only a brief uber-view of NaNo. It is a very interesting, exhilarating, challenging and exhausting process.
It began as a reaction to what the KH perceived as a challenge, both from inside and outside forces. Nothing the KH loves more than a good challenge!
Not being an exhaustive researcher, still I had done my fair share before it all began on November 1. Had a specific genre in mind, involving some questions of culture that only a personal interview or two with someone from that particular culture could answer. Solicited such an interview and was introduced by e-mail to someone who said they were excited by the prospect of answering my questions. At the eleventh hour, no further word from my correspondent. Talk about dejection! The KH was ready to throw in the towel on NaNo. After a good pep talk from several of my She Writes buddies, I was finally convinced otherwise.
Although I didn’t throw in the towel, I changed my genre to “chick lit” (think of a “chick flick” on paper). I figured I probably could make it flow the easiest, have fun with it. No longer any need for 100% cultural accuracy.
But! Days 1-3 were hell. My lifelong habit of editing heavily as I write was really dragging the average word count down and I couldn’t make the habit go away. “Help!! It won’t go awaaaay,” I lamented in several of the writer forums where we gather to grouse and gripe and support one another in our quests.
Being a generally-helpful lot, the more experienced among my fellow writers/authors and some experienced WriMos gave me some down and dirty advice on “just writing” (the overall goal of NaNo). A few days of reading and actually following their advice and I believe I have begun to hit my stride. On Day 10, yesterday, I achieved a personal goal of exceeding 20K 🙂 Yaay!
There now is a mix of characters: Southern-fried chick/MFA student/dancer; equally Southern-fried best girl friend of chick; first-generation studious-but creativity-yearning American guy from Indian family; 2 of his buds, one local/one not; eccentric wedding planner/employer of one of the chicks; and 2 gay guys, also dancers, just to name a few.
They are not only populating my work-in-progress, they have taken over its direction. Makes writing a heckuva lot more easy, but the KH is on guard and prepared to step back in if things get too out of hand!
The biggest lessons learned so far: Don’t ever throw in the towel before you start something, always set some goals, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game, and most of all, take on some fellow WriMos as buddies with whom to share the ride.
And so, the process continues. I am sure there will be other bumps and blocks along the way to 50, but, I now feel better-equipped to handle them and to ride the wave. Surf’s up!!!! 🙂
Another update at 30K. I promise you faithfully. Goodnight all, from NaNoLand!