Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Looking Back on NaNoWriMo

Today is the last day of the month, and my 15,740 words certainly won't get me a winner's certificate. I've essentially given up, and that's for a lot of different reasons, actually.

First of all, the past month has sort of been a wreck. October 30's car accident led to back pain for a week or so. I started my job at Target on the 4th, and they've been giving me LOTS of hours. I also got sick, which totally knocked me out for a few days, and then I had a bad reaction to NyQuil (which I took for the aforementioned cold) that put me in the hospital for tons of tests I can't afford. Feeling your heart beat 3-4 times per second is worth getting checked out, though, I guess.

The Devil's Blade was also not the novel I was going to write. I was planning a romance set in the 1970's with a farm boy and a kinda-sorta hippie girl. My back-up plan was to write a prequel to Among the People Lost that follows Solstice and Blaze in their time before Dante meets them. Then, on the day I started writing, I remembered this story. I remembered that I started to rewrite it and never really did anything with it, and I decided to give it a go.

Honestly, it started off okay. I realized pretty quickly, though, that NaNo just doesn't cater to my writing style. I don't like doing drafts. I like putting tons of time and thought into every sentence, making the story as good as I can on my first try, then going through after a few months of a break and looking for areas to improve. This whole write-tons-and-fix-it-later thing is just not for me.

I'm not someone who can let things go until later, either. I confuse myself if I put off research and make up a filler detail. I'd rather take the time to do my research and figure out what I'm doing beforehand.

I feel like my character development is severely lacking. That's something that I need to really sit down and figure out, because right now, it's going nowhere. Valdius is interesting, but not really interesting. Anastera, my main female, has about as much dimension as a sheet of paper. She has a history and abilities, but minimal personality. I never know how to write her dialogue. The best character I have right now is my imp Zirk. He's totally okay and needs, like, no work. It's really pathetic that that's how things progressed.

For now, I'm shelving the story for a few months so I can look back on it with a fresh mind. In the mean time, I'll finish off my Among the People Lost prequel I started that follows Dante and Hunter. I put it on hold for NaNo, and now that I've taken a break from it, I'm ready to get back into it and pump out the rest of it.

I'll keep posting writing tips periodically. I have quite a few more that I think will be fun to share. I'm hoping I can more or less return to the internet now that I'm over my cold. It's been a rough month. 

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