Monday, April 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo in April

Yes, I just completed my own personal National Novel Writing Month. Why in April and not in the usual pattern of November? Let me tell you why.

I discovered NaNoWriMo via the blogging world (I cannot tell you exactly which blogger introduced this to me as I followed the link from many different blogs). I contacted a good friend of mine (also a fellow writer) and mentioned that I thought it would be fun to try it one November. She immediately responded and suggested that because she'd been busy with school in November we should do our own NaNoWriMo in April which, as it happened, began the following day. I loved the idea and instantly began planning my novel.

What was I going to write about? That wasn't hard to figure out. For a few months, snippets of a story had been flying around in my mind. It was a cool idea but I pushed it to a mental back burner to simmer until I could get to it later. But now at the prospect of writing this month, I pulled it out completely in the open and began thinking as hard as I could.

The novel itself is called Children Of A Legend and is about an eighteen year old boy named Davin who learns that he is the son of a legendary figure known as the Dragon Tamer. When the unexpected throws him into circumstances that he dreamed he would never face, he must undertake a quest to retrieve five siblings he never knew he had, find dragons that have been lost to man's sight for twenty years, and confront the evil Lord Vernd, a man who has been tirelessly ruling the kingdom with an iron fist.

On April 1, I wrote the opening words to my novel. What excitement! But I knew it would be a big undertaking. With 30 days to write 50,000 words, I estimated that nearly 1667 words needed to be written daily. Yes, daily.

Needless to say, I did not write faithfully every day. I started the month out strong, writing more than 1800 words every day for the first week. The second week was not nearly as diligent, and my word count just barely stayed at a good level. The third week was the hardest. After getting through the initial excitement that comes with the beginnings of a new story, I found myself staring more and more at a blank computer screen and writing less and less.

But I had to keep going. So I forced myself to write. I broke many good writers' rules and fell into some poorly constructed paragraphs, but I kept going.

And then today at 4:30, the very last day for the challenge, I typed my 50,000th word. I made it. Sweet, sweet relief and joy.

Looking back, was it rewarding? In a way, yes, very. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write and write and write and get the story out. Did I do that? Yes. Am I pleased with all 50,000 words that I wrote? No. I realize that writing so quickly forced me to compromise on my usual writing standards and the quality of my work is less than what I would like it to be. Am I considering doing NaNoWriMo for real in November? Well, let's just leave it at that I'm considering it.

And for those of you who are interested, my 50,000 word is claim. Not an amazingly good word, but that's what it is, nevertheless. :)

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