Tapping Out

15 11 2010

I made a decision last Thursday to just go ahead and hang up my NaNoWriMo attempt. I just couldn’t get there with it and instead started to actually dread it, which lead to skipping it entirely. It wasn’t so bad until I fell behind and hit the first major plot point. On the plus side, I had many directions I could’ve gone with it at that point, many different perspectives on The Big Central Event, but that turned out to be a problem, too.

So, without getting too reflective, I will say that overall, I enjoyed trying and might, but most likely will not try again next year, but I learned a lot very quickly, such as:

1) It really does help to write on a schedule. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, it kills you when you can’t write on a schedule. I got derailed too many times and didn’t have the power to rally on a day I didn’t want to write.

2) I learned that planning would’ve probably carried the day. I did plan the overall plot of the novel and I thought I had a pretty good idea where it was going, but if I had made up a day-by-day, chapter-by-chapter outline, I would’ve been in much better shape.

3) I wrote a lot of really bad stuff that showed where I have more than a fair number of weaknesses in my plot. I was writing to reach a word count and I didn’t enjoy that very much. It felt like more of a stunt than real writing. What really surprised me, though, was there was a fair number of things that just came to me during the writing and they were quite good and I was very pleased with them.

The main thing I got out of it, though, was that I sat down and at least planned out a novel. I’d need to scrap the whole thing and rewrite it, but I think I see a bit on how to do it. I know that I can’t write everyday – I get tired too quickly and I need to build up more endurance. I also missed blogging and reading and writing other things. And I learned that I have to work on multiple things at once or I get bored or discouraged. So, it was a very good experience overall, but I ultimately just didn’t enjoy it enough to continue.

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