Done for another year

Yay! National Novel Writing Month is done for yet another year. (I know one day they’ll call it the International Novel Writing Month.)

There are probably people out there who wonder why I do it since I only get a certificate and no money prize at all. Well, it’s not about the prize. It’s about the fact that I have written 50101 NEW words in 30 days. So I had a few days where I couldn’t write, but I got them all done within the time. I like to think Angie was with me for the last couple of weeks, but she was probably really busy herself.

As usual, with NaNoWriMo, there are the rule followers and the rule breakers, the planners, the pantsers and the plantsers. I think I touch on something between the pantsers and the plantsers. For those who don’t know this jargon – and yes, it is jargon – a pantser is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants – without planning or anything and I do that most of the time. I have now learnt that I can do a lot more with just an extremely loose plan – hence plantser.

Sometimes, this does lead to problems with “hello, characters, where are you taking the story next?” with no clear avenue of movement. Sometimes I’m able to swap scenes to pick up something else while waiting for a character to give me that direction. (Did I tell you? It’s perfectly normal for a writer to talk to their characters? Others would call us schitzophrenic or split-personalities. We just call them characters in our novels!)

But it also leads us to finding out how far a character can take a story. Oh, that’s right. I was talking about those who follow rules and those who don’t. I didn’t this year. Again. I started with one story, didn’t have enough to go on (and it was starting to head towards someone else’s story) so swapped. Which is how we got The Sefindarfin Accords. But that ended really quickly (in NaNo I want to write fast, not try and figure out boring scenes) so I sat at work for a day figuring out what else to do. Yep, got it. Ended up writing about Delta Recoveries in its first years.

It didn’t help that Andrew told me he had some great feedback for Dark Reign and we had to get together. No, that didn’t help at all. For a few days after that I found myself thinking about Troy and his misfortunes instead of what I was supposed to be focussing on. It’s called shake oneself and get on with the main job. Stop daydreaming!

Comes along today and I had 1800-odd words to write. What am I going to end on? What is a great ending for Nano? Oh, that’s right. I haven’t killed off a main character in this one. Oops, click, click on the keyboard, CEO of Delta no longer lives. And up goes the word count. I’m such a nasty person to my characters (shut up, Marek, I can see you nodding from here!).

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