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Then and Now (Camp NaNoWrimo vs. the November Challenge)

November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo marks my second attempt at the 30 day, 50,000 word challenge this year. As you may well know I participated and won the June Camp session with 50,056 words. In the ensuing time between then and now I worked on revisions (some) and started new ventures into writing (some more) neither one achieved significant progress as the summer faded into fall. I geared up for the November session with two ideas in my head and through the help from this blog and talking to some friends I  was able to choose and began writing when the clock struck twelve on November 1. I was off in a fury of flying fingers, as I tried to get in as much as I could. I had an outline (still do) and followed it for the most part. Now however I am sitting here nearly at the half way point of the month, realizing that I am nowhere near the half way point in my story. When looking back to the camp session then and comparing it to now, I seem to be falling desperately behind. This can be attributed to a few key differences:

1) I had an incredibly slow start to the story, whereas I hoped to begin with a bang I mustered only a whimper (The camp session definitely started with a bang)

2) I have not been following my outline nearly as much as I had originally planned (whereas the camp session found me following it religiously)

3) Having had the previous experience with the Camp session I have been trying to allow my imagination to run a bit more (which ends up with reason #2)

4) I am writing a story that is a lot more personal than before. The characters are more based on aspects of my life (they are composites of myself and friends and family. No one character is based on a single person)

5) I know it is easier to cut and rework than to create from scratch, which means I am adding more than I need to

6) I am doing more this month:knitting for the holidays, arranging plans for the holidays and taking on new responsibilities, which means compared to the June session I am trying to find a balance that works

7) I am spending the time to establish the normal (aka the universe before the big event that drives the story) than I did with the camp session

8) I understand my craft a bit more. This has led me to try the techniques out (such as #7.) I am also working on showing vs. telling for character action (and realize how much I am actually telling)

9) I still feel nervous about the realities of taking this on as a job. During the camp session I still applied to jobs (and was still getting rejected from them) and in part I lost my focus. This time I am attempting to jump in all the way, and actually treating it like a job

10) Telling people about it, in general and as my new job. Since leaving grad school I have been struggling to find myself as well as determine my direction. (Hence #9.) This time around I find myself believing in the idea of actually being a writer. (Having cheerleaders in your corner are a major help, thanks to all of those who have encouraged me along the way.)

11) I suppose the difference between then and now is that this time around NaNoWriMo is going better, while I might fall behind on my word count here and there (more often here) I am getting a lot more out of it.

From → NaNoWriMo

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